Message in Blood – Task Force 67’s LT07′ AAR on Stirling Airsoft’s Op Jupiter
We again welcome LT07 from Task Force 67 for another guest editorial.
He’s turned a truly superb piece documenting his, and TF 67’s time spent at Stirling Airsoft’s Op Jupiter.
We’ll deliberate no further, get the coffee on and enjoy his superbly immersive AAR
Stirling Airsoft’s Op Jupiter
This is the first time Stirling have used this location for one of their combat missions. ‘The Trees’ as the site is aptly called is located near Hereford in Wales. After a hefty drive down from the North East of England, three members of Taskforce 67 arrived. As this was only a 24Hr event we set up for a nights camping with the other players of the event. After the usual chit chat and gear drooling amongst the assembled attendees we’ve become friends with within the MilSim scene we settled down for the first uncomfortable nights sleep.
Saturday July 15th
Up at around 08:00 Hrs and after preparation of our gear was complete, we sat through a thorough and comprehensive safety brief from Stirling event staff. Usual stuff we have all heard a thousand times but also paramount, ultimately, for ensuring a good event. After a short pause another comprehensive brief on the scenario, mission objectives, HVT’s, weather/daylight – night time cycles and various call signs roles was carried out. Fully briefed, setup with comms and medic tabs we were ready to go…..
Scenario was members of the OpFor were attempting to carry munitions and weapons across a boarder from Chad to Central African Republic (CAR). Taskforce Chad were deployed to disrupt the movement of arms, identify weapon caches/depots and kill any HVT’s in the area.
Taskforce 67’s call sign was 6/1, we were one of three long range reconnaissance patrols tasked with inserting covertly over the boarder to identify remote weapons caches and the main harbour area of the OpFor.
All three ‘recce’ call signs pushed out ahead of the main vehicle mounted convoy. Tasking was to advance and secure the main harbour area where the vehicles would stage from. Packing only our daysacks we loaded our main Bergen’a up on the vehicles and pushed out to secure the harbour area.
After crossing a field we then found ourselves in thick pine forest on a track heading up to the harbour area. We followed the track up a steep incline (nothing like a good bit of phys’ first thing to get the heart pumping) then cut off the track and carved a path through the forest area to the harbour area position.
Around 20 minutes after establishing up harbour area the OpFor decided to carryout a pretty substantial probing attack of the area sending possibly around 20 guys. A ‘stand to’ was called and around 30-45mins of fighting occurred before OpFor broke contact and retreated back to their plethora of camps in the surrounding area.
All three ‘recce’ call signs were given areas of the site to insert and gather as much intel as possible while staying covert. Orders on contact …. Defensive, break contact and regroup. As a 3-man call sign we knew stealth was best adopted here.
We left the harbour area and followed out planned route, we instantly found out how difficult the terrain was for this site. Very steep gradient slopes with soft ground littered with either pine needles making it very slippery – the dead foliage made it hard to judge the gradient you were trying to traverse. The sheer size of the site as well is hard to judge but easily under estimated.
We hiked covertly through the areas staying undetected before eventually crossing the fictitious boarder into the enemy heartland. After an absolute gruelling accent to the farthest boundary of the site we found ourselves deep in opforterritory. It didn’t take long before we stumbled upon a rather well concealed LUP point of 3 OpFor.
We then searched the area for intel, took photos of the EKIA and then rapidly left the area to observe some pre determined points on the map.
During our ‘recce’ phase it came across on the comms that 6/2 call sign had found the enemy’s main harbour area including command tent and vehicle staging area. We decided to head up to their grid reference and assist by setting up an Op on the north side behind their camp. After some slow moving and negotiating another ascent we reached a point around 100m west of their main camp. We then took a pause to eat food and resupply before moving in closer.
After stalking our way in we found the camp approx. 50m in front of us to the east. We initially observed from this point but decided we were too exposed so moved into the thick bracken near by. Over the course of a couple of hours we moved crawling through the bracken 01N in the lead 05N on rear security until we were with 15-20m of the edge of the OpFor main camp.
