Monday, May 7, 2007

Far From Washington & London, Professional Soldiers At Work

Michael Yon provides us with another exceptional post on his operations with British soldiers in Basara, including a detailed description of a night ambush against Iraqis (or Iranians, or Iranian-trained Iraqis), laying IED's:

The enemy lays bombs in the roads here by various methods. One method is the “pop and drop,” where one or two men can walk or drive up and lay a bomb in seconds and be gone. These are quick to lay, but usually easy to spot, and generally smaller in size. Larger bombs followed by complex attacks (i.e., after the bomb explodes, the enemy attacks with other weapons while our side is trying to rescue their friends), are more challenging to lay. One team will show up and dig the hole. At night, in Iraq, if a man is digging a hole on or near a road, he can be shot without warning. The special operations soldiers call these hole-diggers “pipe swingers.” Pipe swingers are generally just hired labor. It is important to stop pipe swingers, but they are as plentiful and easy for the enemy to replace as the frogs in this marsh.

A second team lays the actual bomb, while a third team lays out the command wire (or other firing system) and attacks us, often with follow-on rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and rifles, and mortars, and also with secondary bombs which are very effective in killing rescuers.

Crowley spoke into his headset, “Jav 1, I need to know when you’ve got a target solution if you get one on those guys who are digging by the Charlie.” Moments passed and radio calls went around, the Crowley said, “Ah roger, it’s not necessary that we identify them as digging it’s just whether we can identify the pax [passengers]. If Kilo four-four has identified them as digging and we’ve got the pax, we’ve got sufficient clearance to fire.” . . .

Read the entire post here. Why do we have to rely on Michael Yon for this type of reporting. In the New York Times, I cannot remember the last embed story of note. No, I take that back. There was an extensive article the other day. It really told the personal story . . . of suicide bombers from Jordan.

1 comment:

billm99uk said...

Meanwhile the BBC has a reporter embedded with the Taliban. It's freaking depressing. If it was 1942 they'd probably have a guy in Hitler's Chancery...


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