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June 12th, 2011 - Op. Rickety Road

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  • [AAR] June 12th, 2011 - Op. Rickety Road

    June 12, 2011 - 2200 EDT

    After Action Report
    Gallard Company - 2nd Platoon 1st Squad - Fire Team Alpha

    (Note: This AAR is done to the best of my memory. Please excuse names forgotten or mixed up. Thank you for reading.)

    Mission Name: US Army Patrol - Naygul Valley v2.0

    Mission: Inspect the town of Nagara and the surrounding area for insurgent weapons caches as well as the mortars that have been firing upon COP Osena.

    HQ Section:
    Platoon Leader - Dredge (MIA)
    Platoon Sergeant - |TG-189th|Brettwad
    Platoon RATELO - |TG-31st|Sapientiea

    1st Squad:
    Squad Leader - Intrepid
    Alpha Team Lead - |TG-31st|Blackpython
    Bravo Team Lead - |TG-18th|Tarmpaket

    Fire Team Alpha:
    FTL - |TG-31st|Blackpython
    Rifleman - Valtazar
    Grenadier - Alex D.
    Automatic Rifleman - Zeven

    Mission Summary:
    Having to leave 2nd Squad behind due to mobility issues with their squad truck, 1st and 3rd squads arrived at the RP After a long drive from CP Osena. Squads set up a medical station as well as defensive positions with their HMMWVs while the rest of the platoon readied ourselves for the mission.

    First objective was for 1st squad to load up into their squad truck and travel east on the ASR south of RP Mayflower. Our squad was tasked to check out the town of Shamali. We were about 200m out when a large explosion went off inside the center of the town. We assumed either an insurgent setting up an ambush made a mistake had his IED prematurely detonate or a civilian triggered an IED trap by accident; however, we could not tell from our vantage point.

    From there we moved into the village to investigate the explosion and determine if there was an insurgent presence in the village. As we arrived, we quickly determined there we no armed soldiers in the area and considering the dead civilians in the town, the IED was triggered by accident.

    Our SL ordered my FT to secure a two story building and get over-watch on the town. One of the men in Bravo Fire Team (across the road from us) got eyes on a dead goat approximately 150m south of our position. The SL then asked for each team to volunteer a soldier to check out the goat. I tasked my rifleman, Valtazar, to move out with the bravo soldier to examine the goat. As the soldiers approached the goat the could not find anything too suspicious. When one of the soldiers decided to get a closer look, the next thing we knew the two of them were enveloped in a cloud of dust and fire. The IED had gone off, taking both of our soldiers with it. We rushed in to find if there was anything left of our men and found one of them, the bravo team soldier, lying wounded in a bush to the west of the road. Our Plt Medic dealt with him and got him combat effective again. We could not find the remains of Valtazar.

    It was at this point and time that our Platoon Leader went missing in action and our Squad Leader, Intrepid, took command of the operation. We travelled down the road further south where we encountered a roadside bomb hidden between a couple cars next to a small hamlet east of the MSR. Our squad leader decided to check it out alone this time to reduce possible casualties. As he stepped next to one of the cars, the IED detonated, launching his body right next to our squad. Surprisingly he did not suffer injuries bad enough to kill or take him out of the fight.

    Once our SL was back in action, we rolled out according to his new plan. Our goal was to bypass the main settlements on the way to Nagara by heading through the nearby oilfield and reaching an OP north of the Naygul Canyon. From there we headed down into the ravine and took over-watch west of the city of Nagara. With the intel we gathered from that position, our SL tasked my team to lead the squad out south to an old sandbag bunker outpost to prepare for the assault on the town. On our way there we started taking fire from a two man sniper team posted by objective. Our cover completely blown, we opened fire on the snipers (approximately 350m south of us), eventually killing them both. We suffered no casualties in the fight. About 10 minutes later we made it to the first set of bunkers. We were then tasked to next bring the squad north about 150m to reach another set of bunkers. On our way there a small patrol with automatic weapons left the town of Nagara to intercept us. They managed to gun down at least 5 of our men. In the firefight I remember losing my grenadier at most. Our squad leader was also taken out in the fight.

    Being 2IC of the unit at the time, I attempted reaching reinforcements back at the RP with no avail. Considering the longer we stayed in that one position the worse off we were, I started planning a the rest of the assault on the town. Our main objective was to find the mortars, secure them, and then destroy them using C4. My squad was able to successfully infiltrate the town without any more casualties and we managed to dispose of the mortar emplacements.

    As our new leadership arrived, I was relieved of command. The team reorganized and rolled out to find the weapons cache located along the MSR north east of Nagara. The fighting was sporadic, but very intense. The terrain offered the insurgents numerous positions to ambush from, especially with mounted machine guns and under-slung grenade launchers. After another half hour of fighting we managed to reach the weapons cache, dispose of it via incendiary devices. Once we secured the cache and disposed of it, the rest of the insurgents either fled or surrendered. This effectively ended the mission for us.
    Blackpython / ZephyrDark

  • #2
    Re: June 12th, 2011 - Op. Rickety Road

    Good read!

    Former Irregular and 18th SFOD
    Oh, Death was never enemy of ours!
    We laughed, knowing that better men would come,
    And greater wars; when each proud fighter brags
    He wars on Death, for lives: not men, for flags.


    • #3
      Re: June 12th, 2011 - Op. Rickety Road

      I learned a valuable lesson on that one. Up until we crossed the road east and began to turn north along that string of soviet-era fortifications, I had been using a prescriptive order-based command structure detailing order of march, formation and even facing to 'keep it together'. Once we made that crossing and entered into prolonged engagement with the enemy I tried to transition to a more initiative based style by issuing loose and interpretive orders 'on the fly' to my FTL's. Because I castrated you guys -before- we made contact I felt like a lot of the previous cohesion was lost as people were still consciously or subconsciously waiting for the next directive.

      Also because of my disorganized effort at peeling across ineffective but distracting fire to gain lodgement at the southernmost fort as a step-off point for the assault, we arrived at the objective in a long and battered column. By that time, I was myself fighting at the tip of the spear and stupidly got myself wounded in the frenetic fighting with insurgents who entered the bunker -with us-. Once wounded and bleeding heavily I failed to inform the medical officer (Rambo2) of the gravity of my injury saying only 'I might pass out at some point soon.' Within seconds I was dead because I failed at both self-aid and informing those in close proximity that I needed buddy-aid.

      I think also that a failure to adequately self-diagnose might have left us over-extended at the bunker because the first time a squad-member was hit crossing the open space, I saw at least one fireteam stop while I and their leader (Python) continued to the bunker. Once we reached the bunker, I sent him back across the field to rally his fireteam and have them push on. I probably should have emphasized the critical role the bunker was going to play in the plan of attack and appointed the assault point as both the rally and casualty collection point.

      Leaving one team to cover while the other advanced would probably have been good too, though as I recall Bravo fireteam was understrength meaning that supporting fires would have been limited in their effectiveness.

      All in all, I'm unhappy that I died in that bunker as the mission would have progressed differently, but I understand the failings and circumstances (both incidental, personal and external) that contributed to the outcome.

      Good mission though. Very well played.




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