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'Task Force All American' Continues Security Operations in Anbar

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2003 – The Army's 82nd Airborne Division and attached units, known collectively as "Task Force All American," is enjoying increased cooperation with the Iraqi people as the task force continues security operations to improve safety within the Anbar Province, according to U.S. Central Command officials.

During the past 24 hours, the task force conducted 25 tactical checkpoints and eight cordon-and-search operations, Central Command reported. Units also performed 169 patrols, including 13 joint patrols with the Iraqi Border Guard and Iraqi police. These operations resulted in the killing of three and capture of 16 enemy personnel. One U.S. soldier died as well.

Paratroopers from the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division began Operation Panther Backroads, designed to interdict anti-coalition and smuggling activities and to deny enemy forces freedom of movement.

Central Command officials reported that units throughout the task force established 25 tactical checkpoints and executed eight cordon-and-search operations. The brigade searched 1,351 vehicles and confiscated 15 AK-47 assault rifles, two Enfield rifles and other weapons and ammunition. The task force also captured 13 enemy personnel.

Paratroopers killed two enemy personnel and wounded two others when they returned fire while on a patrol, Central Command officials said. Although one of the wounded enemy personnel evaded capture, officials said the patrol captured the other wounded individual and confiscated four AK-47 rifles. No coalition forces were injured during the engagement.

A reconnaissance element engaged four armed enemy personnel northeast of Fallujah, Iraq, with small-arms fire, killing one, officials reported. The remaining enemy personnel fled into a nearby house that was later searched by U.S. forces. During the search, the soldiers captured four Iraqi men and confiscated two AK-47s, seven bolt-action rifles, and various kinds of ammunition.

In 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division's area of responsibility, Central Command officials said a patrol was ambushed with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire near Ramadi. The unit returned fire, killing one attacker, and recovered an RPG launcher.

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