Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Story Worth Telling

Jeff Emanuel is a personal friend. A former Air Force Special Operator, Jeff has embedded in Iraq twice now. He tells dramatically different stories than you read in the Washington Post. I had the pleasure of supporting Jeff both financially and materially (equipment) on his last embed. Jeff just wrote me and let me know that he has a major article about to be published in the The American Spectator. Please go over to Jeff's site, read the article and, if you like his work, give him a little jingle in his tip jar (to fund his next embed). The article begins:

Samarra, Iraq
THE DAY OF August 26, 2007 began like any other for the soldiers of Charlie Company, 2-505 Parachute Infantry Regiment (from the 82nd Airborne Division) – with a mission in the city. Over a year into their deployment to Samarra, Iraq and now working on the three-month extension announced by Secretary of Defense Gates in the spring, the company knew the city like the back of their collective hands, and had their operational routine down to a science, whatever mission they might be tasked with.

On this morning, that mission was to establish a defensive perimeter around a block in central Samarra, so that Charlie Company’s 3rd (‘Blue’) Platoon, led by Lieutenant Scott Young, could search a shop where they had information that Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were being manufactured.

Due to the insurgents’ penchant for placing IEDs behind Charlie Company’s vehicles so as to ambush them the next time they came through an area, two separate rooftop observation points (OPs) would be established, one to the north and one to the south of the shop, to watch the roads which were serving as Blue Platoon’s infiltration and exfiltration routes for enemy activity. The southern OP, led by Staff Sergeant Jason Wheeler, was manned with paratroopers from Charlie Company’s 1st (‘Red’) Platoon. “Reaper Two,” one of the sniper teams from 2nd Battalion’s scout platoon, would man the second OP, almost a kilometer to the north. Reaper would be overwatching the area from the roof of a large apartment building, which was laid out with the long axis facing north-south, and which was bordered – across the surrounding streets and alleys – by several other buildings.