OPERATION SANDMAN DEBREIFING
AO: TORBRUCK PROVINCE
ASSETS: BRUISER 1, APOLLO 1
On Saturday April 1 at 0030 elements of Bruiser 1 moved into the town of Oreokastro to capture or kill Anwar Shah. Upon landing, the teams moved into their preset positions to and prepared to execute the operation. At 0110 Bruiser 1 began their raid on the target area and was unable to locate the target initially. Bruiser Blue encountered sporadic enemy fire and located a holding area for 4 hostages, 2 of which died in the crossfire. Simultaneously, Bruiser Red located and killed Anwar Shah as he was hiding in a nearby building.
Upon confirming the HVT was KIA, both elements of Bruiser 1 began to collapse back into their OP. During the chaos, they fell back to the wrong building and suffered significant casualties that impeded their withdraw. After approximately 10 minutes they managed to successfully withdraw and exfil via Blackhawk. Unfortunately PVT Ryan was wounded during exfil and left behind in all of the confusion.
Bruiser 1 returned to base to rearm and immediately turned around to retrieve our MIA. At 0540 Bruiser 1 landed at LZ Tinman and began movement to OP Kansas. Bruiser Blue, led by Col Grimes, setup a blocking perimeter 25 meters up the road from Objective Scarecrow while Bruiser Red, led by Maj Alexander, assaulted the target building and recovered the POW.
During the engagement Bruiser Blue came under sustained small arms fire from an enemy platoon of around 50 insurgents. The enemy forces attempted to secure a flank and overwhelm OP Kansas, but the attack was successfully repelled. Meanwhile Bruiser Red successfully withdrew the POW to the OP, and the entire Bruiser element bounded out of the AO. During the extended firefight Corporal Gibson was killed.
FRIENDLY CASUALTIES: 2 KIA, 2 WIA
ENEMY KIA: We have recorded 148 confirmed EKIA, with an estimated 180+
OBJECTIVE COMPLETED: Anwar Shah is dead and we recovered our MIA.
Anwar Shah’s death is a crippling blow to the insurgency in Syria. Over the past few months we have systematically targeted Shah’s top advisers and field officers, leaving the insurgency without leadership. We cannot guarantee that this is the end of ISIS operations in Syria, but it will certainly be manageable by local forces. For exceptional fortitude and discipline during this operation, the following decorations were awarded.
Colonel R. Grimes: Army Commendation Ribbon
Major J. Alexander: Army Commendation Ribbon
Staff Sergeant Compton: Army Commendation Ribbon
Sergeant Michael: Army Commendation Ribbon
Corporal Vladislav: Army Commendation Ribbon
Corporal Booza: Army Commendation Ribbon
Corporal Neils: Army Commendation Ribbon
Corporal Gibson: Army Commendation Ribbon
Private Ryan: Army Commendation Ribbon