“Secure that fortified position on the left flank!” the Captain called over the company radio net. He needn’t have bothered, his men were well trained. He heard the Abrams boom, and saw the trail of a CAAT team’s rocket fly toward the building at the same time.
“WFT Melo, you shot over the damn building again! Get your shit together man, I thought you were a Marine!” Melo swore to himself, thinking “I’m letting us down. That will not stand.”
[Tank kills martyrs in fortified 23, another roll of 9 firing w/ CAAT team]
The Iraqi troops were entering the Mosque in good order, their training showing up under fire. The radio squawked that one of their men was down inside the Mosque, but they were still in good order there. One squad was taking heavy fire trying to cross the street. “Armor, move up in support, keep the fire pouring into the fortified position!”
[IIF step loss defensive fire, squad pinned in street]
The company’s far right squads were moving through their assigned blocks with speed and efficiency. The FLOT was starting to get loose, as the squads on their left were experiencing resistance. Then another call came through, “Men down, pull back and regroup.”
“Get the last reserve squad moving, up the middle ready to support the right flank!” The Captain knew he couldn’t do anything else.
[Squad killed zone 19]
The Captain wanted to keep the right flank moving ahead, but he heard reports of a heavily fortified building in the middle of the flank’s central block. He turned to the FAC, “Bring in the heavy hitters, get a Hornet run on that position.” The FAC called out, then turned to the Captain. “Friendlies too close for fixed wing, sir. I called in Cobras instead.” Some officers would take umbrage at a subordinate making a call like that without asking. The Captain wasn’t some officer. He knew he had a sharp and talented FAC, he trusted him to adjust under stress and get the job done. And it was good he did, the mission was barely able to make its run in time after the initial call to the Hornet. Still, that was the last run he’d get from the gunships. He wondered if he called them in too early. Again, those thoughts were a waste of energy, so he stopped thinking them.
[Rolled 6 to get the Cobra mission approved.]
“Take the shot Melo, and don’t fuckin’ miss again!” the CAAT team leader yelled. Like a good Marine, Melo followed orders.
[CAAT team takes out last martyr in zone 23.]
“Tank outside, Martin’s squad is pinned, we’ve gotta go!” Hassan’s squad moved past Martin’s men as they tried to regroup behind the Abrams, entering the building under heavy fire but maintaining their poise. Hassan moved his men into position to assault the building.
We need to move up and support this push,’ thought SL Squamish. They moved out, staying quiet hoping to surprise any insurgents. Just as they entered the final street crossing, a single shot rang out. Before he could think ‘I hope that’s the only shot we hear,’ Squamish collapsed, dead before he hit the ground.
[Squads move into zones 34 & 35, continue to push ahead on the right.]
Hassan was ready to order the door breached when he heard what sounded like a 12.7mm MG racking in a round. He called out for the CAAT team. “Explosives on breach.” The assault team re-oriented to let the CAAT men to the front.
Squamish going down left his squad with 5 men, but they were still Marines. They breached the door, clearing an empty room, but there was still activity on the roof. Hassan’s squad was on their right, signaling. They were at full strength, Hassan said. ‘You secure my position, we will assault across the rooftops to secure yours,’ he said with hand signals.
The Captain heard news of some casualties, but overall great success. The right flank continued to move toward suppressing the long blocks on their side of the neighborhood. He heard about a couple of Marines going above and beyond the call, but couldn’t take time to think on that.
[Assault against strength 3 guerilla clears zone 34, zone 35 will move to cleared zone 34 while zone 34 assaults across rooftops next turn. Flooding works well on right flank. Two heroes created previously on right flank, forgot to mention them.]