INTENSE: Can we fit the lot on. ( Its not the edited version..STILL, doing that in RED fucking pen)

I suspect that the Killing of the prey thing might be a bit overrated and brings baggage with it. However stalking the prey is one serious adrenalin rush and an extremely fatiguing exercise. Camo up, load up, brief how are we going to do this, what happens on un foreseen contact, a final check and move out, transit is slow, don’t make noise, keep to the shadow, you’ve picked the time of day because at certain times the light through the undergrowth high lights movement, you are close to the target zone, things being to change further. What was action with some intensity now starts to be fuelled by Adrenalin. A quick brief, further assessment of the planned approach, issues noted, everybody’s tense, you are doing this whilst trying to stay un detected and watchful, move out, you’re now crawling, sweating and the flies are giving you the shits. Your buddy is behind you covering your arse, but this is no Normal prey, he will kill you given a chance. You’re scanning ever so slowly for additional threats, have you missed something; a fuck up here has permanent consequences.

 

I s your extraction plan right, what happens after you initiate the contact, will this go according to plan. He’s still there scanning his area; he has no idea that you are watching him. It nearly time. SHIT, “that was movement under the fallen tree”. The hearts now beating flat out, there was a second person overwatching the first.

 

 He’s the bait.  Fuck nearly fell for it. Christ now we have to mod the plan, Number two first, he hasn’t seen us. Time elapsed is a couple of hours. Another 5 minutes of sitting still and it would have been me getting lined up by the second enemy. Patience, you must take your time, hearts just about out of my throat. Hyper alert, Joll’s is still back behind in overwatch.  What’s he got as a weapon, not sure can’t make it out. Dumb fucker should have kept more still, bad field craft.

 

Scan the area further now for more, is it just a split two man o p. Look like it. Signal jolls, lets wait another 10 and see if anything else pops up. Right here we go.

 

 

 

 

The good news, if you could call it that, was that the new target was  concealed, nestled under a fallen tree, which had a long time ago succumbed to the ravages of nature, now however it was a perfectly camouflaged pill box and it was  15 meters away  side on. The primary target we were to snatch was 10 or so degrees further off to the left, facing away. The original briefed plan back at Base with the O.C. Lt Colonel Birmingham had been to enter this previously reconned area where the primary had been spotted from the flank, as luck would have it, we had come up on their 7 o’clock position, or from behind and to the left.

 

Both targets were further down the densely vegetated slope, mixed amongst all the triple canopy plants, large leaf ferns, orchids, moss and decaying material, the air heavy with dampness, the original target however was still strolling around, oblivious, in his own little world, probably thinking about his wife and kids, or getting laid if single, still, he was some 30 meters away, totally unawares, like the other of our presence.

 

The original brief had been to try and capture the lowest guard who was standing sentry for suspected weapons and a re sup cache.

 

At the time the SASR troopers had ID’ed him they had detected signs of enemy troops, and lively discussions had followed on their return as to composition and numbers within the ADFs Intel community, unfortunately there had been no visual contact for the remaining duration of their recce patrol, hence the decision was taken that we would try and bag this sucker for additional Intel and whatever else we could find on site.

So much for the plan I thought to myself. Joll’s job was to provide overwatch or covering fire and keep our rear secure, post the contact, we would break cover into this area and make a beeline back to our designated RV point, some 800m south of our current position.

 

However, now that number two had been detected in an overwatch position we needed to mod the plan and quickly. This was no mean fucking feat, to reverse from where I was and RV with Joll’s would unnecessarily expose us to detection and waste valuable time, we had about 30 minutes until sunset.

 

I Indicated to Joll’s my plan in the slowest of hand signals, I have ever made, the upside of the Gillie suit was that hand movement to my rear could not be seen. How the fuck were we  going to do this one without copping one myself I wasn’t real sure, but the orders were specific from JB in that, “you will to take all measures possible to obtain the prisoner alive” on that JB had been crystal clear.

 

The other issue that had occurred to me was that IF the prisoner was incapacitated and unable to walk we would have to carry the fucker out, not high on my to do list, better to have him tied, gagged and walk his own arse out to the RV point was my thought.

 

 

 

With Joll’s in overwatch and lined up on the potential prisoner I would take out the fucker in the tree on the ground, immediately after this I would draw a bead on the lower target and put several rounds around him, whilst yelling at him to drop his weapon. This should take no longer than 2 seconds, the danger was that I would have little time to ensure that the overwatch soldier was dead, and no longer posed a threat. Not the most comfortable scenario you’ve come up with H.

 

However, given our target soldier was looking away , he shouldn’t  be able to detect the source of the initial contact, thus leaving me free to fire around him, I had already made up my mind that  the slightest inclination from him, NOT doing as requested I would shoot the fucker and worry about the Boss later.

 

“Phutt phutt phutt”, the three rounds exited the weapon in one brief almost imperceptible burst, the action recycling was almost louder than the subsonic rounds transition out  the barrel. For one brief instant the target rose, stiffened as if electrified and then with the successive impacts toppled over. Immediately I began swinging the MPSD5 to the left lining up the primary target 30 yards away.

 

The action cycling or quite possibly the noise of the first soldier falling over from his squatting position alerted him, the stillness of the small valley, no sounds of the jungle perceptible hadn’t masked the noise, it was the action noise that had alerted him to a possible danger. He wasn’t sure or else his movements would have been a lot swifter, before he had completed his full rotation back toward me I shouted,

 freeze on the ground now” and I loosened another burst of three rounds “phutt phutt phutt” into the ground at his feet. He visibly jumped, for one brief instant I thought he was going to bring the M16 up, almost  depressing the trigger again.

 

He froze, scanning the area and gradually began to lower the rifle to the ground, he still could not see me and with relief there was no return fire from anywhere else. At this point with the weapon firmly trained on him I glanced from left to right looking for additional signs of movement and targets, Joll’s would be doing the same. Now the 16 was on the ground and he was standing fully erect, visibly shaken and looking straight at his overwatch man.

 

“Turn around,  on the ground now!” ,I yelled at him in a voice loud enough to be heard but not wake the whole fucking neighbourhood. As he completed turning around and getting to the ground I broke cover, whilst keeping the weapon trained squarely in his back quickly walked down towards him in a semi crouched position, whilst doing so though, keeping to his right so that Joll’s would be able to provide cover fire should another contact me made.

 

The contact had lasted perhaps 15 second so far and the clock was ticking, I felt exposed moving down toward his position, whilst moving stoping at the other soldier and removing his hands from his weapon. This bloke had a MAG 58, this heavy version machine gun chambered in 7.62 would have made short work of either of us and was capable of putting down a fearsome amount of fire .. He appeared dead, bloodstains already spreading across his Camo shirt and onto the ground. No signs of breathing as I rolled him over and briefly checked the pulse at his neck, the MP planted firmly to the side of his head, No life. “good I thought to myself, one less fucking issue”.

 

 

My ear piece Crackled “H  we’ve got an enemy patrol just crossing the ridgeline on that track we crossed, I make it  an 8 man group and it looks like they have 2 LMGS , 4 RPG’s and they’re about 2 minutes out. We’re not compromised yet but move your fucking arse”.

“Rodger That Joll’s I going for the prisoner cover me”. I stood up and immediately sprinted down the right hand side of the path to the prisoner. FUCK and enemy group that size with  2 guns ( LMG’s) plus those fucking RPG’s that nearly every whacked out Asian nut job, wanting to meet Allah carried on our case, was not part of the plan. As I bounded the last 5 meters to the prisoner I unsnapped the ammo pouch from under the Gilly suit and extracted two pre set zip cuffs and a roll of duck tape.

 

 As I skidded to a halt beside him on one knee I pressed the barrel of the MP to the back of his head, “don’t move one fucking muscle or your dead”  He nodded, I then grabbed each hand in turn putting them behind his back, looping the cuffs and zipping them shut. “fuck time is running out I reckon I have about 1 minute until they will be in visual range and then we are fucked. “Joll’s how far out are they”.

“Don’t know H they entered a small depression half way down the ridge, but you’ve got to move your arse”, Joll’s adjusted his position slightly and continued scanning the ridge where they should re appear.

“Rodger that Mate”, I rolled the prisoner over and immediately saw his insignia, Fuck!, I thought to myself, these guys are Kopassus, Indonesian special forces Thugs, exactly as the Intel section had briefed us. I immediately held the gun to his nose and put my fingers to my lips in the quiet signal. Letting go of the weapon I tore off a section of duck tape and whacked it across his mouth, then grabbed his webbing and hauled him upright.

 

His eyes were bulging now in shear terror at what was and might happen, I reckon the little prick was no more than 20 years of age. I pushed him back up the right side of the track at a run to the position of his dead mate, tripping him over and into the under brush face first. As I jumped in behind him I lent down to his ear and said, “ONE word or movement from you for the next 10 minutes and I will cut you in fucking half”.

 

 

“H “ it was Joll’s again he’d picked back up the patrol cresting the small ridgeline below the gully the patrol had disappeared into. “ what the fuck are you doing”.

“ Joll’s we cant out run’ em with the prisoner, Let’ em get into the clearing, they will be looking for their buddies, when I open up with the 58 it will be at the tightest group, anybody standing on the outer or that looks like an immediate threat you take out.  Once they’re all down I will clear them all, grab what Intel we can, this prick here and we’ll fuck off as planed”.. I immediately cocked the 58 and made sure a round was chambered, flicked of the safety and lowered my self prone.

” Rodger that H you’re the chief”, 

I knew that Joll’s would be prepping himself as well, the 40mm grenade launcher under the F88 steyr he had was going to come in handy.

 

 

INTENSE PART 5

CONTACT:

 

The front section of the patrol had started to gather in the centre of the clearing when one of them which looked like the commander called out . I suspected that he was calling the sentry, at first nothing really happened the balance of the patrol kept walking into the clearing, this was good another 10 seconds and we’ll have them all in the bag, it was on his second shout that the last two members stopped where they were about 5metres from the edge of the clearing. It was like electricity, the animals new something wasn’t quite right, not sure why.

“H” it was Joll’s in overwatch, “That other pair on the far side have a LMG with them and they look like there’re getting nervous” SHIT I said under my breath.

 “Lets hold for a little bit longer and see what happens, be ready co’s if they disperse any more I’m going to open up on that centre group, looks like the commander is in that lot”.

 “Rodger that H “ gunna pop the 40mil into the far pair and work left to right”. OK Done I said to him.

 

 

I cast a quick glance to the prisoner on my right and he hadn’t moved, thank fuck for small mercies. I looked back to the group and the two scouts had started to converge back at the command group in the middle and it looked like they were looking at something on the groud. Suddenly the commander’s head shot up and around.

 

DAT DAT DAT DAT DAT DAT, I let the first long burst rip through the command group, it must have been about 50 rounds as I walked the rounds across the group, long tongues of flame and muzzle blast spitting from the barrel of the gimpy, the stock hammering into my shoulder as my left hand helped feed the ammo in to her. Bodies falling and scattering in the muzzle blast as I walked the barrel across them.

 

The big 7.62 rounds hammered into the commander first tearing great chucks of flesh and into limbs , continuing on through him into the men immediately behind, they reacted but at this distance they didn’t stand a chance. The two on the left dove for cover as I opened up just as I heard the 40mil grenade from Joll’s launcher explode on the far side  the clearing. Jolls first round had been a white phos, this not only caused the two enemy on the clearing edge to start screaming and run around from the phosphorous burns but also obscured that side if the were not taken out.

“On ya left H”, On ya Left” , I vaguely heard the passage of the AK rounds from the two SF soldiers as they fired wildly whilst sprinting for the edge of the clearing, bark and wood chips flying up, along with decomposing vegetation.  As I swung the gimp left I could  see rounds from Jolls taking another Indonesian under fire from the centre group He’d been wounded in my first pass and was struggling to bring his weapon up.

.

I depressed the trigger as the gimp swung left letting rip a long burst and walked the rounds through the two soldiers running, the bullets picking them up and spinning them in a twisted , macabre death dance whilst flesh was cleaved from them, in some cases the rounds cleanly exiting and speeding through into the jungle.

 

Over my ear piece I heard Joll’s “Cease fire cease fire”,

“Rodger that” I replied. Jolls had obviously had a better view than myself, with the muzzle flash, smoke and dust from the gimp kicking up in front and the noise I had no idea what fucking state we were in. “Fields Clear H Move in and I will cover you”. “Rodger that moving now”. I stood at a crouch, grabbed the MP and jumped the tree branches heading down into the chaos. As I approached the centre group of 4 bodies one of the rear men moved, I loosened three rounds into him PHUT PHUT PHUT, like a wet sack of straw being thumped by some invisible object, the body convulsed with the impacts. I flicked the selector back to single shot and as I moved through the centre group placed one round into each. They were all dead, blood was starting to spill out everywhere.

 

As I skirted quickly around the centre group training on the targets I called Joll’s,

 “move down to the gimp and check on jihad Jim, cover me from there with the gimp GO!”, Jolls sprang up and at a dead run screamed down the hill, it took all of 10 seconds for him to cover the distance as he crashed down in a slide beside our new Indonesian friend.

 

“H I’m in position” ,

“Rodger that Joll’s, I’m moving now to the pair on the left, Keep a eye on our rear just in case”,

“Rears secure H I put out a pair of Claymores before we entered but I’ll keep an eye out”,

“ Sweet mate”. Sweating like buggery under the Gilly suit  and still pumped with adrenalin I approached at a quick walk the two Kopassus troops on the edge of the clearing, smoke from the Will Pete grenade was wafting back over our position.

 

When I got within 10 yards I put a round into each, the already looked dead but at this point of the game I wasn’t taking any chances, that and the fact was we were unable to treat any wounded.  As I bent down to roll over the first trooper I called Joll’s “Get onto Sunray and tell him our status, 8 TNI Kopassus regulars KIA, One captured. Checking for Intel and will require extraction from point Whiskey in 40 mikes”. “Rodger that H” .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sound of a gun, in this case a M60 opening up was unmistakeable, the rounds started coming down from the ridgeline almost immediately, as I dove back to the edge of the clearing when I heard Jolls yelling over the radio “H  got a gun with two guys on the ridgeline They haven’t seen me yet I’m relocating for a better shot”. SHIT I thought, this was turning to crap real fast, the MPSD5 simply didn’t have the legs to return fire that far and luckily for us the Willy Pete grenade was still providing sufficient cover, that and the fact that the two arseholes on the ridge had no idea what they were doing.

 

The rounds were landing randomly all across the clearing, the two Kopassus fuckwits on the ridge line were about to melt the 60 barrel at the rate the rounds were coming down. But that didn’t matter, one lucky fucking bullet was all it would take. “Jolls have you got a bead on the fuckers yet shits getting fucking Intense over hear”

 

“H I’ve got a line on them, two only, at about 150”, Joll’s had shifted the gimpy to the right about twenty yards, just to the edge of the fallen tree. I heard the gimp open up with a twenty round ranging Burst, followed almost immediately by a long, long burst of close to 100 rounds. As soon as our gun cut loose I was up, legs pumping and the Gilly suit flopping all around, “Joll’s I’m moving to your old position now” “Rodger that” Jolls yelled over another long Burst. I was up and sprinting for the tree, about halfway across the clearing I would be fully exposed to the gun crew and only Joll’s suppressive fire and the thinning smoke was going to be my saviour.

 

As I came up on our fallen trees end I pushed of in a head long dive over the fallen tree, cresting the tree at the top of my arch over I remembered and immediately sore our captured friend lying their with the fear of god in him. I must have been screaming because he was looking directly at me with this terrified look which changed immediately to the OH FUCK LOOK!. My momentum, size, looks of a yeti and the fact that about 100kgs worth of furry object were about to slam into him I suspect caused this. I’m sure my own OH FUCK look must have registered with him co’s he’s tried to roll to his left but wasn’t quick enough.

 

Jolls in the mean time was continuing to put down massive vollies from the gimp, trees, palms, ferns and all sorts of plant matter was being churned up and flicked around the ridge line as his return fire was walked across the area.

 

Left Field Cont:

 

The guns team on the ridge line had come as a rude surprise and a very unwanted complication, the operation was going hell in a hand basket and quicker than the distribution of a Paris Hilton porno on the net. Joll’s How much ammo left for the gimp”, this little piece of equipment was proving to be a god send, had it not been for the gimpy we would have had no choice but to break contact and most probably leave the prisoner behind.

 

I cast a quick look around and back behind our position, although Joll’s had set some claymores up I wasn’t completely confident they would warn us of an approaching unit to our rear. “ H I’ve got about 200 rounds here and then its useless”, hmm  that’s probably about 5 minutes worth of selective fire, and if we encounter anything greater than about 4 men things will really go to pot.” Joll’s I want to break contact, I’ll pop smoke in front and then I want you back up on that ridge where you were, check our six quickly and give me the all clear when you are set ok”, Rodger that H’ Jolls replied.

