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Company AAR - Operation Sandstorm
Moderators: Maj. A. Knight, Lt. J. Bailey, Ret. C. Doherty, Sgt. D. Stirling, 2Lt. M. Gray
Author Post
Lt. J. Bailey
Wed Dec 14 2016, 01:18AM

Registered Member #9176
Joined: Thu Feb 06 2014, 09:36PM
Posts: 692

Ribbons: 15
Medals: 14

Campaign Sandstorm AAR

Opening Statement

Operation Sandstorms efforts began within moments of touching down in the FATA region. It was a tough campaign from all aspects, but true to the 6th Airborne Division’s perseverance we completed our objectives of pushing out the enemies control over the region and handing over the peacekeeping duties to the American forces that are present.

"Boots on the ground"

The first objective was to enter the FATA region and transport all the equipment the Company would be using throughout the campaign. While the 908 Expeditionary Air Wing were transporting vehicles and equipment to Camp Lathbury, One Platoon were en-route via the roads in a convoy heading South. Within moments of setting foot in the region of FATA they came under enemy fire from the hills that were off to the East, the contact was heavy, speed of the convoy was 60 while under fire and all convoy vehicles were returning fire. While travelling further South the amount of incoming fire subsided as the Platoon reach the American Checkpoint, from then-on contact was minimal as they drew closer to Camp Lathbury.

"First Orders"

Once inside Camp Lathbury the Company unloaded and inventoried all vehicles and equipment. Within 10 minutes of reaching Camp Lathbury the first orders were received. The orders were to meet the populous of Tottah. The Platoon loaded up into the Chinooks, hesitant as they were heading into unknown territory.

"Touch down"

As the Chinooks landed the Platoon headed North-West towards the town of Tottah. While enroute to the Southern part of Tottah the Platoon notice a vehicle heading towards them, as it drew closer the vehicle slowed its speed. Once it reached within 50 meters the two occupants disembarked and followed the orders of the point man at the front of the Platoon, the point man then engaged in conversation with the two occupants who were curious as to why the Platoon were near their town. After a talk with the Platoon IC the two occupants gave the name of their leader and told the Platoon IC that the leader of Tottah would be more than willing to talk. As the two occupants left and headed back to Tottah the Platoon carried on heading towards Tottah.

"Meeting the locals"

As the Platoon reached Southern Tottah many locals started to approach and wondered why the Platoon were in their town, however within a matter of seconds the leader approached and reassured the townspeople that all was in order. The leader who was now known as Asmun Djwarda invited the Platoon IC for a meeting at his headquarters. As the Sections set up an ARD, within a matter of minutes they came under sniper fire from the West which was dealt with quickly. Asmun Djwarda had explained that the town of Tottah was split into two, the North and the South, the North was less inclined to help NATO forces, while the South was pro NATO and accepted their aid to push back the enemies attacks on their town. Asmun Djwarda had also explained that the reason for the attacks on his town were due to a push to recruit new tribes into the regions UEIS faction. The next question was who is funding the UEIS faction? After a long talk it was conclusive that a Russian arms dealer named Boris Stresnikov was responsible for the funding and arming of the UEIS faction, which posed a new threat as it was likely they had access to possible specialist weaponry and equipment. New orders were formed to capture Boris Stresnikov to stop further funding and arming of the UEIS.

"Unstable politics"

In an attempt to bring together North and South Tottah, Asmun Djwarda held a speech in the center of Tottah while the Platoons job was to maintain security at the event. As One Platoon entered the speech area to carry out checks and maintain an ARD a pre-placed car bomb was detonated taking many civilian T4 casualties and four T4 British military casualties, with many more needing immediate treatment. The pre-planned attack was then reinforced with attacks from the UEIS at ranges of 400m away on each side of the hills (East and West) surrounding Tottah. One Platoon managed to hold Tottah and pushed back the enemy with the much needed support of the Apache. After an RTB to Camp Lathbury the Platoon headed back out to Tottah to provide medical aid to all injured in the explosion.

