In a paragraph or so you'll see the next instalment of the Dogshit Killers debacle. In the meantime I'll explain that we had a Chaz Day in Sydney last Thursday. We ate steak (cooked by ourselves, drank beer and did a mini walking tour (pub crawl) of The Rocks. Friday was hangover day innit.
To set this DSK chapter I had to take it offshore so that I could put in an explosion. I needed an explosion seeing as how FKN Havsy has been pretty fucking lame on that score with his fanfic gear and as usual, if it needs to be done do it yourself. The main character is based on a real SAS bloke who I had beers with once and will be catching up with in March. I just hope that the bugger doesn't read this. The details of his service are accurate and he actually did come up with the trick of following the small groups of herdsmen as described below.
Dog Shit Killers – Interlude
Alan “Owly” Blake motioned to his signals operator to come further around the rock which was hiding his patrol from a group of goat herders. The herdsmen were two hundred metres to the north of Blake’s hidden forward observation post, heading east across one of the many hills in this area of the Pakistan/Afghan border. As part of Operation Mountain Lion, Alan Blake’s SAS patrol was a key component, engaging in Special Reconnaissance tasks and often coming into contact with enemy forces. One of Blake’s specialties was sorting out which targets were worth following. Quite often a smaller group of “herdsmen” would split off from a larger group, like a bad boy crew wagging from a school excursion. Owly would leave the bigger group to the U.S. Special Forces teams and follow up on the smaller band, a tactic which was often rewarded. In previous missions his team had successfully called in and directed air strikes as well as the insertion of Coalition forces, resulting in the capture of large supplies of weapons and ammunition and the elimination of enemy fighters and leaders. He knew he’d probably never get to put a bead on Bin Laden but his sense of professional pride was constantly rewarded. His men had come through their tour unscathed and his regiment had once again earned the respect of its NATO counterparts.
His radio operator moved up beside him and Owly said,
“Once those blokes get up the hill call in their co-ordinates. I confirm twelve of them and I reckon they’re off to go and have a cuppa with their boss. We’ll stay on site.”
The radio man went back to his post and started working his set, checking the aerial and frequency before dialling up the operating base. Owly kept peering at the herdsmen until they slipped behind an outcrop, most likely into a cave.
His radio operator sidled up,
“The Yanks have two 18’s with JDAMS and 500 pounders on board, and another two set up for ground attack support. That’s all they had immediately available. The cunts asked for credit card details before confirming delivery of the order.”
“Smart arse Seppos. Didja ask for garlic bread and coke?" Blake looked at the rest of his team,
"Dopey cunts. Fucking JDAMS are a bit over the top for this one aren’t they?”. Owly hitched his pack,
“ Ah well, who gives a fuck eh Sparks? Hope they don’t want us to count all the bits and pieces afterwards. It’d be like doing over the Kiwis batting averages. Best off getting downtown a bit and start pointing the bone.”
‘Pointing the bone’ was Blake’s description of activating laser designators on a target, ensuring that air dropped munitions would arrive accurately and provide the most efficacy to his ongoing problems with bearded nutjobs. He named his two “bone-pointers” Kurdaitche One and Kurdaitche Two, (K1 and K2), after the traditional Australian Aboriginal “witch doctors” who used human bones in their rituals to sing sickness and death to miscreants.
Blake slowly and carefully withdrew his team two hundred metres further along the valley and waited for the U,S. Navy FA 18’s. Fifteen minutes later they arrived, two flying cover and two strikers. From his vantage point Blake observed, felt and heard the blasts. His team stuck fingers in their ears to compensate for overpressure from the munitions, a combination of 500 lb bombs and JDAMS. The JDAMS landed, penetrating the north side of the outcrop dislodging tonnes of earth and rocks as they bored through the subsurface strata of the rock formation. Once they had penetrated twenty metres the warheads ignited, causing immense eruptions of earth, rock, body parts and mangled jihadi caveman artefacts. Plumes of smoke and dust and a virtual hail storm of rocks cascaded with drumbeat thuds onto the injured land. The secondary pattern of 500lb munitions worked the tortured piece of earth into an even more catastrophic state. It never failed to impress Blake just how destructive people could be if they really applied themselves to the task.
After a couple of minutes of scoping out the results Blake sighed,
“Fuck me, there’s nothing left. OBL could be there and we’d never know it. He’d be like that strawberry jam K1 keeps on nicking from the mess tent.” Blake then asked Sparks to call up the operating base and grabbed the headset.
K2 turned to his fellow bone pointer,
“How about that K1? Fancy going over and grabbing some Talijam?” K1 gave a rueful smile,
“ Why the fuck JDAMS as well as 500’s ? Yank navy been to a clearance sale?” K1 shook his head again and rifled through his pack for zip lock plastic bags, waving them at K2.
“Got some baggies here bro’. Maybe they left some hash behind."
