Contigency Operating Base Adder, Iraq – Daily, 2nd Lt. Patrick Mulvaney, of Sugar Land, and the platoon leader for 3rd Platoon “Luchadore,” Battery A, Task Force 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and his men, travel a 30 mile stretch of Route Tampa, Iraq’s largest highway.
Tampa has been a hotbed for roadside bombs since the early years of the war, and as the summer winds down, that trend has continued. With the impending re-posturing of United States Forces-Iraq closing in, Tampa is going to be the main highway out of Iraq and back into Kuwait.
As Luchadore platoon has conducted its mission, to secure and protect their stretch of highway, they have worked with the Iraqi Highway Patrol and have carved a hole in the insurgent’s activity.
Recently, Staff Sgt. Christopher Kowalchyk and Spc. Brian Painter, two of Luchadore’s soldiers, found six anti-armor improvised explosive devices on the side of the highway while conducting operations.
Finds like that one are exactly what the platoon hopes to accomplish every day. Mulvaney said the day was a success because of the teamwork of his troops.
“I am extremely proud of all my soldiers. Their dedication and sacrifices have made it possible for a safe exit for all U.S. forces,” said Mulvaney.
Despite temperatures above 120 degrees and a looming IED threat, Mulvaney’s soldiers conduct every mission outside the wire with the intent of securing the highway, protecting the remaining U.S. forces here and working to build strong professional relationships with the Iraqi Security Forces.
“Our partners in Iraq show willingness every time we drive down the highway to do joint missions, share intelligence and help secure the highway,” Mulvaney said.
Just as A “Rock” Battery’s name would suggest, the Luchadore’s resolve is unforgiving and their attitude and track record spells a bright future for the Iraqi International Highway, for now and years to come.