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Company AAR - Keystone
Moderators: Maj. A. Knight, Lt. J. Bailey, Cpl. A. Harrison, Sgt. D. Stirling, A/2Lt. M. Gray, Cpl. B. Spittle
Author Post
Maj. A. Knight
Sun Aug 16 2015, 09:26PM


Registered Member #91
Joined: Wed Jul 08 2009, 07:46PM
Posts: 2104

Ribbons: 8
Medals: 15

Campaign Keystone AAR


Captain's Opening Statement

Operation Keystone represented a fundamental moment in the history of the 6th- it was not only our first major ARMA 3 in house campaign but it also witnessed new ground being broken by all NCGs as we experimented with new structure and content. The RTT kept us at operational levels in preparation for this campaign and maintained those levels throughout. The BART produced consistent and high quality footage both before and during the campaign that was really crucial to maintaining the immersion and story. The REME were so good we barely heard or saw them, Keystone was by far the best performing campaign we have ever had across the board, virtually no de-sync or server troubles and the REME were always on hand for mod assistance. Finally and by no means least, the RLC, who spent hundreds of hours crafting this campaign from its inception right to the end, keeping it fresh and exciting from Recruit to myself. Eldale should receive a special mention for the immersive and detailed world he helped create and develop throughout Keystone.

Now onto the fighting! The period of training prior to this campaign was known within HQ as “Refinement” and I knew that Keystone would certainly be the forge to refine us into shape for the future. Every single operational group was assessed prior to the start of Keystone and only when all had been ‘greenlit’ did we start. All the groups trained very hard to get ready, especially for the unique operational standards required for this campaign and all the men should be proud that they got their groups into the campaign to start. However, it did not end there... the quality of the attitude, behaviour, skill and comradely shown within this campaign was truly outstanding. The unit was tested in many different areas in this campaign and I believe that we came out stronger and you should all be proud of your commitment and hard work. These campaigns are what often define us as a unit and I am happy to say that looking back on Keystone I am very proud of the 6th for the consistent high quality we achieved both in and out of game.


Small Beginnings

‘A’ Company of the 6th Airborne entered the Kunduz region with high expectations. It was a politically tense region surrounded by uncertainty, 4 brothers competed for power and local insurgents were known to be present, all amid a fragile peace. The company gathered in what would be their new home for the next 7 weeks of operational tour; FOB Malakh stood proud upon the rocky outcrop in the southern region of Kunduz. The engineers had worked hard to turn it into a formidable base and it would remain as such as the Company used it as a springboard to launch our operations North. FSG and Pathfinders set to work defending the FOB from within and without as the platoons took their first steps outside of our very small “safe zone”. Company Command had ordered that the southern region be made safe within the first few missions and the division of responsibility was split east and west between 1 and 2 platoon respectively.

After the first day’s encounters of mostly civilian contact 2nd Lt Maltby’s AAR highlighted that “The area of which 1 Platoon have been tasked seems to be a relatively calm area for now.” Meanwhile 2Plt were meeting constant resistance from a town bordering our territory; Tappeh Ka. This town was our first insurgent hotspot and offered resistance in the form of insurgent attack and IEDs. 2 Platoon returned the following 2 days, often receiving fire from multiple sides. Eventually the river was crossed and a cave network was discovered and cleared. 1 Platoon continued working with the support groups pushing north and north east to secure the west and heartlands of the southern region. In the words of Intelligence officer Jules, “ACOY have now fully settled into FOB Malakh and begun operations in the AO. Insurgent activity has been confirmed and any enemy forces are now adjusting to the new arrivals.” This adjustment proved to be too slow for the 6th Airborne.

