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Company AAR - Xiphos
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Author Post
Vet. M. Henderson
Thu May 14 2015, 01:09PM

Registered Member #703
Joined: Fri May 25 2012, 12:03PM
Posts: 1266

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Medals: 12

Campaign Xiphos AAR

Opening Statement

Operation Xiphos will be remembered for the advancement it brought to this unit through the dedication of our NCGs and for both the incredible feats carried out in game by both individuals and groups.

The perseverance of the REME and RLC especially deserve special recognition as well as a mention for the ex-RLC head 2Lt Maltby who all helped to lay the foundations over the months leading up to Xiphos.

Day 1

As the vanguard of Task Force Zulu (NATO QRF Force) ACoy were the first allied boots on the ground, inserting into the southern underbelly of the Island of Bornholm. NATO SEAD, CAS and CAP aircraft allowed the Company to disembark safely and secure a beachhead for the mechanised assets of the 7CMBG to be brought ashore.

The task force began advancing west, in a two-up company formation, toward the decisive objectives of Roenne Airfield and its namesake - the port town of Roenne.

First contact was made with Russian forces at 0+35, on the Task Force’s right flank. A small skirmish between 1 Platoon and Russian forces ensued resulting in multiple enemy KIA, WIA and the destruction of an enemy checkpoint previously located by the Task Force’s pathfinders. The Company continued with it’s advance west with no doubt that the enemy now knew we were coming for them.

The formation continued west towards Roenne airfield and began to envelope the objective to the north and south, as 1 Platoon went to assist task force pathfinders who found themselves engaged with the enemy. 2 Platoon’s advance stalled when making contact with the enemy in the small village of Arnager, directly south of Roenne Airfield. The engagement was prolonged and resulted in the incapacitation of Sgt Hawkins and S/2/1. The stalemate was broken by E/1/4 who were rerouted from the formations reserve to assist 2 Platoon rendering vital first aid to the casualties. Pivotal to this engagement were the actions of Pfc Lancaster who worked tirelessly and at great risk to himself to return 2 Platoon to full combat effectiveness which helped turn the tide of the battle.

The Task Force pressed forwards capturing Roenne Airfield and setting up a forward HQ in the air traffic control tower. Clearance patrols were dispatched whilst casualties were attended to and reinforcements and resupply brought in. Several minutes later, the enemy began their counter attack with the first wave approaching through the concealed woodland to the west of the airfield.

Contact reports came thick and fast, as did the sound of gunfire as Russian forces attempted to reclaim decisive ground from the Task Force. Infantry attacked from the western and northern treelines and were continually forced back. During this engagement Pfc Lancaster once again deserves particular mention for keeping E/1/4 in the fight despite several casualties. The LAV’s of the 7CMBG assisted in holding the line, and took on and destroyed enemy Russian Light armour while holding the centre of the line.

After several minutes of intense fighting, the enemy withdrew their forces to lick their wounds and prepare their defenses. The initial landing had been a success but the Battle for Roenne still lay ahead.

Day 1.5

Having stopped for half an hour to regroup, standing patrols were called in and the task force resumed its advance towards Roenne. 0/2 was tasked with first clearing the industrial area to the south west of the town whilst 0/1, E/1/4 and 0/9 were ordered to claim key terrain to the south east of the town in preparation for the main assault.

Before the task force moved out, P/1/5 had already begun searching for an enemy supply base which was rumoured to be supplying Russian infantry in the AO. Their route first took them through the town of Mollevangen where first contact was made with the enemy since the capture of Roenne airfield.

Hearing voices to the left of P/1/5’s formation, Pfc Nicholson instigated a skirmish resulting in 2x enemy KIA. Hearing the commotion, several other Russians opened fire on the pathfinders from several occupied buildings. Having neutralized the immediate threat, P/1/5 made the decision to leave the town and its vicinity before any reinforcements arrived.

