NewsFlash - 43 artillery shells being checked for Sarin:
1st Cav's big score could get bigger
By Terry Boyd, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Thursday, May 20, 2004
CAMP BLACK JACK, Iraq — Any way you look at it, it was a big score.
First Cavalry Division officials are analyzing artillery shells that were part of a weapons cache seized Saturday night outside Baghdad.
Ordnance experts are analyzing the shells, trying to determine if they’re conventional 155 mm artillery shells or if they contain other substances, including sarin nerve gas or phosphorus, said Maj. Derik von Recum, spokesman for the 1st Cav’s 2nd Brigade.
A team of Dark Horse scouts from 2nd Platoon, Troop D, part of the 1st Cav’s 9th Cavalry Regiment, seized the cache, which included 43 artillery shells, each weighing about 90 pounds.
Slowly, word began to filter back to the scouts from explosive disposal soldiers that the find might be more significant than first thought.
“Frankly, it meant more to me when it was 4,000 pounds of explosive,” said Spc. Owen Starlin, the M-240B gunner who spotted four Iraqis unloading the cache. “That’s just [really] huge.”
Starlin and other soldiers say that even if the find turns out not to contain sarin, it’s still 43 fewer roadside bombs, the only way insurgents can use howitzer shells....