SOG Mission ‘Brass Monkey Weather’ – by ‘BlackJack’ – Lynne M. Black Jr.

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    • #118957

        I recently read ‘Whisky Tango Foxtrot‘ by Lynne M. Black Jr. I read it after Scott had regaled me with the tale of the amazing battle that RT Alabama had in ‘Oscar Eight’ in Laos as part of SOG recon operations. I had to buy the book and it is excellent.

        I was able to get in touch with Lynne Black (callsign ‘Blackjack’) on Facebook and had the privilege of having a conversation with him. He is one of the legendary SOG One Zero’s from Vietnam. He was also kind enough to share with me some additional unpublished stories, of which this is the second. Note: this story is not in the “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” book, but was intended as part of a second book.

        Here follows the account:


        One hundred booby-traps; ten men … ten high explosive devices each. “The spray paint camo is
        wearing off my survival vest. I need to darken it before the mission.” Survival vest … compass, maps, ammunition
        for the 9mm, URC-10 survival radio and spare battery.
        “What else? Let’s see

        Sitting on the worn uneven
        plywood floor of the hooch; my back up against the steel frame of a bunk I
        carefully comb through my web gear. It’s
        funny how we’ve all learned to sit on the floor down below the top of the
        sandbags surrounding our hooch. Let’s see, survival kit, signal mirror, strobe
        light, pencil flare gun with flares, waterproof matches, notebook with pencil,
        leech and insect repellent. Boy Scouts. 
        Ten essentials;   what did I miss?

        Need more repellent. For sure there’ll be leeches in that river. Check your web
        gear.” STABO rig web gear packed to the
        max with CAR-15 ammo, fragmentation grenades, water …
        “Water, don’t forget
        purification tablets. Make sure the knife’s secure.” … and extra snap links. “Extra snap links … I hope this works. We
        haven’t trained for this kind of insertion. Taking his word that it’s there and
        has been out there undetected for a year … nothing goes undetected across the
        fence.” Each man will be carrying
        approximately a sixty pound rucksack.
        “Man, those things are going to be
        bursting at the seams with the devices, two changes of clothes, poncho with
        quilted warm-up liner, high protein rations for a five day stay, two claymores
        and ten toe poppers.” We’re going to need
        rope to rappel off the platform and again at the river; five hundred feet ought
        to do it.
        What else? Let’s see … medical kit, weapons cleaning equipment,
        P-38 can opener, jungle sweater, plastic ties for POWs, gas and white
        phosphorous grenades, gloves, C-4, detonation cord and blasting caps, camera,
        film, and binoculars.” Checklist

        Struggling, we heft our gear
        up into the bed of a deuce and a half and settle down for the ride to Danang
        airbase. “Wow, look,” Mac Fortenberry the One-One points at the parking pad.
        Heat waves rise off a black tar sea that was once the aircraft parking area.
        They distort shapes of planes, vehicles, people, buildings and all other living
        and inanimate objects. Everything is shimmering, dancing, and carrying the oily
        scent of the airbase skyward. “Jesus, I’ve never seen anything like this! It’s
        like we could just step into it and vaporize.” The ten of us leave near-liquid
        jungle boot tracks in the sticky tarmac, producing suction sounds as we stick’n
        unstick our way toward the flat-black C-130. A sanding truck is making its way
        toward us with a steam roller not far behind.

        “If yer goin to Udorn git on
        board,” drawls a Crew Chief. “It’ll be a wonder if we can get the goddam ship
        outa this shit. What the hell are we doin blacktoppin this fuckin country for
        anyway?” He spits a wad of chew onto the tarmac where it sizzles as he motions
        us up the tailgate and into fold down strap seats. We drop our gear, snug in
        and buckle up. The aluminum floor is covered with tar and embedded sand. There
        are black sticky finger prints on all latches, knobs, toggles and tie-downs.
        The Crew Chief’s hands are stained from the tar, “Goddam stuff … goddam war …
        goddam country. Didja know they’re doin this shit at every base in Southeast Asia?”

