By Sgt. 1st Class Kerensa HardyNovember 6, 2007
An overnight operation in southwest Baghdad Oct. 30 resulted in the recovery of 800 gallons of nitric acid.
Rakkasans from 1st Platoon, Troop A, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), discovered the cache.
"(It) was a great find," said 1st Lt. Chris Sylvain, platoon leader for the 1st Plt. "Not only does it reduce the supplies available to the enemy to make homemade explosives, but it makes the area safer for Soldiers."
The cache found would likely have been used to create homemade explosives, a primary element in making improvised explosive devices, said Maj. Jonathan Otto, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. (AASLT), staff officer.
The materials presented a real threat to local Iraqis and their livestock, Otto explained, because the nitric acid was poorly stored and leaking.
The1-33rd Cav. Regt. Soldiers removed the leaking barrels and cleaned up the site.
"I believe the local people are happy that this stuff is out of the hands of the enemy," said Sgt. 1st Class Chris Valverde, 1st Plt. platoon sergeant. "It's not just Soldiers dying over here, there are many innocent civilians who are dying as well."