Friday, December 30, 2005

Marine Searches for IEDs in Haqliniyah

HAQLANIYAH, Iraq, Dec. 29, 2005 — In the town of Haqlaniyah, the “Raiders” of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, continue to patrol the streets every day, keeping the area safe from the ongoing insurgency.

Lance Cpl. Darin J. Wittnebel, a native of Oconomowoc, Wis., goes on many of these patrols. He has a very important duty that helps him keep the “Raider Nation” safe from improvised explosive devices and find abandoned weapons caches. He carries the PSS-12 metal detector on every patrol.“The detector can pick up lots of stuff underneath the ground or under piles of garbage,” said the 20-year-old rifleman for the company. “We bring it with us because you never know when you will find a weapons cache or IED.”

Recently, Wittnebel and other Marines in his squad were out on a routine patrol providing security and talking with local people in the area. On their way back to the base, Wittnebel was sweeping the curbs when a loud beep came from the detector signaling the presence of a large metal object.

“I wasn’t sure what it was picking up, but I found out when I moved some trash away from the area and there was a bunch of wires attached to a battery assembly,” he said as he smiled. “As soon as I saw that I didn’t waste any time getting away from there. I just couldn’t believe that I found an IED just like that, and it was right outside the base.”

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