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Summary Operation Saracen

(This post was last modified: 23-07-2020, 08:11 AM by W. Jamison. Edited 2 times in total.)

From. Maj. W. Jamison
To. All 4th Infantry Brigade Personnel
Date. 23/07/2020

After 11 weeks deployed to the Farkhar Valley region of Tajikistan (Operation Saracen), we headed home for a week of R&R followed by a little admin. After this, we will be getting stuck back into a phase of Home Rotation and Mission Specific Training ready at a moment's notice for our next deployment wherever that may take us.
Summary of Saracen was that not everything went as hoped, lessons have been learned while on deployment and carried into future training, Intel team (J2) did a great job and brought good direction to operations, focusing attention to both people and places of interest, we also brought back Mid-Week Patrol Nights which went very well and keep the story moving along and different objectives for sections to attain which encouraged sections from different platoon to work together.
J3 Deployment team and 12MI without them we would not have a deployment but they have really gone above and beyond with background and story for this deployment and the same is true of upcoming deployments.
321 EOD&S also deserve a mention as we brought back the eods mod from back in the day, they successfully defused and jammed many IED’s saving many lives. With the change from COIN to Conventional unfortunately EOD&S has been put on hold but I hope to see them return for COIN deployments. 
As mentioned a while ago we have Royal Dragoon Guards opening up during admin week, my intent is to have their operations on a Wednesday night along with another new unit asset  RAF 617 Squadron. RDG remit will be to push forward clearing a path and holding an area of any large vehicles whether that be APC’s, IFV, etc. Aiding them will be the F35’s from 617, Apache from AAC 662, and other current 4th assets such as ATGW from MSC, 3CS, 7 Reg, etc. 617 Squadrons remit would be multi-role, mostly iStar and CAS but also deal with enemy air as well.

Mentions in dispatches

[b]A/Sgt. C. McGowan AAC No.661 Squadron[/b]
On Friday the 19th of June 2020, Recon 1-1 was tasked with providing ISTAR, ECAS and transport in conjunction with Lt Elkins’ push to PB Gustav. Sgt McGowan was efficient and competent in his new role as co-pilot, providing ISTAR and ECAS talk on for the wildcat gunner whilst multitasking coherent comms to the Widow callsign. We had evaded several RPG's and numerous small arms fire, whilst providing close top cover to the convoy pushing on to PB Gustav. We were locked onto and engaged by an Igla and immediately had engine failure. A/Sgt. C. McGowan maintained his composure informing friendly callsigns of our engine failure, our mayday call and grid reference. Sgt. D. Smudge executed a perfect autorotation landing on an open plain. We were immediately engaged by a technical with a gunner on the back. We engaged as a crew and eliminated the threat. We were then engaged by an unknown number of hostile infantry. Sgt Smudge and LAC Roddham quickly became Tier 1 casualties and Sgt McGowan was left to fend for himself. With 4 confirmed kills to his name, he was able to escape and evade his way back to friendly forces with heavy wounds and was eventually evacuated to MOB Jax.

[b]Sgt. O. Dryden AAC No.662 Squadron[/b]
Sgt. Dryden served as the gunner in an apache crew for the duration of the operation, providing a wide range of services from observation, to Emergency Close Air Support. Throughout the deployment, he has shown remarkable skill in his duties, often in extremely hostile airspace. One such example of this is on a particular op night, towards the end of the deployment - the situation on the ground was dire, as a British occupied Patrol Base, (PB Gustav) came under siege. the enemy AA threat level was that high, that it was near suicide for an aircraft to stay in the airspace for more than a few seconds. Despite this, Sgt Dryden and his Pilot (A/Sgt. L. Sheppard) remained on station for most of the night, under constant anti-aircraft fire, only returning to base when their helicopter was severely damaged.
This commitment to their mission, plus his high proficiency with the tools at his disposal, directly affected the outcome of the battle, allowing the ground forces time to withdraw from the area, thus preventing massive loss of British personnel.

A/Sgt. L. Sheppard AAC No.662 Squadron
A/Sgt. Sheppard deployed as part of a two-man apache crew, of which he was a pilot. On several occasions, he has demonstrated a cool and collected approach to highly dangerous situations, allowing him to put him, and his crew in the best positions to conduct their roles. There have been several occasions on the deployment where he has put himself and his aircraft in the firing line, in order to protect others.
One example of this took place on an op night in the first half of the deployment. Ground forces were withdrawing from the AO after a mission when they came under heavy fire. The transport helicopter sent to retrieve them was under direct threat from enemy anti-aircraft weaponry, receiving damage to the engines following a direct hit from a rocket, putting both ground and air forces in jeopardy. Without hesitation, A/Sgt. Sheppard maneuvered his aircraft into position above the scene, whilst his gunner, Sgt Dryden, maintained accurate fire with the apache's weaponry long enough for the Chinook crew to land near the infantry and pull them back to safety. Whilst providing cover fire, A/Sgt. Sheppard's apache was hit by AA rockets on no less than 2 separate occasions, and still, he remained on station in order to protect those on the ground below him.

