First Fragging Of The War

Soldier Held After Grenade Attack in Kuwait

By Rick Atkinson
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, March 22, 2003; 8:27 PM

CAMP NEW JERSEY, Kuwait, March 23 (Sunday) - Thirteen soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division were wounded this morning by a hand grenade that was thrown into the 1st Brigade technical operations center at Camp Pennsylvania in central Kuwait, U.S. Army officials said.

A U.S. soldier assigned to the brigade is in custody, the official said.

According to preliminary reports, the attack occurred at 1:21 am local time (5:21 pm EST) and involved a grenade and some gunfire. Three soldiers were evacuated to the 86th Combat Support Hospital at Udairi in northern Kuwait and seven were evacuated to the 47th Combat Support Hospital in Southern Kuwait.

Among those lightly wounded but not evacuated was the Brigade Commander, Col. Ben Hodges.

Details of the attack on the operations center, which is in a closely confined tent and usually manned by a couple dozen staff officers, were sketchy. A division commander, Maj. Gen. David H. Petraeus, was monitoring the situation from his headquarters at Camp New Jersey, several miles from Camp Pennsylvania.

Hodges, the brigade commander, was reportedly lightly wounded in the arm by grenade shrapnel, which ruined his desert camouflage uniform.

The 1st Brigade is one of three infantry brigades of the 101st Airborne, which began combat operations two days ago with the entry of the division's 3rd Brigade into Iraq. The 1st Brigade, comprising about 3,000 soldiers, has been staging at Camp Pennsylvania for follow-on combat operation.

Anti-War banner from 3/15 San Francisco breakaway march