Magazine article Army

The Elections: Step 2, Shape the Battlefield

Magazine article Army

The Elections: Step 2, Shape the Battlefield

Article excerpt

"We've he shouldered a mine detector and prepared for another day searching the rough date palm and orange groves that extend from the outskirts of Ad Duluyuah, Iraq, toward Forward Operating Base (FOB) MacKenzie. The FOB was home to Task Force Saber, built around the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), during its Operation Iraqi Freedom rotation.

Task Force Saber had been scouring farmland, farmhouses and the town during stepped-up operations to find weapons and munitions caches and round up local members of the antiIraqi forces (AIF) before the Iraqi elections.

The reasoning was straightforward: fewer bad guys on the streets and fewer weapons at their disposal would increase security during the elections, and the closer to the elections it was done, the less time the AIF would have to regroup and rearm.

In the military sense, it was shaping the battlefield, and similar operations were being conducted all around Iraq in the weeks leading up to the election.

As cavalrymen from Alpha section, 3rd Platoon, Anvil (A) Troop, walked down the ramps of their two Bradley fighting vehicles and got set, Iraqi soldiers from Company A, 203rd Battalion, jumped from the Japanese pick-up trucks that hauled them to the search area and joined the U.S. soldiers. The Iraqi army was being called upon to take over increased responsibility for the country's security.

The Iraqi and American soldiers scoured the area for a couple of hours-digging whenever the mine detector got a hit-but came up empty-handed that day. …

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