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Soldier Up

BOOK: Soldier Up
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Soldier Up

Book 1

 

 

 

 

 

A Novel By

              Steven Linde

 

Solider Up (rev.13), Book 1

Copyright © 2015 by Steven Linde

All rights reserved. 

 

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

Steven Linde

Visit my website at
www.stevenlinde.com

*You may leave comments on my website.

Follow me on Facebook Author page: Steven Linde

Follow me on Twitter: @lindesteven086

 

Printed in the United States of America

Chapter One

 

Captain Clayton stopped, held out his arm at a right angle, his fist balled up, and the eight men behind him stopped.  Using another hand signal he told them to get down, the men behind him slowly moved down to one knee, weapons at the ready, not a sound was made.

              The eight men were down, listening, looking, they also continued to look at the man in front, he then used two of his fingers, forked, pointed at his eyes, meaning I see.  He then used the same hand, flat open to the side and pointed to the left, and then held up three fingers.  What he was telling his fellow Soldiers was that he saw three people, possibly the enemy, in that direction.

              They waited, not moving, you couldn’t hear them breathing, their faces covered in camouflage, and they were dressed in similar clothing.  They could hear and sense the other people moving through the brush, they waited until they passed.

              Captain Clayton signaled to the rest it was time to move, they walked slowly, calculated in single file through the forest.  Their eyes darting back and forth, their senses heightened listening and looking for anything out of the ordinary.  No quick movements by them, quick movements get you seen, if you get seen, it could get you killed.

              They moved like this kilometer after kilometer, they had been at it for twelve hours; it was long, tedious work, fraught with danger and very stressful.  These men were different this is what they lived for the danger and excitement it was their life and they were all there voluntarily.

              All of them were young men, in their twenties or early thirties, they were in excellent shape and all of their skills honed.  They worked at this, practiced day in and day out, but they had to earn their right to be here, everything they did was earned, not given.

              They continued to move towards their objective, another twenty kilometers and the sun was setting which was ok because they owned the night, nothing would deter them, nothing.  As it got dark and then darker each man closed ranks just a bit so they would be able to see the two cat eyes that glowed on the back of each man’s respective cap.  The glow of the cat eyes could only be seen for a couple of feet and if you didn’t know what they were and you happened on them in the forest, there is a good chance you would find yourself dead.

              They continued to move through the trails, valleys and hills; they would stop now and then just to listen, no one moving, all of them focusing outwards attempting to hear anything.

              Every few kilometers they would double back on themselves to make sure no one was following them, can’t be careful enough.  There orders were not to engage the enemy; it was purely a recon mission.  However, their rules of engagement were that if the enemy was close enough and they could take them out quietly using stealth, then they could exterminate with extreme prejudice.

              The hours passed, five more kilometers to go, it was early morning hours, and they didn’t expect to get to the objective until an hour before sunrise.  It was a long slow hike, but better to arrive alive, execute the mission and return home alive, no matter how long it took to get there.

              Once at the objective they would have to create a hide, actually several of them, the mission was to observe, record enemy numbers, vehicle types, any VIP’s that come into the area.  It was a forty-eight hour mission, once at the objective and the hides created, two men at a time would take positions that would allow them maximum visibility without exposing themselves, the other men would provide security.  They would rotate men into the observation role every few hours, and then those men would return to pulling security.

It wasn’t your everyday stroll in the woods, it was a long hot, slow almost crawl through them.  They had to be patient, they had to be alert, especially the closer to the target they got.  It was possible, even likely they might have a patrol of their own out or there could be sheep herders, people out for a walk, anything was likely to happen.

Three kilometers, two kilometers, one kilometer, stop, crouch listen, look, less than one kilometer away.  They were now looking for their perch above the compound, it had to be high enough, with a good vantage and where they could dig a hide(s), there had to enough cover so they wouldn’t be seen.  There also had to have an evacuation route in the event they had to bug out, they had established a rally point a couple kilometers back in the event everything went to shit and they had to split up.

Missions had gone badly before; they were all experienced operators that had been through it all.  If this one went south it wouldn’t be the first one and probably not the last, the main goal was always to get home alive, back to the world in one piece.

Just before day break they had found their perch and a big plus they had found a cave, the entrance was small and the inside would be large enough to hold most of them, it was also defensible and well hidden.

Security was put out and the rest had grabbed a bit of shut eye for about an hour, then the first two would man the observation point, heavily covered by the brush. They had a great view of the compound and the single road, the only avenue of approach to the compound. There was one thing that was unexpected though, they did spy a helicopter landing pad and Intel had missed that, made no mention what-so-ever.

Didn’t really matter mission was still a go, besides they couldn’t tell if it was active or not.  Two hours had passed quickly, the mission NCOIC woke everyone, sent four men to relieve the others pulling security.  He and the other man headed for the perch, the others would now get some rest.  It was going to be four, four and two that was the rotation.

Whenever possible they continued to use hand signals to communicate, however they were allowed to speak in hushed tones to each other when in close proximity.  At 0100 hours daily the communication Sergeant would send an encrypted burst transmission by satellite to their handler.   The data burst had a very low LPI and LPR (low probability of intercept and low probability of recognition) ideal for their line of work.

The men wore neutral military uniforms, which meant the uniform, all the way down to the boots, did not state which country they were from.  They wore no dog tags and one of the qualifiers for these types of missions as no body art (better known as tattoos).  Yes, they all spoke English, but all spoke at least one additional language, it was part of the curriculum.  But, even speaking English didn’t mean they were from the US military, maybe one of the many security firms that were hired out worldwide, but the government had complete deniability.

