09 August 2009

Counter Battery...or, "How to clean up the town."

From the Soldier side: In July 2005, my team and I were working with the Marines again. I've talked about the Jarheads at Camp Gannon a few times in the past. They had one company of grunts to cover an area that should have had ten times that number. That camp was right in the Syrian border....(remember I've said it was so close I could throw rocks into Syria...and I did just so I could tell the story later.)
Anyway...there seemed to be a few insurgentassholes who wanted to attack the camp a few times a day. Sometimes it was taking a pot shot at the guys on the outpost. Sometimes, they'd fire a mortar round or two into the camp. The problem with Camp Gannon was...it was so small that anytime a mortar round landed in the camp, it was going to damage something or somebody. We had to wear our K-pots and body armor all the time there...even to go to the bath room. By the time my team was there in July, there were few generators still working and only 2 "buildings" with working A/C. All the rest had been blown up.
When it's over 100 F, you really want to have working A/C. 'And wearing the body armor all the time just wore you out. It was hard to sleep in the building we were living in, so most of the time I'd go sleep in the medic bunker.
So, if some insurgentasshole was firing a mortar at you almost everyday....what would you do? I know I'd want to kill the sonofabitch. So did the Marines. But here's the trick. The little Hajji assholesinsurgents would set up a mortar tube, prepare a few rounds....launch them...then run away. They'd wait a while, then come back and pick up the mortar tube. Cowards. That kind of person deserves no mercy.
In many Army an Marine camps they had a tool called Counter Battery Radar. This device has a radar antenna spinning around looking for missiles and mortar rounds flying through the air. When it sees one or more...it figures out where they came from. When set up correctly, and used by people who know what they're doing...it works well.
The Marines knew how to use it. One day, the Hajji insurgentassholes fired a few mortar rounds into the camp. The Marines were ready this time. They responded with 10 rounds of HE on target. Then they waited 5 minutes, and sent 10 more rounds. Then waited 10 minutes and sent 5 more rounds. Then waited a few more minutes and sent 10 more rounds.
Then they waited 15 minutes...and sent the last 10 rounds.
After that...that camp was never hit with mortar rounds again.
You see by waiting, they got the assholeinsurgents when they came back to pick up their mortar.


Coffeypot said...

And you couldn't go after them because they were in Syria? Why go, though, when you have accurate fire support.

CI-Roller Dude said...

Sorry, I should have made it clear...the insurgentassholes were in Iraq. If they attacked from Syria, that would have been a different story.

Wrexie said...

Seeing the pattern can be a very usefull thing...even in the civilian world.

I'm so glad you made it through that safely...

Anonymous said...

I like what I read in your Blog.
It comes right to the point and pulls no punches. The stuff is informative and interesting.
Thank you for your Service.
Normandy D Day Vet