So I get this brief from the Deuce. We've identified multiple targets in sector moving at various times. They loiter in one location for a few hours and then move slowly to another location and loiter there. We believe it is an AIF cell that is getting weapons from multiple cache sites. The long loiter times are due to them having to dig up the ordinance.
I was told to conduct an operation out in the empty quarter--a part of our AO that isn't quite in the middle of nowhere, but it has the same zip code. It's a two hour drive to get to nowhere, down a very highly IED laden road. All keyed up and nowhere to go, I rode in silence, pondering. If they are there when we get there, they'll have lots of weapons and know the ground much better than we do. They'll know where to hide, where to fight, and where to run. I can't send any recon in there because it will tip our hand, and they'll melt into the sands.
Shit. This could get really ugly, and I'd be hours away from help. Extraction by air was possible, but I'd be damned if anyone was going to be dancing on the hood of Aces 6 (my truck) while I skittered away on a whirlybird. Not. Going. To. Happen. I've got way too much pride to do that. Only REMFs abandon ship when the going gets rough. Besides, I'm signed for these trucks.
We get to the target area, moving slowly (so we dont kick up a huge trail) and use the limited terrain to move as undetected as possible.
We were successful. Sort of. They never saw us coming, never knew we were there until we were on top of them. We had them surrounded. We had the drop on them. They were very nice. They welcomed us. They gave us rides.
Eight hours of my life that I wont be getting back. But we made friends today.