 

I quickly opened up the front of the Gilly suit and took out my only smoke grenade, a lovely orange” Popping smoke NOW Joll’s, as I through the smoke grenade about 15 metres to our front.

 

As I let it go you could hear the distinct snap/ ping of the lever and striker activating the smoke grenade, followed immediately by the hissing sound of the smoke pouring out the rear .” H I’m moving now” said Joll’s. I watched Joll’s get up and start sprinting for the ridge line 20 meters or so to out rear, once on his way I turned my attention back to the hill in front and crawled over to the Gimp.

 

Common sense had it prevailed would have seen us ditch the prisoner and make for the extraction point but given the distance we had come and never wanting to fail, it was unspoken between the pair of us that we would do whatever it took to complete the mission and back the other up, no different really to half the pub brawls we’d been in since leaving school.

 

If there was one thing growing up in the bush taught us was that if you want a beer at the pub late Friday night, you had better be prepared for the odd blew. “H I’m in position, the rear looks secure as well, Sunray just came on, the secondary team is enroute, 8 man patrol approx 2,5 klicks to our south west, he wants us to RV with them .”. Jesus this was good news, if we had an 8 man unit out here they sure as shit weren’t looking at the flora and fauna, more likely looking for a fight Sunray the crafty old shit had a back up team just in case everything went south.” Rodger that Joll’s let sunray know we are now moving to the alternate RV with burger 11 and  give them an ETA, Be fucking generous with the time too will ya, I don’t fancy doing a Deek with or without a prisoner in tow”, “ yeah Rodger that H, they want us to meet them about 1.2 k out, should take about 40 minutes barring no other fuck ups”, “ sound good Joll’s, give me 2 minutes then I’m going to lay down the last of this belt on that ridge and pull back to your positions, be ready for any additional contact.”

 

 

 

Melee : Burger One One Patrol

 

For Sergeant Murphy this shit was becoming old hat, at 35 Murph was almost to old to be running around the jungle in  ADF’s Elite SASR, but his experience in this part of the world along with an invective filled ,highly animated and  passionate plea to his superiors, resulted in his wish being granted.

 

His , that’s how he thought of, eight man combat patrol was unusually large for the SAS, typically 4 men as a rule with mission specific requirements occasionally fleshing those numbers out to 6, but rarely 8 men.

 

The tensions between Indonesia and The Sultan of Brunei had final reached a point where Canberra had committed troops, albeit covertly. In this day and age there really was not much covertness to anything, the media being the almost all seeing watchdog of world politics. This hadn’t stopped Canberra or the ADF for that matter to committing a troop from the SASR.

 

It was in this patrols case a bit of an odd ball collection, the SASR like all SF communities around the world frequently sent specialists on exchange to other countries, in this case Sergeant Murphy was in reality a US Army Ranger on exchange. The remainder of the patrol being all Aussie and it was most unusual but a sign of significant respect that the patrol was being commanded by an American.

 

If the patrols composition was abnormal, then their load out of personal and squad type weapons would have been off the dial to the casual observer. The first scout Barnsy was carrying the standard ADF issue F88 Aus Steyr with a 40mm grenade launcher underslung and a Low light infra red telescopic sight with laser designator. The second scout was nothing short of a gorilla, big!, yet he was able to move so gracefully through the bush or jungle wherever he was  that the guys in the troop had taken to calling Flinthart, Lightfoot, as a backhanded dig about him being the size of Bigfoot. Flint was equipped with a minimi, 5.56mm light machine gun or SAW, short for squad automatic weapon. Under normal conditions the GUN of the patrol would be located in the centre but this group was far from normal, Murph had decide that the additional; firepower upfront in case of contact and that Flinthart was able to easily carry the GUN would be a huge bonus to the group.

 

The third man in the group was an expat ,Yankee dog or YD as the guys called him had migrated to Australia 6 years ago from Chicago, specialising in demolition due to his original civilian job as a structural engineer before enlisting in the US Armed forces and finishing up in Marine Recon, Putting Both YD , Yankee dogs shortened nickname and Flinthart together who had a penchant for exploding shit before even joining the Military and we had the best demo combination in the ADF.

 

These two were in stark contrast to Murph, number 4 in the patrol and a rather solidly build communications expert, with more combat time than almost all the patrol put together. Murph being of the older bent and having trained almost exclusively within the US Army was equipped with their current generation M16A2 with a sniper scope / Night Vision and M203 grenade launcher underslung.

 

Troopers 5 and 6 were both equipped with  MP5SD’s , the silenced version of HK’s world renowned MP5s series sub machine guns. Al and Bedak were both the second eldest of the patrol and the groups number 1 and two snipers, Al was also carrying a SR-25 Sniper Rifle chambered in 7.62 with sniper day/night scope, a slightly customised version of the ARA’s regular issue sniper rifle. Bedak also filled the fire support roll for the patrol being additionally equipped with the units SRAAW or Short range Anti Armour weapon. This was the world Nato standardised version of the well know LAW, light Anti armour Weapon, Bedak being a Bushie, originally his parents being Graziers could shoot just as well as Al, but was also our medic, some saying he practised and learnt on animals, home at the farm, his knowledge had come in handy more than once and definitely saved lives.. Short of having your head blown off he was the medic you wanted putting you together for the trip home.

 

Patrol Person number 7 was a first, a first for the ARA combat battalions and a first for the SAS, lithe, with cat reflexes and qualified in nearly every weapon put on the planet. Natalia Balanced out the patrol in so many different ways it was impossible to calculate. Initially nearly all the guys in the regiment had been against her selection, but having passed the selection CARTER course and subsequent troop training, there was not a trooper in the regiment who was not willing to go into action with her. This was Nats Third over seas deployment. Originally from a signals background before turning her hand to the digger side of the business Nat was the designed RTO for the Patrol and was equipped with standard ARA Issue F88 Steyr and grenade launcher and night fighting scope. Carrying also an additional; SRAAW for the patrol.

 

Number 8 for Burger one, one patrol was another expat  , Snowman, Brian being his real name or if you asked him the Alaskan Warrior, the groups one and only thank god ex US Marine before transferring to the ADF. Snowy was fitted out with a Minimi with night  scope, and being one to announce his presence had taken to fitting tracer rounds to a one in three arrangement for his SAW, this produced a almost laser like effect when fired given sufficient distance for the tracer rounds to ignite. He reckons that the reason he transferred to the ARA was for the warmer climate.

 

 

 Higher Head Quarters

 

Burger One One was spread out over 40 odd metres, the patrol members having about a 5 metre spacing between them due to the closeness of the terrain. Two days before they were inserted at the briefing with Sunray,  Lt Colonel John G ( God) Birmingham and the Regimental Sergeant Major, Mick Harris. These two men were the driving force behind the SASR troop deployed to Borneo briefed the patrol on their mission and its parameters, their intent and how they envisaged it should broadly take place.

 

This briefing was typical of both the briefer’s and the operational latitude typically given to patrol commanders, probably more latitude given they were SASR troopers and NCO’s

 

They were a contrast of sorts and balanced each other out beautifully, both Birmingham and Harris had over 30 years experience each in the ADF and in all probability more combat time than just about anyone, together they made for a formidable team.

 

Lt Colonel Birmingham or JB as the troopers referred to him in their own circle, was the typical poster boy of an officer of the Regiment, Tanned, of average height with short black hair and a very obviously receding hairline, but the wit and sharpness of a very knowledgeable and travelled individual was conveyed both in his manner and speech. It was not only these traits, but also the celebrity one, Lt Colonel Birmingham had once been an author, in fact he wrote the best seller HE Died with a Bagel in his hand, it was this event and the following A List Scenes that drove him at the young age of 23 to enlist in the ADF. The lads liked him, it was his easy going manner and willingness to pass on lessons learned and at the same time give each trooper the feeling of his undivided attention when they were discussing topics however that generated the most respect.

 

The boys always drooled when in barracks; JB had the bases most expensive car, a Gold, almost pure gold in colour Humvee H4 fully imported from the states, the troopers loved it.

 

Mick Harris, the Regimental Sergeant Major for the SASR Regiment, or as otherwise known as, GODS right hand man. MH was THE one person you simply did not fuck with, if the RSM had to address you , you had seriously fucked up and the talk could vary between a blistering 400 decibel shellacking to an almost as frightening quiet whisper in your ear. The RSM however made sure that all the other Senior NCO’s had their shit together and the troops were kitted out with everything they required.

 

Not just THE POWER behind the throne, but  MH was the beating heart of the Regiment, JB was the brains, when meshed together , this pair made an unstoppable force, and one not lightly crossed.

 

JB stepped up to the front of the briefing tent, all eyes of the gathered Senior NCO’s, the patrol commander and the troopers of Burger One  One, tracked the Lt Colonel. He hadn’t spoken yet, but he already had their undivided attention.

 

As he began to turn and face the group JB spoke “Gentlemen, as you will no doubt be aware at 0600 hours this morning we inserted a two man snatch team, their task is to recon a forward Indonesian LP and suspected arms Cache that was identified by Alpha two one three days ago. The LP consists of the weapons cache and a permanent guard, operating from the cache are believed to be Indo SF strike groups on a daily basis.

 

Sierra 1 the snatch team has been tasked to assess the site and take all measures possible to effect the capture of the guard, documents if any are present and destroy the cache. They have a RV extraction point  here “ as he pointed to the tents wall map,” Designated  point Whiskey”.

 

“Now we  do not expect any problems with the snatch operations, However!, given the number of Indo SF units operating in the area we have decided to send you lot in as a back up for Alpha two one”.

 

I cannot emphasise enough the importance of this mission gentlemen and lady, we will unless god steps in snatch the cache guard , extract him and Sierra one members without any casualties or for that matter laying waste to the pristine Indonesian country side” ,JB, paused for 3 or 4 seconds, purely for effect, before speaking again Are we clear!”. There were nods all round the room>. “good” said JB. “ Now as both the members of Sierra one including our man Havock are prone to fits of operational variation and shit seems to gravitate to him, we will insert you lot just in case, I fully expect some form of contact to eventuate no matter how much caution or lack off Sierra one exhibits, your job is too drag their arse out of the fire if things go south, nothing else”.

 

Captain Mannis , call sign RHINO will be your Pilot , I fully expect him to be here shortly, we will insert you via zip line from the special ops MH90S . “ Troops if we have contact, I expect you to apply maximum violence and beat a hast bloody retreat to one of the designated RV points, Intelligence estimate you will have 3 hours before choppered infantry is able to reach you from any of the Indonesian bases, during that time, only those units on the ground will be an immediate threat”. Now I will turn the briefing over to RSM Harris for logistical and special details but before I do , are their any questions”. All heads of Burger One One were riveted on the Colonel, non spoke, all had been here before and new what lay ahead, any intelligence gaps or logistical concerns with be filled in by god during his part of the briefing.

“ Good, OK I will turn this show over now, god speed and good hunting “.

 

 

The Ride line Sierra One One.

 

The first pattern dropped clean across the clearing in a deafening series of explosions, all 6 rounds landed from the centre of the clear area across to the far side, shredding trees, leaves and tearing fucking great chunks out of the ground, the blast pressure was immense and the noise deafening, “ Fuck me Joll’s that was close, they’ve got this Cache pre registered we’ve gotta get the fuck out now, I’m moving cover us”, withy that I grabbed out prisoner by the scruff of the neck and shoved him forward, “fucking move now!” I screamed at him. He didn’t need any convincing, the tree we had been laying behind had saved us from almost certain death when the first of the mortar round landed, without doubt the next series were on the way, I suspected the mortar crew we adjusting their fire and the next salvo was more than likely inbound, Seconds, mere second to get to the ridge .

 

Heaving, I keep pushing our prisoner towards the ridge, he was quick, fear propelling him forward, that and my cursing, I could see Joll’s we were about 20 yards from the crest and were going to make it. The mortar round had thrown up that much shit that any indo SF personnel alive on the ridge could see crap, an instant man made screen had been our saviour.

 

The Ridge Line cont:

 

I grabbed our prisoner mate by the back webbing harness and dropped us both to the ground about 3 feet from Joll’s. “Fuck me, I’m rooted, see anything yet” . Joll’s was looking straight back to the opposite ridge line “Nah, I reckon though every fucking Harry Wong in the neighbourhood is heading this way but”. I thought about that, Joll’s was right, in very short order we would be in a shit storm if we didn’t get our carcasses moving lickedy split.

 

“Right lets move, where are those claymores”, Joll’s rolled onto his side and pointed to the left side of the track, “that side there H would be my preference I thinks, I’ll spin the girls  around as we move past”. The Buzzes arrived first, the Indonesians on the ridge had opened up again with what must have been another sixty, the rounds were not well aimed, but if you got clobbered it didn’t need to be a well aimed round, we both instinctively ducked lower. “Shit, lets fucking go H” Jolls blurted, you could sense the incredulity in his voice at the near miss, “Rodger that, you take point Joll’s”.

 

As Joll’s slithered down from the crest he grabbed our prisoner who was pressing his arse down as flat as a pancake to the ground. I scanned the ridge line, the fire was still coming in, kicking up all sorts of rubbish, snapping twigs and branches and the odd round passing close enough over head to sound like a seriously fucking angry wasp, It looked like the units on the ridge were not moving, happy just to spray rounds at us, which suited me just fine. Time to go.

 

 

“H are you fucking coming”, “Yeah Rodger that Joll’s on my way” I whispered into the mike. I set off at a quick trot, just as another series of shells’ burst short of the ridge line, the blast effect just cresting the top and hitting me with some of its force turning the trot into a full forward stagger, out of control, right up to the overbalance point and the fucking great face plant into the Dirt, “FUCK!, I hate this shit”. ‘H you OK” “Yeah mate on me way”.

 

 

“Joll’s what s our bearing and distance to the RV”. In the ensuing battle that had taken place I had forgot our RV point with Burger one one, without doubt the Indonesian special forces units would pursue us, and the patrols safety in numbers and firepower were surely going to make a difference. “We’ll keep on this bearing for another 200m then I’m gunna follow this ridge line around to the west, should put us within about 300m of Burger one one, Sunray has them holes up in a defensive position, Mohammed goes to the mountain H”. “Yeah Rodger that, lead the way, I’ll watch numb nuts here”.

 

 

The PAD:

 

She sat there in all her beauty, elegant and yet somehow menacing, the newest addition to the ADF’s aviation Brigade, the MH90 S, special operations helicopter. The ARA camouflage already applied, in flight refuelling probe, Flir turret, laser designator and from the sides a pair of sinister looking 7.62mm mini guns. This version specifically adapted for the ARA, was not only up armoured and re engined, but came with a net increase in horsepower of over 30%, matched by the addition of two stubby Kevlar reinforced wing tanks or missile pods if required, thus effectively adding a full third increase in operational range.

 

Only the ADF’s best Pilots got the spec ops assignments and flight hours for these guys typically ran into the thousands , they were a very peculiar breed. This particular units Pilot had just materialised from under the tail boom, tall, barrel chested and fitting out his combat flight suit very neatly, some would say straining, was commencing his pre flight inspection. Against ARA rules he was also smoking a cigar almost the size of a .50 calibre round. Know around the base as a raucous son of a bitch who would rather a fight than a feed and nearing retirement Captain Minis pronounced as Menace buy some and to others call sign RHINO. “ Hey Cat you ready in there”, Rodger that boss, we’ve got full fuel and  ammo, ready to rock”.  Cat as Rhino called him or more commonly known as Flight Sargent Moko was Rhino’s crew Chief and Side gunner.

 

The third crew member of the spec ops chopper Bundy 00, which was Rhino’s code for 100  proof Bundy Rum was  a mad Pom, DB who’s real name was Dick Barrett, co pilot and a complete fucking pommy nutter. DB could usually be found with the hot good looking women, a money trader, futures actually by trade, DB had enlisted in the British army and after a Tour with the Aussies as part of an exchange program had transferred to the ARA.

 

200 ft and Dark:

 

The MRH90S was screaming along at 150 ft, the upgraded GE turbo shafts spinning at 90% of their maximum rated power, No body ever said Bundy00’s pilot spared the horsepower. Both Rhino and his co pilot DB were scanning the instruments, DB was at this point scanning outside the aircraft with his PNVS , “hey Rhino did ya see that log that Cat has on the left side when ya got in”. Cat the crew chief had a bad habit as some might call it for his extra circular activities, usually involving the INFIELD testing of new equipment you might say. “ Yeah DB, where in the fuck did he find one of those things on base, mores the point the Major will go fucking ape shit if he finds out”, Cat like all good crew chiefs always sought to expand and improve, his Clint Eastwood philosophy on Life ADAPT, never one to let a good opportunity pass and being a one time Fitter and turner before joining the ARA ensured he got into all manner of shit.

