Monday, February 12, 2007

My first combat mission...

Well, to be totally honest, it wasn't quite a "combat" mission as most of us would of hoped for. You can feel the tension rising in the company as we leave the wire more and more and nothing happens. Before I switched to this unit, they went to Iraq on another deployment (late 2005) but it was guarding a prision. Durring that deployment they didnt do combat missions, and no one truely experienced "combat" here in Iraq. So myself along with many others, have gone a long time in the Army and not had our "chance" if you will.

So anyways, we actually had our first mission that came down for us to do. Other than going on convoys, or the few times a few of us got to go out on patrol with another unit, we havent had any real missions come down, so we were quite excited. This mission was to search a suspected VBIED (Vehicular Borne Improvised Explosive Device) manufacturing area. The VBIEDs are these huge car bombs they keep setting off in markets and killing dozens if not hundreads of people at a time. It wasnt huge area, but it was pretty big for the amount of people we had to go through it. An all day mission.

We ended up staying the night at a closer base, but that meant, nowhere to sleep. We had to sleep on the ground and I pretty much froze my ass off. Yes it gets cold at night here. The next morning everything started coming together. We had our unit, Strykers, a few other units and some IA (Iraqi Army). We all got ready and headed out. Along the way somehow we got stuck in a huge traffic jam and pretty much stood still for about 45 mins until somehow we made a clearing for our convoy. I didnt like that just sitting there in the truck. So once we got there, the end of the convoy, where I was, was about a block up the road so we dismounted and started hauling ass down to where I was supposed to link up with my squad. I can only imagine what the Iraqi's thought when they saw 50+ guys dismount and start hauling balls down the road. hahah! :) Well we finally got to our corner and my first mission was to put up this stupid poster. I dont know what it said, nor do I care. I imagine it was something pro-american/iraqi government or something about helping us get the bad guys. Either way I told everyone that when they got to the corner, look for the jackass getting shot at while putting up a poster, and that would be me! No one shot at me for the record.

From there my squad ran a block down the street to this Iraqi police station to do some stuff there. After we we're done, we ran back up the block and around to our squads sector. We had to clear the "homes" on the outer wall of this industrial complex so we went in, searched everyone and everything. Then we went into our actual sector. Once in there, we had some help from a guy that lived in that industrial area with unlocking some of the buildings. If he didnt have a key tho, we either kicked in or cut locks or pryed doors open. One way or another, we got into every bulding and room and cleared and searched it all. I actually got a good video of me slaming into this door until it opened, but its way to big to upload on this shitty internet.

The whole time we we're out there, you'd hear a few shots fired here and there, but nothing major. Well at one point me and my team we're behind this vehicle pulling security for the other team as we moved down this road when again i heard a couple of shots from an AK-47. Thought nothing of it until I heard it again. Then i heard the distinct sound of a 3 round burst from a M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon; one of our weapons that is a fully auto rifle shooting the same rounds my rifle shoots) That caught my attention. There was a little lull and I thought it was over until all of a sudden a few more shots from the AK went off and all hell broke lose for about 30 seconds. Even a few explosions were heard. I could hear the pop of rounds as they flew over my head and I got a little lower behind the truck until i realized how stupid I was being. The rounds werent anywhere near mean. I've worked a range back on bragg where you had to put up targets behind the bunker people were shooting at and then mark where they hit. Those rounds went right over your head and that made a distinct snaping and whizzing sound. This was not that so they definatly werent close. Anyways, I remeber thinking that it was another platoon from my company getting into it and I was pissed they we're getting to see some action and I was doing nothing except sucking in this industrial complex. Well it ended up being the guys that cordoned off our area (not from our unit) that had the quick engagement. Good, didnt have to hear the stories from everyone when I got back!

Well all in all, we found nothing. Spent all day going through EVERYTHING and found nothing. But I guess thats how most missions are they say. 90% of the time you find nothing and nothing happens. Its that 10% that we live for. We also we're told to be looking out for these 3 vehicles they believed were rigged to blo, ready to go and just needed drivers, but we found nothing. Strangely enough the next day (today) three VBIEDs went off in a market place just down the street from here killing like 80 people. (see this link:,2933,251401,00.html for the story). Guess we just missed them or we were in the wrong spot. Who knows.

On the ride back I got to ride back in a Stryker. I've always loved them, and still do, but dont ever want to be in one. They are so crowded and it was incredible uncomfortable. Even more so than the Humvee, which is impossible to imagine. Went on QRF (quick reaction force) today, but nothing happened during our watch so we didnt end up going out.

So yeah thats about it for now. Starting to get pretty busy so I should have some more of these blogs for yall in the near future.

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1 comment:

Haole Wahine said...

Video? Have any copies to share?