        One-One throws his rucksack
        and web gear into a seat and flops down on my right. “Sure ain’t like flying a
        commercial airliner is it?”

        “No kidding, these guys have
        a much higher weight limit for carry-on baggage,” I reply.

        “I was thinking more along
        the lines of flying the friendly skies,” he laughs.

        “I was thinking of a cold
        drink!” I laugh.

        A port side engine coughs
        and turns over. Catching power it starts, then the next and the next. Props
        feather, causing the ship to lurch then squat low into the tarmac as the brakes
        are applied, gently rocking. Looking outside, I watch the tarmac distortion
        effects as the inside of the C-130 fills with the sweet heavy oily smells of
        fuel. Brakes squeal open, the ship rises like a crouched tiger. Slowly we taxi
        to release position rocking to a stop on the line, shoulder bumping one
        another. “Danang tower, Black Bird requesting take-off clearance, over.”

        “Black Bird, Danang Tower,
        clearance granted, begin your departure over.”

        The engines rev to an
        earsplitting level. As brakes release, the C-130 rolls down the runway,
        gathering speed. The ship’s nose rotates skyward … Danang diminishes behind us.
        As we climb to cruising altitude the fuel smell is sucked from the aircraft.

        That’s better. At least we can breathe and hear ourselves talk.

        “Where are we going,” yells
        the Interpreter over the aircraft noise.


        “What’s in Udorn?” he yells.

        “Launch point …
        another ride.”

        Landing at Udorn
        airbase the Black Bird taxis as close as possible to the shadow side of a large
        hanger. Hidden from view we don our gear and cover ourselves with large green
        ponchos before quickly moving to waiting Jolly Green Giants. Thailand is a
        neutral country in this war and does not allow armed combatants on their soil.
        The doors of both ships are closed immediately as the last man’s onboard.

        The Crew Chief
        puts a helmet on my head and plugs it into the com system. “Goddam it,”
        complains the Crew Chief. “Look at all this sticky ass tar you all have tracked
        onto my deck, goddam it.”

        “Sorry about that
        Chief,” I apologize.

        “You the team
        leader,” asks a voice over the com.

        “Yes, who’s this,”
        I ask.

        “I’m the Flight
        Commander. Face the flight deck … I’m the one waving at you.”

        I wave back,
        nodding my head.

        “We’ve got perfect
        brass monkey weather over your LZ.”

        “What does that

        “There’s a severe
        storm over the AO; thunder, lighting, heavy winds and rain. The weather will
        mask your insertion. We’ll get you as close to the LZ as the weather allows,
        but you’ll have to jump. Due to the nature of the platform LZ we can’t land,
        and the weather won’t let you rappel. Are you up for this?”

        “This is what we
        do boss. If you can get us there, we’ll get it done.”

        “OK then, relax,
        the flight time is a little under two hours in good weather.”

        Brass monkey weather … my grand father used
        that expression when I was a kid … freeze the balls off a brass monkey he’d
        say. I always had this image of little cold brass monkeys until he told me it
        was an archaic naval term. To save space they stacked iron cannon balls
        alongside each deck gun, arranged in a pyramid on a brass plate called a
        monkey. In cold weather the brass would shrink unseating the balls which would
        then roll around the deck of the battle ship causing all kinds of damage … iron
        and brass don’t shrink at the same rate when cold … freezing the balls off the
        brass monkey … dangerous weather … brass monkey weather. Hell of an analogy.
        close my eyes and lean back. 

        Zolanokus showed
        up at Danang, FOB-4 in civilian clothes flashing NSA identification. I don’t
        think spook techies like Zolanokus have two names. Saigon
        sent him to talk with a few of us about a series of targets we have been
        running; all of which have the same river running through them. “It’s that same
        river that supposedly parallels the infamous pipeline no one can seem to find,”
        he frowns while opening a file folder.

