Tuesday, November 3, 2015

OPERATION CURSED SMOKE - AFTER ACTION REPORT (21 AUG 2016 @ 2053)

OPERATION CURSED SMOKE - AFTER ACTION REPORT

PREPARED BY: LT Oskar Lindemann


SITUATION

o Enemy Forces:
 - 7x Mutons, 5x Thin Men, 5x Floaters, 2x Sectoids

o Friendly Forces
 - LT Oskar "Armarnis" Lindemann (Germany)
 - SSG Leigh "B.A.M.F." Fahey (United States)
 - SSG Sylas "Fawkes" Maillet (Canada)
 - SGT Monica "Azrial" de Matos (Brazil)
 - SGT Ward "Shroud" Parsons (Australia)
 - SGT Rainhard "Ogre" Horn (Austria)
 - SGT Jermaine "Da Pain" Glynn (United States)
 - SGT Simone "Tomahawk" Ribeiro (Brazil)


MISSION

o Strike Team deploys to La Plata, Argentina, 21 AUG 2016 @ 2053 hrs, IOT rescue U.N. General Peter Van Doorn.

EXECUTION NARRATIVE

We received the Mission Alert at 1923 hrs. The Skyranger was wheels up by 1937, and we arrived at the mission site at 2053 hrs. As soon as we were on ground, a U.N. soldier made contact, identifying himself as Friendly. The whole area was in flaming ruins, so I knew the X-Rays wouldn't be far; I ordered SGT Parsons forward first; He immediately spotted a pod of hostiles, some of which advanced, others retreating. The rest of the squad moved to cover and engaged. SSG Fahey moved up to protect the U.N. troop, who explained that the General had moved up ahead to try to recover an injured soldier. SGT Parsons took a well-aimed shot, and put the Muton down, while I and SGT de Matos took down the Floater. The X-Rays retreated further, so we advanced, and SGT Parsons took down a Sectoid. It's companion stayed in cover, at the farthest range of visibility, until SGT Glynn shot it, and SGT Horn finished it off. 

Now it was time to move forward to find the VIP. We did not immediately discover any further threat, so I activated my motion sensor, which revealed several hostiles on the wrecked section of the bridge. The VIP made contact via radio shortly after, explaining that he was currently hidden in a wrecked car, and the soldier he'd gone to recover hadn't made it. I told him to stay put until we'd cleared his immediate vicinity of threats.

While we were communicating, the X-Rays made their move, as a Muton and two Floaters ascended from the wreckage. Shots were exchanged, but other than a hit on the Muton that didn't seem to even slow it down, no one was injured. Once they'd established a beachhead, two more Mutons climbed up, taking cover positions. SGT Horn said he had a shot; I told him to take it, kill them all if he could. His rocket exploded at the precise point of maximum effect, and two of the Mutons were killed outright. SGTs Ribeiro and Parsons cut down two of the remaining hostiles, leaving SSG Fahey to eliminate the Floater which was coming down on top of her position. This left our level clear, but there was still heavy resistance below; SGT Fahey advanced to the edge and took a long range shot, injuring another Muton.


I had a shot on one Muton below, so I cut loose with a long burst, ripping it to shreds as the squad moved closer to the edge. The Floaters responded by moving up, trying to use their air mobility to flank us; Maillet and Fahey proved this futile, eliminating one of them, SGT Horn reported that one had come down from a high flyover. Our attention was diverted forward however, as another Muton climbed up and started taking shots at Fahey. In response, she dodged through its fire, rolled into cover behind it, and blew it away. A few seconds later, Horn reported that the Floater behind us was no longer a threat. SSG Maillet called to Fahey for a spot report; Then he lobbed a grenade over the edge. After the detonation, I saw SSG Fahey turn back with a grin and report a clean kill.

I advanced SGT de Matos and SSG Fahey to make contact with the VIP, while preparing the rest of the squad for whatever retaliation we'd see from the X-Rays. De Matos reported that the VIP was uninjured, and I ordered her and SSG Fahey to stay with him as he came back up. Then we heard Friendly come across the radio; There was a X-Ray immediately near him, but he'd crawled into one of the wrecked cars, and it didn't seem to have seen him yet. I ordered the squad back toward the Skyranger to protect him. The VIP advanced as well, despite not having a weapon to engage the enemy; He said he owed it to his men to not go down without a fight. 

Then the X-Ray, a Thin Man, stepped around the cars and shot SGT Glynn. He reported that it had scorched his armor pretty good, but that he was okay. De Matos called out movement behind us, so I told her and SGT Ribeiro to stay on rear-guard. SSG Maillet, meanwhile, lobbed a grenade over the cars; Glynn reported that it was hit, but was still moving, so SSG Fahey once again charged into the breach and finished it off. With the way forward clear, I told the VIP to get to the Skyranger, just as I looked back toward the wrecked section of bridge. It was pure chance that I saw the Thin Man, not advancing as expected, but falling back. I sprayed the area with my Autolaser, and put the X-Ray down. No sooner than another Thin Man dropped down from the overpass above, directly in front of me; I thought I was dead, because I couldn't bring my gun around in time, but then several lasers fired, intersecting with the hostile's body; It was dead before it had a chance to raise its weapon.

SGT Horn turned back toward the Skyranger, and caught sight of another Thin Man creeping up; It didn't see him in time, and he shot it down. Then SSG Fahey escorted the VIP back to the Skyranger, and I directed Friendly to join him. Central reported continued movement back toward the wreckage, and directed us to clear any further hostiles. If we could keep the X-Rays from reporting the rescue of the General back to their command, perhaps it would give us an edge. 

I directed the squad back, down into the wreckage, cautiously looking for any further resistance, but at first we saw nothing, even with the motion scanners. It wasn't until SGT de Matos advanced up to the high ground on the far side of the wreckage that she saw a Thin Man, weapon ready. She ducked behind a car before it could draw a bead on her, and I used her report to light up the target, but not quite enough to kill it. SGT Glynn, right beside me, sighted in and put a single shot into the wounded Thin Man's head. SGT De Matos and SSG Fahey reported that the bridge was completely gone just beyond the Thin Man's position, which is probably why it hadn't retreated further; There were no more hostiles. 

We made it back to the Skyranger, and returned to HQ with the VIP and his surviving soldier. Both expressed interest in staying on with XCOM; It is my official recommendation that they be allowed, as their courage and level-headedness against an unknown enemy are traits I want to see more of in our troopers.

LESSONS LEARNED

o Sustain: 
 - Controlled advancement allows us to fight on our terms
 - Hold the high ground whenever possible

o Improve:
 - Never assume the enemy is only in a single direction
 - Use motion scanners/ battle scanners more judiciously