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Antler Company AAR
Moderators: Maj. A. Knight, Lt. J. Bailey, Ret. C. Doherty, Sgt. D. Stirling, 2Lt. M. Gray
Author Post
Maj. A. Knight
Sat Apr 12 2014, 09:04AM

Registered Member #91
Joined: Wed Jul 08 2009, 07:46PM
Posts: 2105

Ribbons: 8
Medals: 15

Operation Antler AAR

Captain's Opening Statement

Operation Antler marked a significant milestone for the 6th, a fully internal, dynamic and integrated campaign supported by all NCG’s. Not only did it run more smoothly than any other previous campaign but it was a fun and exciting challenge on many levels from the sections right up to Company level strategy.

The 6th went into Antler with a well trained Company following Campaign Spartan, despite the intensity of Spartan, plus a period of hectic pre operational training the Company was deemed operationally ready after a full inspection from the Captain. The Antler Strategic Command Team had spent weeks coming up with various plans, analysing maps and planning manoeuvres, available supplies among other things. One part of Antler that was new and unique in 6th history was the element of a real enemy command team who would be controlling the forces in and out of game, as a result of this the entire Company was on strict OPSEC rules, even the senior NCOs had no clue what was coming.

1 hour before ‘Operation Start’ on Sunday 9th March 2014 the Section IC’s waited nervously as the briefs were handed out, the men were prepared and the task that lay ahead became clear...

Day 1

4:00AM, The Caribou Islands, a full moon but cloudy sky, the Company was assembled on the deck of the HMS Bullwark; weeks of planning were finally transferring over to action. After a brief but commanding speech from the CO the callsign “Portsmouth” was given. The Recce teams (Romeo 1-1 and 1-2) sprinted to their boats and made their way to the 2 beach landing sites. Meanwhile Flight’s Archer 1-1 begun to take off and gather intel.

The rest of the Company gathered what supplies were available – considerably less than the men were used to. After a brief wait call sign “Hexam” was heard over the command net. The Platoons began to usher their men to the RHIB’s which sped out into the Bay. At this moment the Captain was heard turning to his radio operator uttering "If it is going to go wrong it will go wrong now- I hate bloody boats". Almost immediately enemy Flankers buzzed overhead, some tried to strafe the small boats as they made their way to the holding point but were unsuccessful. Flight heroically attempted to distract the enemy jets with some impressive manoeuvring of the Apache which gave a brief window to the Company.

After some nervous moments the silence was finally broken by Romeo 1-1 and 1-2 reported back, “Charing Cross” meaning 1 Platoon's beach was clear but “Wark” from 1-2 meaning 2 Platoon's beach was compromised. With increased enemy air threats and the element of surprise slipping away all units were ordered to their beaches with the callsign “Kilmarnock” & “Stirling”.

1 Platoon silently hit their beach, regrouped with Romeo 1-1 and hid in the woodland outside their objective- Fort Crassus. 2Platoon had some trouble locating the correct landing site at night and being harassed by the enemy. Eventually they regrouped and found FSG. While on point they encountered an enemy Patrol in Uphill Woods. After a short but bloody engagement they proceeded to their overwatch position.

As FSG got into position above Fort Crassus, 2 Platoon moved to Steelview Stand to get eyes on the airfield but where discovered. This initiated a good 30 minutes of bombardment from Mortars, enemy air assets and fixed emplacements. A heroic band management to regroup and stay alive amongst the exploding forest. Later this group lead by Corporal Maltby ambushed an enemy patrol and held the only road into Fort Crassus.

Meanwhile 1 Platoon assaulted a strangely quiet Crassus, textbook manoeuvres were carried about but few enemy were present. Some supporting elements were eliminated on hill 148 but 1 Platoon and FSG but the fort was quiet. This was soon shattered as elements of 1plt set off hidden mines, leading to a giant explosion that could be seen from Raven Rock as the gas tanks erupted, soon followed by the much despised enemy mortar and flanker attack.

Flight did their best to provide ISTARs and air support but was severely hampered by a complete lack of air superiority – this did not stop them from destroying some key enemy armour as well as transport helicopters from a safe position.