 

“ Hey you pair of stick or is that dick control freaks in the bubble will kiss my arse with thanks if the shit hits the fan, that fucking .50 cal is loaded out with my special mix”. DB looked across at Rhino and shrugged the shoulder “ Go Figure”. Yeah I know replied Rhino, “CAT , do tell just what the fuck have you got loaded into that killer stick”.

 

Both the Pilot and co pilot new from the moment they started engines that Cat their very different Crew Chief was busting to tell them about his new fangled additional not yet approved for fitment to the MRH90S piece of kit, but twisting their chiefs tail in an unspoken moment decided to see how long Moko would last.

 

Well!, seeing as that you to rotor head pilots who happen to know fuck all about bang stuff ask, I shall enlighten thee. Firstly we have one Pintle mounted .50 Calibre M2 Heavy Machine gun, Belt fed. Currently we have 3000 rounds of my special blend on board for this baby, which consists of Tracer in green and that would be river gum green for the tree huggers, high explosive and my personal favourite armour piercing”.

 

Rhino couldn’t help himself and interrupted Cat,” what the fuck do you have AP ammo for, their’s no fucking BMP 3 IFV around the parts and sure as fuck we are not strafing any indo ships, Jesus H Christ”.

 

Moko just grinned, “ Well seeing as that’s you asked I figured that we can cater for all events and seeing as that those stupid fuckers on the other side of the border, that would be Indonesians for you bloody pair, have Hind E gun ships I thoughts we should be prepared.”

 

“And unlike yourself master nig nose I prefer to fight rather than FLIGHT, that’s why you had the ARA get the up rated engines for this big bad bitch you Girl”. It was a well known fact that Rhino had indeed lobbied the ARA brass hard for the S model and the increasing of its engine power, the driver behind this was that should a situation arrive which was pear shaped they could get the hell out of dodge quicker, Rhino also believed given their mission types the engines and advanced avionics sweet would undoubtedly be put to good use, sooner or later.

 

“OK CAT, what’s the mix you crazy fucker”. “ I thought you would never ask good sir, well today we have Cats special blend for your enemies consumption, we start this course out with what we in the door gunner trade call a tracer round, closely followed by two more of these fine fellows, following this we have two high explosive units designed to spread the good news around the dinner table, or something like that, following our main is dessert and their we have two armour piercing rounds which are split by a red tracer round, after which we repeat this fine feast “.

 

Both Rhino and DB looked at each other briefly and shook their heads; the mix that their crew chief had concocted was very different and was so far from the textbook requirements that it fitted perfectly with not only the aircraft but Cats personality as well.

 

Rhino started a slow left bank their mission tonight was to do a sweep over the area where they would insert the two man snatch team in two days time, the MRH90S that the Australian army had bought was one of the most sophisticated versions on the market. The ARA, RAAF and the NAVY had all ordered the same basic options on the MRH purchase with the exception of the Special ops series. Even then the base line model was impressive, standard fitments included Chaff and Flare dispensers, IR suppression, FLIR, EWS suit, IR Detector, Laser Detectors, Helmet mounted sight / display and weather radar. All standard fitment,  to both the ARH Tiger and the MRH90. Rhino’s bird the S model for Special ops also had upgraded engines, instead of the standard GE units which gave her a top speed of 305 km/ph the S model could reach a top speed of 400 km/ph, hence the requirement for additional internal tanks and the replacement of significant panels with Kevlar composite materials. The weight reduction in panels making up for the additional fuel load.

 

The final addition was the inclusion of the AH64D Apache’s LONGBOW radar, this and the HUD display gave the MRHS serious defensive capabilities and had Cat on more than one occasion enquire as to the ability to fit sidewinder or his dream, AMRAAM air to air missiles on the stubby out board wings. It was a given that Cat would have fitted anything including afterburners if it gave them the edge.

 

Bundy zero zero had just completed the left turn and straightened up heading straight for the Indonesian border, “ DB lets fire up the Radar and have a peek about shall we”, Rhino was twitchy, very unusual for him but for some reason he wanted a sweep of the area. “ Lets go for a max range sweep shall we DB, 120 kilometres If you wouldn’t mind old chap”. ”Rodger that boss, powering up the box now, gimme 5 seconds and we will see what’s about”. “ Good stuff DB, lets not leave it on all week shall we, 2 sweeps and then shut her down”. “Rodger that Boss, Hey Cat how ya doing back there”, “Good DB, just keep ya fucking eyes on the road will ya”. DB chuckled, Cat could always be trusted to keep even the most serious of mission in a light heated frame of mind.

 

At roughly 400 ft above the jungle 3 kilometres back the pilot of the Indonesian Mi 24 Hind E was looking through his own PNVS night Vision goggles at the image of an Australian MRH90 on their side of the border.

 

 

 

Burger One One : LUP

 

They had arrived at the designated RV point, two hours ahead of schedule, Barnes as point man with Flinthart as second scout both stopped together in unison, almost as if tied mentally together the balance of Burger one one came to silent halt.

 

Before Burger one one moved into position for the RV with sierra one, they needed to recon the surrounds, the hill they had approached was designated as hill 215 on the map, running west to east the ridgeline, they had approached it from the western side. Approximately 30 meters to the patrols south the main track transiting the area ran in a similar fashion, only when it was central to the running hill top did the trail hook north up the hill, over it, following the contour before a radical southerly turn left down into the valley.

 

None of this was visible to the naked eye, the terrain here was triple canopy jungle with only the odd clearing, but in odd spots rapidly thinning to single canopy with sparse overhead cover, a product of man and some natural anomalies, aside from the well worn trail you would never suspect mankind had set foot in the area.

 

The patrol members on coming to a halt had all taken up defensive firing positions, however longer term the layout would simply not do, nor world Sgt Murphy be happy.

 

Murph slowly bent his chin forward as if to shield his throat mike and head set. “ Scouts”, this call gave the two forward scouts what was called a warning that he was about to talk to them, If Murph had called GUNS it would have been for the gun group of the patrol. For simplicity the patrol was organised into two groups, the scouts group consisting of Barnes and Flinthart, the gun group consisting of YD with a SAW, Murph himself with the 16 and Bedak with the silenced MP5SD. The final group although also having a gun was designated rifle group, this was made up of Al with his MP5SD, Nat with her Steyr and 40mm grenade launcher and AW with another SAW as well.

 

The distribution of fire power with the exception of the two scouts was fairly even, although having Flinthart as the second scout with a SAW ensured that any frontal contact that didn’t involve his neutralisation was going to receive serious firepower on the enemy.

 

Quietly Murph issued the instructions “ Barnes , Flinthart , I want you pair to recon the hill top, cut across the north west corner and rotate around the hill clock wise, stay within 20m of the summit, I want to make sure its clear, once you have returned we’ll move in and then clear further out, over”. Barnes looked back at Flinthart who gave a casual thumps up then replied  “Rodger that Murph Out”.

 

Barnes slowly rose from his position in the undergrowth; orientated in the direction he wanted and slowly started picking his way through the jungle, 15 seconds later Flinthart did likewise, both scanning the jungle for telltale signs of the enemy.

 

Murph had stood still, as soon as the instructions were issued to the scout he immediately set about orienting the patrol into semi defensive positions, the clearing of the hill by Flinthart and Barnes would take at least thirty minutes maybe more depending on what they found and the terrain.

 

“Right guys and gals lets get the defensive perimeter up,  all-round defensive, Nat on me with that radio and get higher on the horn for me”, Rodger that Boss, on my way”. One by one the remaining members of Burger one one slowly moved out to their perimeter defensive positions and reported in as such.

 

Hill 215 was one of four small hills in a box formation, in the centre of which was a valley, it was through this which the trailed ran and at its central point 3 separate other trails converged. The TNI units operating in their cross border raids had been utilising this transport nexus with great frequency recently.

 

It was hoped that the capture of a prisoner would not only lead to clarification of which TNI units were operating in the areas but also yield details of the moral, general strength in the areas and what ever other gleaming nuggets they might be able to extract from the prisoner.

 

Murphs plan was for the Primary command and gun group to take up a position at the western end of the ridge line, this would give him overall command visibility as the terrain opened up somewhat heading south down to the trail, enough so that fire could be brought to bear on it, what should have been triple canopy jungle thinned out here heading sith south east to just twin only and sparse at that in places, with just overhead cover only.

 

This concerned Murph, it showed serious signs of movement and clearing in the not so distant past. 50 Meters further west of the command gun group down the hill slightly the second gun group of AW, Nat and Al would set up facing out towards the north north west. AW would be in centre with the SAW, which would point straight back down the trail they had been shadowing. Upon their return He had decided to place both his scouts, Flinthart and Barnes on the positions left facing south and directly at the track.

 

This had serious counter attack possibilities should the scouts have to initiate contact, as both gun groups would be able to flank left and right of the scouts depending on the situation and with all things being equal both the Scouts should get two kills each with their silenced weapons before the enemy really knew what the hell was going on.

 

Murphs thoughts were just about to turn to Sierra one when his head set crackled and came to Life,” Murph this is Barnes, we’ve stopped at the eastern end of the summit, you better come up here and take a look”, Rodger that Barnes, gimme 5 and I’ll bring YD with me”. Yd like all experienced troopers listened in to all conversations on the subconscious level, although at the time he was taking a piss, he gave it a shake and chimed in “ copy that Murph on ya in 2”. Rodger that YD”. YD immediately bent down and proceeded to cover up his territorial mark on the ground, he’d already scraped away the surface dirt and leaves and now had to carefully replace these lest he leave sign of his presence.

 

As Yd slowly approached Murph, Barnes and Flinthart had concealed themselves in positions over looking the small valley, Flinthart had taken up a position under a fallen tree above Barnes by about 10 meters, given the sparseness of the terrain the spacing was probably the minimum required on this side of the hill. Barnes in the mean time had started to scan the area with his personal binoculars, looking for hidden enemy positions or even approaching units, well trying to anyway, currently the mozzies were driving him fucking nuts, he was wondering if he hadn’t some kind of blood based insect attracted on him, fuck they we thick

 

All heard the click of their head sets before the new transmission came through,         “ Murph 6 no 8 enemy approaching from the east on the trail, that’s 10 now about 140 meters, we now have 13, we’re not spotted yet, make that 15 now, I see three M60’s in the group, TNI regulars, better halt your approach”, Flinthart silently slipped the safety off. Murph and YD had immediately gone to ground on Flintharts warning and started crawling along the ridge to a position Murph hoped would give them eyeballs on the enemy. He wanted an optic on them, not that he doubted Barnes caa\lls , It was just a command thing and unless he was completely precluded from having a gander, he wanted that peek.

 

Whilst doing this his mind was racing, “ Barnes I want you and Flinthart to keep and eye on the trail where it breaks out of the bush their in front of you, keep and eye on the patrol and report as necessary over”, “Rodger that out” replied Barnes.

 

“Team We are keeping the scouts forward, I want you lot in all round defence but move up to the western end of the ridge line, lets have both AW & YD with their guns facing the trail to our south.”

 

Silently the patrol started re orienting itself into the new positions, the problem facing Murph which he did not like at all, was that his scouts we way forward and Barnes had one of his suppressed weapons which was his initial ace in any opening moves on the enemy,  well at least Barnes has Flinthart with the saw behind him   Murph quietly muttered to himself. “Barnes copy”, It was Murph and it sounded like he was having an asthma attack,” “copy Murph” replied Barnes, Barnes took a quick look around his position and then peeked back down the mountain towards the TNI patrol.

 

At this point Murph was starting to wonder why in the hell he had decided to protest so fucking loudly about being able to do the job at his current age, something about this shit being bloody hard yakka, especially leopard crawling across the fucking ground clad in all manner of shit.” Barnes, this is Murph, I want you under the cover of Flint to place the claymores in front of you position over”.

 

Murph, figured that the emplacement of the three Claymores that Barnes had on him in front of their position would give the patrol a barrier on that side of the hill. It was quite possible that any contact would occur on the southern side of hill 215 and that flanking enemy units would likely come through the scouts current position, any group that did however would be in decimated by the claymores and the 500 stainless steel ball bearings per unit.

 

 

 

 

 

200 feet in the Dark: Continued

 

The big Hind E gunship came round slowly, the E model which the Indonesian armed forces had only two years previously purchased was at the time the pinnacle of the Hind series, normally slightly deficient on its soviet counterpart due to export restrictions the CIS’s need for Hard Cash had relaxed these laws, consequently the E series birds that Indonesia had purchased came with all the bells and whistles. Flir, Unguided rockets, AT6 swatter anti tank missiles, Heat seeking short range air two air missiles on the stubby wingtips and the 12.7 mm rotary cannon mounted under the nose. The Hind accelerated to its attack speed of 330 kmph, the pilot wanted to close the distance quickly, he could have had his gunner open up at 2000 meters, but this was a troop chopper the Australians had flown across the border and it wasn’t really going to be much of a contest.

 

A short burst from the 12.7mm cannon, some sparkles and explosions over the fuselage of the Australian bird, probably followed by an explosion if they were lucky and it would be curtains for these invaders.

 

Recent cross border incursions by the ADF had enraged the TNI hierarchy, as a consequence they had secretly dispatched a full squadron of HIND E attack choppers to this part of the border, tonight 4 units were up patrolling it, in anticipation of just such another incursion by the Australians, they would pay dearly tonight the pilot thought.

 

The gunners hand ran across his instrument panel, raising plastic covers and flicking metal switches from safe to armed mode, gently his finger removed the trigger guard to the chin mounted chain gun, this would be short, the troop chopper would only require one or two rounds to hit it and up to 20 Aussies would go crushing to the ground beneath them and meet their maker assuming they didn’t go straight to Hell.

 

Rhino had just flattened out the MRH90S ‘s turn and DB was reaching for the radar activation switch when their headsets crackled with Moko’s scream, “Fuck  Hind chopper behind us under 2 k starboard side level” . Mokos scream carried with it all the necessary information for the pilot to take action, range to target, type, location, and altitude along with the OH SHIT! tone, Rhino twisted the big H’s throttle all the way to the stops , whilst at the same time pulling up and banking to their right side, the opposite way the other chopper out there was banking. At the same time as this his co pilot DB hit the flare and chaff button for the left side dispenser, “Chaff and flare deployed Rhino”, “Great DB”, Rhino, DB and Cat were all holding on, the big H could pull 5 G’s at a burst and he had the big black bitch as he called her cranked back as hard as he dared. “Where’s that chopper now Cat, find the fucker”, DB came over the intercom, “Radars hot boss we gotta get behind him I’ve got jack shit on the scope forward”

 

The gunner on the HIND depressed the trigger, 150 rounds of 12.7mm tracer and HE lanced out towards the Australian troop chopper from 1500 meters away, this would take about a second and a half and be over, just as the flash from his cannons muzzle subsided he watched the big troop bird bank and climb rapidly, they’d spotted them somehow, he quickly checked his radar warning receiver and it was blank, except for a Air search Radar plane the Aussies had up some 200 kilometres, away somehow they had gotten lucky, I didn’t really matter that much, the troop chopper was as good as dead.

 

Rhino continued his bank and climb, the big composite rotor blades of the 90 clawing at the air, throttles at maximum power, her GE turbo fan engines screaming at their maximum rated output, at this point all Cat could see was the ground as he held onto his big .50 mount, the safety off.  Rhinos calm voice came over the intercom “Guns hot, get onto base DB and let’ em know we’ve encountered TNI attack choppers at this location”, Rhino’s muscles were tensed, the big black bitch  as he referred to the MRH90S was hydraulically assisted for all flight controls, none of the jet jockey fly by wire shit here, although all other models were pure fly by wire, however for redundancy and simplicity the S model was built differently, just full tilt brute force when required, the Rhino’s frame and build helped no end, “ Cat I’m gunna come outta this bank shortly, you see that fucker call it out and start letting rip, I don’t give a fuck if he’s in range or not, distract the him whatever it takes”, “ Rodger that boss”.

 

 Cat checked over his harness, a quick glance to the roof, a tap to the body armour followed by a sideways peek at the feed hopper for the big .50 calibre rounds, “mmm ready to rock, OK where the fuck are you arsehole”. Rhino was doing the mental calculations in his head, he knew all there was to know about the Hind series of attack choppers, part of his instruction when on transfer to the US First Cav regiment as a AH64D Chopper pilot in Germany had been to bone up on the HIND, seeing that aside from killing Warsaw pact tanks in the Fulda Gap, Hinds were next on the list.