        The two of us sit
        in the Operations
        Center where he reads to
        me, verbatim, the After Action Reports of several of our missions. He asks
        detailed questions about any reference in the reports to crossing or getting up
        next to the river. He asks if we took pictures or heard unusual sounds. “Why
        aren’t there pictures in these files? Did your team hear any metallic sounds?
        Did you smell oil or gas?” He tells me about another recon team that had heard
        unusual metallic banging noises and then observed 55-gallon drums jostling
        there way down that river. “The team was drawn down along a granite cliff gorge
        by metallic sounds of what turned out to be gas and oil drums bumping along
        river shallows.”

        “How did they know
        they were gas and oil,” I ask.

        “Good question,
        they reported counting hundreds of them.” Zolanokus takes a note on my
        question.  “Their 35mm pictures didn’t
        turn out. They were in the shadowed low light on the leeside of the ridge,
        sheltered from the sun. Good for recon, bad for picture taking. They attempted
        to track the drums journey but ran into natural barriers.”

        “How were they

        “They launched
        their mission traveling heavy, equipped for a cold high mountain trail
        reconnaissance, not for the terrain and vegetation down in the wet low lit

        “The area you’re
        talking about demands going in heavy no matter what the mission. It seems like
        there’s one NVA for every hundred square feet of ground. Any team operating
        along that river had better have multiple escape routes and be ready for a

         Zolanokus continues briefing me on how the
        recon team had inserted several miles away from their observation site. They
        had prepared to stay in the AO five days. He talked about how they had taken a
        careful two days traversing craggy ridges atop the tree line, finally slipping
        into their observation site in the shadows next to a high grassy plateau.
        Diligently they camouflaged their position, set out claymores, toe-poppers
        along with seismic warning probes. “I don’t use those seismic probes as
        security devices anymore.”

        “Why not?” Zolanokus
        looks surprised.

        “If you insert
        them into ground that is covered with grass or shallow rooted plants a slight
        wind will set them off.”

        “You have that
        experience?” He looks amused.

        “Yes, we were
        awake an entire night telling Bat Cat we were surrounded. Unfortunately all
        that radio traffic gave away our position due to enemy RDF. The next morning,
        first light, they hit us.”

        “No one has ever
        given us that information. We give you guys those devices but we don’t get any
        feedback on their viability. Thanks, I’ll note that.”

        “We found other
        uses for them?”

        “Like what?”

        “O’Byrne came up
        with a way to attach them to claymores which we use when being tracked or on
        the run.”

        “Who? What did he

        “Captain Mike
        O’Byrne … RSG.”

        “What does that
        mean … RSG?”

        “Really Smart

        “Humorous, now
        what did he do to modify the device?”

        “He didn’t modify
        it; he added a delay mechanism … a chip I think he called it. It delays the
        signal for several seconds. What we do is attach a probe to a claymore wire and
        battery pack. The delay allows us to set it up and get away without triggering
        the device. When the enemy approaches the probe they set off the claymore and
        we’re long gone. It’s one of the best tracker delay tactics we have.”

        “I need to talk
        with this RSG Captain. Where is he?”

        “He has an office
        in the headquarters building. When we’re finished I’ll introduce you too him. Tell
        me more about the team discovering drums in the river.”

         “During daylight hours, from their position,
        the team scoped the opposite ridge with binoculars and radio direction finding
        equipment hoping to catch a clue of troops or trucks moving along the Ho Chi
        Minh trail. Nothing in the first three days, not a single sighting, no troops,
        absolutely no trucks or movement, zip radio traffic, just those sounds from
        below that kept them awake at night. Morning of the fourth day they moved down
        in the direction of those titillating sounds. All that evening and night
        55-gallon oil and gas drums bumped along rocky shallows right in front of them.
        The morning of the fifth day they climbed back up to a clearing where they were
        extracted on strings.” 

        “Good job.”

        “Yes … good job.
        Too bad the pictures didn’t turn out. I need pictures to effectively complete
        my work.”

