Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Operation: Questions Three

Lieutenant Holdem cursed the arrival of the British Paratroopers and wondered if this one-upmanship existed in the times of Major Holdem, the company commander called it a reconnaissance in force but the rest of the platoon knew a Thunder-run when they saw it.

Lieutenant Holdem’s Force Recon Platoon are loaded into Softskin Humvees and split into 4 four-men fireteams. Two Humvees are armed with .50 cal machineguns and  two are armed with Mk-19’s. Lieutenant Holdem’s Command team, including the platoon’s corpsman is loaded in a command Humvee.

A squad of Marine combat engineers loaded in a Bradley IFV are also sent alongside to give the Reconnaissance platoon fire-support.

When the Marines reached the bridge leading into Njia Pandamito, they found it littered with abandoned cars and K-rails, the enemy was prepared and the lead Humvee reported multiple contacts, movement amongst the buildings and obstacles ahead. Marines called out positions but whoever was there melted away before they could be identified or fired upon. As the Lieutenant gave the order to advance, a news crew emerged from behind the brush,

Sergeant Jimines disembarked his Humvee, hoping that by being outside and escorting the vehicles on foot, he and his team would have better situational awareness, the Mk-19 on the lead Humvee provided overwatch and a much needed boost of confidence.

To the right of them, the Combat Engineers disembarked their Bradley, posing for the news crew who followed behind, taking cover behind the vehicle as the Bradley pushed forward, its tracks crushing and pushing aside any barricade ahead of it.

As the 3 man scout team pushed onwards, the lead Humvee rode up onto the first concrete barrier, gunning the engine, the Humvee forced itself lose but landed heavily snapping its suspension.

While the recon marines found themselves held up, the Bradley pushed forward. A RPG round streaked out of the cover, detonating its front ERA plates, before the crew and marines behind could react or recover from the shock of the explosion, a second Anti-Tank warhead crashed into the Bradley, the second explosion rocked the windows in Holdem’s Humvee, but the Bradley despite no longer having the benefit of its ERA plates, pushed forward, firing its Chain Guns into the position as small arms fire poured from the position into the lead Humvee.

The recon marines and lead humvee replied with their M4’s and Mk-19’s, desperately trying to find and take out the RPG gunners before they turned their attentions on the Humvees.

As Lieutenant Holdem reported the events back to his company commander, a loud crack snapped against Lieutenant Holdem’s window, “CONTACT LEFT! SNIPER!”, the gunner fired his .50 cal into the sniper's position, the unmistakable crack of a second bullet went past the gunner's head, a second barrage of .50 caliber shells finally took out the sniper.

At the front of the convoy, the marines took cover and poured fire into the defensive position, an RPG streaked overhead missing the lopsided Humvee by inches, saved by its damaged suspension. The MK-19 and Recon marines again open fired, this time taking out the remaining RPG gunner.

The marines' Bradley continued to push forward, the rebel leader realising his position was lost as the Bradley continued its advanced called for mortar strikes through his cell phone. The marines huddled behind the Bradley soon realised their mistake as one marine was seriously injured in the blast. He was placed onboard the Bradley as the combat engineers spread out to avoid the mortar fire, with half the squad finding cover immediately and in front of the Recon marines' path of advance.

As Lieutenant Holdem repeated his orders for his men and Humvees to advance, there was a tap on the window, a British Sniper team and a Challenger II tank fitted with bulldozer blades had arrived as reinforcements.

The damaged lead Humvee found itself bogged down again as it crashed into the back of a Mercedes with its handbrake firmly in placeThe snipers hitched a ride in the command Humvee.

The rebels in the middle of the bridge, realising all was lost, fled their positions and disappeared into the city.
With the bridge now clear, the marines advanced at full speed up the bridge. 

But before the command humvee could follow the rest of the platoon,  a technical and several rebels emerged again on the left, thankfully, the fire from their 7.62 machinegun and AK-47's were mostly inaccurate.The command Humvee's reversed quickly, opening a gap for the tank to its right to deal with this new threat.

More mortar shells fell on the combat engineer's position, the Bradley's commnder open fired into the mosque where he believed the mortar's position to be; thankfully his actions, costly though they maybe with the expected backlash from tonight's news and Youtube to be someone between unprecented and severe, managed to force the Mortar crew to abandon their position and retreat.

More RPG's smashed into the top and sides of the Bradley as it forced forward and into the city, 2 more squads of rebels poured fire into the marines, the Bradley's armour once again holding up well.

With the last obstacles cleared, the Humvees gunned its engines and pushed forward, .50 cal machine guns and Mk-19 grenades poured into the rebel positions, although their buildings proved to offer excellent protection from all angles of fire. Another RPG streaked past the Humvees, narrowly missing them.

The rebel commander cursed his luck and remarked to his counterpart that they should have stuck to IED's, suddenly remembering they had planted an IED in the median.

Corporal Kowalski was amazed he could hear anything after firing his .50 cal for the last 10 minutes, he wondered the source of what sounded like a mobile phone ringtone before spotting the wires coming out of the palm tree on the median. "GET OUT! GET OUT! IED!" The driver dove out just as Corporal Kowalski clambered over the roof as a explosion ripped through the Humvee, they rejoined Sergeant Jiminez and took cover from the insurgents firing on their position.

The Bradley halted, took a position and fired a Tow missile into the position, which promptly destroyed a large section of the building but with no effect on the rebel position. More RPG and small arms fire poured into the Bradleys and Humvees, but the Americans continued pushing forward, emboldened by the inaccurate and ineffective fire.

A combination of fire from the Humvee's machineguns and Mk-19's, the Bradley's chaingun and tank cannon forced the rebels to once again abandon their positions.

As the rebels beat a hasty retreat, several technicals appeared firing at the marines to prevent any ideas they may have of pursuing the rebels further into the city, these technicals were quickly destroyed by the Humvees and Bradley's guns.

The road into Njia Pandamito was now wide open.

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