 

Until the advent of the Comanche and the S model MRH the Hind series held the speed record for  attack choppers, most people were not aware of this, the Hinds had unusually large side wings which generated more lift than normal choppers, their size also meant that they were not suited to hover operations and typically taxied on runways and launched a lot like a normal aircraft, big, fat and ugly but under speed in an aerial dig fight with another chopper they were to be afforded every amount of respect, lest you not and end up dead.

 

Rhino new the Hind was most likely the E model, armour coming out its arse, a 12.7mm multi barrel cannon, chin mounted and aside from the ground attack weapons stations which most likely were not carrying air to ground ordnance as this bird was probably out hunting for them, she would have air to air heat seeking missiles on board. It was well known she could carry two of these, what most people didn’t realise however was that the stations for the AT-6 swatter ASM’s could be re configured to carry an additional two AAM’s per wing, giving this nasty bitch 6 air to air heat seekers, not a great thought, pretty much designed to ruin your whole fucking outting.

 

As Rhino continued his climb and left bank DB switched from Flares to ejecting bundles of chaff to help confuse any laser lock or potential radar sweep. They hadn’t yet detected any emissions from the Hind however, but Flares would only serve to continue pinpointing their location, no point making it easy for these fuckers.

 

 

 

 

“ Ready Cat here we go”, Rhino Stomped hard on the rudder pedals slewing the tail rotor away from the area where the Hind should be, turning the nose to the right and boom to their left in a clockwise motion, thus removing their greatest heat source from the front aspect of the Hind and its heat seeking missiles, also opening up the angle for Cat towards the Hind and perhaps a shot at it, “He should be at 4 or 5 o’clock Cat”, Rhino now pushed over to get the nose down gaining more speed, what had gone unsaid by all was that the manoeuvre also afforded the enemy their broad side on profile for a period, not the most happy of situations to be in.

 

Cat scanned the area with his low light goggles, there at about 5 o’clock and slightly low he made out the Hinds shape in the moonlight, the Indonesians had not taken to re painting their birds yet, it had closed the distance to under a 1000 meters and was banking as well trying to follow the 90 through its climbing turn.

Cat was holding onto the .50 cal for grim death, the combination of G forces from Rhino’s manoeuvres and needing to line up the Hind had cat flexing every sinew in his body, straining through the night vision goggles at the Hind and grunting in the process. The noise of the 90’s GE engine’s was suddenly drowned out by the .50 cal from cats mount.

 

“Gotcha ya fucker” Cat quietly whispered to himself and depressed the trigger on the gun. The 50 barked, rocking back and forth in cats hands as she spat out Cats cocktail of death, cat fired of a burst of 50 rounds, High Explosive, green and red tracer , mixed with armour piercing rounds lancing out towards the Hind, followed by a second and third burst slightly further in front. Rhino and DB were occupied, Rhino was about to attempt a high speed corkscrew manoeuvre to help keep Cats 50 on the Hind, the 7.62 minis would be useless against the E unless they got lucky, having said that Rhino was ready to cut loose with both the 90’s forward firing mini guns if the opportunity presented itself.

 

“ Missed the Fucker Boss, he still coming, pushing around toward our six”, “Rodger that Cat I’m gunna corkscrew to try and keep him inside your gun hang on”, with that Rhino chopped power and kicked the big bitch over to the right, Cat almost lost contact with the floor, he new the manoeuvre was coming, just not the lets make ya weightless part,” Fucking Hell, hows a person meant to shoot with shit like this Rhino”, Cats voice conveyed both tension and incredulity at the manoeuvre. “Shut up you sook and keep shooting at the blighter, bloody hell, you faking convicts do nothing but whinge”, DB started to unsnap his flight harness. Rhino whilst seriously into the issue of keeping their carcasses alive noticed DB unsnapping his flight harness, “what the fuck are you doing DB”, “Gunna jump on the other gun boss, I’ll drop the rear ramp half way and fire up the rear mini”.

 

Rhino silently kicked himself, the 90 like all its type was fitted out with a rear ramp and for defensive fire suppression carried a 7.62mm hoper feed mini gun for the rear area, under normal circumstances the crew chief, in this case Cat would operate the rear gun if required but was needed at the 50, their only real means of doing any damage to the Hind. “Go DB get the fucker operating ASAP, I’ll be fine up here”.  It was against all rules ever laid down, the co pilots place was right beside the pilot, obviously in the event that the pilot was hit or needed assistance from the co-pilot DB could help, operating the defensive fire weapons of the 90 was not typically in the co-pilots job description, but Shit happens as they all used to say and fuck multi skilling.

 

DB grabbed the safety harness for the rear station amidst all the gyrations of the chopper, twice whilst making his way to the rear the 50 cal cut loose and DB was sure he had seen red tracers fly passed Cats weapon station outside the chopper. DB pushed the ramp lowering button, and the ramp seal cracked, air rushed into the 90 as DB flicked the power switch on and the safety off, “rear guns up, boss were hot, where is the fucker”.

 

 

 

The Australian troop chopper a MRH90 was proving to be an elusive target, twice now the Hind gunner had had the Australian chopper briefly in his sight and fired, only to see it dance again in the sky and avoid his rounds, they were now out to about 1200 meters from it again and the troop transport was shooting back with its right side guns, red and green tracer rounds almost like a laser they seemed were mesmerising and the amount of rounds coming from the right side gun was incredible. The gunner was not alone in his frustration, the pilot like his gunner was finding that the whole exercise was a lot more difficult that they had expected. For some reason what should have been a clear performance advantage to the Hind E he was flying was not there, something was different about this troop transport, but they could never get close enough to really identify it, no more than a basic classification anyway, what was certain beyond any doubt was the MRH90 should only have two sideways firing Mini guns in the Nato calibre of 7.62mm, whatever was coming from the right side was more like their 12.7mm and that was far from normal.

 

As soon as they had spotted the Australian troop chopper the pilot had contacted his superiors and gotten permission to shoot the Australian troop helicopter down, they had made sure of their position and that the chopper was well inside Indonesian territory, his Air group commander had come back on the radio and enquired as to wether they had shot down the Australian chopper yet, he was not happy with the Hind Pilots reply and subsequently informed him that they were dispatching two F16’s from the airbase to deal with the threat, if he had not successfully shot the chopper down by the time they arrived.

 

It was time, the pilot had, had enough of this shit and should have gone this way in the first place, only that the gunner wanted a GUNS kill on the gun camera tape and he had ceded to his request, quickly the pilot instructed his front gunner to select the heat seekers , they’d see how this Australian coped with an AA11 Nato code name Archer , air to air missile.

 

The Hind gunner was frantically trying to line the MRH chopper up for a heat seeker shot, the problem was that the IR signature of this troop carrier was very small and his IR missiles were having difficulty getting a lock, passing this back to his pilot he was instructed to take a bore sight shot as soon as they were at the rear of the MRH, his pilot was going to try and get them in closer and see also just what in the fuck they were dealing with.

 

 

 

 

Rhino was still flipping the big bitch around the air with about the same machinations as a blow fly on speed doing the wild monkey dance, when the call came though the Radio, “Bundy Zero Zero this is Sentinel ,  be aware we have two new Bogie contacts, range 90 kilometres, bearing 245 at you, angles 10 and climbing, speed 650 knots and increasing, profile indicates F16 Charlies recommend you come to new heading 108 and bug out, estimate you have 5 minutes until they’ll be on you”. The RAAF had one of their new Wedge tail AWACs aircraft up operating, Great Rhino thought, that just sent the whole show south, two 16 Charlies they could not cope with and disengaging didn’t really seem to be an option at the moment, Rhino decided that the crew needed to know.” Guys we have two Indo 16 Charlies in bound eta is 5 minutes, we have to either loose this fucker or put him out of commission”, “OH fucking super” replied Cat over the radio, “ they don’t pay me enough for this shit Rhino”.

 

With that Rhino cracked the shits, not unusual when on the ground, but fucking around defensively with the Hind and from some slight pissing and moaning from Cat tipped the big fella over the edge. Rhino twisted the collective and shuffled the stick right slewing the 90 sideways, at the same time by pure co incidence both DB and Cat opened up on the Hind which had closed to just on 800 meters due to Rhinos power chop earlier. The sight was awesome, DB leaned on the trigger of the mini guns for a full 5 second burst and oscillated the barrel in a circular motion, this sent all his rounds out in an expanding cone of red, Cat did like wise from the big 50, depressing the trigger a full 2 seconds longer than DB and hitting his second burst almost straight away. The Hind was enveloped in green and red tracer, sparkles of light careening of the plexiglass canopy and flashes from the HE rounds could be seen as they impacted and detonated all across the leading wind edges and the fuselage.

DB re engaged the Hind holding the trigger down for a full 7 seconds, far longer than the manual suggested and sending another storm of armour piercing and conventional rounds into the HIND. They all knew that the Hind was basically impervious to all rounds under 12.7mm or .50 calibre, both DB and Cat let out a simultaneous yell of glee as they watched their rounds strike the Hind.

 

 

Inside the Hind both the Pilot and gunner were in disbelief, firstly the Australian chopper had slowed and then pivoted or yawed sideways almost, immediately after which all manner of tracer rounds had appeared as if by magic, from not only the side of the chopper but unexpectedly from the rear of the chopper. Before they had noted the various multicoloured tracers from the side guns however, from the rear it appeared as one almost continuous stream of tracers, what could only me a mini gun.

 

The gunner had just selected his air to air missiles when the tracers from the Aussie chopper had enveloped them like a massive swarm of angry glowing wasps, the mini gun rounds being almost twice the speed of the bigger .50 cal units arrived first and impacted all over the chopper, like flying through a bug swarm, they new they would not harm the Hind, she was armoured to deal with bigger stuff than this, however it only took one lucky round and that would all change. The 7.62mm rounds had distracted both the gunner and the pilot from their assigned tasks, allowing them to close further into the envelope of the MRH 90’s defensive weapons; importantly it delayed the launch of the heat seeking missiles.

 

The big .50 calibre slugs arrived next, slamming into the Hind like house bricks, the pilot and gunner had been involved in bird strikes before but they paled in comparison to this, the aircraft shook with each successive impact, their was an explosion on the right side wing, the gunner flinched , squeezing the trigger and launching one of the air to air missiles, one of the rounds detonated part of the fuel mixture in the AA missiles, thankfully not setting off the warhead. In the middle of this DB’s second burst arrived along with the tail end of Cats first long discharge, somebodies round impacted into the starboard engine which promptly commenced disintegrating internally. Bits of compressor blade lanced outwards at over 3000 kilometres per hour shredding the remaining engines and sending white hot shards into the crew compartment, the gunners last actions before engulfed in the massive fireball of fuels and on board ordinance was to depress his trigger finger ….TWICE. Two Air to air heat seeking AA11 archer missiles leapt of the wing rail towards the MRH 90.

 

On board Bundy Zero Zero both Cat and DB were still in the midst of their celebrations when DB suddenly stopped, an icy ball materialising in his stomach, “Missile Missile, Missile”, DB screamed over the intercom,, Rhino threw the Big 90 hard over to the right, Moko not expecting the missile launches nor Rhinos violent manoeuvre slammed his head into the right side bulk head, ”Fuck”, as Rhino continued his starboard side roll.

 

The MRH 90S had installed what was termed a MAWS systems which stood for Missile Activated Warning System, this was in turn slaved to the defensive counter measures sweet of Flares and chaff dispensers. Upon detecting the missile launch with the Maw’s IR cells at the rear of the main fuselage an electronic signal was instantly flashed to the 90’s defensive countermeasures CPU. Pre programmed with just such a threat in mind the computer program cycled through its list of countermeasures, assessed the choppers airspeed, direction, G forces, relative to the missiles detection range and selected the best available option from the pre programmed list.

 

Flares started spewing from the Port side rack along with bundles of chaff, as the chopper was in a right turn come bank and all the defensive aides were ejecting from its left side this created an ever-widening gap between the two. Theoretically the missile seeker head would close on the decoys or if loosing the decoy and looking to re engage the chopper the Helo would be outside the seeker heads detection cone.

 

The First Archer after leaving the Hinds launch rails accelerated to its top speed of Mach 3 and immediately locked onto the left hand flares, the distance was rapidly eaten up, the warheads explosion violently shook the big MRH chopper now some 150 meters further to the right, the second and third missiles however were still locked onto the big Choppers heat signature. The preceding 4 minutes of manoeuvring and flight gyrations at maximum power, along with the hot barrels of the defensive weapons had raised the over all signature of the 90 to just inside the detections parameters of the archer missiles. Under normal circumstances the MRH90S has sufficient IR suppression systems inbuilt that getting a heat seeking missile lock would have been all but impossible, when tested the system had been vetted against ground threats, not the more finely tunes seeker heats of dedicated air to air missiles such as a current generation AA 11 Archer missile, this over sight was to prove costly for the MRH.

 

 

AN AVIATION FIRST:

 

The British Lynx was the worlds first helicopter to perform a loop, something which all aeronautical professionals said could not be done, Bundy Zero Zero was about to add another page to what choppers were capable of.

 

Rhino had the nose slightly down on the 90 picking up much needed airspeed, the airspeed indicator was now reading 340 km/ph and they were in a full side bank , pulling 6gs as he sought to get out of the Archers seeker head range. Both DB and Cat were at this point on the rear cargo floor of the chopper, pinned by gravity and unable to assist Rhino with visual clues as to the second missiles status, what both were doing however was to provide a constant stream of profanity over the intercom system at Rhino’s manoeuvres

 

Typically in a jet fighter aircraft to descend to you either do what is called a negative G push over simply by pushing the stick forward, this of course pushes the nose down towards the ground. It is however not the most efficient way and negative g forces are harder on both the pilot and aircraft, to more efficiently and quickly descend a pilot simply rolls the aircraft inverted and the pulls back in the stick, thus pulling positive G forces towards the ground. Because of this however and the ability to greatly increase the amount of G forces It was this manoeuvre which Rhino now effected for the first time in Helicopter history, the big MRH90S was not at top speed, this though was not really a requirement, mainly because this had never been done before and so there was no bench mark as to just what in the hell your airspeed should actually be. The more critical factor was altitude and in the ensuring manoeuvres with the Hind Rhino had gained 4000ft of altitude and suspected that they were going to need every ounce of it.

 

 Continuing their tight right hand turn whilst banked almost parallel with the ground, the MAWS receiver still blaring away telling Rhino they had at least one more Missile tracking them he called out to both Cat and DB over the intercom, “ Hang on guys I’m rolling inverted”, and promptly tossed the big black bitch onto her back, whilst pulling on the stick with every muscle and fibre in his 125 kg body. It took both Cat and DB about half a second to register what Rhino had actually said and about the remaining half second for both the implications of the feat and consequences to sink in, having both figured out what was happening or certainly about to, the voice recorder would later confirm that in perfect unison they both spoke, “: Fuck MEEEEEEEEE” as she rolled over, slamming them against the cargo bulkheads like rag dolls screaming as the positive g forces had not been present any longer to pin both of them to the floor. Both co pilot and crew chief were thankfully still harnessed up so the amount of ping pong ball like behaviour the could exhibit was kept to a minimum, this however did not stop bone being broken and successive curses being sent forth as Rhino continued his head long decent into hell with them on board.

 

Rhino kept track of the instruments, at this altitude, in the dark and with no visual cues available, his sense of up and down all fucked up by the manoeuvre their lifeline was in tact only as long as he obeyed the instruments. Gear, ammo and all manner of equipment was flying around the cargo area, DB had already been smacked in the head by several .50 calibre rounds and Cat had taken a fire extinguisher to the ribs, its holder having never been designed to cater for inverted flight that however would change if Cat had any say in the matter.

 

Rhino kept pulling back on the stick, he had ceased the roll once inverted and chopped his power to 70 percent as the engine temp was really stating to climb, pulling, pulling with all he had , the 90 continued to sink like a stone to the jungle floor below, heading almost down vertically, still with her tail further over than the cabin.

“come on, come on baby, more… you …bitch….more……mooore…..yesss”, the nose and tail were now vertical and Rhino twisted the throttle to the stops and continued hauling back on the stick, a quick glance to the altimeter showed they were down to 2100 ft and sinking for the deck at what the flight recorder would later upon inspection confirm was 426.8 Km/ph.

 

 

 

 

 

Both the AA 11 Archer missiles detected the change in aspect of the 90 and slim forward canard fins on both missiles made micro adjustments to follow the MRH90 down, the 90 had drastically chopped its forward velocity and was descending at a rapid rate, the missiles microprocessors made further adjustments until the reached their peak. At this point the seeker head detected the target shifting out of its detection envelope and here the missiles velocity ensured its own death. At such a speed the two air to air missiles were unable to make such a radical change of direction so they did the only thing their pre programmed parameters allowed to do, Detonation.