[b]Plt Off. J. Hudson RAF No. 18 Squadron[/b]
Plt Off. Hudson served as a Chinook pilot, displaying a great commitment to the mission, often going above and beyond the call of duty in pursuit of accomplishing the mission.
A prime example of this is on an op night in the first half of the deployment. Ground forces were withdrawing from the AO after a mission when they came under heavy fire. Plt Off. Hudson and his crew were tasked with retrieving the ground unit from the AO. On their approach to the area, an enemy combatant scored a direct hit on Hudson's aircraft with a shoulder-mounted AA rocket, causing damage to the engines. Plt Off. Hudson managed to keep the aircraft in the air, and fell back to a safe distance, while the apache crew above, provided cover fire.
Without regard for their own safety, Plt Off. Hudson and his crew elected that rather than return to base for repairs they would instead remain on station and attempt to complete the mission. and once a window of opportunity was created by the apache crew's efforts, Hudson placed his Chinook into the fight, to withdraw the infantry from the AO safely. These actions required great levels of skill and courage and prevented the massive loss of life on the ground.

Pte. L. Francis Mortar Pl
During OPERATION FROZEN on the 17th of June 2020 Pte. L. Francis was involved in a Strike Operation in the AO of Mata Tajikistan. Francis was tasked with arresting Orlov, a known drug lord located in the town of Mata. As the section breached Orlov’s compound, shots were fired between guards and section members. Upon hearing this Orlov escaped over a set of boxes to an escape vehicle and attempted to flee. Francis identified Orlov as the person of interest and took immediate action in jumping off of the roof he was breaching. When on the floor, Orlov was driving away roughly 30 meters away from Francis who, using only a dimly lit street and poor visual conditions, successfully disabled the vehicle by hitting the back wheels of the car, so that later down the road the car would come to a halt, allowing the ARF team to move in and arrest Orlov without bringing him to any harm. He showed excellent awareness, keen marksmanship and the ability to act without hesitation. 

Pte. C. Parker MG Pl
On the 14th of June 2020 Pte. C. Parker was involved in the defense of PB GOAT from an enemy sniper. Parker was mounted on his GPMG SF scanning the hillsides trying to locate the sniper that had been harassing the PB the last couple of minutes. Whilst under was sniper fire, an enemy fighter tried to sneak up on the PB and attack it from close range with an AK and grenades. Parker being mounted on the main gate did however manage to spot this threat in time. After calling this threat out he dismounted his GPMG SF and drew his pistol and charged the enemy's position neutralizing the enemy combatant before he had the time to endanger the rest of the personnel in the PB. He showed excellent awareness, initiative, and marksmanship.

Pte. R. Bridges 3 Section 1 Platoon 
On patrol south of Gustav, the section came under fire from a dug in machine gun position and several marksmen. Whilst pinned down by small arms fire and focusing on the immediate threat, a suicide bomber emerged from a house in the patrols blindspot and rushed the section. Bridges was able to identify and eliminate the bomber in a split second decision put him down saving several members of the section from becoming casualties.

Recipients of the Good Conduct Ribbon
Awarded for extended period of good conduct and good attendance.

Pte. D. Noble - 1 Section 1 Platoon
Cpl. A. Walker - 3 Section 1 Platoon 
Pte. T. Hill - 1 Section 2 Platoon
Cpl. Z. Hayes - 2 Section 2 Platoon
LCpl. T. Ryan - 3 Section 2 Platoon

Recipients of the Meritorious Service
Awarded for extended period of exceptional conduct and attendance, while contributing vast amounts of time, effort and energy into the maintenance, upkeep and future of the Unit.

Pte. S. Tuggins - 2 Section 1 Platoon
Cpl. C. Bate - 3 Section 2 Platoon

Recipients of the Queens Volunteer Medal

Awarded to members who have helped the Unit to excel, and progress forward, over a prolonged period.
Cpl. J. Neale - 1 Section 2 Platoon
Commendation for Valuable Service
Operation SAMSON
Operation SCIMITAR
Operation SCORPION
Operation BULLDOG
Operation CROMWELL
Operation PANTHER
Operation SARACEN
Accumulated Campaign Service Medal
Unit Continued Support Ribbon
3 Month Service Ribbon

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The 4th Infantry Brigade is the biggest British unit to Arma 3. Our infantry represent 2nd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment. A Light Role infantry which is one of the British Armys adaptable battalions. We are equipped with Foxhound Protected Patrol Vehicles allowing us to travel quickly across any terrain, closing with and engaging the enemy.