        Zolanokus briefed
        me on two other teams that had been inserted above and below the initial
        sighting point. The first was to search out the point of origin into the river
        and the other the point of destination or extraction of the drums. Each team
        had run into enemy patrols and didn’t have the opportunity to achieve their
        missions. Actually, neither team even got close to the river. “Why are you so
        interested in pictures of drums floating down a shallow river?”

        He leans back in
        his chair nervously clicking his Parker ball point in and out several times
        before throwing it on the table. Silently, contemplative he stares at me,
        searching for the right response. “I don’t … anymore.”

        “You don’t … a
        second ago you said you needed them to complete your work. What is your

        “Gas and oil means
        trucks and trucks mean truck parks. Truck parks mean arms and ammunition
        caches. If we can get a fix on two of those caches and verify truck traffic
        between them we can assume concentrations of troops between those two points;
        possibly a major binh tram; rest area.”

        “Arc Lights.” I
        flatly add.

        “Exactly, the
        B-52’s will have a field day … we’ll significantly slow them down. Look at this
        map. From here to here, that’s through five areas of operation, we have no
        knowledge … no intel on binh tram or truck park locations. The NVA walk they
        don’t ride. They hunt animals and eat plant life. They survive off the land.”

        “I know we’ve run
        into their hunting parties.” I add.

        “Trucks are used
        to transport arms and ammo; not food, not troops. NVA troops move between binh
        trams, the rest stops located approximately every twenty miles along the Ho Chi
        Minh trail.”

        “Yes, I know. Trucks
        parks, rest and cache sites are usually kept apart and separate according to
        the Saigon analysts. They don’t group
        everything or everybody together to prevent one B-52 raid getting it all.”

        “If we can
        identify POL dumps Saigon can then assess the
        possible locations of cache sites based on the round trip range of a truck.”

        “SOG recon teams
        can be sent into suspected areas to positively identify cache sites and then
        Hatchet Force companies can be inserted to conduct search and destroy
        missions.” I ask.

        “Not any more. SOG
        doesn’t have the assets to support Hatchet Force operations. Two or three years
        ago there weren’t as many NVA on the trail. The Hatchet Force was a viable
        tool. Not any longer. I doubt even the Marines or Airborne could handle the job.
        At best we can be ready for them when they come again. SOG’s job is gathering
        Intel so we can try and slow them down.”

         “If this is the good news I don’t think I want
        to hear the bad stuff.” I half heartedly joke.

        “How about this,
        POL is usually buried and often heavily guarded. In addition to those guards
        are the workforce used to maintain the sites and caches as well as the troops
        in the area at the moment. I don’t think a recon team would have a chance of
        even getting close to a cache. An extraction from such a place would be
        impossible,” Zolanokus frowns.

        “Suicide missions,
        we need another approach.”

        “Exactly, I agree,”
        he adds, “… you understand what I’ve been trying to get across to Saigon for weeks. They just don’t seem to grasp the
        concept of standoff reconnaissance. It’s suicide to send any of you out there
        for traditional close reconnaissance work.”

        “What’s standoff
        recon? How can we successfully perform our recon role without observing the
        size of the enemy force first hand? Without getting up close there’s no way we
        can understand what they’re up too. We need to know which of their units are
        where at any given time. That’s recon.”

        “Those words sound
        like what I’ve been hearing from The Brass.”

        “Exactly what do
        you want us to do?”

        “I want you to
        sneak into a target, leave something and come back.”

        “Is this an Eldest
        Son operation?”

        The spook
        hesitates on this question.  “Yes, but of
        much greater importance than the usual psychological warfare of the Eldest Son

        “You still haven’t
        answered my question.” I query.

        “Your job will be
        too collect and booby-trap several 55-gallon oil and gas drums then return them
        to their down-stream journey, all without being detected. It’s part of a much
        larger operation. If you are successful you will be the trigger for other
        groups and actions.”

        “What groups …
        what actions?”