 

The MRH90 was 500ft from the two AA11 Missiles heading vertically down to the deck when they exploded, the two missiles were still in front of the chopper and the explosions blast wave slammed into the big black MRH 90 S special ops bird with about the same effect a flat hand has when slapping a mosquito.

 

When the blast wave struck the 90 the tail boom section was the first to be impacted, this pressure strike forced the tail boom on the 90 down or backwards and immediately had the effect of lifting the nose, something that the pilot was trying under immense pressure to do before they imbedded themselves un ceremoniously in the earth.

 

Immediately the MRH 90 with the blasts assistance started too level out, Rhino kept pulling back on the stick and slowly they retained level flight, a bare 460 ft above the jungle canopy below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Contact:

 

Sweat was pouring off Rhino he could smell it, the last 5 minutes of exertion had been the most intense he had ever encountered, well almost, there was that time in Thailand with that lovely SAS trooper, which until they other day when they meet up again he had almost forgotten about, if you could ever actually forget 7 hours of serious shagging on any surface they had been able to find in his apartment, the $2300 dollar repair bill for the cracked TV, busted bench items as he had done the big arm sweep to clear everything, oh and the broken washing machine, it really had been a bit too much the pair of them sitting on the top of it shagging whilst the machine was trying to spin dry and the resultant bang as his arse had broken through the lid with her on his lap, they’d pissed themselves laughing at that, Dam a serious athletic broad that one with brains to boot, how they had managed to do it on top of the TV still amazed him, and his back fucking killed him for days afterwards …Focus, he continued puling the MRH90 into level flight, he twisted the collective back a couple of notches to 80% throttle, a quick glance at the instruments showed the engine temps dropping back into the green.

 

He was still checking the instruments when a series of groans from the rear cargo area brought his attention back to his crew, “ DB, Cat you blokes alright back there”, A quick glance over his shoulder told Rhino all he needed, fucking chaos. Both DB and Cat were sitting on the floor, legs splayed apart and backs resting against the cargo walls, bullets, paper, a fire extinguisher, flight manuals and all manner of shit was scattered throughout the cargo bay area. “ oh fucking hell  Rhino, shit, did we do what the fuck I think we did “, cat took another deep breath and started to get himself up of the floor. DB was starting to stand, Moko was effecting a slight roll towards the gun mount when Rhino called’ em over the Intercom,  “ DB get ya arse up here, we‘ve got more trouble two bogies at 20 k on the Radar, Sentinel‘s just been on the horn as well”, DB sprinted for the cook pit, on the way past putting his hand out to Moko,      Here “, He yelled and Moko reached out a grabbed his hand and DB helped him to his feet.

 

Rhino started flipping all offensive systems to standby, their terrain and attack radar was still transmitting and was sure as shit helping to give away their position, the radar threat warning receiver had started chirping in his ear as well, the two 16 Charlies were starting to paint the 90.” DB get up here and strap in, I want all emissions shut down, well take vectors from Sentinel and see if these fuckers can see us in the weeds, “Sentinel this is Bundy Zero Zero we are going passive and descending to 100 ft, call the bogies“, Rhino, once again increased the power and dove for the deck.

 

The two F16 pilots had noticed the Hind disappear off their radar screens and now this helicopter contact was starting to descend for the deck and they were not yet inside missile range, well they had plans of not letting that happen. Both aircraft immediately increased their power settings and settled down to engage the chopper at 750 knots.

 

Rhino eased back on the stick as DB climbed back into the cockpit beside him and started strapping in, “ Howya doing DB”, DB clicked the final strap of the Flight seat harness in place, ”Good Boss, bit fookin sore, but It could be worse, we could be dead”, “yeah kinda agree”, rhino scanned the dash, “what’s the scope doing DB”. DB starting flicking switches, “Defensive counter measures to active”, he checked the status of the flare and chaff dispensers, co’s they’d used a shit load of chaff in the Hind engagement and the F16’s were liable to go for a radar shot first.

 

“Bundy Zero Zero, this is Sentinel, be advised the two Foxtrot Charlies are now at your 5 o clock, speed 750 knots at 400 copy”, DB activated his throat mike by returning it to its HOT setting were any sound would activate the mike, “ Confirm Bundy Zero Zero has two Bogies, Foxtrot Charlies at our 5, 750knots and 400 Sentinel”.

 

Rhino had the MRH 90S running flat out 20ft above the jungle canopy, directly back to the border, not that the border would save them from the F16’s, “DB fire up the Flir, I want a clearing where we could land if need be”, DB started up the Flir and the LCD display came to life in front of Rhino, DB expanded the FLIR out to 12 miles. “ Nothing yet Boss”, DB turned around to the rear cargo area “ Cat howya doing back there mate”. “What is it?, Fucking Chipper DB, Just peachy, place looks like a brothel, its gunna take me a week to clean up this bloody mess”.

 

“Yeah well I would strap your carcass into the chair, we’ve got nasty company coming, Rhino might try another roll”, Cat couldn’t see DBs shit eating grin as he turned back to his co pilots instruments. “ One more roll and I’ll kill the big fucker where he sits” Cat continued on forward and buckled up in the crew chiefs seat behind the co pilot.

 

 

 

 

 

The Hill, The Smell

 

 

Flinthart was watching the Indonesian patrol roughly 150 meters to their front slowly file past them, heading into the small densely vegetated valley on his right. Barnes was extremely slowly placing his three claymores out front whilst moving around  prone, to much movement at this point would not only give away their position, but most probably draw serious fire as well, Flinthart didn’t want that at all, at least not until they had the claymores out and concealed.

 

“Barnes Freeze!”, light foot had just noticed one of the Indonesian patrol members come to a halt and extract a pair on binos, slowly the TNI soldier started to scan the ridge line where both Flinthart and Barnes were, Flinthart slowly continued to press his frame into the ground, well as much as a frame that size could be pushed into the ground anyway, all the while keeping his eye on the Indonesian soldier scanning their position through his Minimi’s laser sight.

 

Murph had decided that there was no real benefit in taking an optic at the Indonesians from his scouts positions, other than possibly compromising themselves, it was time to get their defensive position completely sorted out. “YD head back to the group, I want you on the extreme right of AW facing west up that trail we followed in”, “Rodger that boss”, AW  immediately turned and started back towards their defensive position.

 

Murph thought about the new issue, at their current rate the TNI patrol was just about fully between themselves and sierra one one which were coming in from the south, not really what they wanted with the link up due in 20 minutes. “ Nat get on the horn and see if you can raise sierra one one, let’em know they have an Indonesian patrol 15 strong on the trail in front of them possibly heading straight at’em, three guns present.

 

Unbeknownst to all of Burger one one a second Indonesian patrol was currently approaching their position, down the trail they had shadowed to hill 215, this patrol like all the others operating in the area was a 15 man strong unit  of TNI Regulars, but this lot was from Indonesia’s TNI Airborne or parachute unit. Unlike the others this unit took quite seriously their field craft and soldiering, hence they were now within half a kilometre of Burger one one and still undetected.

 

Murph had just returned back to  the western end of the hill and one one’s position when the headset crackled to life again, it was Flinthart, “ Murph we have another patrol coming in 6 enemy so far and more still to come by the looks of it, I’m guessing it could well be another 15 man unit, about 300 meters behind the first one, we may have a problem”, Fuck Murph thought, 30 odd TNI regulars between themselves and Sierra one one, out numbered three to one the odds of them getting back without any casualties had just taken a serious fucking nose dive. Murph needed to act and act fast, “ Bedak and AW I want you both to move to the southern face of the hill looking into the valley intersection, 15 meter spacing no more, Nat I want you back here with YD looking back up the trail, Myself and Al will take position at the summit on the western end as the reserve group, Guys listen up, I want the suppressed weapons to open up first if possible on contact after that call it out, fire and move people, use your training and stay in pairs clear”, successively all burger one one members acknowledged.

 

Nat suddenly came over the radio “ Murph I just got a call from Sunray, they have had radio contact with a crew member from that spec ops bird Bundy Zero Zero that went in last night, the transmission ceased amidst gunfire but they have the location and want us to hightail over there, its 4000 meters from here to our South West”, they day only gets better Murph thought.

 

 

 

They all heard the sound, like goffers hearing the howl of a wolf and becoming instantly alerted to danger, every member of Burger zero zero, pricked up their ears, eyes strained searching the jungle for any small sign of danger, all searched their arks a little more intently. The rattle of a steyr opening up down the valley somewhere off to their south west, made all the members of Burger one one twitch just a little, the monster of battle, it held ominous implications for them all, it was also the direction that Sierra one  one was to enter the RV point and no other units, save for the ADF operated Steyrs around these parts. Murph scanned the area, Barnes would have completed laying out his claymores by now, so they had an element of security on their south eastern flank, “Nat get sunray on the horn, tell’ em we think sierra one’s in heavy contact, estimate 500-800 meters out from our position, currently have 20 plus TNI regulars between us and Sierra one, unable at this point to RV, not detected and awaiting instruction ASAP”. “ Rodger that Murph”, Nat immediately set about getting JB on the horn. The light was beginning to rapidly fade, within the next ten minutes all members of Burger One One would be enveloped in Darkness, this Murph thought would be a godsend, for like most military forces who were modern, the ADF Special forces trained to operate in Darkness. Murph hoped, that any further contact especially if it was going to involve Burger One One, would at leat come after dark, “ well lets get the show on the road, Troops, lets go low light, get ya shit ready, make sure you strobes are set to standby, I DO NOT WANT ANY ACTIVATED until I call it, we don’t know if these guys have low light gear or not, confirm status”. One by one all the Burger patrol member’s chimed in confirming Murphs instructions, and immediately set about gearing up for low light or night ops.

 

Murph was conferring with AW when a second volley of shots filtered back up the valley, this time it was not just the F88 firing but, 16’s and three explosions which were most likely grenades, Murph estimated the distance had closed further still since the first contact.

 

“Murph”, it was Flinthart calling him, something was obviously happening at their end of the hill with the Indonesian patrol, “That Indonesian patrol has 12 troops in it, they’re starting to deploy into defensive positions either side of the trail, I do not, see the first patrol at all now”. Interesting Murph thought, that placed the second patrol on the left side of the valley or the opposite side they were on, it also meant they were not overly concerned at this point with the contact further up the Valley, Murph only hoped that Sierra one was still intact. Burger One One was operating on their primary frequency of their Raven sets, Murph did have Sierra ones freqs and was pondering having Nat contact them when his head set came to life.

 

Burger one one, this is Sierra one, we are in heavy contact with TNI units estimate 600m south west of RV, abruptly the radio transmission ended, Murph could hear heavy gunfire over the transmission from The Sierra one patrol commander Havock, that and the sounds of the fire fight were filtering back up through the thick jungle to the south west of his position.

 

Murph now had to make a decision, he could follow sunrays orders and back out from their as yet un compromised position, to extract whatever the hell may be left of the chopper crew, or, he could go to the aid of Sierra one, who at this point were all at least still alive, well maybe. For Murph it was a no brainier really, he’d follow his orders, it simply was not done to tell JB to essentially fuck off, but there was not a snow flakes chance in hell he would leave Sierra one one out on their own, especially when they were under half a click away, so close he could almost taste it.

 

Question was, how to do two jobs with the troops he had, well Murph thought , the patrol HAD TO BE SPLIT, question was what fucking way. Whilst Murph was taking a second to Ponder this the radio crackled to life again, this time it was Nat, “Murph we’ve got another problem, I have two scouts, TNI regs heading this way on the northern trail, 50 meters and closing”. “Shit”, Murph muttered to no one in particular. “ Nat get Sierra one one on the blower, tell’ em to head North west about 500m, we’ll see if we can’t link up farther out, Barnes, Flint back out from where you are, leave the clays in place, I want both of you here in 2 minutes on my position North side of the hill move”, Murph took a quick look around and back down into the valley, his plan was to evenly split the patrol and have BBA command the second half. Burger one one would split into burger 1 commanded by himself, with Barnes ,  AW and Nat. Burger two as the second group would be designated, would then have BBA as commander, Flinthart with a Minimi, Bedak with a silenced MP5SD and a SRAAW and YD with another Minimi, this made the second group gun heavy and with Murphs only dedicated sniper weapon cept for his scoped 16, so they would draw the bulk of the work.

 

OK Guys listen up, we are splitting into two elements, BBA you’ve got command of the second element designated burger 2 and Flinthart, Bedak and YD are on you, the rest are with me. Bedak I want you on Nats position ASAP without being seen and Nat back here on me pronto”. “ Al on me for a conference ASAP, move guys, times against us here”.  With that the members of Burger one one started moving about in the usual no fuss silent manner, It was a first for this sort of split, but not one person would ever consider leaving the members of Sierra one behind, even if Havock was considered a little gung ho by some, they were still part of the team and you could bet your arse Sierra ones commander would do the same in a heart beat.

 

 

 

TEETH of the BLOW FLY

 

Rhino had his big black bitch special ops chopper running flat out, in fact everything including his crew chiefs temper was running in the red, at the rate they were fleeing, as DB had so nicely pointed out they would either seize the engines or transmission, it was just a coin toss as to which, mean while Cat just sat in his seat glaring in the red glow of the front instrument panel, wondering wether or not HIS aircraft would ever fly again after tonight, assuming of course they didn’t get their arses shot off by the two closing Indonesian F16 fighters, which by now were out for their blood.

 

DB was intently scanning the FLIR looking for a jungle clearing, something which would determine wether or not they survived the next 5 minutes, DB suddenly tensed, “ clearing 2 Kay ahead Rhino looks big enough”, Rhino gently eased the stick forward a little more descending the big girl closer to the canopy, they were now about 10 feet above the tree tops, screaming along at 400 kilometres per hour, one, just one taller than usual tree and it would be a monumental oops which nobody would survive. Rhino decided it was time to fill the guys in, “ OK guys I’m gunna put us down in that clearing, rotate this bitch back towards those 16’s and put’ em off our nose, DB I want the forward longbow radar on and feeding me Targeting info ASAP, Cat you get on the side Gun and strapped in, the minute those bastards are in range I’m gunna drop the tail and open up with the forward mini’s, Cat I’m gunna put the clearing mainly on your side, I want that 50 cal shooting as far forward towards the 16’s as possible”, Cat unbuckled his belt” Rodger that boss” and started for the 50 mount.

 

 “ DB we need to ID the missiles they will shoot at us, I’m hoping they will be sparrows and not AMRAAM’s, once they’re in close I’m gunna drop her onto the deck, with some luck they won’t get a solid lock”. DB chimed in, “sweet Boss”, Cat kept moving down to the 50 mount, “Rodger that Rhino”, gimme 20 seconds and the 50 will be up”.

 

Rhino flared the MRH90 hard and fast into the clearing, immediately rotating the bird around whilst DB hit the transmit switch on the Longbow Radar, “ Radars up Rhino gimme some altitude”. Rhino stared out through the plexiglass cockpit with his low light flight goggles, all manner of debris was being kicked up by the big five bladed rotor, visibility had instantly turned to shit, between the dust and crap and the darkness Rhino was flying by feel, memory and his instruments.  Rhino slowly twisted the collective for more power, immediately the big composite constructed rotors bit into the dense tropical air and the 90 gained altitude.

 

Cat had on the descent made his way down to the right side gun port where the 50 cal was mounted, he grabbed the firing handles and removed the mounts locking pin before calling Rhino, “At the gun Rhino, gimme a coupla seconds and we’re hot”. Cat reached forward amidst the rocking motion of the 90 to pull the cocking handle back on the 50, he lifted the breaches feed cover, took a quick peek inside to make sure a round was chambered, and satisfied that all was in order closed the feed cover and pushed the cocking handle forward. A quick flick of the safety, a slight jump and wedding tackle adjustment just to make sure all bits were where they should be and he was ready, “ Loaded and good to go Boss”. Cat lent back and swivelled the big 50 forward towards the F16’s.

 

Whilst cat had been making his way rearward, DB had been powering up the Longbow radar, the longbow system was designed specifically to track moving targets on the ground and was a millimetre wave radar, perfect for picking out tanks and vehicles amongst the background clutter of the general country side. This time however, they were going to be using it as an anti air detection platform, DB wasn’t really sure just how well it would work against two fast moving fighter aircraft or missiles for that matter, but it was better than looking out into the blackness with just your eyeballs.

 

“ Radar up DB”, Rhino new the system was on but wanted a status confirmation, what they were about to do had very little chance of success, what Rhino hopped to do, was after the long range Missiles had been shot at them was to pop back up and loosen a stream of 7.62 rounds at the F16’s, the likelihood of actually getting a hit was about zero, but potentially it would give the fighters sufficient concern to break of the engagement, or at least stay the hell away.