As the enemy responded to our rapid control of the southern region they attempted to drive down the middle from the north along the river valley, encroaching on both 1 Platoon and 2 Platoon jurisdiction. They were punished for their hubris: with the combined intelligence gathering of flight and pathfinders the enemy group was spotted moving south. Company command then ordered a combined attack from 1 Platoon from the North East, 2 Platoon from the south west and FSG/P/1/5 in the centre. The enemy were pinned by unrelenting fire from the FSG, surrounded by the platoons and utterly destroyed- the fertile fields of the river valley were strewn with the dead of the enemy, marking our first big engagement with an organised insurgent force allowing us to effectively secure the entire southern region as a “green zone”.

Roots

Following our successful early contacts plus positive local engagements with village elders and our southern brother the Company was then ready to begin expanding outwards with our home territory well secured.

1 Platoon’s main goal was the main town of Chahara Dara, their objective to patrol, secure and make contact with friendly forces. Over the next few days this was accomplished with a few notable instances, including what became known as “hamburger hill” as the platoon formed an ARD and held off an angry tide of insurgents, who were reeling after consistently being pushed back. A major enemy recruitment centre was captured and destroyed. Most importantly the Company was able to build relationships with the KPF and their leader Karash Zuwaat Nasher .This was Company Commands long term goal to bring regional stability through the propping up of the brother we deemed most suitable. The FSG escorted the Captain from his palatial home in the FOB to the fortified villa of Karash. Despite IEDs and a full assault on the villa the Captain was able to build strong ties with both the Brother, the Western Region and the KPF while the fighting raged outside the compound walls. The high level of skill displayed by 6th Airborne forces was critical in winning the hearts of the KPF.

Meanwhile 2 Platoon took advantage of breaking the back of the enemy in the east and set up the campaign’s first patrol base in a captured enemy compound. This was fortified over the following day after supply drops from flight and named “PB Valkyrie”. From their new home nestled in the lush fields of the south east 2 Platoon proceeded to dominate the local area through a series of successful patrols and attacks, denying the enemy the entire region.

Therefore, progress was being made on both east and the west but 2 significant obstacles stood in the Company’s way. The two river valley settlements of Kamar and Andi. Constant enemy activity was spotted at both locations by pathfinders and flight over a series of days. With their flanks lost the insurgent force had no choice but to gather forces here. 1 Platoon went to capture Kamar but had to withdraw in the face of much heavier resistance than presumed. In a similar way 2 Platoon could not fully clear Andi as it kept being reinforced. Company Command could not allow this resistance to continue in the heart of the region so the first Company-wide attack was planned to bring both towns under the boot. As Company Command looked on from the C2 bird Lt Maltby organised the forces on the ground. With FSG providing support 2 Platoon advised to take Andi with 1 Platoon providing suppressing fire across the river. Insurgents started pushing south from Kamar and engaged 1 Platoon but they held the line while 2 Platoon captured Andi. Then the platoons pushed forward with 1 Platoon smashing into the south of Kamar while FSG and 2 Platoon swung round from the right. By the end of the day both towns were in safe hands marking the second big scale engagement with the insurgents. The plan was carried off in a textbook fashion but one soldier did not find his way back home….


Politics & POWs

In the wake of the fierce fighting that had shaken the centre of the AO the previous day, the insurgent forces released a video showing a battered Pte Speight. Speight appeared and spoke only to confirm his name, rank and number but the terrorist threat was made clear - if British forces did not vacate the AO immediately then the fate of Pte Speight would be sealed. The insurgents had not realised that we do not negotiate or comply with the demands of terrorists and as such Battalion authorised the use of any and all resources in the locating and rescue of Speight.

