Monday, November 10, 2008

Another Night of Raids

Another series of night hits last night. Little less lean and mean this time, as the primary OBJ, a suspected IED factory, drew all sorts of attention. The division CDR rolled out, with his advisory team, a full BN provided the cordon--with their advisory team--and coalition forces out of Thunder Squadron back us up with some armor and infantry. The Blue Force Tracker looked like coalition forces thought it was nickel pitcher night at the Mosul Hooters.
MG M showed up on scene and took charge, as is his wont, as soon as the dilapidated house that served as a "factory" was secured. BG H decided that too many cooks were about to spoil the stew and grabbed his raiders, a couple of the informants, me and my terps, and headed out. We basically spent the night/morning sprinting through the city on foot looking for persons of interest that the informers could point out. Good time, and we netted some no-shit bad guys, but we generated some serious fodder for our (Mungadai team internal) AAR.
First, because we are a small battlefield element, and because they don't augment Transition Teams with any infantrymen up here in Mosul, my PSD consists of a couple guys (or a single guy) from the team. Unfortunately, they also pull crew duties in other vehicles. I didn't have time to dismount them and get them oriented if I was going to keep up with BG H. Although BG H rolls with his PSD, and they're pretty good, none of them have any night-vision or -firing technology, so if I didn't stick with him, he was significantly more vulnerable. I made the decision to haul ass and try to keep the team up on my location via FM coms.

That didn't work out so well. Comms were intermittent, and when they did work the loudest sound in the ville was my radio breaking squelch. I turned down the volume enough so that we weren't announcing our presence on each city block we ran through, but that meant I couldn't hear anything over my labored breathing (hey, I weigh about 310 lbs. with armor, weapons, ammo, radio, and NVGs. BG H operates at his normal weight, plus shoulder-holstered pistol. I had put out some effort to keep up the city-wide sprint. Get off my back, okay?).

So, from now on my PSD rides with me, period. I was pretty comfortable with the situation, as I've operated similarly in other situations, but some of the Mungadai were expressing a wee bit of consternation at the extreme, uh, fluidity of the situation. Actually, fluidity isn't the word used, but the word used did start with an F.

So, we're working on getting more tactically agile vehicles for night raids, the PSD will always travel on my victor, and I need to procure a better/bigger radio for dismount operations (for my PSD to carry. Heh.).

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