• TAJI, Iraq -Sgt. Daniel Kysela (right) of Pittsburgh searches for weapons caches May 4 as an Iraqi Army Soldier and another Soldier from Company C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, pull security near Taji, north of Baghdad.

    TAJI, Iraq -Sgt. Daniel Kysela (right) of...

    TAJI, Iraq -Sgt. Daniel Kysela (right) of Pittsburgh searches for weapons caches May 4 as an Iraqi Army Soldier and another Soldier from Company C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, pull security near Taji, north...

  • TAJI, Iraq - Pittsburgh native, Sgt. Daniel Kysela of Company C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, uses a metal detector to search for weapons caches May 4 near Taji, north of Baghdad. Kysela is followed by Spc. John Schloder of Ridgeway, Pa., who has a shovel at the ready to investigate alarms from the detector.

    TAJI, Iraq - Pittsburgh native, Sgt. Daniel...

    TAJI, Iraq - Pittsburgh native, Sgt. Daniel Kysela of Company C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, uses a metal detector to search for weapons caches May 4 near Taji, north of Baghdad. Kysela is followed by Spc...

  • TAJI, Iraq -Sgt. Daniel Kysela of Pittsburgh operates a metal detector May 4 along a canal near Taji, just north of Baghdad. The Soldiers, with Company C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, were searching for weapons caches.

    TAJI, Iraq -Sgt. Daniel Kysela of Pittsburgh...

    TAJI, Iraq -Sgt. Daniel Kysela of Pittsburgh operates a metal detector May 4 along a canal near Taji, just north of Baghdad. The Soldiers, with Company C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, were searching for...

  • TAJI, Iraq - Spc. John Schloder of Ridgeway, Pa., from Company C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, runs a metal detector searching for weapons caches May 4 at a farm near Taji, just north of Baghdad.

    TAJI, Iraq - Spc. John Schloder of Ridgeway...

    TAJI, Iraq - Spc. John Schloder of Ridgeway, Pa., from Company C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, runs a metal detector searching for weapons caches May 4 at a farm near Taji, just north of Baghdad.

  • TAJI, Iraq - Spc. Adam Feldon of Allentown, Pa., from Company C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, mans a radio in a rural area near Taji, north of Baghdad, during a search for weapons caches May 4.

    TAJI, Iraq - Spc. Adam Feldon of Allentown...

    TAJI, Iraq - Spc. Adam Feldon of Allentown, Pa., from Company C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, mans a radio in a rural area near Taji, north of Baghdad, during a search for weapons caches May 4.

TAJI, Iraq - Soldiers of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 56th Styker Brigade Combat Team, scoured a portion of a canal embankment for buried weapons May 4 near Taji, north of Baghdad, in an area where previous joint patrols have found large weapons caches. Though the latest search did not yield a new cache, Soldiers from Company C, 1-112th said the effort was worthwhile.

Capt. Nicholas Buchheit, commander, Co. C, said finding caches "robs the enemy of resources and takes money out of their pockets."

"It's a good fight to fight," he said. "Today's mission was a follow-on mission to the discovery of a large cache."

Co. C Soldiers, working with Iraqi Army Soldiers and Iraqi Police officers, found three weapons caches April 21 near the village of Uhm Najim. The cache totaled 219 pieces of ordnance, including 94 artillery rounds, 54 grenades, 45 mortars and 26 rockets. Soldiers using metal detectors found the cache.

"It was a pretty good day," Sgt. Daniel Kysela of Pittsburgh recalled.

Kysela, a team leader with Co. C's 1st Platoon, said the April find was gratifying for the Soldiers considering the hours of work spent on previous searches that did not turn up explosives or weapons.

"It was kind of refreshing, because we're always out there searching," Kysela said. "Most of the time, we don't find anything; but eventually we do."

Kysela, a student at Pitt University, is on his second deployment to Iraq, after deploying in 2004 with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard's 2nd Brigade. He said there have been big gains by Iraqi Security Forces in that time period.

"They've come a long way," Kysela said.

Kysela believes that showing respect to Iraqi Police officers and Iraqi Army Soldiers - through small gestures such as remembering names and exchanging greetings at the start and end of joint patrols - does a lot to develop working relationships, especially with junior Iraqi Soldiers and police officers.

"I believe that will go a long way in developing their junior NCO's [noncommissioned officers]," he said.

Page last updated Thu May 7th, 2009 at 12:57