Once in position we sat and observed for around 3-4Hrs, enemy movements, basher positions, vehicles and troop numbers via an ad hoc ‘What’s App’ comms network setup with ‘Zero’ (command Net). We stayed in position as our team had brought our NVG’s ready in case we were out till after dark.
Around 23:30Hrs equipped with our NVG’s a small patrol pushed out of the north side of their camp missing us by around 5m as the went past. Initially we thought they were going out on their own night raid but around 30 mins later they returned as a 4-5 man team and literally stumbled upon us. We had to blow our cover and engage, as we did so we took two of them out but the remainder had us zeroed in and killed all three of us.
We returned to the harbour area around 11 hours after we left it, debriefed Zero and had some well deserved down time.
We were woke around 0200Hrs by Zero who asked if we wanted to accompany Stirling Sabre callsign to lead them into the enemy camp. We instantly jumped at the chance for some payback and green eyed mayhem.
Geared up and set off on the WMIK where we dropped short to hike the rest of the way in. Whilst patrolling in with TF 67 as the point element and me as point man. We ran into a well defend forward element and I was hit whilst a short firefight followed with the rest of the patrol being pushed back.
Alone, separated from my call sign, the OpFor element medic’d my injuries, searched me for intel (again nothing found) and then continued to interrogate me on patrol numbers, assets and resources. I held fast and gave them nothing but my name, before they got bored ‘executed’ me and cut me loose to return to base.
That was the end of the night raid. I linked up with the rest of the patrol at the WMIK and we returned to the harbour area for some much needed rest.
Sunday 17th July
08:00 Hrs TF67 call sign 6/1 woke to find the rest of the all the call signs were moving out on a huge assault to break the forward enemy elements and push onto their main harbour area. After breaking down our basher, packing kit and getting some scran, we linked up with the forward command element at the WMIK’s – we went as out three man unit and pushed out to the main enemy harbour area as we had the previous day.
We engaged in several small frenetic firefights along the way, usually ones other call signs were already engaged in. Once we separated we carefully patrolled back across the north side before spotting a small 2-3 man security team positioned where our OP was the previous day. 01N stayed high while myself and 05N flanked low. 01N then laid down diversionary fire while myself and 05N then came from the flanking position and assaulted up. We took down the three guys then moved on.
We had now entered the very outer peripheryof the enemy camp, we had picked up a ‘friendly’ straggler who got lost, we now had a 4-man fire team.
As we advanced we came under heavy resistance causing myself and the tag along to be hit. 01N and 05N did a great job of engaging the enemy whilst trying to get back to medic us back in.
Unfortunately, a huge enemy hunter force of around 20 guys tracked back and engaged them from the rear. Under heavy sustained fire 01N and 05N were down and that, was the end of our assault …
So, back to the forward command WMIK’s which was regen. After a short pause we were asked to move forward to observe for huge enemy movements.
As we pushed forward the WMIK’s came under fire so the three of us flanked round and engaged a small patrol of 4 or 5 OpFor from their rear taking out all of them.
We then linked up with the vehicle mounted Scimitar guys from Scotland before EndExwas called. Leaving us on a high from a great final firefight getting the drop on some unsuspecting OpFor.
After a final gathering of all Taskforce Chad and Opfor for a debrief we called it a day chatting with out friends on both sides to recount our own stories of what made this weekend great.
A big thanks to all the Stirling guys who made the event, good taskings, good comms (at times – laughs – damn trees) and of course the rest of the call signs for support and intel. Additional thanks to the OpFor who in my opinion played their role brilliantly and were well in character for the whole weekend.
Taskforce 67 are looking forward to play this site again, although the terrain is hard going this site can only get better. We are also looking forward to future events at Catterick where a few of TF67 will link up with Scimitar, Gun Ho and Stonehammer to make two Northern element call signs.
Looking forward to seeing the aftermath of that one …
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