        “You have no need
        to know that information. Just do your job and trust the process. Come on, I
        want to show you something in the supply warehouse.”

        “How the hell do
        you booby-trap a 55-gallon drum floating down a river? Booby-trap it with what?
        How do you keep it from going off while you’re setting it up? When should it
        explode? What will cause it to explode? Is it command detonated or on a timed
        mechanism?” All of those questions got asked as we scuffled through the sand
        across the FOB-4 compound to S-4. On the concrete floor just inside the big
        sheet metal doors of the loading dock bay sits a black 55-gallon drum with
        North Vietnamese markings. On top of the drum are a bung cap wrench and a
        cylindrical device attached to the bottom of a similar black cap. “These caps
        are alike,” I observe.

        “Photos … that’s
        why I needed the photos. Actually, what I really needed is one of the bung caps
        off one of those barrels they spotted. Similar or close just might not be good
        enough.” Zolanokus picks up the wrench and unscrews the bung cap in the barrel
        placing it in a Levi pocket. A toe of one of his elephant hide cowboy boots
        accidentally kicks the drum indicating its emptiness. He laughs at my startled
        reaction. “Inert training devices, you don’t think I’d work with live
        explosives in here do you? Don’t answer that, I’ve read your file.” Laying down
        the wrench he picks up the cylinder handing it too me for examination. “It is
        an explosive timer that can be adjusted for months, weeks, days, hours, minutes
        or seconds. There’s a mechanical trigger at the base of the integrated cap that
        becomes armed once it is screwed into a drum. Anyone attempting to unscrew the
        cap once it’s in place will trigger the device. Otherwise it will be set off
        based on the timing programmed into it by the saboteur, in this case you or
        members of your team.”

        “It’s a beautiful
        piece of work. These combinations of steel and brass fittings are very finely
        machined. The markings are clear and bold for low light level reading.
        Everything seems to move easily.” I’m
        impressed with the ingenious design and workmanship.

        The next morning
        as Zolanokus, the NSA techie, is on his way back to wherever he came from I set
        about training the team on the devices use.

        sharp jolt brings me back to the mission. 
        We’ve launched out of Udorn,
        Thailand riding
        Jolly Green Giants above the turbulent brass monkey weather. Flashes of
        lightening expose roiling cumulus clouds as heavy rains provide sight and sound
        cover for our last light insertion. Sudden wind shear drops and rises, along
        with heavy winds, relentlessly roll, pitch, and yaw our ships.

        Jolly Green Giant

        “Five minutes,”
        yells the Crew Chief; holding up five fingers.

        We put on our web
        gear, check weapons and position our rucksacks in front of us.

        “Stand in the
        door,” yells the Crew Chief.

        “Where’s the LZ
        platform,” I yell. “I can’t see it.”

        “It’s down there,”
        he jabs a finger down into the raging storm. “It’s been there for months. The
        foliage has grown into it making it invisible. That’s the beauty of this thing.
        Trust me it’s there. Get ready to jump.”

        “You first,” I yell

        “Not in this
        lifetime Ground Pounder,” he urgently gestures for us to depart.

        We’ve volunteered to jump out of this
        helicopter in the middle of a raging monsoon two hundred feet above the ground
        into the top of jungle canopy. Sure why not.

        “Who’s first,”
        yells the Chief.

        “I am,” I yell,
        grabbing my ruck; positioning myself in the door. Suddenly the ship drops to
        tree top level; I stagger forward trying to find my footing, fumble my rucksack
        and drop it into the trees. A flash of lightning reveals it sitting atop the
        foliage approximately ten feet away. The pilot is struggling to keep his ship
        within jumping distance without crashing into the tree tops. There is a platform! As the ship raises
        gravity increases my body weight and along with the full load of my gear my
        knees buckle. I fall rather than jump the distance between the door and the
        unseen platform. The winds roll me over on my back as I descend. This is going to hurt. My fall is
        cushioned by a steel wire grid laid over the top of canopy foliage. The whole thing is like a circus safety net
        … circus is right. Shortly there will be ten of us clowns riding the net.