The Company was immediately mobilised and sent out into the region to look for any clues as to the whereabouts of Speight and his captures. The Platoons and supports were sent out to retrace their steps and to investigate the site of Speights last known whereabouts - the town of Kamar. Approaching Kamar 1 Platoon took fire from every conceivable angle and aggressively returned fire pushing ruthlessly into the previously battered town. Upon finding no evidence to Speight’s location the Platoon moved back and redeployed to Kar Shek where a local merchant offered information in return for protection - Speight was being held in the cave complex North of the town. A raid was planned…

As night fell, the apache was ordered to spool up. 2 Platoon and FSG were ordered to launch an aggressive attack against key targets East of the river with the intention of diverting the enemy’s resources in order to counter the ‘big push’. A task force of pathfinders and 1 Platoon infantry slinked from PB Nando as the codeword ‘sprinter’ echoed over the Company radio net. As the task force approached the cave network they took fire - the enemy now knew they were coming and the clock was ticking to get to Speight before his captures panicked. Pathfinders used flashbang grenades to help 1 Platoon systematically clear the tunnels until at last a disorientated but unharmed Pte Speight was found.

The task force withdrew aggressively providing Speight with heavily armed close protection with FSG mortars providing a screen against advancing enemy forces from the North alongside 908 squadron’s apache.

Over the following days the platoons continued to enforce law and order in their areas. Special mention goes to 1 Platoon who brought down several large scale arms smuggling rings. As part of this 1 Platoon started to move north through Chara Dara and into the unknown North Western Province where they encountered surprisingly little resistance. All they found were distressed civilians and empty streets. With the discovery that the North Western corridor was quiet Command decided to put into action a plan to capture the infamous North brother who had been on their watchlist for some time. We believed he was responsible for the insurgent activity and evidence gathered by Pathfinders pointed in his direction. Pathfinders moved deep into the north and tracked their way through the northern flatlands towards the Brother’s hometown, Gerdan. After a long wait Pathfinders found an opening and spotted the brother in his house, due to the rumblings of a large enemy force in the North East Command gave the go ahead. 1 Platoon were scrambled into a Chinook but could not get their in time so the Command C2 bird was brought to the extraction point. Some tense moments passed on the radio as Sgt Baxter transmitted the team's approach and assault of the Brother’s house included a dramatic exchange as the brother ran for his weapon. As the wildcat touched down Pathfinders emerged with the target and the team was whisked away back to the safety of the FOB.

Storm on the Horizon

After the capture of the Brother tensions increased and despite controlling 75% of the AO, the company was noticing increased activity on the borders. As the company’s influence spread throughout the region all seemed well until intelligence pictures showed a large mechanised force amassing in the NE of the AO - their intentions unknown. It was possible that this was a large militia force from the neighbouring countries who were taking matters into their own hands due to the large influx of Insurgents who were being pushed back over the border each day. Command decided to take no chances and a plan was put together.

The entire company mobilised and moved out en masse, the next morning. Fighting through insurgent checkpoints and compounds, a cordon was eventually set up surrounding the large unknown force putting a quick stop to any potential advance or expansion. Remnants of the downed KIO chinook was recovered by the Company, south of Darreh. The only survivors to be found were 4 PMC soldiers who were evacuated to FOB Malakh for debriefing.

As the two forces sized-up one another, orders came down from the top - the cordon was to be withdrawn, this battle was to be fought with politics not bullets.

The company moved into a live training state in what can be described as a very unstable political situation. 1 Platoon conducted a games exercise, 2 Platoon went on patrol while FSG did live fire training in the South Western desert. After an hour or so of training not much had happened apart from civilian refugees flooding past 1 Platoon. However, Pathfinders on their roving patrol spotted heaving enemy forces in the North West. Suddenly the central belt started opening fire on 2 Platoon as they patrolled past. 2 Platoon quickly engaged and destroyed the enemy deep within friendly territory. Meanwhile Pathfinders tracked the large enemy force in the NW. It became apparent that this force was amazing to attack Chahar Dara and had to be stopped.

1 Platoon and FSG were rapidly redeployed to the hill overlooking the town the enemy were gathering in. After 2 Platoon had dealt with their area they were also drafted in. FSG set up Mortars and a gun position then the Captain gave the command and both Platoons advanced forward towards the town in a large extended line. FSG fired smoke and the platoons crashed into the town displaying high levels of aggression. Some high quality urban fighting and flanking crushed the large enemy force of over 40 men very quickly with minimal casualties. The remaining enemy retreated across the valley floor and were obliterated by the FSG’s mortars. The peaceful training exercise had been brought to a dramatic and bloody end.

