Hold on for more chapters/Pages of the story to come. Comment if you enjoy it or if you have any C&C.CHAPTER 1 - The Contact wrote: Bang, bang bang the noise of rounds being fired off broke through the silence. Instinctively I bring the weapon up into my shoulder before letting loose a few rounds in the direction of the gun fire. Pushing hard into my boots I dash forward hoping to be able to reach cover before rounds start coming down around me. Raising my rifle up to stop it being thrown into the dirt I leap forward onto the ground. The enemy will have seen where I dropped so I grasping my rifle I wriggle and crawl in the grass in the hope I can get out of their line of sight. More rounds still going off around me I poke my head above the little grass cover I have and glance to either side. I can see the men have dropped to the ground around me and have already started putting some decent fire down onto the enemy. It’s my job now to take control of the situation, get my men moving and kill the enemy.
I scream out my fire control order “SECTION, 200 METRES, CENTRE OF WOODLINE, RAAAPID FIRE” and listen to the sudden eruption of gun fire as the rest of the section starts to get their rounds on target. I give the command for my second In-charge to take over fire control and tell Charlie fire team to prepare to move. Quickly applying my safety catch I push off the dirt and run forward while calling out “MOVE!” looking quickly over to my right I see the rest of Charlie rushing forward with me. Any more than 2 to 3 seconds of being exposed in the open is asking to draw fire so I quickly throw myself back down into the dirt. As soon as my elbows hit the grass my finger shot to the safety catch and flicked it off as the sound of gun fire once again started up.
As expected delta fire team was soon on our tails; making their way across open ground to the left of us while our own fire made sure that the enemy kept their heads down. No movement without fire, I remember what they’d taught me at basic and it struck true here in the field. Those seemingly simple ideas were the difference between life or death out here in the field. I mean sure we were at Waterbeach Barracks training area, and we were only Army Cadets but in the heads of every man on the exercise we were hardened soldiers and as some of our adult instructors would call us ‘Steely-eyed killers.’
Ok so we were firing blank ammunition, and the weapons were fitted with blank firing attachments to prevent anything coming out of the barrel or anyone getting hurt but they were real weapons; the L98A2 Cadet GP to be exact and although it looked virtually identical to the British Army’s SA80 the cadet force in its great intelligence had removed the change lever. Meaning that the weapon could only ever be fired Semi-Automatic not in Fully-Auto like a lot of the ‘COD’ loving cadets would much prefer. Anyway, none of that’s important because in our heads, the one place it truly mattered we all knew we were the real thing, the dogs bollocks, real army soldiers.
I give the command “POP SMOKE” and see the instructor standing behind our section hurl a smoke grenade towards the tree line in front of us. Using the smoke as cover I stand up, running to my right I call out for Charlie fire team to follow me. Sprinting now, I can feel my webbing shaking and bashing into my butt with every running step. I burst out of the smoke cloud and dash the last 10 or so metres into the woods adjoining the enemies position. Stopping a moment to get my breath back I take a knee as the remainder of the fire team come sprinting through the now clearing fog behind me and into cover.
Stacking up alongside each other I listen as I hear each man pat the next to confirm that they are here until the signal reaches me and a quiet “Last man in corporal” is whispered from the man behind me. Moving as quietly as possible I stand up and start to walk off. Each time my foot hits the ground it lands heel first, the rest of my foot being gently rolled down onto the leaves and bracken making minimal noise. Senses heightened as my eyes glance nervously around the various ferns and logs littering the forest floor; looking out for any sign, any indication whatsoever of the enemies presence.
It feels as if we’re crawling along but it doesn’t take long before I start to pick out the flash of the enemies weapons straight in front of us. It couldn’t be any more than 40 or so metres away, my hand glides noiselessly and effortlessly to my PRR easing the Push-To-Talk button down as I give the command to “Switch Fire, Over” down the mic.