        We snap link
        ourselves to the bucking storm tossed mesh, wrapping ourselves in poncho liners
        snapped inside ponchos. The ten of us ride out the storm the remainder of that
        evening and night into the second day and its long night. I’m concerned about a
        lightening strike on the wire grid. Screw
        it. I have no control over Mother Nature.

        The storm breaks
        late that second night revealing a full moon and a surrealistic view across the
        top of miles of glistening canopy. We begin to shiver uncontrollably as the
        temperature drops. Its cold, we’re all wet and hungry. I need to pee so bad my sides ache. Empty a canteen and pee in it.
        Otherwise the smell might attract attention to our position.
        We pass the
        canteen. A couple hours before first light, dancing, swaying lanterns move in a
        line below; heading south. A chilling mist is flowing up through the mesh from
        the jungle drenching us in dew.

        At first light a
        warming sun peeps over the glistening horizon. We eat and then prepare to
        rappel off the wire to terra firma. Before we vacate the platform I turn over
        an orange panel to reveal a yellow side indicating we’re OK and have continued
        with the mission. A Covey, Forward Air Controller, will fly over later in the
        day to status check the panel color change. Our descent turns more into a climb
        rather than a rappel. We haven’t been on
        steady ground ever since we boarded the Jolly Green’s. Ground Pounder is right,
        glad to be here.

        One-One takes
        pictures of the trail and footprints being careful to cover any sign of our
        presence. I get out my map and compass, orient myself and order Point to move

        Slowly, quietly,
        we’re careful to cover our trail as we move without incident to an obscure
        observation point suggested by Zolanokus. He had said it was close to the
        original team’s site. It’s located in difficult terrain next to the river
        shallows which should minimize our being discovered. He has surprising
        knowledge of terrain features which don’t appear on the map; almost like he has
        been here before us. We set up camp on the rocks under a granite overhang in a
        shallow grotto. We change into dry clothes and hang the wet ones about the
        cavern to dry. C-4 is used to heat water in the back of the cave where the M-79
        man serves a warming ginseng tea. Just inside the rock perimeter of the grotto
        overhang each of us finds a place to sleep. Wonder
        if we could stay here until the war ends.

        “Black … Black …
        wake up Black,” the Interpreter quietly urges.

        “I hear them. I’m
        awake,” I whisper.

        A full moon
        illuminates the vague forms of One-One and three of our mercenaries wrestling
        drums into the shallows attempting to stand them up on end. The problem is they
        can’t maintain their footing on the slippery moss covered rocks of the river
        bed. They and the drums are rolled along the shallows. I motion the bruised
        four out of the water. “Get the rope. One-One, when we get the rope lengths
        tied together, you and one of the indig take an end and anchor it upstream on
        the other side.”

        “To what,” One-One

        “It will have to
        be to something as close to water line as possible. We’ll string it across and
        down to this point at about a forty-five degree angle. That will channel most
        of the drums to us … understand?”

        “Gotcha. Man, that
        waters cold as hell.”

        “I’ll bet, get a
        move on,” I order, pointing to the other side of the river.

        Two Americans and
        eight Vietnamese mercenaries, the ten of us carry ten booby-traps each. One
        hundred drums are collected over a period of two days by stretching a rope
        across the river at a forty-five degree angle forcing the drums to a lower end
        collection point along the bank.

        We soon discover
        the drums stack up faster than we can fuse them. Only about every fifth drum
        gets booby-trapped. Initially we work in two man teams with all of us in the
        bone chilling water at the same time. Quickly we find there can be only one
        fusing team in the water at a time and that a team needs to be made up of three
        men. It takes two men to wrestle a drum and the third to remove the bung cap, program
        and set the booby-trap. The brass timing bezels on the devices shrink tight up
        next to the steel explosive cores and can’t be moved. Brass Monkey. Goddam Brass Monkey.

        “How about if we
        heat them up and then set the timers,” asks one of our mercenaries.

