Captain Ethan Hillyard reporting to Stirling Operational Command S.O.C.
Debreif From Operation Silent Harvest
Firstly appologies for the delay in my debrief as I have just returned from the medical block, due to being shot on 2 para’s assistance in the snatch of Private Anthony.
Location - Foxtrot Bravo Two ( FOB) 2 Para Section Bravo 2.1 and Bravo 2.2
I gathered the chaps round at our FOB to go through some housekeeping drills & our ROE for the day.
My intel that day requested that we patrol through the UN village on a hearts & minds Mission, Checking in on the Locals & building confidence & a rapport with the village elder.
My brief to callsigns Bravo 2.1 & 2.2 was cut short by an assault on Foxtrot Bravo two by afghan rebels or a possible Taliban / al Queda cell.
11:00Hrs Stand to was called & everyone jumped straight into their guard positions.
The firefight lasted approx 1 hour.
We re-org’d and resumed the defensive positions of our FOB,
Approx 11:20 Hrs A Vehicle approached the VCP at Foxtrot Bravo Two, vehicle was reluctant to stop & upon approach for search a device was detonated killing 2 of my men.
11.40Hrs locals descended onto the FOB trying to gain access to The captain, the men were being searched when a device inside a water canister went off killing the terrorists & injuring another 2 of my men & killing 1.
Its not even lunch & we have already been attacked 3 times, moral is still high and so is the adrenaline. Every man & woman of my unit was on code red.
12.00Hrs – 13.00 Hrs patrols were sent out to patrol through the UN Village and also the Puktis Mountain range to the perimeter of our FOB. Bravo 2.1 came across a Cache of items suspected to belong to a Taliban fighter. Upon the search documents were discovered & upon initial translation it appeared that the document had details of assaults, airs strikes, & battle plans against our Foxtrot Bravo Two & Pappa Bravo One. By the time these documents were returned & translated it appeared that a strike against PB1 was only 25 mins away.
I got on the secure Comms to British intelligence & relayed the message to them & had the intel delivered to PB1 by mobility troop.
14.00 Hrs an unknown callsign came over the net with the name ABDUL. After some confusion Bravo 2.2 arrested a man who was carrying a message from abdul this message informed us of an Airstrike on pappa Bravo 1 & the public hanging of a UN soilder for the crime of Alleged rape upon an afghan girl.
The hanging looked to be a decoy so that the Taliban may strike at Pappa Bravo one.
The Intel Was again Passed to British Intelligence and the necessary action was taken.
14.00 – 15.00hrs
We had locals pass through the highway & through our VCP. The Village elder wanted to arrange a meeting with ruperts at HQ as he had so called information. My boys tolerated him & his crowd & eventually the procession of the village elder a cleric & a following crowd passed through.
During this we managed to identify Abdul & informed him to maintain Comms with either the FOB or PB1.
Almost tea time and again our FOB had been probed an numeroius occasions The VCP was on high alert due to the roadside bombs & suicide bombs constantly going off.
Both Bravo 2.1 & Bravo 2.2 had to back up echo 2 & 3 during vicious firefights. & 2 para again proved to be a dynamic force & quelled the agressors.
Moral was still moderately high though the constant battles of the day were beginning to take their toll.
18.00 Hrs the UN turn up with top brass on board, MP Hillary Finn wanted to inspect our FOB & give a moral boost to the Lads.
As you can imagine a toffee nosed Norwich boy turning up to the FOB in his £100 suit to say hello to the boys really raised their spirits.. may as well have placed a target & a neon light over the FOB, because the consequence of this formality jobs worth visit was to attract the rebels to our location like a bee to a honey pot.
That’s was teatime fuckin ruined,So that the PM can declair that his ministers are rolling their sleeves up & joining our boys out here.
You wanna boost moral, get on the gimpy & stand to at 04.30hrs with us hillary. And get a boys name whilst you do it, you white paper shuffling ,jobs worth, lactose intolerant, public school, brown nosed, shiny suited waste of public spending. Some one give him a milkshake & fuck him off.
I Apologise Sir for my outbusrst & I digress.
19.00 hrs – 21.00 hrs
things have settled down a little the last daylight patrols have returned all accounted for. The Night Stag duty has been drawn up & all the boys are fed & watered, ammo is checked & guard duty & VCP duty begins on the nightshift as darkness hits us by 21.40hrs…
21.45hrs. just as the cover of darkness hits the sky our FOB is Ambushed from what appears to be all sides.
Were taking big casualties & appear to be outnumbered we hold our own till approx 22.30Hrs when I have to call for back up.
Echo 5 are first to respond to our call & a plan to push the assault against our FOB is co-ordinated and as other units arrive to provide much needed man power we push the enemy back.
During this battle we capture 2 taliban one of which is identified as being Raoul Jihadi an Al-Queda Leuitenant. Wanted for war crimes against humanity & other charges.
Pappa Bravo one are informed over the Net & a vehicle to whisk mr Jihadi off into the night is orchestrated.
Special Forces arrive on the scene & are quick to let everyone know they are here.
They move out ( not so quick to inform everyone they have gone) & confusion over communication happens & I must report that a blue on blue incident occurs & a special forces team member is hit by fire from the roadside to our FOB.
Special forces have requested an investigation into this matter & my report has been handed in seperatly.
Constant attacks on our FOB happen as we are probed throughout the night, but nothing my boys can’t handle.
04.30hrs As we prepare for stand to we get an early morning call from some Taliban who try to penetrate the FOB Once Again. The terrorists are killed on site.
04.45hrs Stand to every man & woman at Foxtrot Bravo Two was Stood to & awaited first light & sunrise.
The Bravo units were again split whilst 2.1 Stood Guard & 2.2 got a brew on & had breakfast. Then swithched around.
08.00 Hrs Zero Alpha came over the net requesting my presence to formulate a battle plan to snatch the Cleric from intel derived during the last 24 hrs.
2Para section 2.1 & 2.2 were to assist 14 para and a snatch team in the taking of the cleric from a local village.
A three pronged attacked was drawn up & carried out with precision.
Bravo 2.1 & 2.2 flanked the village & entered from the south, up on entry we covered our Arcs and immediate action was taken & once a safe passage confirmed the snatch team entered the village from the north & Identified the target arrested him & took him for questioning along with the village elder to Pappa Bravo One.
I tailed a lift to PB1 for debrief of our successful & swift assault on the village, whilst 2.1 & 2.2 returned to the FOB to await the backlash of our actions.
We didn’t have to wait long as the FOB once again became the Alamo and with the assistance of 2para 14 section the FOB was valiantly defended.
Intel reached Zero alpha that one of my boys had been snatched and had been identified as being held at a grid reference given by a scout troop.
A quick plan was formulated & the rescue operation was sent out. Foxtrot bravo two sent out members of 2.1 & 2.2 whilst PB1 sent what units they could spare. Our assault on the mountain hide out seen 2 para again come under heavy artillery as we approached from the south, mobility troop entered from the south west.
I was hit & went down & could see Taliban advancing on my position. Luckily the Taliban where outgunned & the threat of snatch on me was over, our boy was back in safe hands & everyone returned for tea & biscuits.
Hopefully I will be passed medically fit to resume my post as section commander to 2 para at Foxtrot Bravo 2 –Forward Operations Base -Aka The Alamo.
I would personally like to commend all members of 2 PARA based at Foxtrot Bravo Two - Forward Operations Base. my men fought valiantly, with bravery & passion and under difficult situations triumphed for queen & country. they seved our country well.
Captain Ethan Hillyard