8 July 2005
Hodgie is smart. We have been under estimating them. After a coordinated RPG attack on Rt. Iowa the day before, we set up in a house over watching the road. We were dropped off in the middle of the night a few blocks from our hide. We spotted an abandoned house that had a good vantage point. To the north, I could see rubble field which is a favorite IED spot. To the south, the Saddam apartments. That’s the area the RPG’s came from. The apartments we several floors tall. Almost like a US city apartment building.
I was watching the apartments all day/nights with B***. There were a ton of windows to track. Having the second set of eyes really helped. Our other two team members were watching the field. In the early morning rush hour, they noticed a change in the traffic pattern. Several of the cars were honking and flashing their lights in the same area. They spotted a vehicle/people possibly dropping an IED. Couldn’t confirm 100% so they didn’t engage. We did radio the intel to the guys out on patrol. Their response ->” OK – keep eyes on.” Great response guys, shit.
Ten minutes later a convoy rolls down Iowa and gets hit. Luckily, there weren’t any injuries. The whole thing could have been avoided if they would have acted on our intel. We also called in vehicles that were on the hit list and some small arms fire. Yet again, no action. What is the point of putting us out there on our own if they won’t listen to us?
Later that day, we saw the same change in the traffic pattern. Live and learn. We knew what was coming this time. A car pulled up right next to the rubble field and 3 guys jumped out. Two of the guys started to dig feverishly in the median. They were quick. It only took them 20-30 seconds.
I maintained cover on the apartment building in-case this was the beginning of a coordinated attack. The two guys watching the rubble field then engaged! There were only two windows facing the field, so B*** and I couldn’t get right in on the action. I jumped on the radio and gave a report to the patrol units. I hoped to get them in position to block any of the guys who ran.
All three guys ran into the rubble field. One turned north and two continued east. Seeing that the guys were getting away, I ran to the roof hoping to have a view of them running across the field. Didn’t have long, but gave it a few shots before they entered the houses.
First platoon, immediately came to pick us up and third chased down another car that stopped to get the IED. They ended up engaging the car. The bradley’s responded and secured the IED site. We then met up with Third platoon and gave aid to the suspects that were shot. One of the guys was hit with the buckshot from third’s 12ga shotgun. I would have expected him to be really messed up. He wasn’t though. He was just sitting on the couch calm as could be, waiting for doc to patch him up.
After sending them to the hospital, we returned to the rubble field and began to follow the blood left from the IED guys. I’ve tracked plenty of deer blood trails, but when it is from a human it just feels so weird. We found spots where they stopped and leaned on the walls. At some point, they either stopped their bleeding or were picked up by a car. The trail just stopped. Based on the type and amount of blood, all three were hurting pretty bad. Everyone back home watches those action movies and think one bullet is enough and will drop a person. After seeing the guy hit with the 12ga and the other guys, it certainly isn’t like the movies.
Looking back on the day’s activities, this IED plan was very well coordinated. Before they came to set the IED in place, our patrol set received some small arms fire. This initiated their SOP of setting a perimeter to dismount and search for the shooter. The patrols were the stationary. The buffalo and route clearing convoy had already passed our area too. This left the main road wide open and free for them to plant the IED. They didn’t account for us though! We had slipped in under the cover of darkness the night before.
The after thoughts…
I made sure to type up today’s post in the morning hours. That way I will have all day to unwind. Running through the events of that day got my heart rate up and mind running. There are too many thoughts to unpack from this post.
I am very interested in your thoughts.
After reading this post, what are your after thoughts?
Drop a comment below!
The actual car that carried the IED after the Apache helicopter shot it with their 25m!