Also, a 1919 doesn't have a quick change barrel so that crew would have a difficult time changing the barrel in the field. Of course, I could be misremembering.....
thanks DFARM, fixed the bipod/tripod inconsistencies.
You are correct Redleg, thats something I'll have to fix.
here's an entertaining chapter, try to guess which branch the person that suggested the situation came from in real life.
Joint Special Operations Air Detachment 2
Air Delivery Center
Grant County IAP, Moses Lake WA
The JSOAD AD shop newly established at the “Moses Hole” as it was referred to had been busy as hell since being stood up for operations. Their sole responsibility was rigging material for air delivery along the western border of Eastern Washington. Due to a lack of available CH-47 Chinooks the small observation posts and combat outposts along the cascades had been supported mainly through small pickup trucks, and air delivery depending on the location. The dated yet still used C130’s had been working their wings off to deliver supplies such as MREs, water, sandbag or HESCO barriers, ammunition and anything else needed to build a base from scratch. Normal build time for what had been built in weeks would normally take months but the American Federation did not have that sort of time on their hands and thus relied on every air asset available to deliver the “Beans, Bullets and Boxes” needed.
With Fairchild AFB being already overcrowded with aircraft and personnel as it was, the influx from McChord had created a massive real estate problem. Moses Lake ended up being an easy fix for the Air Delivery operations as it was between Fairchild and Camp Petry. Cargo was shipped to the airport where it was prepared for its intended mission. Cargo was tied to an air delivery platform, rigged with a parachute and then loaded onto a C130 to be eventually pushed out of the plane midflight. The small shop of Army and Air Force Riggers kept busy enough to make life interesting.
“Master Sergeant Duvall?”
“What is it Airman Bright?”
“Sir we just got another mission order in, a bunch of Ammunition, MREs and other random crap is going to be delivered to another outpost.”
“Okay. Which one?”
“That’s just it Master Sergeant, it just says “To the 1st Triple M” and I don’t know what the hell that is.”
Master Sergeant Duvall stood up from his desk and reached out for the paperwork on the new load. “Shit that’s the Mountain Minute Men, my old supervisor Sgt McCoy is in it.”
Duvall had met Jim McCoy in Japan years ago. Sgt McCoy had taught him a lot, in particularly he had taught him to stand up for himself and his troops. Duvall laughed to himself, causing the Airman to become confused until Duvall spoke. “Jim tried
like hell to get me to cuss, three years he tried. I guess he figured he could get a Kentucky boy to sound like a sailor but not once did I cuss that he knew of.” MSgt Duvall looked up from the mission paperwork. “I got a job for you.” Duvall started scribbling on a piece of paper at his side before handing it to his troop.
“200 of them Sir?!”
“Actually, get all they have and rig them with the sand bag chutes, send them on the mission. I’ll brief the Loadmaster myself. Here’s my credit card.”
The Airman turned around and hauled ass out of his shop chief’s office, grinning like a damn madman. It’s about time they got to have some fun.
Camp McCoy TOC
Jake sat at the communications desk monitoring the radios, pissing and moaning like he does when stuck on radio detail. “God this shit is boring as fuck” he muttered to himself. This technology bullshit was not his idea of fun, he’d rather be at the range practicing or out in the woods running training patrols or setting up ambushes for the trainees. They had received a shipment that included “Simunitions” which were basically paint bullets for training, they stung like hell when shot with them but were a great training aid. Jake was well versed in manning the radios, he just hated it. His boredom was interrupted by their new VHF radio.
“MINUTE CONTROL, HUSKY ONE FIVE, OVER.”
Jake reached for the handset, that was a C130 callsign radioing the camp.
“HUSKY One five go ahead.”
“Roger, Minute Control we are nine – zero mikes out with four pallets of mixed cargo and two bundles with packed explosives, requesting a target beacon set with an air controller on site, how copy?”
“Loud and clear; HUSKY One Five, ninety out, AD beacon will be set within thirty mikes with comm on site. Over.”
“Good to go Minute Control, over and out.”
Jake grabbed his radio and relayed the message to Jose who was the primary Forward Air Controller. Jose’s Marine Recon days made him a bonified badass in the eyes of the entire camp, but he had also spent ten years as an Air Force Combat Controller which was literally talking with and directing air assets from the ground.
Within five minutes Jose came strolling into the TOC and approached Jake. “Can you call up a bunch of the FNGs for me? I’ll need a few trucks plus some troops to load the cargo we are about to get.”
“The new dicks are already on their way, they should be able to drive the 2.5 ton we stole from the FFACA, plus Rich and his truck are going along as well, I don’t know what ordinance we are getting but the pilot said “Explosives”, not ammo so you might want to take a pickup or jeep too.”
“Okay. I’m going to set the target on the plateau east of the camp, should be safe enough and hopefully nothing gets blown into a gully by the wind, otherwise the pack out will suck.”
“Eh, it’s good exercise.”
With that established Jose left the TOC to grab his team and his radio. The drive to the DZ sucked, the 2.5 ton trucks could easily travers the steep and rocky eastern road but it was not a smooth going one. Jose had chosen the eastern ridge because of the short time till delivery and it’s proximity to the base.
He had the infrared beacon set and his radio on with fifteen minutes to spare before expected delivery, and none too soon as his radio barked at him.
“Minute control, Husky One Five.”
“Husky One Five this Minute FA here to guide you in, how copy.”
“Minute FA I copy, we are within visual of an IR strobe, approaching from the east to west can you confirm it is a valid DZ?”
“That’s an A-Firm Husky One Five, we have a 5 mph north to south cross wind but the beacon and drop zone are confirmed ready for delivery.”
“Roger that FA, we are lowering the ramp now and will have do our best to get it as close to your marker as possible. Out.”
Jose watched the C-130 through his binoculars as the cargo came falling out of the back of the plane. He counted five bundles of cargo under properly deployed shoots and began looking for the other. As the plane passed overhead he cursed as a smaller box came flying out of the back of the bird. He immediately keyed his mic. “MISS DROP, MISS DROP, MISS DROP! Husky 15 I need to know the contents of the last pallet.”
“Minute FA it’s a special delivery for Jim McCoy from one MSgt Duvall out of Moses Lake. Non-explosive, not heavy and will come in on chutes, over. Enjoy the presents boys.”
As Jose watched the box fall a small drag chute deployed, ripping the main container off the top of the plywood platform. Hundreds of small objects flew out and caught under small 3-foot diameter parachutes designed to drop sandbag practice loads. Jose figured he’ll find out just what the hell is going on when he got back to camp.
As he looked back at the other incoming loads he observed that they would land close to his drop zone, then groaned when the first one landed right on top of his beacon. They NEVER got that close to target, how the hell did they manage to kill his only marker?
I was headed towards the TOC for my turn on the radio when I heard the familiar drone of a C130 flying low and slow. I looked up to see an air drop being made on the east side of the ridge, then a shitload of small chutes heading directly at the camp. Jake’s voice came over camp loudspeaker system.
“Standby for non-hazardous incoming delivery.”
“The fuck?” I wondered to myself.
Jake stepped out of the TOC tent and looked up, along with at least a dozen curious onlookers. As the chutes dropped to within 30 feet of us their distinct shapes began taking form. They were between 6 and 24 inches long of all colors and had an obvious cylindrical shape. The first one to reach us was snatched out of the air by an overly ecstatic Jake who was laughing his ass off and waving the object around as he ran towards me.
“Dicks! It’s raining Dicks! HAHAHAHA!”
Then one by one the training chutes tied to male shaped sex toys began to hit the ground all around us, bouncing and sliding off tent tops.
“Someone was bored as shit.”
I leaned down and picked one up and read a note in sharpie pen. “To TSgt McCoy, special delivery from your old friend MSgt Duvall.” I looked up and then the note hit me… my old troop! I started laughing so hard it began to hurt. Men and women alike were clutching their sides or stomachs in their mirth, the twisted sense of humor of the military knew no limits and my old troop had just boosted the morale of an entire camp of un-paid volunteers who had been training their asses off for over a month.
All training was canceled for the rest of the day as we retrieved the parachutes from trees, tent tops and ridge tops, by the time it was done we had a pile of them in the back of my little Willys jeep and no idea how the hell we were going to deliver them.
When the task was done I sat down in front of our radio station and chuckled. The days event was one that would be remembered by all who were there, and the tale would never be believed or understood by who wasn’t. We needed the break in seriousness, because unbeknownst to us the winter months were going to be bloody and very tiring.
Three weeks has gone by since the “Phallic Bombing” as it was come to be known. The Triple M has grown from an under strength sized platoon to a full blown Company which now sports three line platoons and a weapons platoon plus a small Recon squad and then support personnel who ended up being either specialized volunteers like the town’s two doctors plus a half dozen guys who were so busted up during their service that they were not mobile enough to fight but still able to help around camp.
The old codger that was so pissed at us for turning him down months ago had ended up joining us because rather than go home he put up an honest to God pup tent right next to the trailers. We couldn’t let him sleep like that, and we couldn’t make him leave… hell the only reason we said no in the first place was out of concern for him. His name was Frank Simms and he ended up being one of the Frozen Chosen and hell of a help around the TOC. Frank had spent his time after Korea in the intelligence field and retired as a full bird Colonel. He wanted no part in leadership, but he made a massive table top map of our area of operations using topographic maps that he marked key roads, plus dirt paths and other transportation routes. Somehow the Colonel knows where our units are at all times, even the general area of the ones out on exercise. I can’t figure out how the hell he does it.
