2nd Brigade Combat Team roundup has yielded 75 suspects in Iraq
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — 2nd Brigade Combat Team troops have wrapped up a sweeping operation in Ramadi, Iraq, rounding up some 75 suspected insurgent fighters, according to a 2nd Brigade news release.
The effort, dubbed Operation Bulldog, was launched by Strike Force soldiers Sept. 30 to “deny anti-coalition forces safe haven, round up suspected anti-coalition leaders and exploit weapons caches used against legitimate forces in the area,” the statement read.
Operation Bulldog is the third brigade-level operation in as many weeks for Strike Force, with the goal of improving security for Ramadi residents by keeping enemy forces on the run, officials said.
The 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, left South Korea in August for a one-year deployment to Iraq.
“We will not abandon Iraqi cities and see them suffer the same fate as Fallujah,” Warrant Officer Christopher B. Wallitsch, brigade targeting officer, was quoted as saying in the release.
“We are determined to maintain our foothold in this city and drive out those who choose to disrupt peace and stability here.”
The operation followed last week’s Operation Longhorn, which targeted insurgents and criminals in Ramadi, officials said. Operation Bulldog netted 75 anti-coalition fighters, as well as a large quantity of ammunition, weapons, maps and communications equipment, the statement said.
“This brigade combat team will remain relentless in its pursuit of fighters in this city who are targeting the peaceful residents to instill fear,” Wallitsch said. “We will not stand for that and we are taking every measure necessary to deny those fighters a safe haven from which to operate.”
Strike Force, an Army unit, is assigned to the 1st Marine Division at Camp Blue Diamond, Iraq, and is augmented with a Marine infantry battalion.
As of Wednesday, the 2nd Brigade had suffered six combat deaths, with three of those casualties in the past 10 days.
The unit deployed from South Korea in August to replace the 1st Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, which had been operating in the Ramadi area for one year.
The Department of the Army recently confirmed Strike Force will not return to South Korea after its tour in Iraq is finished in one year. Instead, the brigade will be relocated temporarily to Fort Carson, Colo.