"Taking an enemy FOB"

Once the Company had received orders to find and capture Boris Stresnikov, an FOB was needed closer to the enemy. It was decided that the Platoon would capture and hold an enemy FOB (Al Qualat) in Urugal Valley. The Platoon setout from Camp Lathbury at dark, in a convoy consisting of multiple HMG and GMG mounted Coyotes. As the Platoon moved into enemy territory it was deemed unsafe due to many possible ambush points, it was at this stage the Apache was called in to provide overwatch as the convoy moved through the winding valley. As the Platoon moved through they found a destroyed American Humvee on the road which was deemed suspicious, the convoy moved around leaving a 30m radius between the vehicles and the destroyed vehicle, after the last convoy vehicle had moved 30m past the wreck a remotely operated small IED was set off, luckily no casualties were taken. After moving cautiously along the winding road for another 10 minutes the Apache had spotted a UEIS Land Rover with an unidentified package under it sitting on the road which the infantry couldn’t see due to a hill. It was deemed necessary for the Infantry to hold behind the hill while the Apache engaged with a Hellfire Missile. Once the UEIS Land Rover had been destroyed the convoy was clear to move on ahead towards the enemy FOB. At the foot of the hill of the enemy FOB, 1 Section and 3 Section dismounted their vehicles and headed up-hill towards the FOB walls, while 2 Section stayed in their vehicles and put down suppressive fire until both Sections reached the walls. Once they were at the walls both 1 Section and 3 Section breached and cleared the compound taking a few T3 casualties. 2 Section and 0/1 moved all remaining vehicles from the road into the FOB.

"A stroll through Pakmeh"

After returning to Camp Lathbury for R&R, One Platoon again headed out, this time to the small region of Pakmeh which was a known hiding spot for Russian arms dealer Boris Stresnikov. As the Platoon left Camp Lathbury in convoy, the Apache was sent ahead to scout for potential road IEDs and ambushes. Once the Platoon had passed through Tottah and headed West into Pakmeh a group of several individuals approached the convoy and said to beware of the region as their village had been taken over by insurgents. As the convoy headed further into Pakmeh an ambush lay in wait. With vine fields either side of the road they ambushed the convoy hitting Victor 3 as Victor 1 and 2 drove through. The vehicle was disabled and hard dismount was called to prevent further vehicular injuries Victor 3 and Victor 4 sustained heavy casualties with five T4’s and 3 T2’s. Victor 1 and 2 held the road into the village while taking sporadic contact to the North and East. All other Victors held at the Southern entrance to the village and dealt with the contact taking few T3 casualties. After the contact had been dealt with the convoy reassembled to push further North and check the remaining village, which was empty with no signs of Boris Stresnikov.

"Push into the North"

After returning to the recently captured FOB the Platoon received orders to head East to aid an American checkpoint that was holding off UEIS forces entering the South. As the Platoon set out East they headed uphill, only to find that a makeshift bunker position had been created overlooking the American checkpoint. A Platoon extended line was called ready to engage the enemy threat that was manning the bunker position. The order to open fire on the position was given and a firefight ensued, taking out most of the enemies in the bunker, however the enemy started to flank both North and South, the South being the first contact on the flank, the Northern flank was exposed and had dense shrubbery which made it difficult for the infantry to pinpoint enemy positions, the Apache was then called in to support the Northern flank with great effect. The attack on the enemy position was a great success with the Platoon only receiving few T3 casualties. After moving up and clearing the makeshift camp the Platoon headed further East, however as we moved down the hill an enemy ambush was triggered, luckily we had the upperhand as they were set up ready to assault the American checkpoint and therefore had to reposition themselves to engage the Platoon. The Platoon held their ground taking two T2 and four T3 casualties in the firefight. After the firefight ended the Platoon again pushed East, this time all the way to the American checkpoint. The Platoon then received new orders to clear a UEIS placed minefield set in front of the checkpoint stopping any vehicular progress. The infantry cleared the minefield taking four T4 casualties, it was the decided that the Platoon push North and take the fuel depot that the UEIS were using as a refuelling station. The Platoon held an extended line facing North ready to capture the fuel depot. All Sections opened fire on the enemy position as contact started to subside 1 Section and 2 Section leapfrogged across the open ground while 3 Section provided constant suppressive fire to allow the other Sections to cross safely. Once 1 Section and 2 Section reached the other side they started to clear the depot, while 3 Section moved across to setup an ARD facing North.