Meanwhile 0/1 and E/1/4 had moved onto key terrain overlooking the town of Roenne. From this position an enemy checkpoint supported by armour was identified alongside multiple mechanised and armoured targets in the industrial area to the south of the town. E/1/4’s Javelin missiles, alongside 908 Squadron’s apache made short work of the enemy’s multiple armoured and mechanised assets allowing 0/2 to begin its attack on the industrial area.

0/2 began their push into the industrial area but became bogged down during the intense close quarters battle which raged from building to building. They managed to regain their momentum after effective fire missions from E/1/4 and ISTARS reports from friendly air assets. Unfortunately both 2/1 and 2/2 sustained heavy casualties and the decision was made to bring 0/1 into the fight albeit earlier than planned. Together 0/1 and 0/2’s reinforcements pressed on and won the fight for the objective.

From their southern position, 0/1 and 0/2 swarmed into the town of Roenne and began taking ground, one building at a time. Meanwhile, E/1/4 moved North and formed a blocking formation on a high point to the East of Roenne, stopping the enemy from both reinforcing or escaping via MSR Oxford.

During the battle for Roenne, P/1/5 had successfully circumnavigated the town to the East and although unable to find the enemy’s supply depot had set up a CTR (Close Target Recce) on a military complex north of Roenne and quickly identified several guard towers and posts as well as multiple infantry. Seeing an opportunity to have the enemy well and truly surrounded, Company Command authorised P/1/5 to raid the military complex with the assistance of 908 Squadrons apache gunship.

E/1/4 relocated north towards the military complex to provide fire support for the assault and destroyed at least one MBT attempted to move south along the MSR towards P/1/5. P/1/5 suffered zero casualties during their assault on the military complex and Pfc Bacon accounted for over 30 confirmed kills in what was intense close quarters combat.

With the town surrounded, 0/1 and 0/2 neutralised the remaining enemy in town, seizing enemy supplies located in a stadium in the eastern side of town. With the port town now in NATO hands resupply and reinforcements could start coming ashore.

Day 2

With Roenne and it’s airfield in NATO hands and reinforcements and supplies coming ashore, planning began for the task force to secure the long and vital link of MSR Oxford. Taking the MSR would deny the enemy freedom of movement as well as allowing NATO to begin setting up vital logistical chains as the fight continued inland. Pathfinders were sent ahead of the main force to scout potential ambush points and enemy armour along MSR Oxford.

2 Platoon operated away from the rest of the Company as they first retook the military base to the North of Roenne which had been recaptured by Russian infantry overnight. Once the base was securely back in NATO hands they dug in and provided a standing patrol watching over the MSR to the north of Roenne.

Working with FSG and 7CMBG who provided initial fire support, 1 Platoon took part in the assault on Mollevangen and despite an almost blue-on-blue incident from the Canadian support took the town with zero casualties. With the town secure the 7CMBG and FSG moved east along MSR oxford neutralising an armoured checkpoint discovered by pathfinders and securing the southern flank of the MSR by clearing the hamlet of Vestermarie before continuing west towards the far eastern reaches of MSR Oxford at the village of Aarsballe.

Having separated from the FSG and 7CMBG, 1 Platoon headed north towards the large town of Nyker. Holding Nyker would provide northern security to MSR Oxford and would prevent 2 Platoon from being out flanked by enemy forces. Nyker definitely proved a tougher battle than Mollevangen with a building being cleared of enemy only to instantly receive more fire from the next building. Despite the stiff enemy resistance, the town soon fell into NATO hands and a brief lull fell across the line. The lull however would be short lived.

Calls to ‘stand to’ went up and down the radio chain as enemy air was spotted overhead the AO and a 908 Sqn Apache was scrambled to intercept. Tracers and the sounds of gun and cannon fire filled the air as Russian Paratroopers formed an unmistakable silhouette across the sky with many of the bodies hanging lifelessly in their parachutes before they came close to hitting the ground. With the enemy counter attack rapidly put to bed, MSR oxford was open for business.

