Dear Preppers and Survivalists,
United States Army Photographer
Even though realistic events would have prevented the next two stories from happening, I had to write them, being a former soldier.
With his first shot, and missing, with the McMillan .50 caliber bolt-action rifle, Dan realized he had made a mistake not zeroing the rifle but he wasn't concerned. He knew, he could always change the 'hold' on future targets.
"Sir, the lead element is receiving fire." the major's RTO reported as he handed the radio mike to the column's commander.
"Captain, have the lead platoon seek cover and hold in place." ordered the major into the offered microphone
"Next, try and identify the shooters' positions."
Waving to a small group of soldiers, one with a radio, the major motioned them forward. When the FO and his RTO arrived, he ordered "We have a group of soldiers engaging our lead elements, work up some grid coordinates, so ..."
Before the major could finish, the Forward Observer was orienting his map as the RTO was speaking into his radio's microphone.
A few minutes later, the major's RTO said "The lead company reports the shooters are on a ridge about 1,000 meters from their position."
Without looking up, the FO raised his hand towards his RTO and said into the mike that was handed to him "Fire mission, over"
The major couldn't hear what was said, but he knew the artillery battery covering the columns approach into Potlatch was repeating the FO's words.
As the FO said "Grid; Niner, One, Tree, Fife, Tree, Niner, Niner, Eight, over" the FO's Radio Telephone Operator wrote in a small book, recording the coordinates for an after action review, later in the day.
After waiting patiently for the artillery's fire control center to reply, the FO said "Troops in the open and dug in, over" describing the target then "Fire for effect, over." as he handed the radio's microphone back to his RTO then looked up to observe the artillery rounds falling on the reported location.
After watching the earth erupt, the column's commander motioned for the mike and ordered the lead company commander "Have your lead platoon recover our dead and wounded, and the following platoon take the lead into Potlatch."
Listening, the major replied "Have the motorcycle loaded into one of the following trucks, unless we have a scout that can safely ride it."
Listening again, he replied "No, don't send anyone into the hills. If we take fire again, we'll stop, take cover, and call for fire, just as we practiced."
With that, the column restarted its march to secure Potlatch, Idaho.
The 'Hunter-Killer' teams were organized as a five man team. One sniper, one sniper's spotter, one radio telephone operator, one Forward Observer, and a team leader. All members of the team could do the other team members' task, but it was more efficient to have a highly skilled soldier doing what he did best.
The teams would insert into hostile territory a few weeks in advance of a column moving forward. They would set up 'hides' in areas where they could cover likely enemy patrol bases, meeting points, and other key areas.
Their mission ... to kill the enemy.
HK Team Epsilon
"Dude, I tell you, the insurgents are a three man team organization. They have males and females intermixed on their teams"
"Are you saying, they can have sex with another person on patrol."
Quietly laughing, the team leader replied "What! You don't like kissing a scruffy face?"
The sniper laughingly replied, "Only if it's you sarge. Only if it's your's"
About then, the TA-1 silently clicked, signally an incoming call from the observation post fifty years from the hunter-killer team's hide.
"Yo, yo, yo" the RTO said into the sound powered telephone as he pressed the talk button.
The voice on the TA-1 said "We have a small patrol of nine moving in the valley. They have rifles and appear moving towards the west."
"Roger, a small patrol moving towards the west" the RTO said back into the telephone.
Listening to the short conversation, the team leader said "Ask the OP team the small patrol's sexes."
The RTO spoke into the TA-1, listened then replied "They're not sure, but it seem there are at least three females and six males, sarge"
"O.K., have them keep watching for other patrols." the team leader replied
Looking at the team's sniper, he ordered "Get on the radio and report to HQ about this patrol"
HK Team Zantra
Nudging the man next to him awake, the RTO reported "Sarge, we just got a call from higher. It seems there is increased activity of insurgents in larger groups."
Instantly awake, the team leader replied 'Sure. ... Call the LP/OP and tell 'em I'm on my way to them. Cool?"
After getting dressed, which involved lacing his boots, grabbing his rifle, and taking a swig of water from his canteen, Hunter-Killer Zantra's team leader sneaked seventy-five meters to the team's observation post.
As he approached the LP/OP, the team leader heard a very soft "Hurbert?"
The team leader stopped and replied "Donuts" then proceeded to the LP/OP.
Entering the LP/OP, he heard the same complaint for the millionth time "Who thinks up these signs and counter signs?"
Ignoring the FO, he asked "Seen anything?"
"Yeah, we saw a small group doing a recon on a hilltop about three clicks from here."
"What did it look like?"
"There was a team of five with a lot of gesturing by two of the group. They looked like part of a 'leadership' team." the sniper's spotter replied
"You sure they weren't looking for us?" the team leader asked
"No, definitely looked like a recon mission for something like a practice area or patrol base." replied the spotter.
"O.K. ... keep an eye out for larger groups, cool?"
"Cool" the FO said
After BSing with them, the team leader left the LP/OP and made his way back to the hide to shit, shower, shave, and think a little bit.
Early the next day, the TA-1 from the LP/OP buzzed indicating an incoming call.
Picking up the sound-powered phone, the team leader heard "We got a very large group on hilltop Delta. Looks to be about fifty fighters"
"O.K. prepare to hunker down. I'm calling in a fire mission."
"Roger that, sarge." the LP/OP replied
Removing a map from his cargo pocket and turning on the radio, the team leader didn't know he was getting ready to destroy the Keane Team and the Moscow Marquis, effectively removing organized resistance in the Moscow, Troy, Potlatch area of operations.