“Thunder 35 this is Dragon 3, Adjust Fire Polar, Over” Grid ND4912 2100, location is 5220, distance 900 meters, target is 2 enemy vehicles over” . For most nonmilitary people this sounds like a Greek language. But for the Army and now us ETT members, we have learned to decipher the lingo. In fact, this is the start of a instruction on how to request either Close Combat Attack (CCA), Close Air Support (CAS) or Fire Support such as 105 mm howitzers. Today’s classroom instruction helped us decipher this language and request for fire support via air, helicopter or ground. The key is to know your exact location and judge how far away the enemy is. To facilitate this training, we used a large screen and the aid of a computer simulator to practice. On the screen we had enemy houses, vehicles, etc. Our mission was to specify the grid and location of the enemy target.
My mission was to take out 2 enemy vehicles using fire support (land support). My teammate and I plotted our coordinates and guestimated the distance to the target. Our first round landed to the right of the target by 30 meters. I adjusted my coordinates and fired for effect unleashing a barrage of munitions. My target didn’t have a chance and was quickly destroyed. Mission accomplished!!
Now you may be wondering why we need these skills, especially since our mentoring mission is to “win the hearts and minds of the people”. This is in case we are ambushed or engage an enemy target while on convoy and need some additional firepower to suppress fire. I hope I never have to use these instructions. For starters, the radios are a bit tricky to use and then plotting grids and coordinates, degrees, etc. can be a bit tricky.
Well that’s about it for now. Outside we are being treated with snow flurries. The weather station is projecting 3-5 inches of snow for our location, but Topeka may get 18 inches over the weekend. Hopefully we won’t have to run PT in the morning. This morning the wind was gusting and it was freezing cold out, but we still jogged 2 miles in the elements. Funny thing, I only saw Air Force teams out doing PT. I have a suspicion the Army opted to utilize the gym for PT.