A special mention to pathfinders who led by Sgt Baxter interrupted an enemy command meeting and retrieved several dossiers and documents showing key enemy plans and movements within the AO. Not only did they provide the company with vital intelligence but a hasty ambush on a section sized force moving into Mollevangen was possibly what spared 1 Platoon any casualties in their assault.

Day 3

Thanks to the intelligence gathered by pathfinders command decided to take swift and decisive action on the northern port town of Allinge-Sanvig where the enemy was planning to pull back the majority of its forces for evacuation. ACoy, 6thAB would be hitting the northern town at the same time a Bundeswehr-led force would be taking the other port town of Nexoe in the east. With all of their ports closed for business and the skies under allied control the enemy would have no where to run and would be forced to surrender or fight on with no resupply and dwindling conditions.

It was decided that the company would insert on the north-west most point of the island, less than 1Km away from town. It was important that after landing the infantry forced their way into town quickly before the enemy knew what was happening and could bring their heavy armour to bare. If this did happen then there would be no where to run but back into the sea. Due to the fragile nature of this operation the company briefing remained classified until the final moments when all infantry were already enroute.

Pathfinders inserted ahead of the main force and declared the landing zones clear before marking them for the incoming 908 sqn Chinooks. The Chinooks inserted quickly with particularly skillful flying from Sqn Ldr Dalager who, reminiscent of Operation Spartan, landed the rear of his chinook on a cliff top so that the infantry could disembark. Pathfinders headed south to investigate a nearby castle believed to be in enemy control.

The town was soon flooded by NATO forces who managed to get a good foothold in town before the enemy realised what was happening. Unfortunately a lack of air support caused by mechanical issues and a determined enemy made the town very tough going with multiple casualties including command elements having to be CASEVAC for medical aid. The stalemate was able to be broken thanks to the likes of Pfc Wright who did not hesitate to take command of his Platoon and secure further orders when all of his superiors were WIA.

Pathfinders were called into town and valiantly held a ‘bulge’ in the centre of the formation, despite being being flanked on both sides by the enemy, to allow the infantry platoons to recover and prepare to continue the push. During this Pfc Fields of Pathfinders distinguished himself when under fire and at risk to himself moved between positions rendering first aid to all members of the Company allowing the fight to be continued and momentum to be regained.

After a bloody battle the town and it’s port finally fell with cheers going up and down the lines that the Bundeswehr-led force had taken Nexoe and Russian Command had formally ordered their now cut-off troops to stand down and surrender to NATO forces.

Day 4

Although the majority of the remaining, trapped Russian forces on Bornholm had laid down their arms and surrendered around 200 infantry along with vehicles, heavy weaponry and armour remained unaccounted for. It was not long before reports of guerilla style ambushes were reported in the North East of the island with rumours that concealment and aid was being given by a few known members of the Communist party who lived on the island. To protect themselves local armed militias sprung up to help aid reach local villages and to help NATO rid the remaining Russians from their Island.

ACoy and 908 Sqn were the on-duty QRF when the call came in that a NATO convoy had been ambushed west of Nexoe and contact lost. The infantry quickly boarded the waiting Chinooks and made their way to the stricken convoy. With the convoy secured an injured Russian fighter was discovered along with a diary containing information on the enemy’s composition and movements over the past day. The POW was given medical aid and evacuated back to Roenne airfield for further treatment and debriefing.

The company next proceeded East following the intelligence gathered from the discovered diary. Pathfinders cleared out a farm complex only to hear the sound of infantry and multiple armoured vehicles surrounding them once they made their way inside. Despite repeated attempts to obtain CAS no reply was received and pathfinders were left surrounded. With only 4 team-members the pathfinders were forced to stand back to back in the centre of the room with each member aiming their weapon at one of the four doorways. Rounds began to pepper the room they were in and Pfc Smith and Pfc Fields both downed enemy attempting to breach.