Much to the dismay of more than a couple of us original group the Army pulled a fast one on us as well. While the term Minute Men put the picture in our heads of the original anti-British fighters we ended up being setup like a free-lance Reserve unit… then the fuckers came up and promoted a few of us. General Moore himself flew in by Blackhawk and had a meeting with Uncle Leo, when they came out of Uncle’s Trailer we knew something was up because the General was smiling, Uncle Leo had a mischievous grin that we rarely saw and then the TOC intercom call EVERYONE to the camp for an announcement.
Once everyone was assembled Uncle Leo addressed us.
“Listen up! You all serve here on a voluntary basis, and that will never change. We have fighting ahead of us and Salmon Pass plus the town are key strategic points. You are not only being trained to protect the new nation but your very homes and families. This unit, the Triple M has grown well beyond what any of us expected and has thus begun to cause confusion when it comes to organization. To remedy that General Moore and I have handpicked a few key personnel to serve as our officers. This helps us, as well as the units at Camp Petry as it seems they don’t know who in our band to talk to which could be a serious problem during joint operations. When I call your names, please come forward. Brad McCoy. Rich McCierney, Corey Brown, Jose Santino,
Tom Brady, and Jake McCoy.”
As the men lined up I knew why they were chosen, all were combat veterans with specialties in combat MOS’ or in the case of Jake: a natural leader and fighter.
“Each one of these men has been chosen for a reason, and each one is now one of your Lieutenants. Tomorrow at 0730 rosters will be posted with what your assigned platoon is and who your LT will be. That is all.”
General Moore spoke up. “Not quite yet Mr. Castleman. I forgot to tell you something.” The General reached inside his pocket and produced another set of officer’s rank. “The Triple M needs its leader to be obvious, and a Corporal just won’t do. Ladies and Gentleman, your CO is now Captain Leo McCoy.”
The change in Uncle Leo’s demeaner went from amused to surprised quick enough that everyone got a laugh, but what the General had said was correct. He continued with his brief speech. “Camp Petry has received continual updates from your advisors and we are impressed. The training you all are doing is not being done to appease you all, as there is a war coming. The United Socialist States have spent the last few months building an army to fight us. They are being equipped by China and Russia with arms, munitions and vehicles. Make no mistake: blood will be spilled, and lives will be lost. Prepare yourselves and keep kicking ass out here. Thank you all, and good luck.”
With that General Moore turned to Uncle Leo to shake his hand, after the shake our leader stood at attention and saluted the General.
It ended up that Brad, Jake and my friend Rich were the new platoon leaders for 1st, 2nd and 3rd platoon, respectively. Tom had been given the weapons platoon, Cory in charge of a team of engineers and Jose in charge of the recon group. I am now in Brad’s platoon as his enlisted second in command plus I have Zach as one of my machinegun squad leaders. I’m having a damn fun time making fun of my brothers and friend for being Lieutenants as well. I have to admit that it is a hell of a lot easier for us to keep track of shit around here now that we are better organized.
Thanks for the chapter!
Is this all of it?
No need to apologize, it's a cool story that we're reading for free. Thank you for putting it up here.
Originally Posted By 2T2_Crash:
Been busy getting set for hunting season, plus my guest room/office has been occupied since mid September. You guys are three chapters from being caught up. I'll get the next chapter up tomorrow.
Sorry guys, been busy.
3 days after I said I'd post it.
I woke up with the sound of family activity this morning and felt great. Sitting here now at a coffee table across from my wife and daughter, son by my side it is almost surreal. The house we had been given was an old two-story stick-built place with a wood burning fireplace and a renovated interior. Apparently, the previous owners had packed up their belongings and headed west after the announcement of cessation. Their loss and our gain. The house was in an older neighborhood and as luck had it my brother Brad and his family were our neighbors.
The platoon weekly R&R rotation had been going for about a month now and its 1st Platoon’s turn again. The Monday through Sunday rotation for our breaks had kept operations around the camp smooth plus allowed everyone to go home and spend time with their families or friends and to just get away. Being away for two weeks straight sucked especially since it was now mid November and everything was cold and either muddy or covered in snow all around us.
Raquel took a sip of her coffee and smiled at me. “You slept well, no snoring and you didn’t toss and turn as much as you used.”
“Yeah, the mouth guard for my apnea is awesome… no more hose or getting crappy sleep when out in the field. Camp Petry really hooked us old bastards out. When they sent a couple of their med staff over.”
“What about your back and knees?”
“They ache from the cold, but not as bad as they used to. I’ve dropped 50 pounds since this all started so I’m sure that’s a part of it, a few of the guys introduced the benefits of CBD based weed to DOC and now he has a lot of us using it. With no VA to send prescriptions anymore we had to do something. My anxiety is way down and when joints ache I rub some balm on the area. No getting high, just treatment. My stomach isn’t all messed up, no more sleeplessness or other side effects. I don’t know why the hell the old USA wouldn’t let us use the stuff. It’s even helped a few of the guys with really bad PTSD settle down.”
“I haven’t smelled anything since you’ve been here, are you just not using it?”
“No, I’m using it but rather than the camp smelling like Woodstock we have been getting it in either edible form or as a topical for joint pain. We eat a brownie or whatever they made for the week in the morning or as needed. I never would have tried it before all this happened.”
“I see. What’s new out there?”
“We’ve done some joint operation exercises with the Army, plus now that we have squad and platoon movements down pact we have moved onto company sized operations. Petry received intel that those scumbags on the other side of the mountains have built a hell of an army and are being equipped with weapons and vehicles from Russia and China. Funny isn’t it, years ago they wouldn’t shut up with their accusations that the Republicans were working with Russia to steal an election and here they are being buddy buddy with them. Anyhow… apparently, they are preparing for an assault soon because not only has the USSA stepped up its propaganda machine, but it’s been sending out scout parties all up and down the Cascades. One of our long-range scouts ran into a squad of them by accident last week and the Recon group has as well.”
“FACA didn’t survive. General Moore found out and called Uncle Leo trying to convince him to have us keep some alive for interrogation.”
“Yeah. I get he wants the intel… unfortunately the scouts seem to have unfortunate accidents if they are wounded or surrender.”
Raquel looked over to our son. “What have you been up to?”
“Working the Observation Posts as well as learning the communications center in the TOC. Great Uncle Leo and Colonel Frank have been teaching me command and control operations and how to keep the maps updated and have a general handle on the battlefield during the exercises.”
I smiled at my daughter “What have you been doing my little love?”
Jessica looked up from her scrambled eggs and smiled. “I’m going to school Daddy!”
“Wow, already! What’s your favorite part?”
“I get to paint and have play time!”
“And are you making friends and being nice?”
“Yes daddy! Everyone wants to be my friend because they know my Daddy fights the bad people.”
“And are you telling them, or do they already know this, Honey?”
“They know, sometimes I tell them.”
“Sweetie this is important, you can’t tell people what I do okay? It’s not safe.”
Jessica’s smile turned to a frown in a heartbreaking manner. “Why Daddy?”
“Because if the bad men are here and they hear that they might try to tell other bad people, and we don’t want that because it’s not safe.”
A knowing look passed between my wife and I. “Are you carrying all the time my Love?”
“Yes, the pistol concealed and the M1 Carbine openly. Nobody bats an eye around here since most have started doing the same ever since the Sheriff shot and killed an ANTIFA member who was trying to gather intelligence on us. The guy went for his gun but wasn’t fast enough.”
“Okay, keep aware of your surroundings please. Ya’ll are precious to me.”
“Yep. You too!”
Our conversation and time together was cut short by the sound of our in house-communications radio linked to the TOC blared to live with the sound of Uncle Leo.
“ALL PERSONNEL THIS IS CASTLE ONE ACTUAL, RECALL. I REPEAT. RECALL. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” Ten seconds later the ancient air raid siren at the center of town started its warbling call for a thirty second interval.
Rather than freak out Jessica I stood up slowly. “I’m sorry Sweetheart but Daddy and Jimmy have to leave early to go to camp.”
Jim Jr followed suit, realizing why I had not jumped up and rushed right away.
“Are the bad people coming?!”
“No sweetheart, they probably have a special visitor coming in and need us all there.” I hated lying to her, but she didn’t need to know. I leaned
over and gave her a long hug and a kiss on the forehead. “I love you little girl.”
“I love you too.”
“I love you Honey, don’t worry, I’ll be back.”
She looked at me and smiled. “With your shield or on it, old man! I love you. Be safe.”
I gathered my Kit and my AR15, plus my old M1D out of the gun cabinet… She looked like she wanted to taste Commie blood again. As we walked out the door Brad was doing the same, looking over at my son and me.
“Ready big brother?”
“Yeah, throw your shit in the Willys, we’re taking it because we might need it over the truck.”
“If you say so. This bitch is slow though.”
Brad looked at the M1D as I slid it into the rifle rack attached to the inside of the windshield and locked it in place. “Really dude?”