 

He took a quick glance at their fuel status and they still had over 50 percent fuel load, so doing the hover and pop up was not an issue, either was getting back to base, they just had to pray fucking heaps all went according to plan. “ Contact Boss two Bandits at 7000 meters, closure rate, um………… Fuckin hell!, 900 kilometres per hour Rhino”, “OK DB, chill a bit, lets keep’ em on the nose and hope like shit they stay dumb fighter pilots, with luck they’ll follow their radar guided missiles in and then we’re gunna give these arseholes a serious light show, always wanted a fighter plane kill DB, Cat you up for this one Moko”. “ Rodger that Boss”, “right well get ready, at this rate we won’t have much time, I want these bastards to think we are armed to the fucking teeth guys”.

 

Rhino hadn’t let on to his crew, but their odds were pretty slim, at best he hoped to be able to put the 90 down and bail out in a neat order, rather than plummet to the great in a nice large fiery explodie ball of fuel and metal, not what he considered the most efficient method of landing the MRH90.

 

 DB checked the instrument panel again to make sure the external clearance lights we off and the chaff and flare dispensers were set to stand by, all flares would do here in the clearing would be illuminate the bird for the incoming fighters, they needed every edge they could get.” Missile! Missile! Missile!, we have inbound, looks Radar guided, ETA 7 second to impact Boss, shit!, two, no!, Make that three Missiles inbound now, fighters are in arrow head formation, radar receiver has detected their missile targeting radar, we’re locked up boss”.

 

Rhino brought the 90 to a hover with about half the fuselage exposed and pointed straight at the fighters and now, three inbound missiles, “ Five seconds to impact, four, three”, Rhino Chopped power completely and then instantly twisted the collective all the forward to the stops. The result was instant, the 90 dropped like a stone about 40 feet, straight down towards the floor of the clearing, the instant snap back on of full power took a hold before the wheels slammed into the earth, dust, tree branches, leaves and all manner of material was thrown up as the decent came to a halt with a mere 10 feet of clearance before the earth.

 

The three missiles however had closed the gap rapidly and were only two seconds out when their radar contact descended rapidly and then vanished altogether, by the time the missiles seeker heads detected this and sent signals to the fins to decent, another 1/2 of a second had elapsed, they were now 100 meters from the 90 and closing at Mach three. All three missiles adjusted further and descended, however they failed to re acquire their target and their on board systems programming cycled further through its pre programmed parameters and detonated, all three missiles warheads in one successive string of blasts in under a second and a half above the 90’s main rotor and longbow Radar housing.

 

The only good news this night for the crew of Bundy Zero zero was that the three missiles shot at them were sparrow mk 3’s, had they been the more advanced AMRAAM medium range missiles, the result would most certainly have be fatal. Mind you the effects of the triple explosions was something to behold, all three white war shots had by the time they detonated passed over the top of Bundy Zero Zero by 50 feet, they detonated 82 meters behind the spec ops chopper.

 

Although most of the missiles blast wave and fragmentation was directed forward and their velocity forward, the detonations condensed pressure ring from the explosion expanded out in an elliptical circle, more forward, but some still backwards, half a second after the successive detonations the first and following blast waves slammed into the rear of Bundy Zero Zero, with devastating effect.

 

All three were instantly tossed around, the blast wave struck the tail rotor section of the spec ops chopper and slammed the tail boom straight into the ground, instantly illuminating several red warning lights in the cockpit, at the same time shunting the big black bitch of Rhino’s forward a good 40 feet, as if the finger of god had given them a little flick, straight into the edge of the clearings trees. Cat was swearing profusely as he was tossed around the cabin like a rag doll, no amount of hand hold could stop the tremendous forces at play, as he put his hands out and ticked in his chin he hit the cargo hold bulkhead, Instantly snapping his left ankle and letting out an agonising scream of pain, only just, faintly heard over the noise from the impacts and Rhino’ and DB’s combined swearing.

 

“ Fucking Hell” Rhino watched as they went from dust and debris to having the nose pitch up, then drop back down as they were tossed towards the edge of the clearing, “DB grab the flight controls now!” Rhino had to scream at the top of his voice, DB grabbed the co pilots stick and fought the big bird in tandem with Rhino, their chopper had turned into a large overgrown whipper snipper and they were mere seconds away from having their rotor blades start snapping themselves off in the trees at the clearing edge.  DB was sure they had already started pruning vegetation as he and Rhino started to get the bucking, convulsing chopper under control, Both DB and Rhino looked up , out directly through the front cockpit just as the rotor blades started snapping off smaller tree branches, “ Hang on Cat” Rhino screamed over the intercom, they were about to crash land and in all likely hood, die in the process.

 

Cats Safety Harness was still attached to him in the rear and had almost been his undoing, the blast effects, with the  resulting motion had basically made him a live bungie object inside the MRH’s cargo hold and he had been thrown around and slapped against various surfaces, somewhere during the roller coaster he’d managed to thump his elbow and nearly lose his head, thankfully the lanyard had slipped passed his flight helmets side tag before completely tearing his fucking head off, luck and thick neck muscles from playing rugby had been his saving grace, temporarily at least.

 

Both DB and Rhino thought they were gone, just before the two Indonesian F16’s had blown across the top of them, about 20 feet above the canopy at 900 kilometres per hour, the two jets blast waves tossed the 90 back in the opposite direction, once again sending the carbon fibre composite tail boom into the dirt as the nose came up and the chopper slide backwards another 30 odd feet, ploughing a deep furrow in the ground with their tail boom and rotor assembly, plus saving their ship and carcasses from a very messy death in the trees, well,  for a little while longer.

 

 

As the two Indonesian Pilots screamed over the top of Bundy Zero Zero, the lead pilot noted they had not shot down the chopper, it still appeared to be intact although very close to the tree line. The flight leader immediately issued instructions to his wingman and both F16’s banked sharply to the left and selected heat seeking missiles, it was time to end this little fight and go home.

 

Unfortunately their scrambling had been somewhat rushed and they had both now fired off all their Radar guided missiles which had been uploaded, problem was they only had one Sidewinder heat seeking missile each, so they needed to finish this quickly, fuel was starting to become a concern as well , so the lead chopped power back and the F16’s slowed to 450 knots each as they continued their lazy turn left to come back for the final launch on the Australian Helicopter.

 

Rhino applied more power and the 90 climbed, “ Cat you ok back there”, Moko stood up , well as best he could, his ankle hurt like a fucking bitch, he propped himself against the door wincing with pain. “ Rodger that boss, fucked my ankle and got some bruises but good to go”, Rhino twisted back to the front, “Great Cat, get that 50 up, they’re on ya left somewhere”. Cat was pissed, no doubt about it, the two Indonesian F16’s could have been 10 miles away and he still would have depressed the trigger, as it turned out thought, both aircraft were still at this time in afterburner and only two miles in a tight left turn, Cat pulled the 50 well out in front of them, raised the barrel and Squeezed the trigger, “ Ok Fuckers here it comes”, the 50 jumped and in a slow motion like effect to cats recollection and chugged back and forth as the big slugs were spat out, no point in conserving ammo now Cat thought and held the trigger down for a full seven seconds. The rounds, HE mixed with his multicoloured tracers arched out towards the two fighter aircraft in what seemed slow motion, Cat never really had a chance in hell of hitting the F16’s, but he had led them sufficiently that the tracers passed a full 600m in front of the two Indonesian fighter aircraft.

 

The result was both shocking too the two pilots who had never in their wildest dreams expected return fire, certainly not this far out from the chopper and reacted as they would to any ground threat, they banked away from the source and shoved their throttles to the stops to exit the threat zone.

 

The MRH 90 was now a full 100 feet above the jungle canopy in the centre of the clearing, Rhino had fully intended to let loose a stream of tracer rounds at the approaching fighters as the exited their turn whilst jinking the 90 around they sky, most of his cool calm and collected combat reasoning had vanished at this point and he simply wanted to kill the fuckers flat out, DB’s call over the intercom brought everybody back to the moment.

The Hill Cont:

 

 

Nat continued looking down the scope, the two Indonesian scouts knew their stuff, alternating between movement, one providing overwatch for the other, then, slowly leap frogging forward. This manner was unusual, especially in close jungle terrain, but Nat suspected they were on a time line, the gunfire over the other hill continued, it sounded like Sierra one one, was in deep shit , the rate they were rattling rounds off, for both sides, more so though Sierra one, somebody would soon be out of ammo and then they were fucked, and here they were sitting on their arses.

 

“Simon”, It was Murph, “ Give’em another 20 yards then take out both the scouts, I want you as the base of firewith the MPSD5, the remaining team will sweep in from your right flank, watch your lines of fire, stay concealed Simon, fire and move people, its almost dark, lets go low light, rear strobes to be activated now”.

 

Murph could hear the sounds of gunfire as well, from the other side of the ridge, Sierra one one, was in seriously knee deep shit, the rattles of rifle bursts were alternating and sounded one sided, that was, until you realised that Havocks weapon was silenced, either that or he was out of action, not something worth thinking about, certainly not at the moment, Murph had enough of his own problems to deal with.

 

Bedak slid down to her position and gave her a gentle pad on the behind, Nat rolled the eyes skyward and disconnected her mike and slowly rolled onto her side, looking at Bedak she spoke “ what , let me guess, its too big and sticks out right”. Bedak thought to himself oops I’ve stepped in it here, “ Nah not really, could use some more toning though now you ask”, and promptly rolled the opposite way as Nat swung her right foot at his nuts, just missing. “ I swear, you blokes, fucking hopeless you lot, here!, get ya shit together and get into position before I go all PMS on ya”. Nat was grinning, so Bedak new he was on safe ground. They swapped out positions, before Natalie crawled back up towards her position with Murph.

 

Simon was laying prone, blending perfectly with her surroundings, the matt finish along with some cam paint on the MPSD5 blending, totally undetectable from his jungle surrounds, the sound of gunfire from their hill to her rear mad Simon jump, momentarily taking his eyes of the two scouts, SHIT he thought, what now, Simon immediately looked back down the scope, one of the scouts, the lead one had frozen, his number two was still concealed 20 yards further back on the edge of the trail.

 

Bedaks head set came to life, “Initiate contact when ready Simon, we’ve got problems on the other side of the hill”, Murph said. No shit he thought just as the unmistakable sound of claymores detonating rolled over her position, “well that just fucked the program he thought”. simon lined the number one up, Breath now, as he exhaled Simon gently squeezed the trigger on the MP. It was set for three round burst, the action cycled, spitting out three cases in soundless violence at the Indonesian patrols number one scout.

 

The lead scout had heard the claymores detonate, but was unsure as to what they were; he’d just started to turn and was about to signal his number two, to take up a full defensive position when the three subsonic rounds hit him. Simons aim had been perfect, the first round impacted just below his wind pipe, punching a whole through the soft skin and windpipe, the rounds head starting to open up, mushrooming and catching more soft tissue as it proceeded to tear its way out the back of the scouts oesophagus.

Continuing on, to the scouts now pure shock at the impact and sudden tearing pain at his throat, the hollow pointed semi jacketed bullet was still only half deformed, not yet reaching its full flesh tearing mushroom headed design potential.

 

Its impact with the top of the spinal column completed its design requirements, whilst still retaining nearly all of its forward velocity the round slowed appreciably on hitting the bone and nerve fluids of the spinal collum, this merely ensure the kill was complete, tearing the top three spinal vertebrae along with bits on bone, wind pipe and general body matter the round now tumbled out the  TNI troopers back creating a whole a full 10 centimetres in ragged diameter, cutting of all nervous co ordination between the head and the rest of the body, as the remaining two rounds merely added to the destruction, as the climbed up the windpipe and smashed into oblivion his throat and jaw. The trooper dropped straight down to the ground, now just jelly as his brain still functioning, sought to make sense of the violence and loss of control over its body, his bowels venting themselves and adding to the already bloody gory mess being created around his body.

 

Simon was in auto pilot, no sooner had he dropped the first scout than he switched target, smoothly tracking to the right and centering the scoped dot on the mouth of trooper two, who looked on in astonishment, his now dead and bloody mate, the trigger depressed , again another three sub sonic rounds lanced out from the MP, walking their way up the face of the second Indonesian scout, caving in all his facial features before exiting out the left side of his head , sucking bit and pieces of brain, nose and head matter with them, he collapsed to the ground in dead silence.

 

“ Scouts one and two Down Murph” Simon whispered, “No further contacts, I have no visual on main body of the patrol , they’re either out of visual or gone to ground”. Simon lowered herself lower to the ground and started to back out of his position, he planned to shift laterally to her left about 10 yards , fire and movement, only at this point with no return fire she was able to do it stealthily.

 

 

Both the claymores detonating had come as a rude shock, to all members of burger one one, none more so than Murph, he’d fully expected the Indonesian unit that Barnes and Flinthart had observed to remain in place, an anvil if you will that any fleeing troops the Indonesian were after would blunder into, not as was now happening advancing on their position, although Murph seriously doubted they knew Burger 0ne one was on the Hill. At some point before the claymores had gone off somebody, not one of Murphs people had fired their weapon, most likely an M16 by the sound of it, Murph almost thought they had been compromised, but all members were within 30 yards of the summit in their new positions.

 

Murphs plan was to keep Burger one at the summit, this would provide coverage both,  for Burger 2’s rear area as the moved down against the Western patrol and coverage into the south section of the Valley where that first Indo unit had disappeared into. With his two guns split either side of the hill his fire power distribution was about as good as it was going to get.

 

Murph did a quick check of his own layout and stole a glimpse around of the rest of the crew, they really were the best there was, no doubt about it, BAD and had a little chuckle.

 

His final plan as he laid it out to Al, was for Burger 2 with Flinthart, Snowman and Al, was to assault down into and through the Indonesian Patrol, Simon was to provide covert suppression from his existing position, he’d made it clear to Al, that he wanted to draw the patrol into them first, hence taking out the scouts covertly, they simply did not have the numbers for a stand up knock down drag’em out fight. It needed to be sly, then totally fucking brutal and quick.

 

 

 

Simon started scanning further up the trail and panning right, he figured if the patrol had seen the two scouts go down, they would flank right, heading as well for the high ground. It was a well accepted action  ,upon contact gun groups of the patrol would either go to the right or high ground, unless of course that was into the teeth of the enemy. Basically there we an infinite number of actions the patrol could take, but given the amount of training Indonesia had received from Australian trainers it was more than likely.

 

Simons head set came to life, It was his new section commander coming on line Al, “ Bedak, Flint, YD acknowledge over”. Al wanted a comms check, unlike Murph in a lot of ways and in others similar, this was not the first time Al had played section commander and everybody in the team readily accepted his appointment, after all he was actually the eldest bugger here.

 

One by one the Burger 2 team members chimed in , each in his own fashion, “I have you my good man, Kanucks at the ready” Replied Flinthart, “ Yeaha

, semper fi big fella”, Al chuckled to himself only a bloody expat Marine, AW was one out of the box. Al waited for the last man, Simon Bedak to come up on the net, it wouldn’t take long, after all he could actually see the back of his boots. “ Lorraine cattle baron on line big fella”, replied Simon. Al took a second just to make sure all was settled.

 

“ Right you lot, it looks like we have about 1 or 2 minutes, I suspect the point element was a fair way out from the main body, most likely doing a recce of the intersection where this trail meets the one coming up from the east”. “Bedak, I expect you will initiate the contact, take out as many as you can”, “ at some point I will call out engage forward, all three of you move into the zone, I want to fight through, Myself and YD will be pair 1 and Simon and Flint pair 2. Mutual support guys”.

 

A series of Rodgers , told Al all had been received, now it was just a case of waiting, the main issue was going to be how quick the Indonesian Patrol, advancing on the hill from the east got to the summit, at that point all bets were off because burger 1 would have to engage.

 

FULL COURT PRESS:  The Hill

 

“Murph we have movement toward the summit”, Rodger that Nat, sit tight, lets Hold people and wait till we get more in the kill zone”, it was starting to look like the southern group was going to get hit first, not good Murph thought.  “Al copy”, It was Murph, “ Yeah Murph what ya got”, Al looked back across to the summit, he could just make out the figures, it was almost dark now, light was playing into their hands and was probably the reason they had not been hit from either direction sooner. “ Al if we get hit first I want you guys to stand fast, I think these two patrols are talking and looking to flush whatever’s on the hill, I expect the opposite group to try and infiltrate from the rear so be ready”, “ Rodger that” replied Al.