"Doctor Doctor"

With the American’s reinforcing the recently captured fuel depot, it gave the Platoon the chance to find a valuable asset in the town of Hama. The Platoon was tasked with heading in to Hama and capturing a doctor that the UEIS had taken from the town of Tottah while giving aid to the victims of the recent explosion.

The Platoon headed for Tottah via two Chinooks, where they pushed North in a Platoon extended line and easily captured the town of Hama and secured the doctor that was transported back to Tottah to provide aid.

To further slow the enemies attacks on Tottah the Platoon pushed into Khassadar where a close quarters battle took place. Once captured the enemy setup mortars in which they used to harass the Platoon, a quick extraction was needed. The Signallers called in two Chinooks that picked up the infantry to RTB.

"SOS Khassadar"

As the Platoon had severely damaged the enemy hold on Khassadar the American’s were able to take it with relative ease and reinforce the area, however they were receiving sporadic mortar fire. 2 Section and 3 Section were tasked with holding the surrounding area around Khassadar. 1 Section were tasked with retaking the FOB located at Al Qualat as the enemy had retaken the position to have a presence in the South. 2 Section were covering the North and West while 3 Section were looking out to the road to the East, as the American’s reported vehicular attacks along the road were increasing. One enemy mortar position was spotted by 2 Section and it was swiftly dealt with by the American CAS that was available. Around 5 minutes later 2 Section received contact from the drilling area to the North, a clearance patrol headed out to clear the area of any remaining hostiles. In the meantime 1 Section had cleared and recaptured Al Qualat with ease taking no casualties. Once the American’s had hold on the FOB, 1 Section were re-inserted into Khassadar to cover the North of the ARD while 2 Section were retasked to holding the West. On the Eastern flank 3 Section excelled by carefully assessing a car approaching, despite being on Card Alpha they held fire until they were certain what they were dealing with. Fortunately it was a CIA informant that didn’t have contact with the American’s in Khassadar and was abruptly let in once cleared. Minutes later 3 Section had heavy vehicular contact to the East, in turn 3 Section took heavy T4 casualties, 1 Section were re-tasked to support 3 Section on the East but were still receiving heavy suppressive fire from the enemy. The American Officer at Khassadar took it upon himself to call in CAS on the vehicles outside of the Eastern entrance and the infantry contact was dealt with soon after by the Platoon. One last enemy mortar team set up to the North-East of Khassadar and proceeded to put mortar rounds into the friendly-held compound fatally wounding four Platoon members. Shortly after allied CAS was called in on the enemy mortar position.

"Tension moving North"

After reinforcing Khassadar the enemy decided to pull back to rearm and regroup. The Platoon had stayed in Khassadar as the next move was to move further North into Bahad.

