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Fire Team


Fire Team

Ghorac, Khandahar Province, Afghanistan - January 10th 2009.

News that an insurgent Darwish (holy man) had been travelling the northern villages of Kandahar Province
inciting the locals against the occupying forces led the US area commander to send out patrols to the
villages in order to arrest him. One of these patrols arrives at the village of Ghorac on the morning of 10th
of January. They park their Humvees a kilometre to the north of the village and advance towards it. In the
meantime, sources in the Afghani police had informed the rebel forces of the projected US actions so the
Dawish's escort under Breedmal (section leader) Abdul Rashid were forewarned about the US force's attack.

Lt. John Gorman, leading the 4th Sqd, 2nd Platoon, Easy Company divided his squad into their two Fire Teams.
Fire Team Alpha under Cpl. Delgado provided cover with the SAW while Fire Team Bravo were detailed to
advance to the orchard and climb the wall into it. However, as they climbed over the wall they immediately
came under fire from Abdul Hamid's House leaving two of their number shaken while one went to ground.

Hearing the firing, Cpl. Delgado ordered the SAW to open fire on the nearest house which they did without
effect. Finding their building under fire the two Taliban on the roof of Darwish Afzul's House opened fire on
Fire Team Bravo also while the two on Malik's House fired on Fire Team Alpha causing the SAW gunner and
his loader to go to ground.

The combined effect of the fire from both roofs suppressed Fire Team Bravo almost completely and it was no
surprise when the hapless Pte. Rushton was hit and put out of action. From their prone position Fire Team
Alpha fired on Darwish Afzul's house once more but with no visible effect but the volume of fire did encourage
the Darwish to start moving towards safety at the rear of the village.

Still more fire from Darwish Afzul's and Abdul Hamid's House and Pte. Vasquez was also hit and put out of
action and over to the north the SAW gunner was only saved by his body armour from more incoming fire from
Malik's House. However, the return fire from Fire Team Alpha swept the roof of Darwish Afzul's House
forcing the two Taliban there to go to ground. Cpl Delgado ordered his other riflemen to do overwatch on the
roof while the remnants of Fire Team Bravo crawled towards the wall between the orchard and the sheep pen
for cover.

A further exchange of fire from Malik's House and Fire Team Alpha led to a mixed result as Habibullah
Dostum on the roof of Malik's House was killed outright but SAW gunner PFC Dermenteyev was put out of
action and his loader was shaken. Finding that the automatic fire from the nearby rocky outcrop had ceased the
two Taliban on the roof of Darwish Afzul's house got warily to their feet but came under fire from the
remaining riflemen. Lt. Gorman joined the group beside the wall and under his direction two riflemen stood up
and threw grenades towards the roof of Darwish Afzul's house. One dropped short but the other landed on the
roof where, with incredible luck both Taliban there were only knocked down without injury.

The fire from the remaining Taliban on Malik's house sprayed round Fire Team Alpha and Pte Snyder was
wounded and put out of action.

With more than half his squad out of action Lt Gorman called for a retreat but while endeavouring to get one of
the wounded away was himself shot and killed by enemy fire. One of the previously wounded (Pte Rushton)
also succumbed to his wounds so Cpl. Delgado simply got who he could away leaving the bodies of Lt.
Gorman and Pte. Rushton as well as the wounded and immobile PFC Dermenteyev and the more lightly
wounded Snyder in Taliban hands.