Saturday, October 20, 2012

Insurgency in the North Caucasian Federal District - War Stories From the Front Lines: # 2 Firefight at a Crash Site Near Novopavlovsk

Starshina Innokenti Engovatov, a quartermaster with the 135th Motorized Rifle Regiment (Russian 58th Army), explains how his team engaged a group of insurgents near a helicopter crash site.

We spent a whole morning in the vicinity of Pyatigorskiy (25 km south of Mineralnye Vody) purchasing repair parts from civilian shops. These parts were for some of our off-road vehicles back at the airbase. We were a team of 5 men and, at the request of our battalion commander, we were issued full combat equipment. At that time we were not briefed about insurgent activity in the area, but judging from the intense activity and preparations at Mineralnye Vody it was evident that hostilities were imminent.

Around noon, we could hear distant sounds of heavy weapons southeast of our position. Some 20 minutes later we spotted a flight of two Ka-50 attack helicopters flying at medium altitude. One of the helicopters seemed to be having trouble flying. Eventually, both aircraft sank in the distance, hidden by patches of woods and hills. It was when only one of the aircraft emerged from the distant terrain and became visible again that we suspected something has gone wrong.

We contacted our Battalion HQ to report a possible helicopter downing but nobody back there had any information about sorties being airborne that morning. 
We decided to investigate and drove towards the suspected crash site. I estimated a distance of around 10 km. We rapidly got lost and had to rely on civilian's assistance to get back on our way. In one of our stops, we were approached by a civilian who directed us even more precisely. The two helicopters flying low in the country side were certainly not a usual sight for the civilians and rumors were spreading like wild fire through the area.

Two hours later, we finally reached our destination. Unfortunately, a team of insurgents already made it to the landing/crash site. We geared up and approached the site very carefully.

An attack helicopter, seemingly undamaged, was surrounded by an insurgent team.

The range to the insurgent team was above 600 meters. We were outnumbered and closing in for an assault would have put us at a significant disadvantage. I decided to engage the insurgents with our RPK, which has an almost insignificant increased effective range and better sustained rate of fire. I hoped to spook the insurgents out of the vicinity of the helicopter. 

The view from the iron sights of our RPK.  The insurgents are in the far background. We spent two full cartridges of ammunition and we downed no less than four insurgents. The firefight was not too long (around 4 minutes) and the insurgents fired back occasionally. I guess that for the most part, they just couldn't see and target us properly. 
After killing most of the insurgents around the helicopter, we closed in through the open field in a linear formation.  Although it would have been more tactically sound to approach using some concealment at our right flank,  we saw just 3 insurgents running away towards the hills ... We had the numerical advantage and I wanted fully shared fields of fire for my entire team!

We were overly cautious. Whenever in doubt about where those insurgent runaways were, we shot ... This is me firing a grenade towards our right flank.
The attack helicopter had significant battle damage, but it looked recoverable.
Half an hour after the firefight, combat troops joined us and secured the site.


Anthony "Desdinova" Mercando said...

I can't blame you for being cautious. Crawling up the right flank in the foliage might've given you the edge in your attack, and allowed you to close to UGL range. Good work tying this in with your other post. I'd love to see more like this.

VfBMax said...

Hello I love your Blog. But I don't understand.... Are these scenario made by you or downloaded? What ARMA version is this? And what about the DCS Black Shark mission was it also made by you or downloaded? Thanks and keep it up.

Anthony "Desdinova" Mercando said...

I'm sure he makes his own scenarios, but I might be wrong about the DCS one. This Arma follow up a definitely not a standard scenario.

JC said...

Hello and thanks for your comments

Tony: this is where playing along with silicon soldiers shifts tactics to strange places. If I would have a team of real people, you are completely right. With the bots, everything is possible: they could strand out of concealment, get shot and leave the rest of us ripe for the picking ... The potential for fuck ups the ArmA 2 AI has is just enormous. But nonetheless, this "attrition from the distance" left the enemy team completely out of balance. I agree that the weapons we had were not entirely up to the task.

VfBMax: I made my own scenarios for both blog entries. This mission was on ArmA 2 Combined Operations. The map is one of those new from the Czech Armed Forces DLC. I'm sorry it's a bit confusing. Maybe I should clarify this in a separate post.

VfBMax said...

Thanks for the info. Well it would be great sometime to have the chance to play them as well. Maybe you upload the scenarios to an host, the mission files shouldn't be big and then you could send the link to the one interested through email if you don't want to post the link on thr Blog. The fact is that some of your posts sounds so exciting that I always feel the need to try the missions/campaigns out myself... though I don't own all the games that are dealt here, I still own some of them. Thanks again

Anthony "Desdinova" Mercando said...

I can see what you mean, JC. You'd be surprised to hear that sometimes having actual players doesn't make it easier. Especially when it comes to close assaults, things never go as fast as you'd want them to. Regardless, the thing that matters is that you completed the mission with no casualties, right?

Anonymous said...

One of your better/best vignettes, JC, due to the story-line

thx !


JC said...

Thanks for your comments, gents.

VfBMax: I appreciate your interest in this. To be sincere, time is really awfully short these days and I can't sincerely promise anything.

Desdinova: well, at least a human being will attempt to reverse an unfortunate mistake! :) No such thing with bots: the screw it and they die on the spot.

Koen: Hi and thanks! Glad to see you are still around.