FSG then moved to the ridge line overlooking the airfield after dealing with small groups of Spetsnaz trying to infiltrate the line. A battered 2nd and 1st platoon then shifted to their secondary locations to assault the airfield once some much needed suppliers were flown to Crassus. Despite ongoing enemy bombardment and combat patrols both platoons got into position. The order to attack was given and FSG were able to take out some anger on the enemy within the airfield. 2nd Platoon added their fire to the mix and began assaulting. FSG were also able to take down some key enemy armour and AA with the Javelins.

In true 1st Platoon style they assaulted beyond the objective and captured the enemy ATC tower including an enemy general while 2nd Platoon cleared the airfield and killed the remaining forces. The front line was secured, the beachhead was established. Flight were flying in reinforcements and supplies constantly to bolster the line for the morning when an enemy counterattack was expected.

Day 2

As the sun rose over mountains the Company dug in, FSG in the centre on over watch accompanied by a stolen enemy Zu-23. 2 Platoon held the ridge line to the north that they had lost many lives the previous night to capture while 1 Platoon held the airfield and ATC Tower.

A few enemy sections came from the front with 1 flanking to the south, a combination of FSG with their new toy and 1 Platoon ensured the enemy did not break the line. As the Company had pushed forward Flight could have greater control of the air, especially with the newly captured airfield sporting the Eurofighter. The combination of the Apache and the fixed wing was a deadly mix the enemy would soon learn.

After a period of routine shelling only the sound of the Apache could be heard.When it was clear the enemy was not coming forward , 1 Platoon moved to hill 104 with the FSG while 2 Platoon flanked and captured “Coleslaw”. Both groups faced enemy patrols and continued artillery attack.

With Oil Bay in sight the FSG, both Platoons and all available flight assets were brought to bear, significant enemy forces were annihilated from the hills around the bay that were now in 6th control. With armour threats destroyed 1st Platoon hit from the south while 2nd Platoon moved in from the north west. 1st Platoon had taken too many casualties to progress and 2nd Platoon managed to just secure North station.

Hundreds of enemy had been slaughtered in Oil Bay and the Company took some time to rest before the advance continued with fresh troops.

Day 3

All elements of the company begun their advance in land but this was cut short as the harrier was destroyed on the runway by an enemy section that had slipped through. FSG and 1st Platoon were dispatched and the enemy was neutralised.

2 Platoon conducted combat patrols around “Coleslaw” and had some engagement, they proceeded to gain significant intel on enemy locations around the AO from various high points. Meanwhile 1 Platoon pushed into Oil Bay with FSG support. A significant enemy counter attack occurred , 1 Platoon slowly fought their way to East Station which they held until relived by the FSG.

HQ then deemed it appropriate to double the fronts, Lance Corporal Hawkins received a QRF brief, minutes later the Platoon was being flown to the opposite end of the island. The Platoon touched down on the northern tip then proceeded to execute a textbook assault of an enemy communications outpost, holding against counter attack and capturing an enemy general.

After Oil Bay had been secured 1 Platoon and FSG pushed further East towards “Hightower”, FSG and command elements set up on hill 117to provide cover to 1 Platoon as they advanced across 400m of rough terrain uphill towards the objective. Almost immediately 1 Platoon found themselves under attack by danger close enemies. FSG provided heavy suppressing fire to allow 1 Platoon to regroup and continue moving up the hill. FSG used the Javelin to take out an enemy ZU23 and then began to rain lead on enemy within Hightower. Suddenly FSG expertly spotted an enemy counterattack on the flank and shifted axis to engage an 2 enemy Platoons emerging from Dredge Forest towards Oil Bay. A bitter firefight took place- the FSG laid down such brutal fire that surviving enemy surrendered. FSG ammo checks reported over 12000 rounds were expended.
1 Platoon captured and held Hightower against an enemy counterattack and then prepared for the next day.

Day 4

The Company was now split, 1 Platoon , FSG and command at Hightower overlooking the Eastside Port and 2 Platoon on the northern flank.

Both positions represented a significant threat to key enemy objectives (Port & Headquarters), therefore he threw significant forces at both elements of 6th AB. A desperate defence on Hightower lasted for nearly 40 minutes as wave after wave of enemy attacked from all directions. Flight managed to bring in supplies despite taking fire and suffering damage to an airframe.

