From November 2006 – September 2007 1-12 CAV logged 438 confirmed enemy kills, or an average of 10 EKIA per week (not including the battalion sniper section). The high month was February with 99 confirmed EKIA or an average of 7 EKIA every 2 days. This corresponds with February being the month with the second highest number of SIGACTS over the course of the deployment.
The second high month was June with 84 confirmed EKIA. This corresponds with all 1-12 CAV surge reinforcements on the ground conducting operations and with the beginning of OPERATION ARROWHEAD RIPPER. Low months were May, July, and September with zero, two, and zero EKIA respectively.
When the battalion’s sniper section is added to these numbers the total EKIA jumps to 582 or an average of 53 EKIA per month. The high month is still February, now with 130 EKIA. The sniper section posted low months from May 2007 – September 2007 with an average of only 3 EKIA per month during this low period. By comparison the rest of the battalion had its second highest month (June with 84 EKIA) during this same time period.
This difference may be due to the increased offensive operations during this time period coupled with enemy attempts to flee massed coalition forces. This would lead to an increase in EKIA for general maneuver units and a decreased number of EKIA for the sniper section, as they were generally employed in ambush positions.
Note that these numbers are lower than actual EKIA due to the following reasons:
1. These numbers were taken from battalion TOC Logs. EKIA were only officially logged if BDA was conducted. Often a unit in contact would engage and destroy an enemy but not conduct BDA due to continued enemy contact prohibiting movement to the location of the EKIA.
2. An enemy TTP in Baqubah was to remove their dead from the battlefield. Often a unit would initiate movement to conduct BDA, but would find only blood trails or body parts upon their arrival at the site where they shot the AIF individual. It was also not possible for 1-12 CAV to follow-up or track AIF who subsequently died of wounds sustained from contact with coalition forces.
3. Considerable information flow issues between battalion, subordinate companies, and smaller elements operating beneath the companies (platoons, sections, squads, and small kill teams).
a. Enemy BDA was often a secondary priority: Example, if a platoon was engaged and either a CASEVAC or recovery mission was conducted, then reporting / recording of EKIA would become a secondary priority to the primary mission of casualty evacuation and / or vehicle recovery.
b. There are numerous examples of EKIA either not being recorded or not being reported from the company level to the battalion level.
c. Informational Silos: companies often did not report SIGACTS for an attached unit unless a coalition soldier was injured or additional resources were needed from battalion. Example: sniper assets were often expected to report their own EKIA to battalion upon return to FOB WARHORSE. 1-12 CAV sniper elements recorded 2 EKIA in May and 3 EKIA in September, both months where 1-12 CAV logged zero EKIA.