The FSG were the first responders to the Pathfinder’s encirclement however a hitbox incident caused the premature detonation of an AT4 causing mass casualties to both pathfinders and FSG. The platoons soon arrived and performed a textbook assault on the complex with 2 Platoon putting down suppressing fire from the west as 1 Platoon flanked North and assaulted the complex itself. The enemy armour in town was rapidly targeted and destroyed, following the breach of the complex friendly WIAs were secured. Clearance patrols returned and the area was considered to be clear.

The Company continued south towards a civilian airfield and were directed west by civilians who had seen the Russian forces moving through the area. Heading west the Company approached the town of Oestermarie and opened dialogue with the head of the local defence force. The Company began to head south around the town expecting an ambush and did not need to wait long until their fears were realised as the sound of incoming mortar shells filled the air. Having fought through the ambush 1 Platoon came across a civilian who after being searched revealed that he had been held hostage in one of the nearby apartment buildings and had only escaped when his captors had left to fight in the ambush.

Orders were given for the Platoons to surround the centre of town and Pathfinders were called in to clear out designated buildings in the hopes of capturing the hostage takers however no evidence was found.

The Company continued NW heading for the initial HLS where friendly chinooks would pick the company up and RTB. En route to the HLS sporadic mortar fire was taken and the Company was ordered to continue advancing in an ‘irregular’ formation. At the HLS heavy contact was taken from the treeline to the NW forcing one of the Chinooks to break off. A prolonged firefight raged as command, 1 Platoon and FSG held ground waiting for a second chinook to arrive and extract them. Eventually the remaining forces extracted safely with zero casualties. The Company arrived back at Roenne airfield and began to pack their things ready to head back to Britain with their mission a resounding success.


Military Cross

Sgt Baxter has been awarded the ‘Military Cross’ for consistently leading pathfinders in exemplary actions which have significantly influenced the battle in the company’s favor. Over the course of the campaign, Sgt Baxter oversaw his pathfinders in several decisive actions most notable of which was holding the front line in ‘Allign-Sanvig’ unaided whilst receiving fire from several directions allowing the rest of the Company to regain momentum.

Pfc Lancaster has been awarded the ‘Military Cross’ as well as ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for continuous high performance in his duties as a CMT during the campaign. At several points did he render aid across the Company including carrying a wounded Cpl Lindholm back to friendly lines whilst under fire.

Pfc Fields has been awarded the ‘Military Cross’ as well as ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for several outstanding actions during Xiphos. In the words of his IC, Sgt Baxter, Pfc Fields is a “fantastically dependable and well drilled individual” and has impressed with his consistency. During day 3, as P/1/5 held the front line, Pfc Fields moved between sections rendering aid whilst also ensuring P/1/5 were able to hold the line.

Mentioned in Dispatches

Pfc Carline has been awarded the ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for being at the forefront of his section throughout this campaign and stepping up to lead them confidently when needed.

Pfc Roach has been awarded the ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for his consistent ability and attendance through the campaign.

Pfc Wright has been awarded the ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for holding his platoon together during day 3 when 2Lt Maltby was wounded in action. He crossed through contested lines to obtain orders from HQ before moving back to his own men to continue the fight.

Pte Larsson has been awarded the ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for his actions on Day 3 where he fought his way back to Platoon Command to let 2Lt Maltby know that the section had been rendered combat ineffective.

Pte Leslie has been awarded the ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for stepping up to lead S/2/2 despite no previous knowledge.

Pte Dodds has been awarded the ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ New to FSG but has proved his competence several times already when in the face of enemy fire.

Pfc Bacon & Pfc Smith have been awarded the ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for their part in several key actions whilst operating as part of P/1/5.

Rec Moses has been awarded the ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for stepping up to the position of IC and managing the situation better than was expected of him.

Congratulations to all of you on a job well done, especially those who have been decorated for their actions during the campaign.

Kind Regards

Lt M Henderson

[ Edited Thu May 14 2015, 01:33PM ]
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