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Red Halibut
2007-06-11, 11:56
MEC 3rd Battalion Regional Command
Colonel Redhal Ibut.
June 10, 2007
MEMORANDUM FOR:
General Rahtdi Al-Messar - CinCMEC
CC:
Colonel Jamahl bin-Alef Jeharani
SUBJECT:
After Action Report — Qsar Defence.
1. PURPOSE:
This memo provides feedback on my strategic and operational assessment of security operations during the defence of Qsar against various light and mechanised infantry of the US 5th Marine Division on the afternoon and early evening of Sunday June 10, 2007 (2100Z).

2. SOURCES:
Squad and Section Level Reports - 3rd Battalion, SatIntel, Comm Transcripts.

3. THE SCENARIO
As you are aware, units of the US 5th Marine Division have been pushing steadily northwards over the last three weeks, and with US superior long-range engagement capability, the open desert has proved indefensible with our current capacity.

We urgently needed some reasonably defensible terrain, ideally somewhere that could negate the US's long-range weaponry and force them into close-quarter combat which would at least provide us with a better chance of engaging on equal or potentially better terms. As a medium sized town with terrain that made flanking difficult, Qasr was chosen as our position. Over the last two nights, most of our units had withdrawn to positions north of the city under cover of darkness beyond American artillery range and with diversions on the enemy's western flanks to draw attention.

An unexpected bonus was the arrival of artillery support from elements of the 8th Artillery who escaped the encirclement at Alabdali.

4. THE PLAN
With roughly equal personnel on both sides, our strategy had to be a fast advance south into the centre of Qasr as soon as it became clear that the enemy were committed to an engagement. This would have a two-fold effect. 1) It would render enemy artillery less effective because of the speed of the engagement and 2) It would force a CQB scenario as Qasr is strategically too important for the enemy to merely "go around". It would leave a highly effective force on their rear.

On a unit level, the first wave of our force was split roughly 45 10 45, with the two larger forces directed towards the east and west flanks, and an expeditionary "verloren hoop" directed to engage enemy in the centre to hopefully draw them into a pincer.

Our disposition was
Sections 1 and 4 - Western flank
Sections 2 and 5 - Eastern flank
Sections 3 and 6(10% strength) Centre.

5. THE ACTION
Our first forward wave was highly successful in moving past the northern check and garden areas and within fifteen minutes of the engagement beginning, both the west and eastern flanks of the city were held. At this point, and with the US fighting a tactical withdrawal, I directed my forces to halt their advance and dig in in defensive positions along the 4/5 line in preparation for the US counter-attack.

At the same time sections 2 and 5, who had heavy mechanised capability (T-90s and BTR-90s) were directed to the Western flank to provide enfilade against approaching US tanks. The Eastern flank held precipitous cliffs which while barely passable for infantry was completely off limits for vehicles, allowing us to concentrate our main anti-vehicle firepower to the West.

As expected, The US counter-attacked with a feint to the East side, with the majority of their forces directed toward the more readily accessible West side of the city. With the aid of Artillery support we were able to deny access to the Eastern side, and although fighting was heavy with ground being taken, lost and retaken we were eventually successful in repelling the counter-attack, and had severely weakened the enemy's heavy mech capability. The additional provision of Satellite overwatch on hotly contested areas allowed small units to surgically engage particular untis of the enemy who were attempting to flank positions.

It was felt that with units resupplied and with superior tactical overview, we would be able to effect an advance against the enemy's now much-depleted forces and force them into a withdrawal from the area.

To that end, all untis were instructed to move in a line south towards the outbuildings (believed to be a gas station) on the southern edge of the city, which had the additional advantage of being surrounded by low dunes that enabled us ton engage with heavy armour from a hull-down position, and leave the US forces out in the open in the same manner that they had been doing to us over these last few weeks.

6. THE OUTCOME

The Gas Station parallel was taken and held effectively, although US forces did not withdraw but continued to rpess home their attack. Sadly, although it was never our intention, the US forces were completely wiped out in the ensuing melee, although in doing so we sustained nearly 60% casualties.

7. SUMMARY

The classic pincer movement proved highly effective as a strategy for our forces, and the negation of enemy stand-off capability turned the tables in our favour. Enfilade fire by Armour from the West flank proved highly effective in denying ingress by equivalent US units, although this would not have been possible without first-class support from engineering personnel who both maintained the Armour in the face of heavy fire and succeeded in routing elements of US special forces who had attempted to destroy our artillery capability.

8. RECOMMENDATIONS

Although in today's conflicts there is a tendency to rely on technology, old strategies such as the pincer can still prove highly effective when implemented correctly and with an eye on timing.

However, no such strategy can ever succeed without a highly cohesive and well-disciplined force. To that end, sir, I would like to add my personal endorsement to all the Men and Women of 3rd Battalion. To the Medics who tended to the wounded, and without whom losses would have been much higher; to the infantry who followed orders to the letter; to the Squad Leaders who were communicative, timely and highly effective - willing to take on seemingly impossibile orders and yet carry them out with initiative and brio; to the Armoured staff who placed themselves in harm's way to deny the enemy the advantage of their armour; to those sharpshooters amongst us whose chief service was to provide intelligence on the strength and disposition of enemy forces on a minute-by-minute basis; I would like to say thank you.

I was proud to be their commander.

Sir, I would like to recommend my entire force for their teamwork and excellence, and ask that their actions and selfless bravery be mentioned in despatch to MEC HC.

Yours

Col Redhal Ibut
Commander MEC 3rd Battalion.

Red Halibut
2007-06-11, 15:06
I just realised I can't remember the names of anyone on my team last night...sorry.

ArmedDrunk&Angry
2007-06-11, 16:02
Very nice.
I liked this touch ....Sadly, although it was never our intention

77SiCaRiO77
2007-06-11, 16:18
interesting to read , very nice !

daranz
2007-06-11, 17:40
I wonder what the after-action report of the USMC commander looks like "Uhh... we had a commander?" or maybe "I LIK E PIE!" Or maybe the USMC team was actually organized, but you steamrolled them anyway....

Heh, nice read though.