I hear the short crackle of radio interference before a clear “Roger, Out” This made it safe for me and the rest of Charlie fire team to enter the enemy position as now the guys providing fire support were aiming off to the left hand side of the target. Giving the illusion that the enemy was still under fire but without the risk of hitting any friendly’s.
Now with the knowledge that the position was safe to attack I instructed my tail-end Charlie, Cadet Farmery and Cadet Ditton to stand fast, giving covering fire should we get contacted before we’re ready to attack the position and watch out for any enemy in depth (more enemy positions behind this one, or enemy moving in to reinforce the position we’re assaulting). After receiving the nod from them I lead off, again staying low and moving as quietly as possible as we edge closer and closer towards the enemy position.
Hearing the muffled talking of the enemy and seeing them now, their weapons protruding out through the long grass and aimed in at where they contacted our patrol. I lowered myself down onto my belt buckle and started to kitten crawl through the undergrowth towards them. Reaching forward each time with my fingers and dragging myself through the dirt. I can feel myself getting more paranoid with each little noise we make. Every stick snapping or leaf rustling knowing the enemy is so close by and could be listening, could be watching our every move.
I bring myself to a stop and raise my hand slightly to signal to the other members of Charlie fire team to stop too. Listening intently for any sign of foul play from the enemy, any indication whatsoever that they know where we are. But I hear nothing. Adrenaline coursing through my veins as my heart begins to race knowing we are so close to the enemy, so close to death should they know what we’re up to. A single bead of sweat formed on my forehead and rolled itself down to the end of my nose. I could feel the itch building up as it got heavier and then, drip.
As it dropped I throw my body into the air, weapon immediately in the shoulder both eyes open and staring at the enemy in front of me as they start to turn. Their faces filled with a mixture of confusion and surprise as I squeeze down on the trigger and let a round off. The remainder of my fire team rising up out of the grass behind me, the noise of empty casings pinging out of the rifle and the thunderous crack of the rounds going off so close to my head as we all empty five or six rounds into the two instructors in front of us. I pull the trigger again but the weapon fails to fire, looking over the weapon at the cocking handle it’s held back at the rear indicating an empty magazine so I loudly shout out “CHARGE!” as I run forwards into the enemy position. Stabbing the weapon forwards towards the adult instructors which are now playing dead while calling out “stick, twist, out” as each one of us pretends to bayonet the corpses of our AI’s.
Somewhat relieved I step back from the enemy position and allow the other guys to search the bodies for any useful information while I snatch the PRR off my chest and give the command to REORG, meaning re-group on me. Delta fire team jumps up out of their position in the long grass and starts to peel off following the exact route I took through the adjoining woods all the way to us. As each one came in I dropped them down and gave them arcs of fire, looking out for any enemy counter-attack.
We stayed there for no longer than a minute while my 2IC (Second In-Charge) went man to man checking for casualties and counting ammunition. I moved down into position beside the scout and gave him a tap on the shoulder to tell him to move off. He knew the way, we’d all been on this training area so many times we knew the place virtually inside out. Today we were lucky enough to be allowed to basha up in the ‘Afghanistan style’ Forward Operating Base 39Engineer had built alongside the runway. It only took us a few minutes to patrol out of the woodland and on to one of the side roads for the airfield.
I gave the signal for the section to get into staggered file and we spread ourselves out, Charlie fire team on the left hand side of the road, delta on the right giving us good arcs of fire in case we got contacted by the enemy as we made our way back to the FOB. As we came round the bend the camo-net covered hesco’s and the high watch towers silhouetted against the setting sun behind it, although quite harsh and military looking in contrast to the lush forest surrounding the lake and woods behind it, it did have a certain welcoming feeling too it and as the section wove around the chicane of Hesco’s and Sangars I couldn't help but think the place isn't particularly homely, but the security is welcoming. Just the knowledge that rather than standing ‘Stag’ sentry in a cold shell scrape, tonight I’d be able to do it in a watch tower looking out over the ground knowing that in here; I’m pretty much untouchable.
More to Come...