 

Murphs thoughts turned to the first Indonesian unit they had encountered, they had moved off west into the valley and out of sight, Where are you know I wonder, Murph thought to himself. Murph was a little concerned, that unit had totally disappeared, it was likely they were catching hell from Sierra one, but they odds were better that Sierra one was doing it tuff. Murph pulled back his sleeve and flipped open the leather cover on his watch, the luminescent numbers came to life, another 20 minutes and they were due to RV with Sierra at the RV point, and yet here they were still on this fucking hill. Murphs thoughts were interrupted, more gunfire over the ridge followed by a serious string of explosions, almost like claymores.

 

“Nat, get on the horn and see if you can raise Sierra one again”, Murph twisted in his position back towards the summit, pulling his gen 4 NVG’s down for a better look, it was now dark’, MY TIME he thought to himself. Murph heard Nat calling Sierra one, twice now and still no reply, suddenly the radio came to life, “ Sierra……heavy contact pris……wounded.. still heading for RV estimate 15 minutes, have broken contact, low on ammo over”. Murph came alive, they were still in the game and in one piece, sort of. “ Sierra one this is Burger one, read you, be advised ETA 20 mikes plus H, estimate 30 plus TNI in our vicinity, wait at RV Out”. Murph relaxed a little, he hoped to god Sierra one received his transmission.

 

The spiralling upwards object left a trail of sparkles, as it arched over the top of Burgers one and two positions, beautiful thought YD, SHIT!, “Flare” YD called over the radio”. ALL the members on the hill instantly froze in place, although they were not really moving in the first place.  YD came back up on the net, “ Flare came from the valley below Murph back in 200 plus, your 2 o’clock”, with that the flare burst to life. 500 feet above the members of Burger one and two the hand held flare came to life, its fuse having completed it burn the explosive detonated, discharging its parachute first, as soon as the air hit the explosive magnesium mix the flare came to life, bright white light, about 4 million candle power, enough to light up half a grid square.

 

Burger one and two were frozen in place as the flare lazily drifted towards the jungle floor below, the shadows moved now, always an issue for new troopers, as the source of light descended all the shadows moved in unison. And here was the trick, those shadows that moved unusually, against the grain were what you were looking for, still it was difficult, everything was in that eerie white light. Snowman looked down a little, the gen 4 NVG’s were well shielded against the artificial light, but this didn’t stop the goggles flaring a little under such extreme illumination, there!, movement on the edge of the hill, several people suddenly appeared at once, moving towards them at a very quick pace. AW ‘s throat mike activated, “Murph I have seven TNI approaching 30 yards and closing fast on my position, no NVG’s present”. “ Murph didn’t hesitate, “ at 20 let’ em have it AW, Call it out, ok people its about to start, keep cool”. Murph felt for the safety and flicked the selector to three round burst on the M16, Ready to rock he thought.

 

 

AW, surveyed the scene in front through his NVG’s, that eerie green hue with grey and black making up the scene as well, he could clearly see the approaching TNI Infantry, the overhead flare merely making their detection easier, and ruining the Indonesians night vision. At the rate the flare was dropping it would be another 15 to 20 seconds before it faded out completely, not quite soon enough he thought.

 

AW pulled the stock of his SAW in closer, he’d selected the group slightly off to his left, and called out as he depressed the trigger, unleashing chaos in their small part of the jungle. “Contact front”, AW called and pulled the trigger the final stage, walking a full 20 round burst of 5.56 millimetre slugs into the 2IC of the Indonesian patrol.

 

The tracer rounds never had time to ignite, at 30 yards, as he walked the barrel slightly right the four TNI regulars which had bunched up slightly caught nearly all his rounds, only those missing spearing off across the hill and igniting. The 2IC took a full five rounds across his lower abdomen, almost completely severing his torso in half, bowel, intestines and body parts ripped to pulp as both the slugs them selves mushroomed out, tore body organs and the sheer shock trauma from the rounds passage added to the pulpy mess,  he collapsed backwards from the successive impacts, rapidly going into shock and bleeding out. The Saw’s rounds continued right and climbing slightly, stitching one trooper in the chest and the second round tearing his arm off at the shoulder , spinning him as he collapsed to the ground writhing and screaming.

 

The impact causing him to snatch the trigger on his M16 , sending rounds careening back over the head of Murph as the rest of Burger 1 opened up all across the hill line.

 

The Indonesian troopers numbers had been cut down by the two claymores, and there were only 11 members of the once 18 man patrol left, fully 9 of these died in the opening onslaught of fire from the Australians.

 

The night was rudely interrupted for the Indonesian patrol commander, firstly they had blundered into what was thought to be some old booby traps, wounding 4 of his men, 2 critically, he’d been forced to detail another two troopers along with his medic to look after them as the balance checked out the hill to their front. Now it seemed as if all hell had broken loose, tracer rounds and muzzle flashes could be seen all across the hill, long snarling bursts of automatic machine gun fire, Squad weapons he thought, what have we walked into?.  He screamed for his troopers to respond and three did so, the rest were either dead, cowering or as his ears told, writhing and screaming in agony.

 

They had to move he thought, but with so few men what could he possibly do, the commander stuck his head up to survey the scenery, it seemed as if as quick as the machine and rifle fire had started it had again stopped, where had they gone, had the enemy broken contact?. He grabbed his M16 and got to all fours, looking over to his left and around the large mahogany tree that had been providing his cover, when he saw the muzzle flash to his front.

 

Murph had already used a clip and a half in the brief contact, his troopers like all elite soldiers had only fired at targets,  when none more had presented themselves they ceased firing, aside from the blood curdling screaming and moans of the Indonesian wounded out front, he could hear no other sounds. Murph checked in on his team, “ Burger one team, status check”. One by one all members of his four man sub section checked in. all were good. “ All members hold position, be ready for fight through I want to clear this hill top down towards the trail and then high tail it back here, stand by”. Murph put his night scoped M16 back to his shoulder and scanned across the area in front, THERE!, an Indonesian soldier was getting up and had stuck his head around the corner of that fucking huge tree.

 

Murph automatically swung back and placed the cross hairs on the targets head and depressed the trigger, the three rounds barked out of the M16, creating a foot long muzzle flash and again destroyed the nigh time silence, Murph watched as the three round struck home almost instantaneously, like a watermelon being shot, the Indonesian troops head simply exploded in a great puff of red, blood bone and brain matter, falling backwards as the momentum of the rounds entering his skull forced his head back, before expanding inside and turning the back half to mush.

 

The trooper crumpled to the ground, Murph called out, “ Burger one team Move forward GO!”, and with that Murph, AW, Natalie and Barnes advanced. Nat could see immediately to her front, two Indonesian troopers writhing on the ground, now without the overhead illumination and totally oblivious to her approach, mind you she would not have considered it a stealthy approach because they were at a quick walking pace, she got to within 15 yards of the two wounded troopers and fully raised the steyr to her shoulder, centring the reticle on the nearest she squeezed the trigger, sending the 5.56mm fully jacketed round in the top of the troopers skull, killing him instantly, immediately swinging the steyr right and putting another round into his partner on her way down the slope.

 

Methodically the Burger 1 team moved down from their position, placing a round in anything that looked vaguely alive, this approaching death, the muzzle flashes slowly creeping towards them terrifying the final two troopers still alive out front of Barnes. Up till this point, coming down off the hill Barnes had not needed to fire his weapon, aside from the initial volley into a pair on TNI regulars, which as they were missing their top brain function apparatus when he found them meant he didn’t really need to shoot them again.

 

He could clearly see the pair whispering as they crawled away, back down the hill, whilst he called Murph, “ Murph gotta Pair over here still alive, we want prisoners”. Murph though about Barnes call briefly, Intel would be good, but then He wasn’t into pure cold blooded murder, once they took them in as prisoners there was no way he would kill them, they then became an unnecessary complication for the patrol. He called Barnes back, no emotion in his voice, “ Take’ em out”, was all he said, there by consigning two more to meet their maker.

 

Barnes flanked left a little further, and slowed his pace some, now quietly picking his way the through low canopy section of the jungle, he stopped. Barnes raised his weapon up, the two troopers were side by side , quietly whispering to each other, no doubt terrified and trying to work out what in the hell they were going to do.

 

 

SIERRA ONE ONE:  Multiple contacts

 

Sierra one was in deep, shit, what should have been a relatively simple journey for 40 minutes patrolling through the jungle to their RV , had turned into a series of ambushes and running gun fights for the last hour and a half, only the onset of darkness had given them a breather.

 

Havock now sat in a small huddle with Jolls and their very bedraggled looking prisoner, they were currently concealed in a large tree stump, which was surrounded with dense foliage and ferns, the moss making for a very comfortable seat, albeit with a wet arse.

 

Joll’s lowered himself back down into their bunker and looked at H, “ Jesus H. I’m not sure if we be having any lives left, fuck I reckon we’re in the negative”, jolls unsnapped a pouch on his webbing and pulled two snickers bars out, “H, want one”. Hell yes I thought, “Yeah ta mate”. Chewing away I wondered how the hell, we were going to make the RV, I was down to, two mags for the MP and still had four for the 16 I had collected, not good Harry, not good at all.

 

Whilst we quietly chewed our snickers bars I tried to figure out what the hell we would do from here on, the radios had now both gone tits up, Joll’s unit having taken a round through it and mine from a crash tackle. Well at least we had established contact with Burger 11, so the RV was at last transmission still on. Joll’s piped up, “ what’s the plan Harry, I’m down to just 4 mags for the steyr, glad we scavenged that ammo from that last fire fight”. Yeah I thought, our luck can’t hold, “ sooner or later we will be in deep shit, just scratches so far, that’s a fucking miracle in itself”. “Well at least its nigh now, we can use our NVG’s, they shouldn’t have low light gear”. True I thought, “lets fucking hope so Joll’s, keep ya fingers crossed, Hows our friend keeping up”.

 

After we had retreated from the weapons cache, we’d only covered about 250m when Jolls had spotted another inbound 6 man Indonesian patrol, that contact had lasted about 10 minutes and proved the worth of the suppressed MP5 in spades. Whilst Jolls had been point , he had worked his way, back towards the prisoner and myself who had moved off to a flanking position. It was here that it excelled, for whilst Jolls could suppress and hold their attention, targets could be taken out in silence, it hadn’t always worked, but two out of three was pretty good, the last contact was close run, way to close.

 

After the second contact we’d switched and I walked point, the last ambush was initiated by the Indonesians and only for birds scattering from some bushes further up alerting me, we would have walked straight into it. As it was they opened up immediately and they had a gun, M60 it turned out, two rounds had entered my ruck and tore out the other side, shredding everything inside almost.  Whilst I had kept the patrol delayed, Jolls put out two claymores, which I retreated through.

 

Thankfully the Indonesians were a little to keen to pursue us and set of both claymores in our pursuit, at that point both of us charged forward, killing all the remaining soldiers and finishing of the wounded. I must admit I really have no stomach for that, but we had zero chance of saving them, reality in this part of the world is brutal.

 

Joll’s was shaking my shoulder, I had wandered off, recounting the what ifs, “H ya still with us or what!”. “Huh, yeah, just about ready for a nanny nap I think, something tells me that’s outa the question at the moment but”. Jolls had a small chuckle, “ Derrrr ya think so”, he muttered, grinning.

 

One of his attributes I loved was his humour, unusually we had joined up and progressed through the ADF together, Infantry training, the additional quals courses, commando selection and finally the SASR, fuck what a trip, I thought to myself. Still , one of the best mates I could have.

 

“OK, heres what we band of fucking numbats is gunna do”, I said. “ Jolls you take our friend here again and I’ll go point, but I’m switching over to the MP, that way we might be able to take out silently any bugger we bump into or at least thin the fuckers out, Its dark so the NVG’s are gunna be a fucking blessing, cool”. Jolls took all of half a second to think about it, “ Rodger that H, lead off boss”.  “ OK lest get our little friend here a drink, well move in 5, I’m going for a recon, a sweep of our position, quick and dirty”. Jolls nodded and with that I got up, put my NVG’s on and step out, like the ghost that walks I thought.

 

 

The jungle had grown quiet, typically nighttime became very  much this way, but you also got the normal nocturnal sounds. Cicadas, monkeys, owls and so forth, not screaming mind you, just sorta percolating away in the background, what pricked the senses was nothing, no calls, it was too quiet. Startled, I stiffened as the palm frond to my front parted in the NVG’s vision, the Indonesian trooper had simply burst into the very small clearing, stumbling around in the darkness.

 

He was looking straight ahead, weapon at the ready, trying, straining I could see to make out movement in the almost pitch blackness, silently, with the advantage of the night vision goggles I stepped forward, seamlessly letting the MP5 come to rest against the ammo pouches, the right hand reaching behind and extracting my Gerber combat knife, silently everything operating on auto pilot. The trooper had progressed forward another metre or so to the edge of the small clearing, crossing directly in front of me, his upper torso exposed from the ferns and dense jungle undergrowth.

 

My heart had jumped, racing, as adrenalin was dumped explosively into the bloodstream, I took too full steps up behind the trooper, as my left hand grabbed the bottom part of his chin, yanking his chin and head, up, at the same time back onto my shoulder. Making sure his mouth was closed, I jammed the Gerber into the right side of his neck, slicing all the way into the hilt and viciously pushing it forwarding a clock like motion whilst pulling the knife out, fully severing over half his throat and neck muscles as I felt his blood spurt, warm all over my hand, soaking my combat gloves.

 

He tried to twist, and bucked violently as the knife penetrated, pushing himself up on his toes, until the Gerber’s twin sharpened edges cut both his arteries, whilst the point spun towards the back, slicing through his spinal cord between his vertebrae. He went limp, just some final spasms, as I smelt the stench of vented bowels.

 

I was lowering him to the ground when I heard a shout in Indonesian, his mate, armed with his flashlight popped out the same fucking whole his now dead counter part had. “Jesus this is getting hairy”, I thought, getting no answer and I guess, thinking something was wrong he turned on his fucking torch, instantly the goggles flared as I dropped and spun right, desperately seeking to get the MP5 free for a shot.

 

As the torch came on his eyes went wide at the scene, me his dead, blood soaked comrade with severed throat, falling to the ground in front of him, pure horror and astonishment at what lay before him. He dropped the torch and immediately started to bring around his M16, which had been slung over his right shoulder.

 

Fuck, I thought, this is turning to shit fast, he was screaming now at the top of his voice, the whole jungle now aware, “ Allah Akbar”, as I rolled right, snatching the trigger on the MP5 one handed, my left arm still pinned beneath his comrade. The line of slugs, all hit him fully square in the chest, a perfect three in his centre ring, smashing through his rib cage and tearing his heart apart on their way through towards his right shoulder. Before the rounds left his body though the smashed into his shoulder blade, the sub-Sonics venting their full force on his scapular, smashing it into thousands of tinny fragments and spinning his body, just as he depressed the trigger on the M16.

 

The night, which was punctuated by his screaming, now was shattered by the roar and muzzle flash of his M16, discharging on full auto, as he fell to the ground, rounds walking into his dead mate on my left, arching further up into the tree tops as he fell. The final two rounds of the 20 odd discharged slammed into my light weight body armour just to the left of my collar bone, whilst not penetrating, instantly breaking the bone in three places as the glanced off, careening into the jungle. Pain rippled through my shoulder, burning and numbing sensation from my left arm as I let out a scream.

 

Gunfire erupted all around me, rounds tore through trees and muzzle flashes could be seen left and right of my position, as what must have been a full 15 man Indonesian patrol opened up, wild random firing by panicked persons, not aimed at anything specific, just an ever increasing crescendo of exploding steel and noise, somewhere down their line grenades were being thrown, no targets just the massive whump and concussion of them going off..

 

The rounds were zipping passed, some close, some further away, I rolled right to fully free the left arm up, the Indonesians were both dead, so there really was no point hanging around waiting to get my arse shot off, The head set came to life, “H come in”, it was jolls. “Yeah Jolls, copy you, what’s your situation”. I was all of 60 feet from the tree stump, but as the vegetation was so thick I still could not make it out, The fire coming from the Indonesians was still fairly heavy, two of their light machine guns were working the area over pretty bloody hard, and this crawling along the ground shit wasn’t much better.

 

“ H we’re in tact here , no contact, some close calls with snoopers , but the trees holding up, had to gag our little mate, he’s shitting himself”, That brought a smile to my face, I could well see the poor bastard there in the stump, all manner of shit blowing up around them.

 

Panting and sweating profusely I continued crawling over towards the tree stump, each movement burned as pain from the broken collar bone shot through the body, only adrenalin tempering its effects. 10 meters out from Jolls position I heard more gunfire, this time it rolled in from over the ridge line, from burger one ones position.