“Fuck you, it wants action, and I’m bringing bandos of AP along with ball and hollow points.”
With that we were off like a shot, moving at a seemingly slow ass 55mph, yet still exceeding the speed limit. I glanced at Brad before looking back at the road. “Has the platoon recall been initiated?”
“You mean beyond that loud ass siren? Yes, I’m not some fucking shaved tail butter bar that is new to this shit. We’ll see how many show now
that the shit gets real.”
“It’s just a question puto. They’ll show. We’ll see after the first fight though.”
“Yes, we will.”
Fourty five minutes after our departure from town Brad and I finally arrived at the TOC. All of our officers save for Jose where standing around Col Simms’ map as the old Colonel updated known positions of friendly and enemy forces. Bravo, Charlie and Weapons Platoons were all assembled in separate areas cleaning their personal weapons and gear while waiting for the briefing they knew was coming. Half of the platoon had fallen in line behind the old Willys as we drove the main roads but quickly fell behind on the rough trail into camp. I looked over at Brad as I shut down the engine.
“I’ll start organizing the platoon and will have accountability for you when you come out.”
Brad went straight into the tent as I looked back at Jim. “Alright kid, get your gear and report in with whoever is manning the communications
center, I’m sure they need some help.”
“Dad I want to fight!”
“Not today Son, not yet. I need you in the TOC helping with comms.”
Jim was none too happy, and like an eager Boot forgot how shit worked. “DAD!”
“I SAID NO GODDAMNIT! You aren’t 18, them’s the rules now get your ass in there and do your job like we need you to… MOVE!” I was not ready to risk losing my son yet, not while I still had the choice of putting him or any under 18 in direct action. I ignored the muttered “Fuck” that came from him as he walked away disappointed. To be young and dumb again.
As Jim Jr walked towards his assigned location members of 1st platoon were gathering behind me.
“Listen up! Lt. just joined the brief and we need to make ready to fight. Everyone check your gear, inspect your weapons. Zach get your squad and go draw their belt feds from the armory trailer plus ammunition and spare parts kits. Grenadiers go grab your 40 mike mike rounds and make sure you have plenty of HE and a parachute flare each.” The 40MMs brought something to my mind and I turned back to Zach. “Zach grab one of the Mark19’s and set it up on the Willys, belts of HEDP and HE. I want it over the .50 this time. Alright, get your shit wired ladies and gentlemen, it’s going to be a long fucking day. Brief others as they come in.”
I looked towards the center of the field everyone was assembled in and saw our company field medics in the center, perfect. I headed in their direction. I needed to know who our medic was going to be. My cousin was going over everything in the field packs with his troops, ensuring all were ready. He had managed to bring our medic/corpsman count up to half a dozen, himself and three others were prior service medical fields, the other two being Chloe Brady and a new guy I wasn’t familiar with. Ryan looked up as I approached and stood up. “Kumusta Pare?”
“Nervous, excited. Haven’t felt like this since Fallujah.”
“Ryan who am I getting, is it you?”
Ryan shook his head no. “Not this time Cuz, I’m going with Lt. McCierney and Second Platoon, you’re getting Brady.”
I didn’t like the idea of a green medic, not that I didn’t trust her or Doc’s judgement. Chloe, hearing her name turned and stood up and approached.
“Tech Sergeant McCoy, I wont fail the platoon. I’m not experienced in battle yet but HM2 Rios has already had me training on live animals to treat
serious wounds. You can count on me.”
Ryan spoke in her defense. “She’s right cuz, I wouldn’t send a new Corpsman solo unless I was fully confident in their ability. I don’t have enough to give you two.”
I sighed. “I understand, Chloe please know my reservations are not based on any doubt of your medical capabilities… as I’ve learned in the last few months, combat can do strange and unexpected things to us. I want you to stay close to the veterans and do as they do. Understood?
Brady smiled. “Yes Sir.”
“Alright Ryan, I’ll take care of her. I gotta get back to the Platoon, it looks like the briefing is over in there and they are coming out.”
As I walked back to towards my platoon’s staging area I saw Brad heading towards the Jeep followed by Corey, he looked my way and gave me a “Come hither” pull of his head, thus I followed him to the hood where he laid out a map. Thank fuck it wasn’t raining today, or freezing ass cold.
“Alright, here’s what we got Jim. Petry has passed on to us that satellite surveillance picked up light armored columns heading towards Salmon Pass, another towards that long ass bridge only the logging companies use, plus a heavy armored column moving up 90. Second and Third Platoons are taking Salmon Pass, we are heading to the bridge. The Army is going to have its hands full on this one, apparently, they are facing off against tanks supplied by the Russians.”
I looked at the map. “How the fuck are we going to hold a bridge with one platoon?”
Corey spoke up. “We’re not, I’m going to blow that motherfucker up. It’s an old steel trestle railway bridge that had been converted for trucks back in the day. My squad is going to rig the bridge from the center back with charges and blow it, hopefully before that column arrives.”
I looked at Brad. “Okay, who are we taking?”
“1st Platoon, engineers, plus two mortar teams. The anti-tank squad is going with Jake so we need to draw a few AT4s and a Javeline. Our timeline is short. It will take us a couple of hours to get there, plus the time for the engineers to set and detonate the bridge. The column is moving slow and has an ETA of four hours, so we will be cutting it close. What’s our accountability at?”
“We are at 90%, just missing a couple of the guys who live a bit further out.”
“As soon as the weapons are drawn and everyone present is geared up we move. If we run across them on the way down they follow us. Otherwise we fight with what we have. Corey gather your men and your gear. We need to load up and get our asses moving ASAP.”
“On it Brad… DEMOLITIONS SQUAD ON ME!” the group of explosives experts and destruction junkies were fast to move. “We have a 500 ft long steel trestle bridge to destroy. Grab C4, detonators, a shitload of det cord and tape and everything else we need. You have ten minutes to load our Hummer. Go!” as they hauled ass towards their vehicle and then the storage location for our 1.1 explosives storage location Corey looked back at us and smiled.
“We live for this shit!”
I shook my head. “Crazy motherfuckers.”
Zach and his machinegunners came walking towards us, the Mk19 grenade launcher slung over the should of a former US Marine 0331 Machinegunner only known as “Tiny”. Tiny was 32 years old, 5’8” and 240lbs of muscle… he was built like a brick shit-house and didn’t even struggle with the 77 pound weapon. Zach looked at Tiny “Mount that fucker on the Jeep Tiny. You get to ride with the boss and the Zoomie with it.”
Tiny gave a universal response that the USMC loved so much “RAH!”
Zach approached me. “I have a 240 and the 1919, plus tripods, parts and over 3000 rounds of 7.62 for each gun plus 500 rounds of 40 for the Mark 19.”
“Christ dude, we are going to blow a bridge, not fend off a Banzai charge.”
“You never know. We’re going to load up in the 2.5ton we jacked from the FFACA last summer.”
“Alright. Make room for Mortars squad too, they’ll have two of the 60mm plus rounds and whatever else LT Brady is sending with them.”
As B and C platoons were moving around drawing weapons and ammunition as well Brad, Jake, Ryan and I came together for a quick goodbye. We all
shook hands and gave subdued words of encouragement and to be safe. Brad stepped forward a half step. “Bow your heads fuckers. Lord guide us in this struggle against tyranny and oppression. Grant us the courage to stand in the face of evil, the strength to do what is necessary to destroy the wicked and the steadiness of spirit to handle what we must live with afterwards. Lord be our shield in battle and protect us from harm. In your name we pray.”
And astounding “AMEN” arose from around us, we did not realize over half of our men had circled around in prayer as well. The butterflies and anxiousness I had been feeling washed away and was replaced with a steadfast calm.
I walked back to the Willys in silence, then saw Tiny sitting behind his Mk19 on the Jeep. He had written something on the barrel and I read it aloud.
Tiny smiled. “I will honor Odin with it today.”
I shook my head. “Fucking Marines… I’m glad you’re on our side Tiny”.
Before we left I ran to my tent and grabbed two items I had stashed away and brought them out to the Jeep. On the left rear of the Willys I mounted our Company’s banner, the skull and the snake both dancing in the breeze, then I mounted an old US flag on the right.
As all our vehicles lined up and started our engines for the drive, unbeknownst to me a figure hauled ass from the TOC to the rear most vehicle and was helped aboard by one of the engineers.
TIME TO GET SOME!
Jim jr. is gonna hitch a ride it seems.
Keep up the good work! Let us hope that Life does NOT imitate Art! (Though that seems less and less likely as time goes by)
Better Nate than lever.
lotta shit happening in this chapter and it bounces between a couple of different characters' perspectives.
As Second and Third Platoons hauled ass towards Salmon Pass on regularly maintained roads we wound our way around a mix of paved streets, county dirt roads, and finally improved dirt paths that lead to the bridge. We were getting anxious as we watched the time move past the two-hour mark for us being on the move to our destination. Road conditions closer to the bridge were fucked due to lack of maintenance and a few trees that had blown down over the summer but finally after two and a half hours we arrived. Brad immediately assessed the location and began issuing orders.
“Smith deploy your guns on our side of the bridge, give them cover and a good angle, one high one even with the bridge.”