In the North 2 Platoon moved south towards their objective and were ambushed by a large enemy force, the Platoon was nearly wiped out and hard to fall back and regroup. Eventually they were able to fight through to their staging position overlooking the enemy HQ where they took sniper fire and were again forced to consolidate.

Meanwhile 1 Platoon and FSG conducted an assault on the Port, significant fire was brought down including the new F18 on gun runs. 1st Platoon moved in tactically and cleared out and captured the Port. They regrouped and then immediately pushed north securing the edge of the dangerous Dredge Forest. FSG were transported to 2 Platoon to assist the assault of the enemy HQ.

After a hurried brief FSG opened fire and 2 Platoon elements moved in to attack lead by Sgt Baxter, however it became clear the enemy had suffered such heavy losses that their appetite for fight had gone. Reports of enemy surrendering started to filter in. 2nd Platoon, despite taking some blue on blue forced their way in and cleared the enemy HQ as an official surrender was received.

The Antler Islands where now in 6th control, however new intel was suggesting the frustrated FAI government had ordered all remained offshore reinforcements to attack in a desperate bid to retake the island and secure its political position after the humiliating defeat.

Day 5

So much had been fought for and it all potentially hung in the balance on the 5th and final day of the campaign. The whole company was placed on QRF duty as Flight searched for enemy forces approaching the island.

Eventually reports filtered in of a large amphibious force of BMPs and PBX’s heading towards Oil Bay from the south. The company was scrambled in the Company’s reliable GOT’s. As the column sped towards to the front missiles streaked the sky destroying enemy attack and transport helicopters as they attempted to hit Oil Bay.

Both Platoons formed up on the ridge that overlooked the now infamous Oil Bay beach and lit up the approaching enemy. The enemy PBX’s were soon adrift, bodies littering the beach and sea. However, the BMPs surged onwards despite a volley of AT4s from the Platoons and began to tear up the friendly ridge. The Platoons were ordered to pull back to West Station as enemy infantry started to emerge on the flanks.

Meanwhile FSG moved to their old overwatch position of hill 104 and began to spot enemies approaching and started to engage as the Platoon withdrew. In the rush to face the enemy Javelins were not available so the company was relying on the F18s and Apache for anti-armour support- which was duly given. A rain of death poured from the sky as the true air might of the 6th was brought down upon the desperate enemy forces. Explosions rang out as enemy airframes burst into flames and BMPs were left burning on the shoreline.

Once in West station enemy infantry that had survived approached and were dealt with by the veteran Platoons. Groups of enemy began to surrender on the pressure yet others came forward from the East where 1 Platoon stopped them in the tracks and then sallied forth to push them back to the sea. 2 Platoon moved west to do the same with FSG support.

The remnants of the enemy fled back to the beach but no transport remained for them, elements of command and 2 Platoon moved back to recapture the old ridge line and with Apache support destroyed all remaining enemy forces. In celebration F18s flew over Oil Bay as the company finally stopped fighting.

The enemy were utterly destroyed but it came at a cost to the Company. The enemy general later took his own life heralding in the complete collapse of the Russian supported FAI government. The QRF actions of the 6th AB in the campaign saved the island and single-handedly brought down the enemy government.


Please join me in congratulating the following members for their performance in Antler. It was very difficult to award medals due to the compact nature of the campaign and the sporadic nature of AAR’s that I received so I apologise to those who were missed out.
Anyone who attended 3/5 will receive the campaign medal and anyone who received the Military Cross will automatically received the Mentioned in Dispatches award.

Pfc. M. Gaynor has been awarded the Military Cross & Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for being mentioned more times than anyone else in dispatches from within his Platoon as well as others. As well as receiving the Military Cross due to his consistent performance he also “won” in the fight for the coveted CGC in the Company. A quote that stood out in particular from his IC was that his actions led to “salvaging the situation when it looked like defeat was a certainty- Under incredible fire from land, sea and air, Gaynor saved the lives of countless members of both Platoons” Gaynor consistently did his job to a standard far higher than expected of anyone, continually risking his life and disregarding danger in order to provide medical attention for everyone. His actions are a testament to his ability and dedication, not just in the final mission, but in all missions. He has consistently proven his worth and has directly impacted the outcome of missions.