The Platoon moved out North-West towards the town of Bahad, as the CIA informant had given intel on a possible meeting of two VIP’s in the area and that the populous were not happy that it was taking place inside of the town. The Platoon was cautious on the road to Bahad as it was still unclear if they were hostile towards NATO forces. After travelling for a couple of minutes 1 Section stepped on an IED that was hidden in defilade, while 1 Section held and regrouped, 2 Section took point along the road in a staggered column formation. After another 100m another IED was successfully spotted and was maneuvered around, it was after the second one exploded that it seemed like they were being remotely detonated. After rejoining the road 2 Section spotted a person sitting behind a rock, in turn their point man gave chase however the person in question escaped. Once the Platoon was ready to move in to Bahad, Card Bravo was issued to be as less threatening as possible. As the Platoon entered the town they were met with armed civilians which were watching each individual member to make sure they weren’t a threat to their town. Once 2 Section reached the center of Bahad the Platoon IC exchanged words with a local and gained intel to the whereabouts of the 2 VIP’s. The VIP’s were located in a compound in the Northern part of town, as 2 Section and 3 Section tried to surround the compound the alarm was raised and a firefight ensued between the Platoon and the compounds occupiers. After the firefight the clearance of buildings in the compound commenced and both VIP’s were captured alive and were restrained. Moments later enemy reinforcements approached from the North, as 2 Section and 3 Section engaged, 1 Section moved across the road on to the side of a hill to the East where they provided overwatch and suppressive fire to the North. Once enemy contact had subsided both VIP’s were transported East to the top of the hill while a Platoon ARD was set up around the Platoon IC and Signallers. The Signallers called in for an extract for the two VIP’s. In the meantime a Platoon member spotted the possible remote detonator contact and successfully restrained him. Once the Wildcat helicopter had the three POW’s the Platoon headed South back to Khassadar only to be met with light to medium contact. After breaking through the enemy contact the Platoon headed back to Khassadar, night fell and the Platoon were keeping eyes out North for possible enemy reinforcements. 1 Section who were furthest out West took down a convoy of hostile vehicles heading East towards Khassadar, while 2 Section and 3 Section were holding the lines against infantry contacts and troop transport vehicles. The area was deemed too hostile and the Signallers called in two Chinooks to RTB to Camp Lathbury. A Platoon withdraw into Khassadar was called, as the Chinooks landed and the infantry were ordered to board-up, at this time mortar positions were being set up on the hills to the North. As the infantry boarded up a mortar shell landed within 50m just outside the walls of Khassadar, once Signallers got the all clear from Section IC’s that they were boarded up the Chinooks took-off, within a matter a seconds a mortar shell landed within 5m of the helicopter pads.

"The Heart of the UEIS"

New orders were received to head into the most Northern part of the region and assault the Torkham Highway area. The Platoon would have to static line drop behind enemy lines, make it to the location without being spotted and capture two UEIS leaders; Abdul Azeez and Rajul Allah.

The Platoon collected their T-10 parachutes and loaded up into the two C-130’s, Flight carefully planned the route in which they would take the least risk of getting hit by possible AA and Signallers were handing out jump numbers. As we neared the jump area uncertainty was the issue as the infantry weren’t sure on patterns of enemy movements, green light was called, the Signallers read off the numbers, the jump was a success. A Platoon ARD was called and within 3 minutes of landing a transport truck passed to the East, heading North-East. Unsure of the enemy numbers the Platoon stayed off road and headed North-East towards Torkham Highway town. 3 Section spotted two goat herders which were not alerted or aware of the Platoons presence.

After 10 minutes of travelling East the Platoon had reached the outskirts of Torkham Highway town, 2 Section were sent to the Northern outskirts while 1 Section and 3 Section were sent to the Western outskirts. As the Platoon breach and clear order of the town was given 2 Section were ambushed from their North which gave the Northern P.O.I an indication that they were under fire, 1 Section and 3 Section successfully breached the compound of the second P.O.I in the South and captured him taking a few T2 casualties due to an AA gun emplacement engaging. Meanwhile in the North, 2 Section has successfully dealt with the ambush but needed to breach and capture the P.O.I in their sector, however a BTR that had been given to the UEIS by the Russian arms dealer entered the town from the East and was engaged and destroyed by 2 Section. As 2 Section entered the building of interest they ordered the P.O.I to desist, however the P.O.I had a suicide vest on and activated it fatally wounding two 2 Section members and himself. 1 Section were now tasked with clearing the Eastern part of the town while 3 Section were to clear South-West. As 2 Section cleared the Northern part of town they spotted an IED along the road which was marked and believed to only be a pressure plate IED. As a full town ARD was set up, another single BTR headed in from the South which was quickly destroyed by 1 Section. As the town was clear Signallers ordered two Chinooks in which were ETA 10 minutes. After 3 minutes of zero contact, multiple explosions were seen from multiple buildings near 1 Section, the 1 Section IC caught on to the idea that they were blowing up all assets and intel in the surrounding buildings. A Platoon ARD was called in the center of town, not near any buildings that hadn’t been destroyed. After 7 minutes the explosions had finished and the Chinooks had landed in tandem, the infantry loaded up and RTB to Camp Lathbury.