“Yessir! WEAPONS ON ME!”
“Sappers get your asses in gear, you’ve got less than two hours if intel is right.”
“Sergeant McCoy deploy the men, I want proper fields of fire, grenadiers on both sides of the road, spread them out and keep em down. Mortars setup behind the crest in the road in the vehicle turnout we just passed and send your Forward Observer up.” Brad looked at his radioman. “Cooper you are to stay on my ass at all times, understood?”
“Like a hemorrhoid Sir.”
I immediately got my ass in gear. “Yes Sir! Get the fuck off the trucks! I want the AT4s to the left, get the Javeline just to the right of the road, with a straight shot down the bridge. Setup, dig in or start piling rocks around your defensive positions. Our
primary job is to protect the engineers, understood?”
The men and women of 1st platoon were in a flurry of activity spreading out and establishing their defensive positions. Due to the hard cold and rocky ground it was almost impossible to dig so positions were established beside trees, reinforced with hastily built rock walls for cover. I began establishing my position as well which gave me a proper view straight down the bridge. Within 15 minutes I had a low rock wall built and a stable shooting platform. As I stood up Brad approached me.
“Jake, I want a couple guys and a vehicle on the opposite side of the bridge, at the top of the rise there. Set them as an OP. Also, you’re my Platoon Sergeant, I need you to move your position back another 15 feet and preferably not the middle of the fucking road. Keep our medic by your side and move with her if she is needed. If I go down, you make sure this bridge fucking disappears got it?
“Got it, nothing is going to happen to us brother, we can’t ruin a 140 year streak of family luck in battle.”
“Wiseass. Alright big brother, get moving.”
I walked over to my Willys and grabbed my M1D and my bandoleers of ammunition and before finding Tiny.
“Tiny I have a job for you and a driver of your choosing.”
“Reyes get over here! What have you got boss?”
“I need you two to take the jeep across the bridge and to the crest in the hill up there, you see what I’m talking about?”
“Yes Sergeant, I see it.”
“Back the jeep up, keep it below the horizon so it’s not spotted. Once the column is visible you haul ass back across. Don’t fuck around and try not to get my girl here shot the fuck up. Tracking?”
“Got it. Let’s go Reyes, you’re driving and shift smoothly so I don’t accidentally touch off a round from the Mk19.”
I did not like the looks of excitement and the fire in their eyes as they whipped my baby around and hauled ass towards their destination. Now I need to find Chloe and set up a proper position for us both. To my surprise I found her set up in a slight depression in the terrain, about 15 feet behind the lines… She had learned a lot from Rios it seemed.
“Chloe you picked the perfect spot. Now listen to me. If someone calls out for a medic we will be moving together, understand? It’s important to save lives but you are no good to us if you go down, so make sure you aren’t running into a situation where you are sure to die.”
“I got it.”
“Stay here, lay your stuff out if you need to but be ready. I’ll be back.” With that I made my rounds, checking on everyone and making sure they were set and ready.
While we were setting up our defenses Corey and his demolitions experts had been busy as well. As soon as he was given the order by Brad he had his team moving.
“I want eight charges on each side of the bridge, four on the left pillars, four on the right on both sides of the bridge plus I want a large kicker charge on top of the bridge right in the center of that bitch. We only need about a pound of C4 per charge but remember P is for “plenty” in the explosives requirement factor, so use four pounds per charge. Wire this shit quick but do it right and whatever you do…. Don’t look down and don’t fall because it’s a long drop and I won’t climb down to retrieve your body. Wilson and Roberts, you have our side of the bridge, Bandy you take the center charge, Cox you and I have the far side. Cox drive the truck, we’ll stop at each location and unload the shit needed at each point. Let’s go boys.”
The sapper trained engineers loaded into the vehicle and headed towards the bridge. At the first stop they kicked out spools of det cord plus crates of explosives and their gear. The team wasted no time getting to their task of preparing their charges and taping them together. Once the truck hit the middle of the bridge it again stopped as Bandy started dumping his gear out of the back and then got to work.
As they approached their end of the bridge Corey spoke to Cox. “Drive past, turn around in the dirt and bring us back on the bridge so we are facing the right way. Start prepping charges, I’ll throw spools of det chord onto the feed rods so they can
unspool as we drive.”
“You got it.”
Both of the engineers walked to the rear of the truck and Corey let out a string of curses when he discovered his stow-away. In the back Jimmy was sitting on a crate of C-4 holding his .30 Carbine.
“What in the FUCK are you doing back here Jimmy?”
“I’m not waiting around while you guys fight dammit.”
“Your dad is going to have my ass if anything happens to you. What in the hell are you thinking boy! Well fuckin… don’t sit there, get your ass up here. Start breaking open those C4 crates and do exactly like I do. Grab four of them, tape them all together in one line, make sure the same ends all face up. Good, make 6 more of those.”
As their surprise helper started taping the 1 lb charges of C4 together both Corey and Cox began filling their pouches with rolls of tape and blasting caps. Corey looked up at Jim Jr. “Good, now put the charges in these two satchel bags, 4 per bag. Good. Alright, keep an eye out.” With that Corey slung his satchel over his shoulder, walked to the bridge’s guard rail and looked over.
“Damn, I looked down.” Seeing that the steel was easily climbable and accessible he slung one leg over the side, took a deep breath then slung the other over and started climbing down. When he got to the connection point of the first support beam he immediately got to work and pulled out his first charge, taping it in place. Ensuring it was flat against the steel girder and not going anywhere he pulled out a Gerber multi-tool specially made for explosives work. The gerber had a circular punch which he used to bore a hole in each piece of C4 into which he pushed the detonators into. From there he ran his detonating chord, tied them together and taped them in place to ensure nothing was going to come undone. The process took him less than ten minutes. With his first charge complete Corey looked over towards Cox. “One done, climbing to two.”
“Copy, almost done here.”
Thirty minutes later Corey emerged from under the bridge, sweating his ass off and holding the end of the string of detonating cord that was connected to his demolition set below. He looked up at Jim Jr who was sitting behind the wheel of the truck and waved him forward. As the truck pulled to a stop and both Corey and Cox began tying their charges into the two large spools of det-cord hanging from mounts on the truck. Suddenoy the sound of a series of small explosions could be heard from down the road where the Mk 19 was setup, followed by a large secondary explosion that got the group’s asses in gear. Corey hopped onto the driver’s side running board of the truck as Cox hopped in the back.
“Jim get us to the middle charges, about 5 miles an hour so we can tie into the charge and pick up Bandy, that was Tiny and the grenade launcher. We need to hurry.”
The truck moved forward at what felt like an agonizing pace, as they reached the center charges where Bandy was waiting they saw the Willys come hauling ass down the road towards the bridge, letting loose another string of grenades at an unseen target in the woods.
“He aint stopping for shit, get slack in the cord and lay it flat on the ground so he doesn’t fuck it up!”
To their surprise Reyes slowed down when he saw the long line of cord and pulled in behind the truck. Tiny was focused to the rear and jumped when first his radio came to life with the voice of the Lieutenant, and then when Corey screamed at him.
“Turn that fuckin radio off motherfucker!”
“Shit!” Tiny scrambled to find the power nob. Radios were a no-no around live ordinance and demolition. He got it off then yelled back. “Hurry up, they are coming and don’t care that I just shredded an M113 with HEDP!”
“Fuck. You done Bandy? In the truck, go go! Tiny no HE on the bridge, she’s rigged and wired.!”
Moments later the first vehicles to show were a couple of pickup trucks rigged with PKM machineguns plus half a dozen riflemen clad in black with red berets on. ANTIFA had evolved it seemed. As the lead vehicle cleared the tree-line it was saturated with fire from the grenade launcher.
“I SAID NOT SO CLOSE TO THE FUCKING BRIDGE!”
The second truck driver was smarter and pulled off to the side behind some trees and disgorged its troops before pulling forward to give the gunner a shot at the men on the bridge, just a mere 250 feet away.
In a surprising display of movement and riflemanship Corey pivoted on his left foot and turned 90 degrees to his left while bringing his AR15/M16A4 clone to his shoulder and unleased a series of controlled shots that were so close together it sounded like his civilian rifle was burst capable. Three of the enemy soldiers immediately dropped to the ground with shots to the center mass, the other four scouts plus the PKM gunner and the vehicle driver followed suit as both the M1919 and the M240 on the opposite side of the bridge let out a series of bursts at the target emerging from the woods.
“Move move move!” Corey hopped back on the truck as Jim moved it forward to the last charge series, so they could be tied into the main charge line. While he did so Reyes drove around the truck and towards the friendly lines.
Meanwhile more enemy forces began to come into view of the bridge defenders, slowly at first and on foot in a manageable flow but they immediately began firing at the men on the bridge. Rounds began to hit the truck as more of the communist forces joined the fight. With the last charge wired in the engineers all clung to the sides of their truck as it moved towards their side of the canyon. As it pulled in and past the defending platoon Corey grew alarmed as it idled in rather than brake to a stop and yelled out to Jim just before the truck smashed to a stop against a tree.
Corey picked himself up off the ground as he felt blood flow down the left side of his face. Ignoring his own problems, he ran to the truck and ripped open the door only to catch his nephew as he fell out of the truck, coughing blood and red foam out of his mouth.