‘Disappointment’ was high as news spread quicker than a Lingorian STD that talks with the forces amassing in the NE of the AO had broken down. Bullets and blood were back on the table with command authorising the Company to use any means necessary to drive these unknowns from the AO. The Company once more surrounded Darreh and slowly pressed towards it with 2 Platoon and FSG systematically clearing the town of Anbar Tappeh building by building in bloody CQC combat. 1 Platoon pressed aggressively against the enemy’s defences in Darreh and stormed the outermost compounds with ease before taking cover from enemy mortars. As the mortars subsided, 1 Platoon swept through the town eliminating the enemy with ease and seizing two caches of enemy supplies.

Finale

Overnight a disturbing event unfolded as the KIO received a video tape showing the cold blooded murder of Sharm Noon Nasher accompanied by threats to also murder Karash Zuwaat Nasher. Perhaps as disturbing were the reports that the terrorist organisation, the ‘Kunduz Ghosts’, had used unconfirmed reports of killed and wounded civilians to skew the populace’s opinion of NATO and turn them against the British forces in the area. The order was given by higher command to cease all operations with immediate effect and to extract from the AO back to Bastion.

Due to the hasty nature of the extraction which had been ordered the Company were unable to arrange transport for equipment and supplies. As a result of this controlled detonations were carried out at PBs Nando and Valkyrie. Orders were given for 1 Platoon and Pathfinders to find, secure and extract Karash Zuwaat Nasher to FOB Malakh for extraction, for his own safety. He was found and extracted from his compound which came under heavy fire from insurgent forces who were stalled and eventually beaten back by 1 Platoon. Unfortunately due to heavy insurgent activity 1 Platoon were unable to be extracted via chopper and were forced to fight their way south to the Company’s HLS south of Titoli.

As the time of extraction ticked closer FSG were ordered to rig the much loved FOB Malakh, and all of it’s equipment and supplies, to blow. 1 hour before extraction remaining personnel in the FOB were ordered to withdraw so that the demolition could take place. They did so with dignity and resolve as they were played out by the regimental pipes to the tune of ‘Highland Laddie’ as provided by Cpl D. Buczak.

The company set up an ARD around the HLS and dug in, waiting for Echo-66 - the Danish Royal Air Force flight scheduled to extract British forces from Kunduz. The flight was delayed at Kunduz City and the Company came under sustained attack from West, North and East from both insurgents and uniformed mechanised infantry. Echo-66 was downed several kilometres North-East of the Company by hostile aircraft another flight in the area had to be diverted to carry out the extraction. The company held fast, with support from the 908 Squadron Apache who fired ferociously on the encroaching ground targets. With the extract from flight safely on the ground the Company boarded under heavy and sustained fire to safely extract from the AO. As the airframes tore away from the AO the region we had been deployed to for the best part of 2 months faded into the horizon, hopefully stability could be brought back under the command of Karash Nasher and the KPF but that was a task now out of our hands.

Major’s Closing Statement

I believe and hope that this campaign will indeed be the keystone that we build on for the future of this unit as it truly represented the potential we have to be first in class in both ARMA and the wider community. My vision is for us to continue to develop new skill and expertise both in and out of game while maintaining our warm and open community and of course having fun in the process. I heartily commend all those who participated on any level in this campaign and I look forward to our next deployment.


Awards


All those who attended 6/13 missions or more are eligible for the Operation Keystone Award.

We had nearly 60 AARs to go through so apologies to all those who missed out, we could not award everyone and congratulations to the following members were received awards.

Mentioned in Dispatches



The following soldiers have been awarded 'mentioned in dispatches' for actions carried out to a high standard during Operation Keystone that caused them to literally be mentioned within the dispatches of their IC's.