Lance Corporal Hawkins has been awarded the Military Cross for consistent high levels of performance in his Section, including a mid campaign transfer to 1-2. His actions culminated in taking over the Platoon where he planned and organised a successful air assault on an enemy position which ended in a capture of the enemy commander. He literally performed beyond the call of duty given his rank and for this reason has been deemed worthy.

Corporal Rhys has been awarded the Military Cross as well as a mentioned in dispatches for not only doing his duty to an exceptional level as section IC but he also stood up on multiple occasions to lead the Platoon and guide them through very difficult situations, in AND out of game. Rhys alongside Murray as been a bastion of stability for the Platoon which is why we feel he deserved a “non combat” medal as a special nod for this.

Pfc Dragon has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and Mentioned in dispatches for all the effort he has put in before and during the campaign. This is by no means taking away the hard work of the rest of the team but Antler would not have happened without all of Dragons effort and his open and constructive attitude.

Pfc. L. Roach has been awarded ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for consistently saving the section, for consistently attending and proving his worth, and for, on many occasions, neutralising more contacts than the rest of the section put together. Under great fire and stress, he captured a hill point against all odds, securing the position for the section he hill, he was described as demonstrating “ferocity and skill”. Furthermore, he has been a dedicated and active member of the section, more than proving his worth for these decorations.

Pte. Batorowski has been awarded ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for his consistent high performance across Antler where he successfully combined his role within FSG and going above this by taking on the position of E/1/4 radio operator.

Pte. Rhodes been awarded ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for his persistent excellent work in spotting and engaging the enemy at all ranges with subpar equipment receiving recognition by his CO on multiple occasions.

Pfc Alexander has been awarded ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for demonstrating the skills and attitude of 2 Platoon in every missions he was in receiving praise from his section and Platoon ICs- this was especially noted on Day 4 of the campaign.

Pfc. D. Galbraith has been awarded ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for showing tremendous proficiency in Acting as section IC, keeping a level head and making good, solid decisions in guiding his section under difficult circumstances, especially on day 3 of Antler.

Pte. Piper- has been awarded ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for displaying an all round high quality attitude and skill consistently across the whole campaign receiving special praise from his Platoon IC.

908 Expeditionary Air Wing

Sqn Ldr. B. Booni has been awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (RAF) for going beyond and above the call of duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy. He has shown skill, courage, determination and caution when deployed on day 1 of Operation Antler. Whilst flying the Apache AH-1, the 6th AB encountered considerable air threats in the AO. Although unable to engage in aerial combat, Sqn Ldr. B. Booni decidedly took to the sky in a Apache AH-1 and single-handedly engaged in aerial manoeuvring with an enemy Su-34. By doing so Sqn Ldr. B. Booni has distracted the enemy fighters from their main objective, the landing 6th AB COY in their RHIBS, and subsequently prevented many friendly casualties. Sqn Ldr. B. Booni has operated the AH-1 to it's limit, avoiding and defeating several AA missiles. Sqn Ldr. B. Booni has shown restraint in his action when he decided to disengage with the Su-34 after it had spend all its munitions and the AH-1 was out of countermeasures.

Flt Cdt. D. Tierney has been awarded ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for successfully applying his skills in multiple emergency situations in which his aircraft was loaded with numerous personnel, mainly whilst operating the Merlin HC-3. Although emergency procedures do not warrant decorations in general, Flt Cdt. D. Tierney went above and beyond what could be expected of him as a Flt Cdt. With his limited time in the 908 EAW, he has shown skill in multiple stressful situations and has consistently used his limited training to bring the situation to a safe conclusion.

Fg Off. C. Doherty has been awarded ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for his consistent professionalism whilst being deployed on Operation Antler. Although this is expected of every member of the 908 EAW, Fg Off. C. Doherty has shown skill and attitude that is exemplary for the 908 EAW

Kind Regards,

Captain A. Knight

[ Edited Thu May 14 2015, 01:32PM ]

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