 

“Great!, Fucking hell, now the cavalry is in the shit”, I muttered to no one in particular. The throat mikes were hot, so Jolls heard my muttering, “H what’s the plan, I do not figure on being general fucking Custer here”. I grinned a little, no, that was not my plan either, although I wasn’t completely sure just what we were going to do, except maybe get the fuck out of doge in a hurry.

 

“Jolls, we will keep heading west for about another 100m then hook right hard towards Burger one one, maybe catch the bad guys their dancing with from the flank or something”, I blew more air out, the arms were fucking killing me as I rolled over a lent against the tree stump, just as more single shots rolled in from over the hill line. Someone was getting a coupe de grace I thought, hopefully our lot doing it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FROM THE DARK:

 

 

 

Cat, was still tracking the departing F16’s afterburners, when an icy ball materialised in his stomach, Rhino and DB, were still hooping and hollering the cockpit like 16 year olds when Cat came over the intercom, “ HIND 5 o’clock 1000 meters, Fuck he’s got us”.

 

SHIT!”, Rhino cursed, twisting the collective to drop Bundy zero zero to the deck, he new they had little chance at this distance with the Hind, mere seconds now separated them from a high explosive death unless they could get on the ground, they simply didn’t have enough airspeed to take the Hind on at this distance, before they got another 100 meters he would close in even further. No Rhino thought, we’ve got to get on the ground fast.” Hang on, I’m putting her on the deck”

 

The MRH90S was specially armoured being a spec ops chopper, but 12.7mm HE and Armour piercing rounds like the Hinds chin gun carried were much bigger than she was armoured to stop, 30 feet off the deck the first rounds slammed into the fuselage 2 meters behind DB and walked their way forward in a series of brilliant sparkles across her dark black exterior.

 

Cat was screaming at the 50 cal, holding down the trigger. Pumping out rounds in a continuous stream at the Hind, hoping like hell to get lucky, “ Come get some you fucking arseholes, come on, come on fuck ya!”, Cat still screaming at the top of his lungs watched in fascination as the Hinds chin gun opened up, gracefully the tracers ate up the distance as he kept his finger on the trigger.

 

DB had immediately jumped on the radio contacting their Spec ops base, “ Snow zone Base, this is Bundy Zero Zero, 12.5 clicks south west of trigger point, we have a third Hind contact, going in, Mayday Mayday”.

 

DB transmission was cut off as the world around him exploded in plexiglass and metal splinters, shell fragments shattered the side of his flight helmet and shredded the right side of his flight suit, tearing multiple gashes in his chest and bicep. A splinter from the external armour just behind the cockpit, careened of the cockpit wall separating the crew compartment, it tore across DB’s thigh ripping an opening up 2 inches wide, the bloody torn gash almost a full inch in depth, crimson blood immediately pouring out across his thigh as he Screamed in agony, whilst clutching his leg.

 

The multiple assaults on his body, followed by the severe leg wound finally overcame All DB’s senses, blacking him out mercifully to the intense pain and the continued assault on his body.

 

Rounds continued to walk up across the front outer fuselage of the MRH 90S as it plummeted the last 20 feet to the ground, slamming onto the jungle clearing, shrieking and tearing metal,  driving the undercarriage up through the floor, Cat, still tethered to his flight harness and static line was tossed around the cargo compartment along with all the other equipment still rolling around from the evasive manoeuvres, pain driving up through his ankles until the gave way, his static line suspending him off the deck, like a limp rag doll.

 

Rhino heard DB scream with pain as the cockpit disintegrated around him, Cat Blazing away with the 50 could be heard over the explosions and screaming obscenities at the Indonesian Hind. “ Keep firing Cat, hit the fucker”, Rhino screamed into the intercom,  he knew they were dead, it was going to end.

 

The chopper blades were still spinning, dust, jungle foliage and lose debris were spaying all over the place as Cat came too, looking up as he heard the Hind scream over the top. Cat spun in his harness putting his feet on the floor as pain shot through his ankles, screaming as his stood upright he could see sparks , his eyes stinging from the smoke in the front cockpit, blood was all over the front wind screen , DB and Rhino their blood soaked bodies, both slumped forward, lifeless at their controls.

 

Cats training kicked in yelling to him self, “Move move come on”, unsnapping his harness, he reached the bulkhead and unlocked the case from the choppers bulkhead, grabbing a steyr and webbing, then diving out the door. Prop wash stun his eyes and face as he up righted himself, in a half couch, Cat ran at a hobble away from the doomed chopper, stopping only when clear of the blades he dropped his gear and started unlatching the cases metals clips.  Muttering to himself “ Calm, calm, take ya time, okay, remember the steps like they showed ya”, Cat opened the case, he could hear the HIND, behind him, its engines growing louder, growling almost, any minute now it would be  back to finish them off in a storm of lead and rockets.

 

 

Cat stood upright, and hoisted the tube onto his shoulder, his right hand grabbing the trigger grip and  activating the Stingers seeker head, “ where are you ya fucker”, scanning the sky the thermal sight picked up the Hind about a kilometre away, nose down, like some evil insect, screaming in towards them, “ Come on, come  on, lock on ya fucking piece of shit”.

 

 

The Hind was now 800 meters from the smouldering wreckage of Bundy Zero Zero and closing at three hundred knots, the Hinds Gunner was lining up on the bright green flaring thermal image of the Australian chopper when he noticed a bright flare from outside the helicopter, arching up straight towards them, “ SAM SAM SAM”, screamed over the young gunners intercom, the Chief Pilot banked the Hind Hard right applying maximum power, making his first and last mistake of the night.

 

Cat heard the tone, or growl as the stingers seeker head locked onto the Hind, a front aspect shot was a low percentage as you could get and the seeker had taken longer than he thought it should, to lock on. Hearing the growl Cat depressed the trigger, the Tube Jumped, as a louder whoosh thundered to his ears with the missile leaping from the launcher,’ “Eat that shit arsehole” Cat screamed. Dropping the tube to the ground, he watched as the Hind Banked to his right, the missiles bright red motor glow tracking effortlessly the now broad side on chopper, “ Fuckers”.

 

 

The explosion caught Cat by surprise , not expecting it , the blast wave slammed into him with almost full force, only the presence of a small rise to his front shielded him from the blast, picking him up and throwing him backwards in a somersaulting, flailing heap of arms and legs.

 

Cat groaning, as he struggled to his feed stared in shock disbelief, at the now fading mushroom cloud above where Bundy Zero Zero had been, off to the right, he could see the remnants of a midair explosion where the Stinger had obviously killed the Hind. His senses returning Cat ran Forward Screaming, tears streaming down his dirty, blackened Face, “ No No Nooooo Rhino, DB!”, sinking to his knees, sobbing, his chest heaving as spasms wracked his body, his hands cupped over his flash burned face. Finally, as the sobs subsided, cat pulled his hands away and  looked up at the remaining wreckage of Bundy Zero Zero, he could see, that both DB and Rhino had been killed, completely blown up, in the resultant blast, little was left to tell that the smoking pile of embers and fire was once a chopper.

 

 

The small Jungle clearing, not more than 50 meters in diameter, was eerily lit by the dying flames of the choppers wreckage, the glow casting shadows that seemed to prance around the clearing, the golden flickering flames, highlighting a lone figure on the clearings only rise, immobile, shoulders slumped gazing off into the inky black night sky. The figure did not move, immobile and not making a sound, Bundy Zero Zero’s lone crew chief, simply sat there on his haunches in shock staring into oblivion.

 

Suddenly a few remaining rounds from the choppers .50 call machine gun exploded, popping and  crackling loudly across the clearing and  night sky, the sounds reverberating back and forth, startling the lone figure. Cat jumped, “ Fuck”, the sudden noise snapping Cat back to the moment, his day dreaming of outings and the various shenanigans on leave with DB and Rhino, suddenly terminated as he was snapped back to the present by the sounds.

 

Slowly almost in a stupor, Cat scanned the wreckage, there really wasn’t much to scan, Bundy Zero Zero, not only carried additional fuel for their long Spec ops missions, but also enough ordinance to fight a small war, several in fact, Both Rhino and Cat believed in having more than was required, “co’s Ya Never know when the shit will hit the fan” as Rhino used to say. Summoning all his strength, Cat stood up, grabbing the Steyr assault rifle as he did so and giving his big frame a shake, like a dog getting out of water.

 

Looking down at his combat harness and attached webbing Cat took stock of his Situation. “ well, that’s that I guess”, It was an unusually fatalistic approach for Cat, being known in the Spec Ops community as bloke who was always up beat, the death of his two best mates, had possibly altered cats outlook forever, it wasn’t however going to distract him from the task ahead. “ Right, Cat me boy lets get ya shit together, and bugger off before more trouble arrives”, with that cat turned and strolled across to a clump of low shrubs and knelt down on the dam ground, one by one he started unsnapping the pouches and checking out what he had to work with.

 

“Righto, 6 mags, 3 white phos and a frag, tucker in the bum bag, emergency radio and water, thank god”. Cat looked up, taking a quick scan around the clearing, tracking clockwise whilst looking over the steyrs battle scope, the tritium coated foresight glowing in the dark, scanning ever so slowly for the faintest sign of movement. The fires from the chopper were almost out, the smouldering wreckage was now just generating a lot of thick oily smoke, which Cat could see was starting to hang low across the clearing, just the faint sounds of the dieing flames coming to cats ears.

 

Satisfied that all was clear, Cat returned to the task at hand, having reached down  and grabbed his Webbing, he swung it over his shoulder and put his arms through, he could feel the fatigue in his movements, the exercising during the  Choppers air fight, the mad scramble out of the chopper and downing of the HIND had all been adrenalin fuelled, Cat new he needed to get moving, both to clear the site, as the Indonesians would surely be on their way and to keep from seizing up, action was the best course he thought to himself

 

. “ Hmmmm”, Cat quietly mumbled, ever conscious of sound and its ability to carry in the still night air, “ lets go due east, skirt the clearing and then see if we can get this fucking emergency Radio to work”. With that Cat stood up and started to walk  for the edge of the clearing, the Head and Steyr continuously scanning together in unison, sweeping his frontal arc for signs of movement as he made a direct beeline for the jungles edge.

 

It took Cat all of 10 minutes to reach the edge of the jungle clearing, the distance had come as a surprise and the undulations, laced with decaying timber and chopper debris has caused him to trip several times, once almost falling flat on his face. That had required a brief stop to clear the barrel end of the weapon, which generated a few low mutters. Having reached the clearings extremities, cat hooked right and skirted the edge, no more than 5 feet into the still thin undergrowth, the chopper was now behind him, about 30 meters away, fading into the distance.

 

 

Cat froze, slowly the his arms tensed and the Steyr moved up into his line of sight, scanning to his left out into the clearing, Cat wasn’t sure what it was he had heard, if anything at all, possibly something from the chopper or maybe even a small animal but alarm bells had gone off .  Cautiously, Cat continued forward, one foot gently being placed in from of the other, Side of heel, foot going down forward and then flattening out, the process repeating itself for every footfall as he continued forward for the next 5 or so meters, scanning, straining his eyes, never looking directly at an object as taught. They hurt, still stinging slightly from the blast and resultant smoke and with no night vision gear, Cat was almost as blind as a bat, it was going to be a long bruising walk outta the jungle.

 

He started to pick up the pace, Cats thoughts were starting to clear, now he had the throes of a plan, “East, lets move east, gotta put 3 clicks between me and the crash site tonight me boy, Cat though to himself”, suddenly Cat got that oh shit moment as his foot struck the object, he started tripping over the log laying across in front of his path, without being able to get his other foot over it in time, Then the laws of Physics started to take over, with his tall frame and weight now forward over the log, he commenced his fall  towards the earth face first, groaning  cat instinctively put his left arm out, fully extended to blunt the impending smack of the ground, when he also noticed the log gave way, rolling slightly and moaning, “ Oh shit” cat cried out, suddenly realising as he crashed into the undergrowth, that the log was a person.

 

As Cat rolled, frantically trying to get himself upright he started yelling” Rhino, DB, is that you”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Head Quarters SASR Special Detachment Brunei:

 

The normally quiet com’s tent, situated I the middle of camp whisky was jumping, radiating energy in more ways than one actually. To the casual observer, the traffic in and out of the tent, would seem normal, well normal for any camping ground, the various body, walked at a brisk pace, some bantering and carrying folders. The difference however, was that this Rather large tent was the central hub for all special air service regiment operations, currently taking place in the Brunei and Indonesian archipelago. The epicentre of all dark matter, skulking about tropical rainforests with death in tow, an ever present grim reaper.

 

The only thing giving the tent away as something extra ordinary was all the cables running out the back,  the two fucknormous air conditioning units, plugged into the side cooling all the sophisticated com’s gear, more aerials and sand bags than a Saddam Hussein bunker complex and two very mean looking fully armed guards.

 

The two figures strolling towards the tent however were deep in animated discussion. It was not widely known outside of the military, that a RSM was the one person who happened to walk in both the world of the officers and the enlisted men. All digs knew to fear the RSM, not a man to be lightly mucked with, but its was also a given he was unscrupulously fair and made sure the officers were aware of the troopers requirements. RSM Mick Harris was the man, GOD, and the Colonel quite frequently deferred to his opinion on matters, the sign of a smart Commander.

 

At this point however, it seemed by the RSM’s arm waving they were in disagreement.

Sir, we have no stand by choppers for a search and rescue, best we can do is see if 4 RAR have any birds available and mores the point, the legs to reach the crash site, we’ve had no survival beacons, although I don’t expect any yet, even if they are alive”, Mick lowered his arms and waited for the Colonels response, which he knew was coming.

 

 

 

 

  • Conversation is between RSM and colonel, what the status is of Bundy zero zero and who is in the back up bird for SAR , KARADA, ref squirrel rage, and JB’s concern in putting another hot head in the zone. What’s the status of Burger 11, can they break contact and make the RV where Bundy zero zero went down.*
  • Reference coffee ( cappuccino), skirts in the combat zone.
  • Discussion on Indo movements and surfacing political issues with the Sultan.
  • Topic of conversation on Bundy crew death letters to their  NOK,

 

 

Move scene to JB’s tent, RSM present, Div Intel Office ( character to be confirmed), discussion JB, Intel, RSM

 

 

  • JB, intimate moment on writing the letters, reflection, his minds thoughts, costs of the operation and impact on morale.

 

 

 

 

 

The lone figure sitting hunched over the desk, appeared at first glance to be writing, however, the little movement of hands, now visible toughly clasping the letter ,held out on the standard issue military collapsible desk, betrayed another scene.

 

This was the last and final draft of three other such letters that Lt Colonel Birmingham had written, each its own testament to the individual, both as a former serving member of the ADFs elite Special Air Service Regiment and as much also, to the individual themselves, a real person.

 

Whilst JB was known to his troopers as hard arsed and driving, they also new him to be a man of infinite patience, the troopers frequently prevailing themselves upon him, for recounts of his time as a notorious author and his literary world exploits.

 

In casting forward these snippets, the Colonel had fostered a sense of friend ship with all those he came into contact with, more so within the regiment. The regiment itself was a tight knit group; the loss of three people in the spec ops community was already being felt around the forward operating base and would for some time to come.

 

Like all tightly knitted communities, but more so within the military, they all dealt with their sense of loss and grief in different ways, banding together still more tightly when losses occurred and none more so than with their killed chopper crew.

 

The Colonel straightened up and drew in a deep breath, he’d known flight sergeant Moko before he had passed selection for the SASR, having grown up in Brisbane and met the former kiwi during his writing days. This letter was proving the hardest of all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Mrs & Mr Moko,

 

 

                                    It is with a great sense of foreboding and loss that I pen to you, the news of your sons death in combat. You will by now I am sure have received the Armies official notification and undoubtedly his falling.

 

I find little comfort in prose, bearing such horrendous news, that ones son has passed, his time here cut short, whilst defending those beliefs we all hold so dear.

 

Like many before, and more yet to come, they freely grasp our banners and ideals, the upholding of right, the suppression of evil and the defence of the weak, these ideals and beliefs are all we hold dear and fight for, yet all too often for some, they pay the ultimate price.

 

We, those of us here, in what we consider to be his extended family, feel deeply at his loss and share your grief, this, perhaps may be cold comfort now he is gone, but his shinning example, of all that is good, right and just in man, his sacrifice at the altar of freedom, whilst protecting those he was closest to, carries with it a nobility unmatched.

 

You, your family and our troopers shall miss him, please know, he died doing what he loved and for a cause in which he believed.

 

 

Yours faithfully

 

Lt Colonel

Commanding

Special Air Service Detachment

‘Borneo.

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “INTENSE: Can we fit the lot on. ( Its not the edited version..STILL, doing that in RED fucking pen)

  1. FUCKIN FAB buddy! I can’t wait to read over it again I am finally getting my navigator skills on here

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