Theodore's World: In Country With Our Warriors

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November 06, 2008

In Country With Our Warriors

A stack of captured AK- 47s and other enemy weapons that were turned in to Taji National Supply Depot

Operation Sabre Pursuit in Diyala nets several cache finds

DIYALA PROVINCE, Iraq – Iraqi Army and Multi-National Division – North Soldiers discovered several weapons
caches near Hamud, in the eastern Diyala Province, during operations in support of Operation Sabre Pursuit.
Iraqi Soldiers with the 18th Bde, 5th IA Div, and 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Soldiers, unearthed 12 caches.

The caches included 60 mm mortar rounds with a mortar tube, a rocket propelled grenade launcher with various
grenades and several AK-47 rifles. Since the start of Operation Sabre Pursuit in the eastern Diyala
Province, IA Soldiers with the 5th IA Div. and MND-N Soldiers have discovered multiple small caches and disposed of six improvised explosive devices.

“The operation started south of Balad Rooz to deny the area as a safe haven to criminals in the Diyala and Baghdad provinces and to pursue them where ever they may go,” said Lt. Col. Paul T. Calvert, a 3rd ACR squadron commander. “Operations will continue to press forward until the objective has been accomplished.”

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Don Spillers, from MNSTC-I J4, opens a case of captured enemy weapons that were turned in by Coalition forces.

TAJI, Iraq

Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition forces have captured tens of thousands of enemy weapons and stored them at the Taji National Supply Depot here. In May a group of Soldiers from Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq started sorting and inventorying them so that they can either be refurbished and issued to the Iraqi military and police or properly demilitarized so they cannot be used by insurgents in the future.

“We estimate we have about 80,000 small arms,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Amy Estes, officer in charge of the captured enemy weapons program. “We have counted more than 12,000 so far out of two warehouses and 45 shipping containers.”

The majority of the captured weapons are various makes and models of the Russian-designed AK-47. These rifles were made in China, Russia, Rumania, Bulgaria, East Germany, Iraq and several other countries. There are thousandsof machine guns including RPKs and RPDs—similar to the AK, but with a longer barrel and bipod, chambered for the same 7.62x39 ammunition—and several variations of PKs, belt-fed machine guns chambered for the more powerful 7.62x54R round.

The variety of captured firearms reaches back to the 19th century and has representatives from almost every armsproducing nation on earth. There are bolt-action Mausers, Enfields, Springfields and Moisin-Nagants; guns from the first and second world wars when British and German forces enlisted the aid of Iraq and neighboring states during battles in the Middle East and northern Africa. There were sporting rifles and shotguns from Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and the United States.

There are a host of submachine guns and assault rifles from Italy, Germany, England, Egypt, and everywhere else guns have been made. Among them are even Iraqi versions of famous guns like the Tariq 9mm pistol which is a licensed copy of the Italian Beretta model 951, and several copies of the German G-3 automatic rifle that had no makers’ marks and Arabic serial numbers.

Some of the weapons had been modified, others were just broken. There were sawed-off shotguns, many AK-47s with no butt stock, several SKS rifles that had been cut down into pistols, and what appeared to be a 1938 Mauser with a home-made silencer welded onto the barrel. Many were chrome or nickel plated and had various decorative embellishments.

Hundreds of captured handguns-many dating back to the early 1900s. The modern 9 mm pistols will be refurbished
and issued to the Iraqi Security Forces.


A turret gunner scans his sector as the MNSTC-I Rough Riders drive from Baghdad to Taji.

Wild Thing's comment........

Our troops are working so hard, I am so proud of them. I wish we could tell each one of them how much they mean to us and to our country.

Posted by Wild Thing at November 6, 2008 05:50 AM


It will probably take decades to find all the weapons caches that Saddam had all over Iraq, not to mention what the individual tribes and sects have. Our guys are doing a good job though, as always.

I know some gun collectors that would dream of going through those caches and picking out some of those older guns for their collections or for resale.

Posted by: TomR at November 6, 2008 10:43 AM

I'm just waiting to see how quickly President-elect and CIC B. Hussein Obama comes up with his withdrawal plan of all troops from the illegal and unjust war in Iraq where these troops are killing, raping, and bombing innocent civilians. Maybe as part of the withdrawal plan can be the redistribution of guns and rifles to the innocent civilians of Chicago (murder capital of the U.S.) to protect themselves from our domestic criminal terrorists.

Posted by: Les at November 6, 2008 03:25 PM

Oh, I would love to go through those bins of guns. Heck, I probably have an orgasm just being around them. Sadly, most will find the grinder or melting furnace, which just breaks my heart.

Posted by: Micheal at November 6, 2008 04:46 PM

Tom, I am always amazed at how our troops keep finding more and more weapons. It almost feels like the entire miles of sand is sitting on top of nothing but weapons. Miles and miles of hidden weapons. Thank God they are finding these.

Yes I don't know guns that well, just the ones I have mostly, but your right about some of these guns and gun collectors.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 6, 2008 05:18 PM

Les, thanks for the link, Chicago sure has gotten even worse since when I grew up in Illinois. The government there was always corrupt but fo it to lead on murder like this is a lot to do with Obama and his thug people.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 6, 2008 05:22 PM

And yet all the MSM and can do is talk about the election and "change" only when they were trying to make us look like the bad guys and relating it to Vietnam were they reporting on the war. Please pray for my Buddies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
JohnE PFC U.S. Army
p.s. I'll probably be heading over there too pretty soon.

Posted by: JohnE at November 7, 2008 12:08 AM