"No supply, No demand"

Informants inside of Tottah had notified the Officer at Camp Lathbury that Boris Strelnikov would be in Tottah trying to recruit the populus to fight for the UEIS.

As night fell the Platoon loaded up into two Chinooks which inserted them to the East of Tottah. The town of Tottah was now fortified with Boris Strelnikov’s trained troops, the mission was to capture Boris and extract. The Platoon headed West towards Tottah and were finally within 100m of the walls. However as the Apache was providing overwatch two BTR’s were spotted in a small compound to the North, a plan was made that when the Sections breached Tottah from the North the Apache would fire on the two BTR targets. The initial assault on Tottah went smoothly each Section being given a sector to breach and clear. As the sections had cleared three quarters of the town it was becoming clear that Boris had escaped, however 3 Section saw movement in the market area and as the unidentified figure ran past it was clear that it was Boris, 3 Section took chase and successfully captured and detained Boris. The rest of Tottah was cleared and a full Platoon extract was ordered to RTB.

Once returning to Camp Lathbury all objectives had been completed, the UEIS had disbanded due to a collapse in their command and their supply of weapons and vehicles had been halted as a result of Boris Stresnikov being captured.

The region has now been handed over to the American’s to keep peace throughout FATA.


All members that achieved 50% attendance during the campaign received the Operation Sandstorm medal.

Mentioned in Dispatches

An award given to a soldier for being mentioned positively repeatedly in campaign AARs (dispatches). What follows is a list of said awards, as well as quotations from their respective ICs taken from after action reports.

A/Cpl. A. Harrison (Then A/LCpl.)
"Harrison took up a defensive position during a firefight and managed to hold off 20+ hostiles."

Pfc. C. Reynolds (Then Pte.)
"Reynolds not only assisted his section by facing multiple enemies and holding them off but also chased down and successfully captured a remote IED triggerman."

Pfc. T. Buck (Then Pte.)
"Buck performed exceedingly well throughout the campaign, stepping up to 2IC the section (to a very high standard) whenever the situation required. He also functioned as a dedicated CMT and his prowess with the ACE medical system is legendary within 1/2."

Pfc. J. Jackson

"Jackson's exemplary performance as DMR and Grenadier throughout sandstorm was essential in 1/2s many successes. Always a precise shot with his DMR (and his grenades!), he succeeded in neutralising snipers at extreme ranges time and time again, saving the lives of his section members."

Pfc. J. Noergaard
"Pfc. J. Noergaard has been a great section member of A/1/3, not only a good section member but also a good IC.
Noergaard has stepped up to being a 2IC of A/1/3 when A/Cpl. W. Thornberg or A/LCpl. M. Battistel were not around and did a great job."

Pte. M. Ford
"Pte. M. Ford has been a key member of A/1/3 doing good work with the L110A2 and also has taken a Combat Medical Technician role in the section and done more than great as that role. Ford has done nothing but shown perfection in the field and only shown improvement during the campaign."

Military Cross
Awarded for consistent outstanding soldiering and behavior in active operations against the enemy that has contributed towards the success of the Company.

Pfc. S. Gibbons (Then Pte.)
"During a firefight with insurgents Pfc. S. Gibbons threw himself onto a live grenade. His act of sacrifice undoubtedly saved the nearby members of 1/1 Charlie and 0/1 from injury. Gibbons also worked with Pfc. Reynolds to chase down and capture an IED triggerman."

[ Edited Wed Dec 14 2016, 11:00PM ]

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