Saturday, March 26, 2005

Raven 42: Kentucky women take the fight to ambush attackers

Blackfive has an after-action report from a recent engagement in Iraq. The punchline is that two female NCOs led the fight through a trenchline against insurgents who had ambushed a convoy. Excerpts:
The two of them, squad leader Staff Sergeant and team leader Sergeant with her M4 and M203 grenade launcher, rush the nearest ditch about 20 meters away to start clearing the natural trenchline. The enemy has gone into the ditches and is hiding behind several small trees in the back of the lot. The .50 cal and SAW flanking fire tears apart the ten enemy in the lead trenchline. . . . The two sergeants work their way up the trenchline, throwing grenades, firing grenades from the launcher, and firing their M4s.

The sergeant runs low on ammo and runs back to a vehicle to reload. She moves to her squad leader's vehicle, and because this squad is led so well, she knows exactly where to reach her arm blindly into a different vehicle to find ammo-because each vehicle is packed exactly the same, with discipline.

As she turns to move back to the trenchline, Gunner in two sees an AIF [Anti-Iraq Force] jump from behind one of the cars and start firing on the Sergeant. He pulls his 9mm, because the .50 cal is pointed in the other direction, and shoots five rounds wounding him. The sergeant moves back to the trenchline under fire from the back of the field, with fresh mags, two more grenades, and three more M203 rounds. The Mk 19 gunner suppresses the rear of the field.

Now, rejoined with the squad leader, the two sergeants continue clearing the enemy from the trenchline, until they see no more movement. A lone man with an RPG launcher on his shoulder steps from behind a tree and prepares to fire on the three Hummers and is killed with a single aimed SAW shot thru the head by the previously knocked out gunner on platform two, who now has a SAW out to supplement the .50 cal in the mount.

The team leader sergeant--she claims four killed by aimed M4 shots. . . . Of the 7 members of Raven 42 who walked away, two are Caucasian Women, the rest men -- one is Mexican-American, the medic is African-American, and the other two are Caucasian -- the great American melting pot. . . . Those seven Americans (with the three wounded) killed in total 24 heavily armed enemy, wounded 6 (two later died), and captured one unwounded, who feigned injury to escape the fight. They seized 22 AK-47s, 6x RPG launchers w/ 16 rockets, 13x RPK machineguns, 3x PKM machineguns, 40 hand grenades, 123 fully loaded 30-rd AK magazines, 52 empty mags, and 10 belts of 2500 rds of PK ammo.
I'm not a fan of women in combat. But it appears our women have more courage than their "men". A captured insurgent video shows the "turkey shoot" attack on the unarmed drivers, then ends abruptly when the three Raven-42 Humvees join the fight. Wonder if they'll show that on al Jazeera?

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