“X” was not the only target that the MCSOCOM Detachment One Marines took down in May. On May 17th (though it had been discussed for several days prior), Objective “Rambler” went on the target board.
The information for Objective Rambler came from 2nd Bn, 5th Special Forces Group. The target was actually three individuals, an HVT and two of his associates, all of whom had been instrumental in moving foreign fighters into and around Iraq. The identifying photos were of three older, established men, going a little fat, but their record was one of facilitating the insurgency. The primary target was the HVT’s house, with a secondary at his farm a mile north. Both were near the bend in the Tigris River at the southeastern edge of Baghdad.
Augmented by Special Forces soldiers and their sources, Teams 2, 3, and 6 launched to the primary target on the night of May 18th. Team 2 and Team 6 formed the outer cordon, while Team 3 approached the target building on foot. They scaled the wall and found a single guard, who promptly surrendered as soon as the Marines leveled their weapons at him. Securing him, they breached and flowed into the house. There was no resistance, and they caught the HVT, briefcase in hand, trying to get out the back. In the follow-on sensitive site exploitation, they found upwards of several hundred pounds of documents, including 50 passports. It was a serious blow to the coordination of the foreign fighters in the Iraqi insurgency, as well as an excellent case of coordination and cooperation between Det One and other SOF units in-theater.
Two days later, again in conjunction with the soldiers from 5th Group, Det One went after a new set of targets, these being three Iraqis suspected of involvement with the murder of Nick Berg. Aptly code-named “Operation Revenge,” the operation had the Marines pretty pumped to go. MSgt Wyrick said, “This is one we were pretty amp’ed to do.” The brutal nature of Berg’s murder had the American SOF troops looking for some payback. Furthermore, according to intel collected by other agencies, the targets had been raided before, and were expected to fight.