Operation Eastwind 8 AAR Part 3

Click here for part 2

Map to help you follow along

When we awoke from our death sleep, we were on QRF duty. While on duty, a squad designates one person to run the TOC communications shack, one to be the TOC runner and the rest to be a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) in case a unit in the field makes contact.

0732 - ZGa5QVPTypically, I took the comm shack as I’m fairly comfortable around radios and SOI at this point in my training. The only downside is once you’re in you can’t leave unless you get someone else to cover you. The comm shack must be manned at all times no matter what. You’re also in charge of logging every radio transmission so that the command staff can read what happened at what time later on in the event.

This is done through a fairly rudimentary yet surprisingly accurate system. Before each unit goes into the field, they provide the TOC with a map of their route along with multiple points that they will call in to higher. Because of this, in order to locate a unit, all the TOC has to do is see what the last point the unit inf the field gave and how long ago it was. In this way, the position of every unit in the field can be calculated fairly accurately.

The other TOC position, the runner is essentially the assistant to the command staff. He or she keeps the weather board information current, sweeps the tent out, keeps the fire rolling and makes sure people are woken up as necessary. Often, we swap out the runner throughout the duty period so that everyone gets some down time as QRF.

0505 - nVqjLy2QRF duty is slow, except when it’s not. This is usually a good time to go over previous missions, brush up on knowledge you found out you forgot or make a nice hot meal for your squad. It can also turn into a sudden burst of adrenaline as you fly to your vehicles in hopes that you reach a unit under fire in time.

Fortunately, this duty cycle remained slow. However, as it ran it’s course it became apparent that Company Commander really wanted to see what was inside that ambulance on the bridge. Ideas were thrown around, the good idea fairy came and went, and eventually a battle plan was settled on. The entire company would tear straight down the center of the AO using brute force to overwhelm any opposition, all so we could get a good look at this ambulance.

Continue to part 4

Thanks to Arbee for the use of his photos!