SSG Giessen’s call on the US Cavalry platoon’s net triggered a response disproportionate to the boyish pitch of his voice. As Lt. Hall’s driver violently veered the command HMMV into the road’s shoulder, the sound of small rocks thrown into the vehicle¹s belly by the fast spinning wheels could still be heard above all the loud cursing. Lt. Hall leaped out of the vehicle in a less than jovial mood. His back towards the still to be seen tank threat, Hall walked to SSG Giessen’s Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vechicle (CFV) making all kind of gestures. “-If you’d throw Lt Hall into the water when he is cursing, his arm-swinging would make him swim!”, one of the troopers once said about the lieutenant ’s less than subtle body language. The whole scene looked like a fender bender, all the way down to a road-raged front-vehicle driver. Except that this time the vehicles were tactically separated by 25 yards, the real collision was still to happen and it would result in more than fenders being broken.
SSG Giessen deserved some scolding: the word “tank” on the platoon’s net meant one and only one thing and that is the caller being in contact with a tank. Giessen had actually seen a tank icon in the Force XXI Battlefield Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) screen of his vehicle. According to the system, the tank was supposed to be just around the road bend, less than 100 meters downstream the road. The SSG just wanted everybody to stop but found no other way than the “tank” call to do it. Actually, Lt Hall’s rage had nothing to do with Giessen’s misuse of radio calls. The platoon under his command was one hour behind schedule and was frantically trying to link up with the rest of Troop A. Lt Hall’s thought his platoon was traveling through interior lines, a notion rapidly smashed by SSG Giessen’s radio call. To make things worse, earlier in the morning, Lt Hall had to make the tough decision of letting his only tank behind, waiting for the repair of a broken torsion bar. Things were not going good for 1st Platoon.
To be continued ...