Coalition Infantry Delivered By Chopper

Soldier Swarm Onto Salah Region Target Balad, Iraq Not even the dead of night, or pouring rain can stop Army Infantry when they have a mission to do. Recently on a moonless night members from Charlie Company, 1st Squadron of the 32nd Cavalry Regiment, and 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne launched themselves off the Ramp of a Chinook Helicopter into the darkness. These infantrymen were working in conjunction with other coalition forces as they launched Operation Helsinki. The operation was one of a number of missions that continues to chase Al Qaeda forces out of the area. The region of Salah Ad Din province has not previously seen as much coalition forces as other locations, so this was a relatively new environment for many of the soldiers on the mission. Operation Helsinki is a combined operation, a counter insurgency one that is being done with the Iraqi Army to create additional safe zones for citizens of the Bichigan peninsula. “We are creating a Al Qaeda free zone,” said Sergeant Timothy Seeber, leader with Charlie Company. “Al Qaeda is running and they know we can find them and kill or capture them,” said Sergeant Seeber. The Operation Helsinki started with a before dawn air assault on the rain soaked farmland. Soldiers smeared with mud went from house to house, interviewing residents and looking for Al Qaeda, or illegal weapons. They went side by side with Iraqi Army Soldiers. Charlie Company has been relocated to this area since the start December; they previously were based at Forward Operating Base Caldwell near the border with Iran. Since their relocation Charlie Company has helped capture three high value targets and uncovered a number of illegal weapons caches.

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