“MEEEEDIC! WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU?” Corey slung Jim Jr over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry and hauled ass towards Chloe whom he saw running his way. Rather than stop in the open Corey ran past her towards the depression and got Jimmy off his shoulder, ignoring the shock on his father’s face.
“He took a round in the back, he’s got a sucking chest wound.”
Brad McCoy had been observing the progress of the engineers when his radio came to life. “LT we have a reinforced light armored company heading our way. I see two BMPs, several M113s plus technicals and troop transports. I’d say we have 250 or so men headed up fast. I’m going to give them a moment of pause with the Mark 19.”
Before Brad could tell Tiny no he heard five small detonations followed by a loud secondary that was visible from their vantage point. “LT this is Tiny, we’re coming in hot being pursued by two technicals plus infantry, how copy?
“Solid copy, get out of there now!” Brad looked over at his RTO “Get me on the TOC’s channel now… Castle Control this is One Six Actual how copy?”
“I read you One Six, send traffic, over.”
“Castle Control 1st platoon is in direct contact with company sized force of mix light armor plus troops. The bridge is still intact at this time. Over”
“Copy that One Six, Castle One Actual says get that bridge down and beat feet. Over.”
“Roger that Castle One I’ll keep you updated, Out.” He nudged his radioman. “Be ready to move, get me back on platoon comms, keep monitoring the command line.”
“ Yes Sir.”
As soon as the first vehicle broke out of the trees Zach had his guns set. “Get ready, I want those guns to talk, gun 1 initiates, 2 responds. AG’s pick your targets unless I say otherwise” Before the belt feds could get a round off the first truck was ripped to shreds by the grenade rounds but they soon had their targets as the infantry squad broke out of the trees.
“Troops, 150 meters out. Handle it!”
Zach’s command was all they needed. The first 5 to 7 round burst from the 1919 resulted in cutting down two of the fighters, the 240’s response dropped two others just as Corey gunned down his targets. With the second technical appearing there was almost no pause in fire from the two machineguns as they both responded to the threat.
“TALK THE GUNS DAMN YOU!”
The two teams dropped back into their alternating staccato, the pause in fire giving the barrels time to cool and to keep the weapons in the fight.
Zach could see the column of vehicles make its push all at once which limited his ability to create a bottle-neck of vehicles where his targets were emerging. “Gun 1 switch to AP, target the APCs! Gun 2 focus on the heavy weapons! Get stacking!” Zach glanced over as the friendly truck cleared the bridge and then heard it crash into something. He cleared it from his mind, the guns and his targets were all he needed to focus on. A burst of incoming tracers reminded him to get his fool ass behind cover and stop standing in the open while directing his two teams. While he wished he was behind the trigger he knew that he was put to best use in his current assigned position of leading the MG squad.
“Gun two shift right!”
The sounds of individual rifles firing around him were hardly audible to Zach, such was his focus. To his horror a BMP-3 pulled ahead of the vehicles in front of him and began to slowly advance on the bridge. Even the armor penetrating rounds from
the WWII machinegun would be ineffective against its sloping armor.
Brad was in full control of himself and his awareness of the battlefield. As the BMP had begun it’s push towards the bridge he immediately started issuing orders.
“Armor! Hit it with the Javelin now!
As the USMC veteran set up and shouldered the weapon he acquired his target and yelled out “Target locked!”
“BACK BLAST AREA CLEAR!” warning anyone behind him to get the hell from behind him, he wouldn’t fire until given the okay.
With the press of a button the missile was launched out of the tube, after clearing a few feet the missile fired off and homed in on the BMP, scoring a direct hit that resulted in a large explosion on the far hillside. The BMP blew chunks of steel up and out as it immediately caught fire and burned.
I stood in shock seeing my only son laying in front of me with a critical chest wound. Try as I may I couldn’t look away or focus on anything. My boy was hurt. Why was he here in the first place? God I can’t lose my son. Chloe was working him over, cutting his clothes away from his wounds and moving at a fevered pace, yet I still can’t move. I can see Corey in front of me yelling at me, trying to get me to snap out of it when I see the look of frustration on his face change… like a light had turned on. With a purse of his lips he reaches back and slaps the absolute shit out of me… and I’m back.
“Get your shit together Cuz, you’re Platoon Sergeant and we need you to do your job! Doc has Jim, call in the fucking Medevac, I’m going to blast this bridge.
He was right. “Take care of him Doc.”
Chloe spoke without looking away or stopping as she applied chest seals to the entry and exit wounds. “He’s stable for now, but he’s going to need hospital care ASAP.”
“Copy.” I hunker down and grab my note pad and start writing my Nine-Line and MIST report, there’s too much information to try to wing it. The whole time I’m doing this, rounds are zipping overhead at an increasing rate. Pausing my notes, I look over the depression that Doc, Jimmy and I are in and see the battle.
Multiple vehicles were burning, and dead were all around them but with their superior numbers it was almost impossible for us to gain fire superiority. “We’re going to be cut down if we don’t do something.”
“Corey Blow the bridge damnit!” my words are a waste, he was just finishing up wiring the trigger switch and then looked both left, and right along our lines while yelling at the top of his lungs.
“FIRE IN THE HOLE! FIRE IN THE HOLE!” with the flip of his thumb Corey flips the trigger safety cover up and then pushes hard on a red button, initiating the charges on the bridge. In the blink of an eye the det cord lit up, a line of light streaking towards the charges that resulted in a series of explosions that moved the very air we were breathing. In a heartbeat all 8 targeted support beams on each side were cut from their support structure causing the bridge to begin it’s drop to the valley below, and a half a second later the charges in the dead center of the structure went off as well. As if in slow motion I watched the bridge fall and collapse in on its self as the central charges were designed to not only sever the center of the bridge in two, but also push it downward faster than the land side ends fell. There was absolutely no recovering or repairing this bridge.
As our men cheered the FFACA troops stood stunned, completely forgetting they were in the middle of a battle. My brother did not lose the opportunity they had given us.
“AT4s target and fire! FO have the Chucks get some Willy Pete out and hammer them.” The metal on metal slide of rounds being dropped into mortar tubes was followed by the telltale thumps behind our position, followed a few seconds later by the sound of the shells whistling in and exploding in white clouds of burning phosphorous amongst the enemy. The battle reached a fevered pitch and to my horror a series of streaks from RPGs screamed in towards our southern flank, exploding amongst trees and tearing at the flesh of our men.
Chloe looked over at me in alarm. With a nod we both jumped up and sprinted towards the call for help. Three of our men lay dead, two critically injured. One of whom was missing an arm below the elbow, the other with a jagged wound on his head
and many smaller ones in his chest. Chloe immediately yanked a combat tourniquet off her vest and applied it as high as she could on the arm and began dragging the man back towards our little field hospital. I grabbed the drag handle on the back of the other man’s vest and began to drag him to cover as well.
He was dead before I got him in the protective cover.
“Chloe I’m calling the Line in now.”
I switched my radio to the proper channel at Petry and it was immediately filled with a MEDEVAC request being made elsewhere. When it was finished it was my turn.
“Whisky One Six this is Mike One Seven, request Nine Line MEDEVAC. Over.
“Mike One Seven this is Whisky One Six prepared to copy.”
“Line one, one zero Tango Foxtrot Tango four three five five one six five six
Line two, two five zero zero Whiskey One Six
Line three, Alpha 2
Line Four, None
Line Five, Alpha 2, Over.”
“Whiskey One Six copies, continue.”
“Line Six, X-ray
Seven, purple smoke
Eight, Alpha 2”
“All copy Mike One Seven, expect medevac and escort within two zero mikes, how copy?
"One Seven copies, over"
"Whiskey One Six over and out.”
I looked over at my Son as Doc tended to him and our wounded rifleman. “How are they Doc?”
“Critical condition but stable for now, what’s the status on Medevac?” Chloe never took her attention off her patients as she ran IV fluids, administered morphine and kept her eye on the bleeding. All the while bullets cracked overhead, branches and debris dropped from the trees overhead and the sound of battle raged on.
“Twenty minutes. Doc I need a no shit answer, is my son going to make it?”
“Yes he should, I have both entry and exit wounds sealed up and his breathing is doing okay.”
“Take care of them both Doc, I need to get out there.”
I turned and inched up to the edge of the depression to look before I lept out. Seeing a temporary lull in the incoming fire due to our outgoing mortars I reach over and grab my M1 Garand and then make a mad dash towards the southern flank of our lines. I can see Corey behind cover, leaning around a tree and firing across the ravine, I need to talk to him and adjust course. As I’m running I see the signs that I’m being shot at… cracks sound by me as bullets scream past, dust and dirt kicked up from the ground and bits of wood shooting out from trees by me. Fuck. This.
Sliding in behind Corey I’m rewarded with a savage curse as I smash into him… Whoops. I lean in behind him as he turns to fire again.
“Corey, we have helos inbound for medevac. I need an LZ cut down so it can land.
“Where do you want it?”
“Other side of the hill we came over.”
“Alright, what’s the ETA?”
