BAGHDAD, Iraq (Army News Service, Nov. 27, 2006) - First Infantry Division Soldiers put a suspected weapons smuggler out of business when they met him at his doorstep late Nov. 22.

Soldiers from the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, spent weeks gathering intelligence on the whereabouts and identity of the suspected weapons smuggler.

"It was a successful operation from the planning phase to the actual time of the hit. It all worked out," said Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Wilcoxen, the Swamp Rats' platoon sergeant who calls Bushnell, Ill. home.

Wilcoxen's team set up an outer cordon area and another team simply walked up on the suspect while he was on his porch. After detaining him, another team entered the house and started gathering evidence. According to Wilcoxen, the entire operation took roughly 45 minutes.

"For us, it was one of the easiest missions we've had," he said.

Sgt. Michael Solley, a section leader from Houston, said the same thing as he described the operation as "cut and dry."

"We properly ID'd him. We continued through his house and properly ID'd everyone inside, too," he said. "It was a good mission."

While the suspect ranked high on the list of most wanted terrorists, Solley said his team treats every missions the same.

"You should go into every one like they are the number one guy," he said. "You should be at the top of your game."

Page last updated Mon November 27th, 2006 at 23:26