        “You want to apply
        heat to a high explosive device,” I ask incredulously. “And you guys think I’m
        nuts with explosives. Not only no, but hell no. Forget the settings, just screw
        them in. When the NVA try to remove the bung the thing will go off. At least
        that way we get at least one of the bastards.”

        “If that’s all
        we’re going to do we might get this all finished tonight,” the One-One
        interjects. “On average, each team of three can fuse three drums before having
        to exit the freezing water to warm up.”

        While the fusing
        team is at work another is maneuvering the drums across the rope and on their
        way downstream. We fall into a pattern, driven by the elements, which suits our
        mission needs. It occurs to me that by fusing every fifth drum and keeping a steady
        supply going down stream is a good thing. If we were to corral them all and
        then release them at the same time it might raise NVA eyebrows down the way.
        The terrain, the weather and the situation are working for us. This brass monkey is frozen solid. Can’t
        tell the difference between my balls and my tonsils.

        Once finished, I
        fish a couple of caps from the freezing water and throw them in my near empty
        rucksack. We sanitize the drum collection point and our base camp before hiking
        unseen for three days across two mountain ranges to a Jolly Green pick up
        point. Weeks go by before I begin to read in the Saigon
        analyst reports of POL cache explosions being reported by Air force
        reconnaissance and other sources along the Ho Chi Minh trail. Trust the process. Life is good.

        Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a really great book, and set me off on my current reading-frenzy on anything SOG-related:

        • This topic was modified 11 months ago by Max.
      • #118994

          Good stuff! I’m ordering the book. :good:

          19D20 Cavalry Scout 3d ACR Desert Shield/Storm
          Mountain Biker

        • #119003
          Joe (G.W.N.S.)

            Trust the process. Life is good.

            What I like best about this mission success is there was no gunfight!

            It is easy for some to forget that the harrowing tales of CQB (old school use) against overwhelming odds many times represented a mission failure.

            The true successes were never known to the enemy.

            Yes even when discovered the information gained still was helpful, but that wasn’t part of the goal. It was part of the enemy getting a vote in the outcome.

            Consider how some of today’s equipment such as NODs and FLIR could have aided their missions.

            Just make sure to consider how such equipment when known can be used to bait or channel such users into traps.

          • #119058
            First Sergeant

              Trust the process. Life is good.

              What I like best about this mission success is there was no gunfight!

              It is easy for some to forget that the harrowing tales of CQB (old school use) against overwhelming odds many times represented a mission failure.

              The true successes were never known to the enemy.

              Yes even when discovered the information gained still was helpful, but that wasn’t part of the goal. It was part of the enemy getting a vote in the outcome.

              Consider how some of today’s equipment such as NODs and FLIR could have aided their missions.

              Just make sure to consider how such equipment when known can be used to bait or channel such users into traps.

              I think that is what gets lost to a lot of people.

              Not to take anything away from the mind blowing firefights that they got into and survived, the missions that they pulled off with the enemy never knowing they were there is even more impressive.

              Inserting into a supposedly neutral country, getting on the ground in the enemies backyard for a few days, accomplishing the mission and then extracting without a shot being fired. Those are the ones we usually never hear about.

              The successful Eldest Son missions are a good example as are the sensor emplacement missions.

              Signal Out, Can You Identify
              Je ne regrette rien
              In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

            • #131192

                I am getting close to finishing “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”. I have read several books by John Plaster, and John Stryker Meyer as well. All brings to mind Billy Waugh…

                For anybody that doesn’t know who Billy Waugh is, in a nutshell – He was Airborne in Korea, Special Forces MACV-SOG in Vietnam, and then CIA until the early 2000’s. Parachuted into Afghanistan when he was 71 years old!

                Photos from Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and right after he did a parachute jump in Cuba in 2017 (at age 87).

                I just ordered Waugh’s book –

                MVT Texas 2015-2020
                Team Cowbell / Team Coyote / Team Rekkr

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