While the two men were at the observation post (OP) one would be drawing each item on the compound while the other one used a special type of binoculars that had built in range determination, he would quietly call out the location to each item on the map, which would be written down next to it.  They also took digital pictures with a long range lens, but their training dictated cross platforms to capture all data.

In the event of direct military action against the compound all of this information would be important.  Primary targets at this time would be the surface-to-air missiles they see; they identified them as Roland surface-to-air-missile designed by a Franco-German firm.  They were good systems, at one point they were used by the US Army, but they were at least twenty years old, so who knows how well maintained they were.

Next up and just as important were several Russian made ZSU-23-4 a self-propelled light armored anti-aircraft system, this was a dangerous system if the men below really knew how to use them.  I guess the people in the compound below were very nervous about air attacks.  The vehicles were placed strategically around the compound, but not so much so, that they couldn’t be taken out by someone else that knew what they were doing.

They also saw four M113 US made Light Armored personnel carriers with M60 machine guns mounted.  It was looking like the UN of weapons systems down in the compound.  There were also five M2 .50 Caliber machine guns US made, at specific locations, two at either end of the compound where the road intersected, one near the helipad which gave them second thoughts that it might actually be active, why guard it with such a devastating weapon if it was never used.  The others were spread around the rest of the perimeter of the camp in sandbagged positions.

By 1400 hours they had determined there were about a hundred men at the compound, they were carrying either Russian or Chinese made assault rifles.  There could be more, they counted at least three barracks, a mess facility, one building for officers and another one as their headquarters building.

There were other support buildings, one that looked like an armory, another a warehouse maybe supply; they also had a small motor pool, all in all a very sophisticated operation.  Very military like, although it wasn’t military, it was a drug cartel, it was believed that this cartel was now involved with Middle Eastern terrorists from ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).

They hadn’t seen anyone that looked Middle Eastern yet, at least as far as they could tell, the men in the compound had dark complexions and black hair and could certainly be confused from a distance for someone of Middle Eastern descent.  The key here was that they were certain that someone from ISIS would stick out down there like a sore thumb; they would not be hard to recognize.  So far though, all they could tell was that the men were possibly military or police, they had some military or para-military training, they could tell by how the defenses in the compound were setup, and how the men carried themselves.

It was not unusual for the cartels to hire men from the Army or Navy Infantry, they certainly had quite a few active duty ones in their pockets, as for the police, again not unusual for the police to work with or for a cartel. 

By night fall night not much else had happened in the compound, things looked to be settling down for the night.  The men at the OP had just rotated out it was 1900 hours; it was going to be a long night.  During the night it was fairly quiet, they kept track of the rotation of the guards, well at least the ones they could see.

At 0100 hours they sent the burst transmission containing all of the information they had gathered up to this point.  The other men were still on security, nothing much going on with them either.  At 0400 hours they noticed a convoy of vehicles moving down the road toward the camp.  As they got closer they were able to identify two M35 2.5 ton trucks, better known as deuce and a half’s, they were soft top, the cargo area of the trucks were covered and they couldn’t see what was in them if anything. 

The lead vehicle was a Humvee with a turret and machine gun in that turret and it was manned, the rear vehicle was also a Humvee in the same type of configuration and the turret was also manned.  The vehicle pulled into the compound, moving towards a warehouse in the rear of the camp, two large doors opened and the two deuce and a half’s drove in.  The two Humvees took up positions on either side of the doors of the warehouse, and then the doors closed.  The men in the Humvees remained in place, this struck the two men at the OP as odd, what where they guarding and who were they expecting to come and try to take it.

They said in a low tone to each other we have got to see what’s in those trucks, both men knowing it just wasn’t going to happen.  The parameters of their mission didn’t include sneaking down into the compound to poke around. 

An hour before sunrise a large black Mercedes pulled up to the compound, there were four men in the vehicle, and three of them were dressed in the traditional Arab Thawb, Bingo! The men thought.  The team had a digital camera with a long telephoto lens, and then began to snap pictures of the men; they would send them back, they got some great head shots.  Hopefully there handler would be able to identify them. 

There was no way for them to tell if they were ISIS or not, they were definitely from the Middle East though.  Several men came out of the headquarters building to greet them, they all shook hands and headed back into the building.

They continued to watch the compound the rest of the day, there had been no sign of the men who had arrived earlier in the morning.  Also, the two Humvees were still sitting there guarding the trucks, what was in those trucks they thought.

They did have an earlier window of opportunity to send in their report if they thought the information they had was important enough, after a brief discussion with the team leader and team NCO they decided they would send at the 2000 hours, the first widow of opportunity.  If they got the info out to them then it was possible they would call the mission and they could head to the extraction point.  They had a 1500 hours pick up time for their ride home tomorrow, they had slow methodical walk in the woods for twelve kilometers, they would have to get there like they did here, slowly and purposely.  If they missed their ride they would have to wait twenty-four hours and move to a different extraction point. 

If their handler had any type of response he would send on the every half hour over the next two hours, it didn’t take that long on the half hour they received a message. The handler identified two of the Middle Eastern men to be senior ISIS members, the orders were amended.  They were to determine what was in the trucks, just take a look and report back, once that was done they could leave for the extraction point, the message also included amended rules of engagement, they were now allowed to engage the enemy, he preferred they didn’t but it was for defensive or lifesaving purpose only.  Lastly he added if it’s possible could they bring back one of the Arabs with them that would be great and he would be buying.

BOOK: Soldier Up
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