-Cpl. Green
-A/L.Cpl Roach
-Pfc. Fields
-Pfc. Alexander
-Pfc. Greybek
-Pfc. Daniels
-Pte. J. Smith
-Pfc. Webber
-Pte. Miller

Military Cross



Acting Lance Corporal Streetlight has been awarded the ‘Military Cross’ for repeatedly stepping up to lead his section in successful combat missions throughout Keystone. He has shown not only his talent and ability as a junior leader but also initiative and skill in the field that led to key objectives being completed.

Private First Class Stryker has been awarded the ‘Military Cross’ for being consistently mentioned in dispatches for his work on implementing the new MERT SOPs during the campaign. The multiple successful medivacs that occurred as a result of his work were highly praised by his IC and led to saving the lives of many.

Conspicuous Gallantry Cross


The much coveted CGC is often only awarded to one person in a campaign and this time it was awarded to Private First Class Bacon for consistently turning the tide of battle when the Pathfinders were outnumbered and outgunned. His quick thinking and accuracy saved the life of his unit on several occasions during Keystone ensuring that critical intel reports made it to HQ.

Meritorious Service Medal- Silver Pegasus Clasp


Private First Class Eldale has been awarded the Meritorious Service medal with Silver clasp for his incredible performance on behalf of the RLC in this campaign. Eldale was the heart and soul of Keystone and was a critical factor in it turning out how it did- as one of the most immersive and detailed campaigns we have ever done. Eldale spent countless hours developing story, zeusing and other RLC related activities for Keystone, all to a very high standard.

Private First Class Bacon has also been awarded the Meritorious Service medal with Silver clasp for his work in the REME during this campaign. He gave us the most stable and bug free server we have ever had in 6th History. In addition to this he worked tirelessly in other NCGs helping performance in and out of game.

The campaign would have simply been impossible without the contributions of these two supported by the work of their fellow NCGs.

Promotions

Lt Henderson Promoted to Captain for continued long service to the 6th AB in all areas but especially complete dedication to the unit, most notably in HQ and the Training and Development of the Platoons. In addition to this promotion Captain Henderson is being awarded the Gold Contribution medal.

2nd Lieutenant Maltby promoted to 1st Lieutenant for successfully leading 1 Platoon from strength to strength demonstrating outstanding performance in this campaign.

Sgt Hawkins Promoted to CSM due to his work assisting HQ and his specialised skill set, as well as successfully leading Second Platoon through multiple campaigns.

Cpl Lindholm promoted to 2nd Lieutenant due to his stalwart leadership within his section, he has been rewarded and will now lead the entire platoon forward. Lindholm is one of our longest serving members and is a perfect candidate for a new Platoon Leadership position.

Finally, after much public pressure (never thought I would say this but) I am promoting myself to Major.


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

Kind Regards

Major A Knight
ACOY CO



[ Edited Thu Jul 28 2016, 04:10PM ]

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Vet. M. Gaynor
Sun Aug 16 2015, 09:31PM

Registered Member #6398
Joined: Sun Sep 08 2013, 12:12AM
Posts: 2247

Ribbons: 11
Medals: 8
This is the best AAR I have ever read.

Thank you to all elements involved once again for a flawless performance and congratulations to all elements of the new look HQ.





Daddy Trump - "I did fuck all 2k16"

Mikka "Mickey" Gääynåårileinen
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Ret. C. Doherty
Mon Aug 17 2015, 08:21AM
Docs

Registered Member #5749
Joined: Tue Jul 23 2013, 08:52PM
Posts: 811

Ribbons: 5
Medals: 5
This post gave me a semi. And those letters - "Maj" - look damn sexy! Much deserved to all!

C. Doherty (Docs)
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Maj. A. Knight
Tue Aug 18 2015, 01:22PM


Registered Member #91
Joined: Wed Jul 08 2009, 07:46PM
Posts: 2104

Ribbons: 8
Medals: 15
*Updated*

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