“Shit, we’ll get her done in a Jiffy.” Not wasting any time Corey calls out to his squad and gets them moving. “SAPPERS!” His men turn and look at him, they were all positioned close to each other behind similar protective cover from the incoming fire. “We need to make a Landing Zone for a medevac, grab det chord, I have the detonator. Ready? GO!”
The team sprints towards their vehicle and grabs their tools of destruction, then haul ass towards the crest of the hill. Halfway up a burst of machinegun fire walks its way behind and through the squad, dropping Corey. Without missing a beat, he is back up and half running half hopping over the last few feet to the top of the road, holding his hand behind him onto his leg. I tell myself he’ll be able to take care of it as I turn to focus on the fight for the first time since my son appeared.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or tactical guru to realize that this damn tree I’m behind isn’t going to work for me but there’s too much incoming fire. The White Phosphorous rounds have obscured our adversaries’ sight but there are so many of the fuckers that the volume of fire is still suppressive. I reach for my radio button and contact Brad.
“One Six, One Six this is Seven, over.”
“Go for Six!”
“Brad they are pounding us, switch those mortars to HE or do something, we can’t move over here!”
“Hang tight, when the incoming slows get that flank on line!”
Brad nudges his forward observer and points towards the other side of the canyon. “Get the Chucks to hammer their line with HE, then spend all they have on those vehicles, they are all clustered together and stalled by the ones we’ve destroyed already.”
Brad continued to develop the battlefield as he worked a way to withdraw his platoon. He listened to his forward observer make the call as he did so.
“Slingshot, Dog One One.”
“Dog One One send traffic, over.”
“Slingshot adjust fire, drop 20, two rounds HE. Over.”
“Copy. Drop 20, two rounds.”
Dog 11 observed as the two High Explosive 60mm mortar rounds impacted amongst the right flank of the troops that had formed the FACA skirmish line across the ravine.
“Adjust fire, left 30. Six rounds each tube, fire for effect. Over.”
Brad watched the mortars impact as his men continued to struggle to gain fire superiority. The fire mission was having a positive effect on the ground troops, but the armor was still making up for it with their turrets. “Zach, target the M113s with the AP rounds from the 1919, hit the side armor… that shit is aluminum. Prepare to cover bounding withdrawal.”
“Copy.” Zach switched his channel and spoke to his Assistant Gunners, risking a peak above their limited cover for a second. “Gun 1, prepare to go cyclic for a 20 second burst, Gun 2 switch to AP and target the sides of the M113s. Prepare to cover a tactical withdrawal.”
As he received his confirmation from the teams the radio came to life with Corey’s voice.
“Controlled detonation in 10 seconds.”
“One. Fire in the Hole.”
A loud explosion behind the platoon was heard followed by the sound of trees crashing down. The sappers had wrapped a continuous line of detonating cord around the trunks of trees and wired kicker charges towards the top of the trees to push them outward, thus creating an LZ for the incoming helicopter.
As all of this was happening I was in a better position to both direct and encourage the left flank, as well as take occasional shots with my old warhorse. Using the M1D’s less than stellar 2.5 powered optic I was targeting turret gunners in the vehicles. My attempts became fruitless after the mortars started raining down. With my target obscured my focus is on keeping the men and women alive and in the fight. I hear a scream of pain to my right and can see one of our females rolling on the ground clutching her stomach in agony.
I realize the incoming fire is beginning to slow down as our Chucks lay waste to their targets. Taking advantage of it I sprint towards my fallen rifleman… riflewoman, and then trip just in time to land in a heap next to her as she is thrashing about.
Throwing myself forward I grab the shoulder strap on her plate carrier I grunt and drag her up next to me.
“Where are you hit?”
Between gritted teeth she looks at me with fear in her eyes. It’s a look that has haunted my dreams since my tour in Iraq as a young Airman. “LOW! I’m hit low and it hurts! I don’t want to die today!”
I look down and see a blood covered hole down by her hip, but not high enough to have to have damaged her liver. As I open her IFAK and grab a bandage I reassure her. “You’ll live. Understand me? Put pressure and keep it there, we’re getting you
out of here.”
Our radios came alive as Brad spoke. “First Platoon prepare to fall back to the ridge with the Guns providing cover fire. Standby for Willy Pete rounds to impact.”
The Mortar tubes went silent for a short few seconds as they adjusted fire from the now crippled enemy lines to the clustered APCs still proving to be a problem. Within seconds the 60mm tubes were thumping again, this time at a furious pace.
Three things began to happen at the same time. The first was the White Phosphorous rounds began to impact on and amongst the aluminum skinned vehicles, making the interiors extremely hot and uncomfortable but still mostly in action. The second
was the outpouring of fire from the two machineguns, the M240 sending a stream of pullets out, the 1919 Browning letting loose controlled bursts, turning the side of the targeted APC into cheese as the armor piercing rounds cut through the 1.75” thick aluminum plating. The third was our lines jumping up and running towards the top of the hill, with a squad diving into Doc Brady’s position and grabbing wounded. I picked up the wounded female whom I later learned was Airman First Class Long, former Air Force Security Forces. Grunting and letting out a curse I began a fast walk up the hill. Thank fuck she was light because my knees and back are protesting already. Just as we crest the hill I feel like a sledgehammer hit me in my back and we both go flying as I once again forget how my feet work.
Groaning in pain I’m rolled onto my back, and off Long by Corey. “Get up you pussy, it hit your plate. We need to cover the rest of the withdrawal!”
I rolled over and turned around, going prone at the crest of the ridge, I look next to me and find myself next to Tiny. “The fuck? Why aren’t you on the Mark 19… and where the hell is my Jeep?”
“Parked behind us by the LZ, the 19 took a shit on me and is inop. And the Mortars are out of rounds too”.
Our radios come alive with Brad’s voice once again. “Covering fire!”
Our line opens up just as the sound of rotors are heard overhead, followed by the buzz of GAU miniguns and Browning M2’s firing from overhead from the gun ports of three US Army Blackhawks coming in low. The outpour of fire absolutely
annihilating anything left amongst the FFACA lines. As two of the helicopters move in a figure 8 along the length of the ravine to provide continuing fire from a moving target the third comes in for a fast yet perfect landing. Before the tires even hit the
ground the two medics are off the MEDEVAC and running towards the casualty collection area to meet the wounded being brought over.
“Tiny, Long is hit, take her to the bird quick!”
Tiny nods and takes off as I watch our MG squad and Command elements run up as well.
First Platoon had accomplished its mission and popped its cherry but at a price of three dead, seven wounded of which three were critically wounded headed to Camp Petry for surgery and true combat care. My own son one of them, and I left not knowing how the fuck I was going to explain to my wife how our boy snuck onto a truck and managed to get shot.
Little did we know that as we were recovering from our battle 2nd and 3rd Platoons were in their own battle, and all-out war was occurring on I-90 as the Army was fighting for their lives against a column of tanks and everything the United Socialist States of America and her Allies could throw at them.
Thanks for for the update!
The only mistake I saw was the first time you used "javelin" you spelled it "javeline".
Do we get to hear about the battle on I90?
I am glad I got to read and sad it’s over until the next update
thanks for the heads up.
Originally Posted By DFARM:
The only mistake I saw was the first time you used "javelin" you spelled it "javeline".
Do we get to hear about the battle on I90?
yeah the I-90 battle will be written. It's going to be a bitch, and take a while because I'll need to talk with some SME's that can give me some ideas. I dont want to sound like a fool or write shit that would be way the hell off... kinda like when I fucked up the spare barrel detail on the 1919 even though I already knew that.
now for the bad news: ya'll are one chapter away from being caught up, thus it slows to my writing pace.
speaking of which.:
As soon as the McCoy Tactical Operations Center had received a Warning Order from Camp Petry about the incoming USSA forces the camp went into overdrive gearing up. While the recall was given for 1st platoon 2nd Platoon and 3rd Platoon had both been busy preparing for war. LTs Rich, Jake and Brady had gathered to discuss a plan of action over the large map of Salmon Pass that Colonel Simms had placed on his intel table in anticipation of planning meeting. Colonel Simms had ended up as a combination of roles by performing what was traditionally known as S3 (planning) and S2 (intel) positions, he ended up just being called the Operations Officer.
The old man approached the table to fill in the three Junior Officers. “Here’s what we got, this information is about 15 minutes old so keep that in mind. Intelligence sources in Puyallup observed the armored column moving down Highway 410 by Lake Tapps heading south at about 25 miles per hour. Total count was two T-80 MBTs, four BDM-3 IFVs plus six HMMVWs and six troop carrier 5-ton trucks. The troop carriers had their canvas covers over the bed, so a troop count was not possible but at minimum you are looking at 100 infantry.”
Rich cut in, obviously agitated. “Colonel how the fuck does the Army expect two light infantry platoons to stop two tanks and four BDMs? This isn’t like mowing down rag-heads in technicals, who by the way were a pain in the ass on their own. A suicide run is not in the books for my platoon!”
“Lieutenant McCierney I understand your concern, frankly the Army has its own problem because an entire damn tank battalion is heading at them along I-90. Take it from me son, facing armor when you have none is not enjoyable… I know from experience. If this column gets through you nothing will stop them from hitting the town and all our families. If you think they will take it easy on civilians you are wrong. The USSA has already razed towns up and down the coast if it was even thought they were harboring anti-socialist forces.”
