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Friday, February 12, 2016

New Novel teaser

Today, I have an early morning teaser for you; part of a scene of a new novel I'm working on, about a conflict between NATO and Russian forces in the Baltic states in the late 20-teens.

“Roger, over” Sergeant Beach acknowledged into the radio. “Lipscomb, secure the antenna. Docker, we’re going REDCON 1 in five minutes.”
“What’s up sar’nt Beach?” I asked.
“There’s been an incident over at 3/7’s FTX. I don’t know what yet. We go REDCON 1 and then REDCON 1 minus in five, and the LT has a briefing for us behind his tank in like ten.”
I popped back up on top of the turret, pulled the antenna down and secured it to the tiedown, then made sure the sponson boxes were orderly and closed them all up. I grabbed two MREs, threw one down to Sergeant McDonagh and tucked one behind the breech roll on the turret wall near my station. “DOCKER do you need an MRE down there?” I hollered.
“No I’m good.”
I looked at Sergeant Beach, and he shook his head no. I pulled the tarp back up over the MRE case in the bustle rack, made sure to tie it down, and hopped back on the back deck: all clear. Rear area of the tank: clear. All hatches closed and secured; fuel tank covers closed and latched. Bravo Two-Three, Bravo Troop, 6th squadron of the 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, was ready to roll. Just a few moments later I hopped in my hatch, put on my CVC helmet and heard the troop commander issue the countdown.
“FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO”—radio silence for ONE, then a simultaneous howl as nine M1A3 tanks and twelve Strykers simultaneously start up. After a couple of minutes, the command comes to assume REDCON 1 minus, and the engines are shutdown. I see the crews of the other tanks dismount, and tap Sergeant Beach on the shoulder, pointing.
“All right guys, let’s get to it,” he says over the intercom, then pulls off his CVC and pops out of his TC’s hatch. Sergeant McDonagh follows immediately behind him, as I secure my CVC and strap on my Kevlar helmet and grab my notebook. We meet Docker as he crawls out of the driver’s hole, and amble over behind B-21 to meet the LT for our briefing.
LT Mashinter was looking over a map with SFC Furniss as the platoon gathered. When all four tank crews were assembled, the LT started into the briefing. “At 0330 this morning local time, ground surveillance radar detected an incursion into the security perimeter of 3/7 Infantry in their training area during their FTX. Intrusion initially was by a foot patrol, and followed by the FSE of the 1st Guards Motor Rifle Regiment. Elements of the 1st Platoon, C 3/7 took incoming mortar and small arms fire, and sustained light casualties while returning fire.
“2nd Platoon is structured as a tank platoon supporting 1st scout Platoon in executing B Troop and 6/8 Cav’s overall mission, with no change to SOP. The enemy is the 1st Guards Motor Rifle Regiment of the 2nd Guards Motor Rifle Division, with elements of the 147th Guards Artillery Regiment in fire support. They are a mixed unit of T-80 and T-90 tanks, BMP-3s, BRDMs, and 2S1 and 2S3 artillery. They are estimated to be at approximately 95% strength, and appear to be preparing to attack in depth against 3/7 Infantry. They are currently located in an area bounded by the 47 gridline to the East, the 56 gridline to the North, the 40 gridline to the West, and the 52 gridline to the South, marked as OBJ ROCK on the map overlay here. They are expected to continue to attack along this axis, toward the 3/7 TOC, and then possibly on to either Dieveniskes or Rudnia."

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