Operation Swarmer has concluded — a very successful operation as this article explains. The press mostly got the context wrong, so proper credit may never be given to the US and Iraqi troops involved. As is true for so many other US military successes in Iraq and elsewhere.
Operation Swarmer, a combined operation involving Iraqi soldiers and police commandos and coalition forces wrapped up yesterday without any casualties and all of the tactical objectives met, Multinational Force Iraq officials announced today.
The mission began with the helicopter transport of about 1,500 Iraqi and coalition soldiers and Iraqi police commandos into a 10—by—10—square—mile area northeast of Samarra on March 16. The initial insertion aircraft and subsequent air security provided by the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade moved the force, made up of units from Iraq's 1st Commando Brigade, 1st Brigade, 4th Army Division, and the U.S. 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.
The combined force moved through the area using intelligence and planning provided primarily by the Iraqi security forces, officials said. The operation, they added, resulted in 104 suspected insurgents being detained and questioned and 24 weapons caches discovered.
The caches included:
Six shoulder—fired surface—to—air missiles;
More than 350 mortar rounds and three mortar systems;
26 artillery rounds;
A variety of bomb—making materials and other military items;
More than 120 rockets;
More than 3,200 rounds of small—arms ammunition;
86 rocket—propelled grenades and 28 launchers;
Six land mines;
12 hand grenades and 40 rifle grenades; and
34 rifles and machine guns of various types.
All units have safely returned to their garrison locations and forward operating bases preparing for future operations, officials said.
John B. Dwyer 3 24 06