Michael's Dispatches

Wolfpack 105 – Start point

6 Comments

image032-1000Crossing farmers' fields during combat mission.

At the copse, a Wolfpack should be able to make a match on shoes in the farmer’s field.

image034-1000The bomb-detecting gear and dogs are of limited use. The Soldier who gets blown up often is far back down the line. He might be man number twenty. Soldiers carry ladders because they are constantly climbing walls.

At least one Afghan came out of the copse.  He pulled himself onto a tractor and drove away.

Our people frequently use helicopters to stop vehicles. They blast rotor wash until you are blown off the motorbike, or cannot see out of the windshield from the dust and dings.  The pilots can do this with surprise.

The bad guys are driving along suddenly they are dusted out.  They can no longer see the road, and a minigun is pointed at the windshield.  Unless they have suicide vests, they tend to stop.  The suicide vests were a dangerous technique in Iraq.

It would be easy to follow the tractor, stop it with a helicopter, and confirm or deny if the tracks in the field led to the man on the tractor, while the other Wolves entered the copse.

image036-1000This small helicopter package, along with a couple of Kiowas for scouting, would be hell in the hands of a Wolfpack commander.

Bets are on that there was a cache in the copse.  The Rhodesians could pull off such attacks in an hour or two, and be back for lunch.

image038-1000A fragless artillery round could be designed to frighten enemy into hiding after an attack. We often take fire on the bases, but the fire comes from populated areas. Wolfpack guns could fire noisemakers while Wolfpack boards the helicopters. After an IED, fragless rounds could be fired within minutes into the area, to pin down or drive the enemy while the Wolfpack assembles.

The Rhodesians and Namibians sometimes tracked cattle because the enemy stole cattle for food or money.  Guerrilla armies often steal flocks and herds.

image040-1000The medic on the right was a good man. He saw much combat. Greater tracking skills would reduce his workload.

Some Rhodesian pilots became especially good at picking up sign from the helicopters, which normally is best done in early morning or late afternoon.

image042-1000Most Afghans have few electronics, which can be good and bad for SIGINT tracking. They often have small radios.

Strong tracking skill forces the enemy to use track discipline, which wastes his time, and also forces him into areas that he may not want to go, which helps with sensor placement.

The Rhodesians used electronic tricks, such as the “road runner” commercial transistor radios.  They distributed the road runners by various means in likely areas.  When the enemy heard helicopters, they would turn off the radios, which turned on the hidden transponder.

image044-1000The excellent Air Force JTACs wore different boots than the Army Soldiers. This is a common clue for trackers that they are specialized forces or attachments.

The Rhodesians had a handful of worn-out aircraft, and “Faced with an insurgency in sparsely inhabited African bush in a country the size of the State of Montana, limited their ability to field more than 1,500 fighting men on any one day in the years 1966–1980… ” (Counter-Strike from the Sky: The Rhodesian All-Arms Fireforce in the War in the Bush, by J.R.T. Wood)

CT was a force multiplier.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jacob Theodore · 6 years ago
    In the Vietnam war, a lot of men and material came south along the so-called Ho Chi Minh trail. Of course, it wasn't a single trail, that would have been instantly interdictable. Instead, there were networks of routes through almost impenetrable jungle. What was done to track the enemy was both interesting and could not be turned around on us. If you take a certain kind of glass and reduce it to particular size particles, it will selectively reflect back particular wavelengths of infra-red light. You then fly over that jungle and spread it over the vegetation where it coats it. People and vehicles moving down through these areas disturb the particles which fall off the vegetation to the ground. Planes flying over with infrared searchlights and infrared imaging devices, will capture imagery that shows where glass particles were dislodged a men and vehicles passed. Subsequent rain would 'clear the screen' and new glass particles would be laid down for new travelers to disturb.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    tarawa1943 · 6 years ago
    Jacob, outstanding! Trip wire has worked for decades.....just hide it well.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jacob Theodore · 6 years ago
    Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that bit of information. I'm pretty sure it was classified at the time, but that was what, forty years ago?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      tarawa1943 · 6 years ago
      hmmm 49 years for some of us.... declassified long ago.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jacob Theodore · 6 years ago
    .... works so well that it's usefulness outlasts its automatic declassification and then goes into a sort of routine, low profile practice under the radar and remains effective because generations have passed and the present generations never heard of it, and don't practice any counter measures. I'm sure there are people who are not friendly, who monitor this and other forums, who would pick up on that 'ancient' technique and be on the lookout for it. I made the possible error of mentioning something that I unconsciously thought of as obsolete, but upon reconsideration might just not be.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Craig · 6 years ago
    What's the story behind that boot in the first photo? Pretty arresting image, there.

    These posts are fascinating.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Nani · 6 years ago
    What I'd like to figure out is how to grow pot in a rainforest, without Green Harvest spotting your plants, or trail.

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