Jake cut in “Okay, so we bring every anti-tank weapon we have and hit them at the switchbacks like we did before.”
“No? Colonel, Sir… do you have a better idea?”
Colonel Simms sighed and looked at the map and pointed at the peak of the pass. “This was where you hit them before, it worked against un-trained troops in unarmored vehicles, but it is very close together, has open space for easy targeting and the armor will roll right up on you while having use of their main guns at point blank range.” The Colonel traced his finger down the road a few miles and tapped a point. “Right here. This old access trail heads to the top of the ridge. Get all vehicles behind it and use the steep cliff face 100 yards west as a barrier. You’ll have clear shots for a mile up and a mile down your ambush point. If you space the platoons so one attacks the tail of the column and the other is positioned to hit the front, you’ll have them confused and stuck. Think less like conventional military and more like insurgents on this one”.
Jake nodded his head. “Attack the rear first and get the big guns to traverse back, then hit their front. Tanks first, then APCs, then mop up. It’s a sound plan, and it is gaming out easy, but one fuckup, one misfire from us or one round from the tanks and we could be fucked.”
Simms looked at the two Lieutenants for a second. “Then don’t suck.”
Rich burst into laughter. “Jesus Christ, Pops. You sure have a way of words. Alright. Well let’s see. We have three Javelin launchers plus a dozen rounds, two dozen AT4’s, a Carl Gustav recoilless rifle and some other shit we’ve either been given, stolen from the Army when they weren’t looking or pulled off the dead we’ve killed. Overwhelm them with rockets. God this fucking sucks!”
Simms gave a flat look. “It is what it is boys, time to act like Lieutenants. Go brief your platoons.”
Jake looked at Rich as they walked out. “I guess we gotta look confused and lost as we approach?”
“Something like that.”
The Colonel shakes his head and thinks to himself with a smile. “Damn Mustang officers.”
As the two men walk towards their gathered men Retired Gunnery Sergeant William Latour takes quick notice. “Gunny” Latour spent his career in the deserts of the Middle East fighting as an 0311 Rifleman until an RPG cost him a leg and an early retirement. Rather than let it overwhelm him he owned it and fought tooth and nail to become so proficient with his prosthetic limb that most didn’t even realize he had one. After a three-year fight trying to get back into the Corps he was finally told flat out that there was basically no way in hell he was re-entering the military. To fill his time, he turned his focus towards training the local ROTC as well as teaching carbine and pistol courses to civilians. When the call had gone out for volunteers to fill the ranks of the Triple M he had been the first one to show up at the top of the hill. Now he was Jake’s mentor and right-hand man.
Latour nudged 2nd Platoon’s top NCO and nodded at the pair then walked ten feet to his right and yelled out. “Third Platoon…. FALL IN!”
2nd Platoon’s PSG moved to the left and did the same. “Second Platoon, Fall In!”. Sergeant Richie Lightfeather was a 6’ 3” tall man who took great pride in being ¾ Cherokee. Lightfeather had joined the US Army after graduating high school 10 years earlier. After serving as an infantryman for six years he had decided to call it quits and settle in Eastern Washington near the Yakima area where he used to train. Richie had been assigned to Second Platoon because he and Lt. McCeirney had hit it off so quickly, his three combat tours and CIB carried plenty of weight as well. The two provided Second Platoon with the most experienced combat leadership of the Company and it always showed during the field exercises that were conducted.
The sixty some odd men fell into formation in front of their respective platoon sergeants and stood at attention. As Rich and Jake split and approached their platoons both were met with salutes and reports from their sergeants that all were accounted for.
After both platoons were put at ease they were directed to standby as the squad leaders and platoon sergeants held their briefing. “Smoke them if you got them and don’t go far. We expect members of First Platoon to start rolling in so direct them to their assembly area.
Rich and Jake stood surrounded by their squad leaders. Rich began the briefing.
“Listen up because we don’t have time to fuck around here. This is the situation: the fucking commies to our West have received some serious support from the Russians and probably China as well and have begun an all-out push to the East. Most assets
are rolling down I-90 to face off against the Army, be glad we aren’t them. However, a much smaller force is slowly moving towards Salmon Pass.” Rich paused to spit some of the juice out from the ever-present dip in his lip. “What we are facing will be a medium sized armored column including two Russian tanks, four BDMs and a dozen Hummers and troop trucks. Our job is to destroy them to a man and protect our town.” Rich paused and looked around as the information sunk in.
“Second and Third Platoon will be working together on this one. The plan is to bring as many rockets, missiles and anti-armor weapons we can and hit them from an elevated position along a straight section of the road to the east of the pass’ peak. The tanks are on both ends of the column and will be the primary targets, followed by the BDM’s. If we don’t take them out as fast as we can we’re fucked. Any questions so far?”
Sergeant Lightfeather spoke up. “Sir do we have any artillery or air support?”
Rich shook his head. “No. All of the Army’s big guns have been pushed to stop the advancing Russian tank unit moving down I-90, if there are any air assets available it has not been made known to us. 60mm Mortar rounds won’t help us on this one, El Tee Brady will be setting up the 120mm Mortars the next ridge over, so he can plaster the road into town in case it is needed but we will be way out of range for his support.”
Jake took over the briefing. “Each platoon gets a Javelin launcher with 5 missiles and 15 AT-4 rockets. My platoon takes the Karl-G and 3rd Platoon takes the RPG launcher and rockets we have courtesy of the FACA. While we don’t expect any trouble on the way to the site we want .50s and M-19s on the vehicles and we will need to bring tripods for two of the Ma Deuces so that we can set them up if a suitable spot is found. SLs take smoke grenades and make sure your grenadiers have plenty of 40mm rounds for their 203’s. I want shit done and everyone assembled back here in 20 minutes. Dismissed”.
Jake looked over at Rich, who was staring at the map deep in thought. “What’s on your mind Rich?”
Still looking at the map Rich gave a confident yet quiet response. “If we keep the element of surprise and do this right we could slaughter them and create two very heavy road blocks. We have a lot of ordinance to make it happen but I’m just not confident we have enough experience using them to make it a one hitter quitter. I have a perfect Javelin team plus two of my guys are experienced with AT4’s. I don’t think the Gustav will be useful for this attack, but the Fifties will be if we can get them set. I’ll take the western section of the ridge and initiate the ambush. Sound good?
“I can roll with it. I have a decent team for the Jav as well, and a few that showed promise with the AT4s at the range. If there are no surprises we should be okay. I know we want to move out fast but let’s go look at the table top map one more time, plus I can hear Jim’s truck amongst others coming up the road.”
The two platoons left later than planned but it gave the men time to go over their gear and handle last minute tasks. Jake was anxious as the vehicles moved through the small town on their way to their destination. People lined the streets and waved with a quietness that pulled at him. The fate of folks here was held in the hands of the 1st Mountain. He cleared his head of his thoughts and looked to his left at his driver. The kid was only 18 but full of piss and vinegar, like every young man that joins a
fighting force during time of war.
Jake spoke to him. “Keep calm, maintain your spacing behind the lead vehicle and remember not to panic Reed.”
The young blonde smiled. “Yes Sir.”
Jake then turned to look to the rear seat. “Gunny how’d everyone look?”
Latour looked up at his Platoon Leader and studied him briefly. “Good to go Sir. The desire to protect the town and their loved ones is fueling them. That and hatred of the enemy which is just as well.”
“That’s about what I saw as well. You going to be able to keep up on those shale cliffs alright?”
Latour scoffed. “You’re fucking with me right? Those kids are going to have hell keeping up with me!”
Jake turned around smiling as the vehicles all picked up speed now that they were out of the town’s residential area.
An hour later Jake was listening to the radio and studying the map again when machinegun fire ahead grabbed his full attention.
The lead vehicle in the convoy had just rounded a sharp turn when it was raked with a burst from a light machinegun. The driver watched as the bullets tore a line up his hood, smacked into his bullet prove windshield and then heard the slap of rounds hitting his gunner behind him. He pressed the accelerator and swerved his vehicle to the oncoming lane to give the vehicle behind him a clear lane of fire. Immediately the vehicle’s team leader snatched up the radio and alerted the column.
Before he could give any pertinent information, the machinegun nest was pulverized as vehicle 2’s gunner let loose with his M2 Browning. The gunner in vehicle 2 had seen the muzzle flash and the man in the first vehicle take a round to the chest. Without a second’s delay he had his gun on target, returning fire. The ambushing team had setup underneath a fallen tree at the end of a left-hand curve, giving themselves a spot to shoot straight into the oncoming vehicles. Unfortunately for them they had failed at using adequate cover. The old tree they were using stood no chance against the onslaught of 660 grain bullets that were fired in return. They log was shredded to pieces and then the two-man gun team was as well, followed by a radioman who only had enough time to alert his advancing tank column that intercepting forces were on their way.
Jake frowned at the report of the casualty and cursed at the possibility of the oncoming forces having been alerted to the Triple M’s movement.
“Castle Control, Mike Three Six.”
“Go ahead Three Six”
“Convoy took fire from an MG nest, one friendly KIA and target neutralized. Proceeding towards target destination. ETA twenty mike.”
