Page 269 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
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 the opposing force and quickly discovered that in the notoriously thick, west coast vegetation, the company was best employed in small, four-soldier detachments to conduct ambushes and raids against larger enemy elements. Detachments excelled, siting separate ambushes which were initiated as a result of skillful and well-timed listening halts. As the battle raged across the woods, the commander of 2 Platoon received orders to concen- trate his element to platoon minus strength and conduct a hasty attack against a suspected enemy headquarters. With support from 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron providing an aerial fire-base, the platoon masterfully infiltrated and attacked where they captured a general purpose machine gun (with ammunition) and rigged an enemy radio to transmit on permanent send, rendering their forces unable to communicate. Further north, 3 Platoon covertly conducted a clover-leaf of an objective prior to their attack and managed to surprise and destroy an enemy sniper detachment. 3 Platoon later, under very direct orders, conducted an attack against a ‘light enemy logistics position’ which was, upon contact, a prepared Assault Pioneer and Direct Fire Support Platoon defensive position. This discovery along with previous Alpha Company accomplish- ments provided great training for all involved.
For Bravo Company’s part during Exercise SPARTAN HOPLON, battle procedure was conducted in Edmonton after which Bravo Company flew to JBLM and was inserted into the exercise area of operations. For six days they conducted disruption tasks such as fighting patrols, ambushes and attacks by fire against the opposing force provided by Alpha Company. Exercise SPARTAN HOPLON provided an excellent test of endurance for Bravo Company as resupply was extremely limited and water had to be procured locally. The exercise also provided an opportunity for Bravo Company to sharpen their patrolling skill-sets in difficult, close and contested terrain against a live, highly skilled, enemy force.
On arrival at JBLM, disruption tasks commenced immediately for Charlie Company with dispersed patrols from 7 and 8 Platoons. 9 Platoon utilized their heavy weapons to dominate a major road junction, seen as key terrain within the battalion’s area of operations. Overall, contact with the enemy was relatively minimal in the north, with most of the activity occurring to the south near the junction that 9 Platoon was securing. However, 7 Platoon found more frequent interaction and enjoyed success in disrupting enemy force resupply. After several days of patrolling and ambush tasks, the exercise ended with the company establishing a strong point and mounting vehicles for their exfiltration.
Combat Support Company also deployed on Exercise SPARTAN HOPLON and provided the company the opportunity to conduct support to battalion level operations and test new employment concepts. Recce Platoon continued to perform its role as the eyes and ears of the battalion which
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Alpha Company mountain leaders share medical evacuation techniques with international partners during a professional concentrated hosted by the United States Army

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