Operation Diamondback Debriefing
AO: ATHIRA PROVINCE
ASSETS: BRUISER 1, 2; APOLLO 1, 2, 3, 4; WARHORSE 1, 2; SPARTAN 1, 2
At 2300 local time Task Force Bruiser, led by Major J. Alexander, landed on the Southern end of Gravia supported by two Blackhawks and a Little Bird. Simultaneously, elements of Spartan 1 fast roped into a perimeter blocking position on the Northeastern edge of the city.
Bruiser 1 proceeded to infiltrate the target building and recover the hostage. Upon exfil, Apollo 1 was engaged with crew served .50 caliber weapons and RPGs, resulting in a crash landing killing all crew members and the Red Cross doctor.
Bruiser 1 consolidated into a courtyard to setup a perimeter around the crash site while Apollo 2 entered into Apollo 1’s previous flight pattern to offer fire support. While moving into position, Apollo 2 was struck with direct RPG fire and crashed 100 meters from Apollo 1’s crash site with minor casualties. At this time SAR team Archangel 1 was called in to exfil the wounded from crash site 2 while CAS was organized at Camp Avalanche.
10 minutes after the second crash, Bruiser 1-6 called for CASVAC on a secured LZ. Apollo 3 was able to successfully land, but was disabled by enemy .50 caliber fire and the crew was forced to abandon the aircraft. At this time command shut down all transport traffic in the AO.
Bruiser 1 was forced to break contact and evacuate their casualties on foot. They withdrew .25 miles to a small courtyard where another SAR team, Archangel 2, attempted a medical supply drop. Upon landing, their Blackhawk took a direct hit to the center and killed everyone on board.
Understanding there was no viable exfil option via the air, command began to organize Spartan 1 and 2 into a ground convoy unit comprising of humvees and Striker vehicles. Total organization time was 45 minutes. During that time Bruiser 1 was under sustained enemy fire, held off by artillery and CAS. The convoy arrived just before 0445 and faced limited enemy fire, exfilled the wounded and was back in Camp Coronado by 0530.
FRIENDLY CASUALTIES: Overall friendly casualties are estimated at 25 KIA, 6 MIA from crash site 3, and 30 wounded.
ENEMY KIA: Initial estimates have over 90 EKIA
OBJECTIVE FAILED: Bruiser 1 was able to successfully rescue the doctor, but he was killed in the ensuing firefights.
This is the single greatest loss of life and equipment in our history of operations in the region. We have suffered a massive hit and will be undermanned and equipped for a while. During the chaos we lost contact with the crew of Apollo 3 after they had to ditch their Blackhawk and we are still unable to locate them. We will need to regroup and begin immediate searches for our guys.
Through all the chaos, however, we managed to keep our bearings and greatly mitigate the loss of life as we withdrew from the enemy strongpoints. For exceptional bravery and military discipline, the following decorations were awarded:
Sergeant Michaels – Doss Commendation Ribbon
Major Alexander – Combat Infantry Cross with Valor
1st Lieutenant Jacobs – Combat Infantry Cross
First Sergeant Compton – Combat Infantry Cross