- Title: IRAQ: UNITED STATES TROOPS DESTROY ORDNANCE
- Date: 18th August 2003
- Summary: (W4) BAQUBA, IRAQ (AUGUST 16, 2003) (REUTERS) 1. SLV CONTROLLED EXPLOSION OF SUSPECTED BOMB; MV SOLDIER ON GUARD (2 SHOTS) 0.12 2. MV SOLDIER CARRYING 155 MM SHELL FROM SITE 0.15 (W4) CAMP BOOM, NEAR BAQUBA, IRAQ (AUGUST 16, 2003) (REUTERS) 3. SCU STACKS OF SHELLS AND 120 MM AND 82 MM MORTARS; SCU SOVIET-MADE 127 MM ROCKETS FOR MULTIPLE LAUNCH ROCKET SYSTEM (4 SHOTS) 0.41 4. SLV SOLDIERS STANDING NEAR SIX SOVIET-MADE FROG SEVEN ROCKETS USED FOR SURFACE-TO-SURFACE WARFARE; SCU FROG SEVEN ROCKETS (3 SHOTS) 0.53 5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPECIALIST ROBERT HANES EXPLOSIVES EXPERT, SAYING"Some of these things were actually transported here from other areas, they were in villages, schools, on the sides of the road, they were on trucks, just abandoned and some of them were inside of these bunkers and when they were detonated they were kicked out." 1.08 6. SLV SOLDIER KNEELING NEAR TWO LANDMINES; SOLDIER PICKING UP LANDMINE (3 SHOTS) 1.29 7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HANES, SAYING "We are trying to get rid of everything that they can use against us and things that aren't usable any more." 1.34 8. SLV DEMOLITION PIT IS FILLED WITH 155MM SHELLS; SCU HAND GRENADES, FUSES AND ROCKET PROPELLED GRENADES IN PIT (4 SHOTS) 1.52 9. MV SOLDIERS UNPACKING AND APPLYING C4 EXPLOSIVE (BLACK STRIPS) TO THE PILE (3 SHOTS) 2.09 10. LV NIGHT SHOT EXPLOSION AND MUSHROOM CLOUD 2.15 (W4) CAMP BOOM, NEAR BAQUBA, IRAQ (AUGUST 17, 2003) (REUTERS) 11. MV CHAPLAIN LADI HERNANDEZ LEADING SUNDAY SERVICE IN SONG; MV SOLDIERS PRAYING; SLV HERNANDEZ PREACHING; MV HERNANDEZ GIVING COMMUNION (6 SHOTS) 2.53 12. SCU CUP INTO WHICH THE WAFERS ARE DIPPED; SCU HERNANDEZ (2 SHOTS) 3.03 13. MV SOLDIERS RECEIVING COMMUNION; MV SOLDIER PRAYING; SCU PRAYING SOLDIER'S EYES (3 SHOTS) 3.21 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 2nd September 2003 13:00
- Location: BAQUBA, IRAQ AND CAMP BOOM, NEAR BAQUBA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVA8UFK7Z8XS0RNRZ5NYAA4JZS0R
- Story Text: US troops have destroyed ordnance in Baquba.
Every evening at 20.30 local time (16.30 GMT) U.S.
army soldiers stationed at Camp Boom just outside of
Baquba, Iraq get their own fireworks show. It is also the
daily event that has given the base its name.
Ever since they arrived in Iraq about six months ago,
the army's explosives experts have had virtual job
security. Thousands of unexploded landmines, hand grenades,
shells and missiles are still found all over Iraq, some of
which continue to be used against the occupying power.
On Saturday (August 16), an informant told U.S.
authorities he had seen a man dig a hole at a busy traffic
junction in Baquba, about 60 km north-east of Baghdad, and
place something inside. Experts later found a 155mm shell,
packed with explosives, and designed to detonate by remote
control. The military took the shell back to the base, for
destruction later in the day. Home-made bombs like these
have already killed several soldiers in Iraq.
Ordnance, like the shell found on the side of the road,
is regularly blown up in controlled explosions on the
grounds of Camp Boom. When the U.S. army arrived they found
200 Iraqis looting the grounds. Before they arrived, the
grounds had been the home base for the 41st Republican
Guard, one of Saddam Hussein's personal bodyguard
regiments. Millions of pounds of ammunition and ordnance
lay stored in warehouses and bunkers. Some of that ordnance
had already been taken.
"Some of these things were actually transported here
from other areas, they were in villages, schools, on the
sides of the road, they were on trucks, just abandoned, and
some of them were inside of these bunkers and when they
were detonated they were kicked out," said specialist
Robert Hanes, an explosives expert.
"We are trying to get rid of everything that they can
use against us and things that aren't usable any more,"
About 30,000 pieces of ordnance or 150,000 pounds have
been destroyed so far at Camp Boom. Everything from hand
grenades to FROG7 rockets, packed with 1,500 pounds of
explosive, are stored at the base. Some had been
confiscated, some seized and some just picked from the
areas where the bunkers used to be. The biggest boom was
30,000 pounds explosion, but since windows have been
installed in some of the buildings nearby, the Commanding
Officer limited the size of the explosions to 1,000 pounds.
Saturday night's explosion included rocket propelled
grenades, launchers, mortars, 155 mm shells, fuses and
anti-tank landmines. When it is time for the explosion,
soldiers all over the base stop what they are doing to wait
for the explosion, which can be seen, heard and felt for
miles. The explosives experts detonated the bomb by remote
control from the safety of a distance of about one
kilometre. A fireball lit up the sky for a few seconds as a
mushroom cloud emerged. And the evening entertainment which
has destroyed some more of the Iraqi stockpile, is over in
less than ten seconds. But the explosives experts still
have millions of pounds left, scattered all over the Iraqi
On Sunday (August 17) at Camp Boom U.S. Army Chaplain
Ladi Hernandez inspires soldiers to keep going despite the
hardship of being away from family for months on end,
periodic attacks from Saddam Hussein loyalists, and the
unrelenting summer heat in the Iraqi desert.
Hernandez's house of worship at Camp Boom is a
windowless brick bunker which doubles as the television and
recreation room for the 652 Engineering Company. The two
ecumenical services every Sunday morning are attended by
between 30-50 soldiers.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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