Tuesday, December 4, 2012
The Ministry of Defence reported on August 6 that soldiers from The Light Dragoons sniffed out and destroyed a huge insurgent IED cache in Helmand Province, saving many military and civilian lives.
The soldiers from A Squadron ‘The Empire’ The Light Dragoons, an elite cavalry reconnaissance regiment found the huge cache whilst on operations with their Afghan Army partners in the Nahr-e-Saraj area of Helmand.
The operation was specifically designed to take the fight to the insurgency in its own back yard.
Squadron Sergeant Major Brian Howard said: ‘We were moving towards a position and saw a blue tarpaulin in the Wadi. I thought it was a body at first, because it’s not uncommon for Afghans to bury family members loosely on the hills.
“I didn’t want anyone watching to realise what was going on, so we quickly dropped off six blokes then moved off in our vehicles to keep the dust screen moving.”
Two soldiers, including Trooper Jamie McCartney, pushed forward to investigate further and found it wasn’t a body, but a huge IED cache consisting of 250kg of homemade explosives (HME) plus the deadly pressure plates used to initiate the devices.
British explosives experts made safe and denied the explosives after first light, destroying them in place with an earth shuddering explosion which shattered the silence throughout the whole area.
On the significance of the huge find, Sgt Major Howard said: “It gives great satisfaction taking capability away from the insurgents. The bomb disposal guys said that we had probably saved 60 limbs, or 30 pairs of legs. Ultimately, we’ve saved lives.”
Tpr McCartney, 23, added: “Finding this stuff has had a huge impact on the enemy’s ability to strike us and the local people and it has been great for the morale of the squadron. The lads feel it is a job well done and each bit of good we do helps us to get on top.”
Their fellow Light Dragoon sister unit, B Squadron of The Brigade Reconnaissance Force also found a 250kg cache earlier in the tour.
(thanks to the British Army website www.army.mod.uk)