Owly removed the radio headset after completing a preliminary report. His bone pointer had a smile on his face, asking on the results of the bombing runs,
“Hey boss, you fix him?”
Blake didn’t let him down replying in his best Marrickville Greek Aussie,
“I fix him fuckee bastard the Taliban bloody!” Owly then retreated into normal speech mode,
“The Yanks’ll be sending in a couple of their own crews for clean up and to tally the results. We’re to move in fifty metres and keep an eye out for jaywalkers. Lets take it slowly, quietly and by the book. K1, you can field at deep fine leg. K2, you take lead, Sparks stay up my arse.”
Noiselessly and constantly alert the four troopers worked their way around the valley, keeping an eye out for curious onlookers and Taliban bench players. One hundred metres away from the blast zone K2 took up a position behind some boulders. Blake crawled his way forward, bringing out his glasses to get a closer look at the wounded earth. His radioman followed behind him with K1 taking a few more minutes to join the patrol.
What Blake saw was a series of rents in the earth with burnt scrub, debris and what looked like a cave-in on the side of the facing hill. Nothing moved and there was no sign of life. What possibly were red smears on the rubble were the only possible clue that anyone had been in the area. He shook his head. He looked at “Sparks” and asked him to call up his headquarters. Once they were connected the radio operator handed the headset to Blake. His C.O. was already talking.
Blake reported that all that was left was “rubble, dust and stains” and that there was no enemy movement. His boss told him to wait for the American patrols then return to the Forward Operating Base for the mission debrief. Fifteen minutes later a squadron of Blackhawks supported by Cobra gunships advertised the arrival of the U.S. Ranger group. A quick exchange of radio chatter released the Australians to head home.
“Okay boys, time to go catch a cab. The Yanks can clean up.”
K2 took another look at the devastated hillside and seemed about to say something. He turned his head once then checked his weapon and the team moved out, heading to their vehicle secreted in camouflage a four hour hike away.
Eight hours later Blake and his team were relaxing at their base after debriefing, showering and cleaning their equipment. The debrief included an update from the U.S. Ranger teams which had searched the bombed hillside. They’d estimated twenty four dead and collected DNA samples. They’d also found the remains of enough destroyed weaponry to conclude that the bombs had wiped out a major staging point. Blake found the whole idea of a reliable count improbable given the destruction he’d witnessed but was willing to go along with it. From his experience the numbers lay in the “maybe possible” column and he couldn’t be bothered arguing the toss. If the Yanks wanted to beef up body count numbers, that was up to them. To him it didn't really matter as long as there were more fighters to replace the dead.
Blake’s team were slurping away at some Miller Draught which K1 had obtained.
Sparks was appreciative of the illegal beer bounty and looked the model of a contented radioman. He watched his sergeant open up a letter, and asked who it was from.
“My brother, Wayne.”
K2 looked up, laughing, “You mean Sniper? He’s a funny sort of bloke. That night we had beers with him and his mate was a real fucking hoot. What’s he up to?” Blake looked up from the letter,
“Yeah, it was wasn’t it? Him and his feral mate Jacko have apparently put some sort of band together. They call themselves ‘The Dogshit Killers’. Wayne reckons it won’t last but they’re planning on doing a gig. By fuck I’d love to be there to boo the dopey cunts off the stage.”
A shadow appeared at the doorway rapidly followed by a voice,
“Well Sergeant, your wish just might be coming true.” Captain Morrow, Blake’s immediate boss was standing with a sheaf of papers in his hands.
“Seems as though you blokes are needed elsewhere. You’re training on the RIBS means you’ll be getting to play water sports again on Sydney Harbour. Here’s the G.O.”
Morrow sat down and explained how the need for an additional counter-terrorist unit covering Sydney’s maritime gateway was severely itching the Defence Force Chief's skin and Blake’s team was going to be the salve. Blake thought back to the preparations for the Sydney Olympics and tearing around Sydney Harbour in the rigid inflatables, rehearsing tactics for anti-terrorist activities on the water. His team had enjoyed the whole experience. More importantly he thought of his wife and two children. He’d actually be seeing them again very soon and that was a major plus.
Aside from Afghanistan his army service had seen him in both Gulf Wars, chasing Kopassus around the East Timor/West Timor border, serving as bodyguard to Xanana Gusmao in the immediate aftermath of East Timor’s independence and a posting as a trainer with the U.S. Marines. His current deployment was almost three months old and even though he’d enjoyed success against the Taliban he wouldn’t miss their attention. He’d be reunited once again with his family and that lit up a whole wave of smiley face icons in his mind. It also meant he’d find some time to annoy the bejesus out of his brothers, particularly that wannabe musician piece of crap, Sniper. Fucking Dogshit Killers eh? Oh yeah, he sorely wanted to see what sort of bullshit that was all about.