Operation: Empty Casket
On 10 January 2004, Team Blackjack elements played in the Operation: Empty Casket scenario game that was run at the Georgetown field in Dawsonville GA.
Operation: Empty Casket was a sequel to Operation: Broken Glass. Both operations were written by Ronin of Team Ghost Cell and Team Blackjack would like to say congratulations to him for producing such an enjoyable scenario to take part in.
Elements from Team Blackjack that deployed to Operation: Empty Casket were:
CloudCaptain: Balin Deloach
Tail-Gunner: Chay Butler
Echo5Hotel: Jim Hunsinger
Shady: Jake Heirs
Vox: Dan Davis
Team Blackjack took the role of Task Force Scimitar Shadow, a Russian Spetznaz unit. We were assigned to recover three Soviet tactical nuclear implosion devices that were stolen by a renegade Russian military unit known as Red Element. Red Element is selling the imploders to an American terrorist group known as the Son's of Light for a strike within the continental United States. Also involved in the transaction is Kain Honzou an internationally wanted mercenary/terrorist. He is especially wanted in the U.S. for his part in a Son's of Light strike in the South Eastern United States using a chemical agent bomb that killed hundreds in a rural area of Georgia, including a Delta Force element that was attempting to prevent the detonation of the bomb. It is believed that Kain Hanzou actually built and placed the device that was used in that terrorist attack. We were also assigned to eliminate Kain Hanzou as an international threat once and for all.
The team inserted on the outskirts of the abandoned Syrian military outpost. We then skirted the outpost through the surrounding hills and took up a position west of the main garrison. In this position we monitored enemy communications and attempted to conduct intrusion communications and deception techniques which were mildly effective in hindering the deal from occuring. We also attempted radio contact with "Crusader", a KGB mole that had penetrated Kain Hanzou's personal guard, the "Blood Angels". The attempt seemed to be unsuccessful. The team then moved into a position to intercept the deal for the imploders.
The initial deal took place across the dam from the central garrison near a large defensive bunker. As the group gathered, several of the team slowly crept closer, moving from shadow to shadow in the moonlight. After closing the range significantly they opened fire on the group producing an unknown amount of casualties and causing much distrust between the two groups. The team then fell back to regroup, finding that we were heavily outmanned in the area. We then advanced again, tryting to acquire a good observation point when the team leader was illuminated with a flood light. The opossing force was not sure if the team leader was in fact a man or a natural rock formation, log etc. When the light was taken off of the team leader he made a dash for cover. He reached cover but not before sustaining a wound when diving for cover from enemy fire. Command of the team was then handed to the next ranking soldier. Unfortunately by this time the Son's of Light had escaped with the imploders. The team leader then scrubbed the mission and they headed for their extraction. Kain was however, assassinated by Crusader so one of the objectives were completed.
After Action Review
O.k. Now the good the bad and the ugly of the operation. We'll start with the bad so it only gets better. Though the weather did not feel too cold to us it seems that it played the damn-damn on our communications as we lost power to most of them about 2/3 of the way through the operation. Wealso had some battery issues with some of the weapons. This may have been from the cold, lack of a good charge or a combination of both. Our movement, while over all was pretty good had one flaw toward the end and that was when we split up without having solid comms. I think this really limited our effectiveness at the end of the mission. The last bad thing, I know some of the team thought it may have been a bit unorthodox to smoke a cigarette at the top of the hill before we moved in to intercept the deal. This served two functions. The first is that it tested the night vision capabilities of the enemy forces as they should have surely seen the blooms from the cigarettes and sent a reactionary force. As this did not occur, it showed that their night vision capabilities were limited. Second, it took the "edge off" for those team members who needed to "burn one". We could also use a little more work on our moving quietly though we did a pretty good job of it. There's always room for improvement.
The Good: Our movement was really good most of the way through the mission. We stuck together and moved as a unit. Between our coordination and Shady's excellent performance as our point man our movement was great. We also moved fairly quietly but as I mentioned we could use a little improvement in that department. Our COMINT exploitation was also very good. If we hadn't lost our scanning capabilities early on I think we could have exploited the comms nets even further. We did identify channel 2 as the U.S. Spec Ops, Channel 6 was the channel that Red Element and SOL were communicating on with the call signs of Grey Fox being Red Element and Black Sand being the SOL leader.
So anyway, that's Operation Empty Casket in a nut shell. Good op Ronin!