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Home Deployment 2012 Operation BlackJack (Completed Jan 2012)

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Operation BlackJack (Completed Jan 2012) PDF Print E-mail
Written by LightningUK   
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 00:00

 

OPERATION BLACKJACK

By LightningUK

 

blackjacklt

 

Operation Blackjack (Jan 2012) was made and designed by Reality Gaming Simulations. The mission content and ojectives are CLASSIFIED due to their political nature. This operation was not authorised by any government. Below is an after action report, declassified April 2013.

 

allsigns and roles

Highroller – Command units, tasked operating the prisoner-carrying vehicle.
Gambler 1-2 – Mounted infantry, operating mounted weapons on vehicles or disembarking to deal with any threat.
Blackjack 1-1 – Convoy drivers
Talon 1-1 – UH1-Y Venom
Talon 1-2 – AV8-B equipped with GBU laser-guided ordinance
Talon 1-3 – AV8-B equipped with FFAR rockets and 500lb bombs.
Rover 1-1 – Additional support units

 

Lightning UK (Greybeard) circa 2012 - Squad Leading GAMBLER 1-1

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Mission development

The convoy embarked from Camp Reality on time as a convoy of 4 vehicles. However, after reaching the T-Junction located at ref. 155811, the SUV carrying Rover 1-1 was deemed inappropriate for the task, as it was unable to cope with the muddy terrain. The vehicle was secured on site and recovery was arranged with the Camp Reality quartermaster. Rover 1-1 joined Highroller in the prisoner vehicle for the remainder of the mission.
Terrain through the mountains was challenging as expected, and progress was further slowed due to the necessary caution for mines and IEDs; however the first 12 kilometres were uneventful.
After reaching the T-Junction at 092891, a Afghan civilian was found digging a mass grave. After securing him, he reported that he had been made to dig the grave by insurgents, and warned of IED and enemy presence on the road ahead.
Gambler proceeded up the eastern road, encountering one IED and safely bypassing it. Reaching a crest in the terrain at 097921, the convoy happened upon an enemy Ural transport truck, which unloaded troops and engaged the element.
Gambler 1-1 disembarked the vehicles and provided sustained fire from a ridgeline onto enemy positions, however the enemy were obscured by dense vegetation. The convoy backed up out of the line of fire, however moderate infantry casualties were sustained from heavy machine gun fire. Talon 1-1 was dispatched within 5 minutes to provide the platoon with reinforcements.


The remaining units held their position before pushing for higher ground to the north east of the t-junction, gaining the advantage. The element came under fire from a BTR, and the squad was held in position for around 10 minutes.
Talon 1-1 arrived with reinforcements and laser designation equipment which were delivered behind the platoons position, and then provided support in way of FFAR strike and eliminated the BTR. Talon 1-1 then returned to base.
Unpinned, the squad returned to the vehicles, and the decision was made to push through the enemy lines to deliver the prisoners. This was aided by accurate laser-guided ordinance from Talon 1-2, and further fire support from Talon 1-3, who neutralized several enemy technical vehicles on the route of the convoy. Following a short firefight, all ground units mounted the convoy and proceeded to camp Branca.
The convoy made the final stretch out the mountains and proceeded along the highway to Camp Branca at speed, escorted by Talon 1-1 and 1-3.

 

One of our many mission objectives

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Analysis of Outcomes

All prisoners were successfully delivered to Camp Branca on time
Additionally, the civilian informant was also secured and provided valuable intel for the mission.
Enemy strength was well observed in the western valleys

Performance

Operation casualties were higher than acceptable, and the ambush caused organization issues within the platoon while command was re-established and the position secured.
All vehicles were accounted for, with no damage.

Summary

The mission was a success, however the casualty count was higher than anticipated. Command had wanted to avoid using rotary-wing aircraft to transport the prisoners, however their presence was required regardless for reinforcements, thus the benefits of a land convoy were overlooked.

Recommendations

Future convoys should be lead with a highly-mobile scout unit which can assess enemy strength on the fly ahead of the main convoy
Further drilling in convoy operations, especially disembarking.
Further drilling in the Afghan mountains, so that soldiers may gain a better familiarity of the terrain

 

 

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 April 2013 10:06