“Control Copies. Be advised: enemy convoy approximately forty-five, four five mikes out. How Copy?”
“Three Six copies.”
“Two Six copies.”
“Roger, happy hunting boys, Control over and out.”
so far I am at 58,729 words, and 109 pages single space 12 font in Microsoft word. this has become a monster I never envisioned.
Well, it's an enjoyable read so keep at it airman! It's a fun story and it sucks you in. Good job!
I gotta get to writing.
My Muse decided to go on strike during hunting season, but I'll try and coax it forward with a little whiskey tonight... ya'll shouldnt have to wait till the second week of Nov.
Lol. I get that. You can't always just turn on the creativity.
Very cool story
Keep up the good work!
'Tis now the 3rd week of November, hast thou not plied thy Muse with good Whiskey and Venison enough yet to tempt her into releasing thine creative juices?
Originally Posted By 2T2_Crash:
My Muse decided to go on strike during hunting season, but I'll try and coax it forward with a little whiskey tonight... ya'll shouldnt have to wait till the second week of Nov.
sorry for the long delay guys, It's been busy (hunting season, visitors, etc.) the story isnt dead and I've already started the next chapter.
This weekend is late buck then hunting is over and off my mind.
I'm hearing too many excuses and not enough story writing. Lol
Originally Posted By 2T2_Crash:
sorry for the long delay guys, It's been busy (hunting season, visitors, etc.) the story isnt dead and I've already started the next chapter.
This weekend is late buck then hunting is over and off my mind.
We got spoiled with the regular updates but it appears we've "caught up" now.
I didn't want to start reading this until it was almost over but i was bored this afternoon and wanted something to read.
Thanks for the compliment.
hunting season, late buck season both over.
I been slackin, will get writing.
Bump for updates?
Good story. Interesting characters who I can care about. Look forward to more. Merry Christmas.
Wow just caught up with this story. Only complaint is that Pennsylvania gets thrown under the socialist bus. There are over 840,000 vets in the state who would have a problem with a socialist country being declared, and having our guns taken away.
hey guys. First things first, the story isn't dead and I hope you forgive my hiatus... if you cant then in the words of Cory "Eat a Dick."
I'll promise I'll get my lazy ass writing soon.
So: I've gotten chewed on a few times for turning a few states and areas blue, what I tried to imagine was the direction some states would head due to liberal masses taking "nice and fee" areas over... then doing what they do by fucking it all up.
Areas with high patriot populations would most definitely become war zones.
I am humbled that the story has been so well appreciated and it pushed me to write far beyond what originally planned/dreamed up but I'm still kicking/working through where to keep pushing in the world of the McCoys and their A.O.
Don't give up the ship...
Or plane. Or garage made technical. Whatever the case may be.
Great story, cant wait for more!!
Yup, I'm guessing deer season is over by now...
Way over. Lol
Great news! All ball-bustin' aside I do appreciate the time and effort that you and the other authors here put into the work that you post for us. Thank you!
Originally Posted By 2T2_Crash:
yeah... time kinda ran away. and World of Warships sucked me back in.
fear not, I stalled out in the next battle but have started getting it in gear.
The convoy picked up speed to maximize their prep time at the ambush site which was mere minutes away. Drivers cursed their machines trying to get them to give just a few more miles per hour, every second they gained setting up their positions was an increase in their chances of a successful mission.
Private Kenny Smith watched the engine temperature indicator steadily increase as he pushed the lead vehicle forward, he could see their turnoff point, all he needed was just a little bit more from his battered vehicle. At 100 yards distance from the dirt road turnoff he braked and pulled over as steam started spewing from his engine bay. “Fuck!”
Smith and his vehicle commander hopped out of the crippled HMMWV and wasted no time getting it prepped for a tow as the other vehicles in the convoy proceeded up the dirt road. The last vehicle in line would be the recovery vehicle.
LT McCeirney slowed to a quick stop as he came parallel to his platoon’s stranded vehicle. “Good you’re already getting ready for a tow, that thing is still desert tan and stands out like a sore thumb so if you can’t get it moving in five minutes have it shoved off the road and out of sight then link up. Good job back there.”
The two nodded as their platoon leader took off up the road. Private Smith turned and banged on the rear passenger door. “you two get the fuck out, grab everything out of the hummer and stack it, we need to load it and Dan’s body into the rear vehicle which should be a 2.5 ton truck.”
The four scrambled and had everything ready by the time the last vehicle arrived. The truck was loaded within a minute and then positioned to tow, unfortunately the tow strap left in the Hummer was rated for lighter non-armored vehicles and snapped ten feet into the drive up the road. Smith managed to slam on the brakes before rolling too far back, but the tan pain stood out amongst the trees. He smashed his fist into the dash in frustration but didn’t waste any more time. As the two of his squad members hopped out of the tow vehicle Smith pulled the M240 from its mount in the turret and set it aside and climbed back down to his seat thinking of how to ditch his vehicle.
“Piece of shit.” He muttered as he started using a length of 550 cord to secure the steering wheel. The result was a nineteen-thousand-pound vehicle flying down to the road and over the embankment using its weight and the transmission in neutral. While it left a huge hole in the brush along the road it was only seen as you passed it. Shit happens.
Rich had his men scrambling to move to their positions as soon as his vehicles had all cleared the top of the ridge and were under cover. He still needed to take his platoon a half mile down the length of the ridge and get them setup. He didn’t like this plan at all, his training in the late 90’s had included infantry taking on tanks. The plan then was to dig deep and hit from the sides at ground level, not exposed on a ridgeline shooting down with little concealment.
Lightfeather looked over at Rich. “LT I swear I can hear track off in the distance, we need to move.”
“Thanks Richie, especially since I can’t hear for shit. Second Platoon, weapons and ammo, let’s move!”
As they got close to their destination Platoon Sergeant Lightfeather began breaking men off in twos and threes before finally settling in with one his men, plus Doc Rios. He was set in the middle of their lines and watched as his Lieutenant continued along the doing the same as he went until positioning himself at the end of the line with the Javelin team next to a rock cliff face that jutted straight up. The sounds of vehicles coming were clear now and it wouldn’t be long. Richie keyed his radio and called to give his PL his status.
“Two Six, Two Seven set, over.”
“Two Six Copies. Break. Three Six, Two Six. Second in place and ready, over.”
“Three Six Copies, Third platoon set and ready, will hold for you to initiate fire, over and out.”
Rich wiped his brow and looked down his platoon’s ambush line. All were just down and behind the crest of the ridgeline waiting, some men visibly scared as they prepared to face their first test in warfare, others sitting back with grim determination and outward calm. They had been in fights before, some in seemingly impossible to survive situations. Rich then looked at his Javelin team, both men calm and waiting, launcher in hand and reload within arm’s reach. “We let the convoy pass us, then hit the rear guard with the Javelin. It should be a tank, if it’s not then hit the rear most tank and then we’ll target the last vehicle in line after.”
Rich positioned himself so that he could observe the road without being seen and watched as the first vehicles came into view. The convoy looked alert, gunners were alert and scanning the area as they drove, cannons were arced up and aimed at potential danger points. The LT let out a low curse. “They are expecting trouble. That ambush team must have got a call out. Don’t waste time, get the shot off as fast as you can when I give the word.”
“No problem.” The Man holding the Javelin was a prior Marine and had used this weapon platform many times in Afghanistan. He couldn’t count how many mud huts, bunkers or moving vehicles he had destroyed with the rocket, and it never got old when he watched the warhead impact and detonate. He had never destroyed a tank though, this would be fun.
When the last vehicle came into view it was indeed the second tank. Though it’s main gun was pointed to the six o’clock position, the tank’s flank was covered by the 30mm cannon belonging to the BDM-4 in front of it.
Rich looked at the Javelin team. “New target, hit that BDM first, reload and drill that fucking tank ASAP, understood?”
“You got it Sir.”
Jake was less than thrilled with the situation as he counted off the vehicles that came into view, the two tanks were positioned at the front and rear of the column as reported with a BDM next to it, followed by a mix of 4 HMMVWs, 10 2.5ton passenger trucks loaded with troops and the additional two APCs spaced between the pax carriers. The good news was that the vehicles were traveling tightly together which made it easier to target and hit them, the bad news was they looked ready for a fight. Jake groaned inwardly as he wished he had a couple of his beloved Cobras on standby.
As the convoy moved below, Randy couldn’t hold his curiosity anymore and had to see what was going on. Randy was the son of a local rancher as well as a former football star in Highschool. War had come to his doorstep, pushing him to join up with the local militia that was in the hills miles away from him. The physical training had been easy for him as well as marksmanship training since he had always been a hunter. Unfortunately for Randy he lacked the discipline that could have saved his life.
Randy crawled to the top of the ridgeline and peered through the scope on his rifle. The faintest glint of light grabbed the attention of one of the BDM-4 gunners in the middle of the convoy who reacted immediately by rotating his cannon to the area he saw the light from and let loose with a burst of rounds from his 30mm gun. The hillside erupted in dirt, rock and body parts as Randy was shredded to pieces. The APC gunner from Portland Oregon didn’t have time to celebrate as all hell broke loose in response.
Thanks for the new chapter!
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