It’s zero dark thirty, and your twelve man
recon team is moving silently to the outskirts
of an enemy held town.
Your job is simple: scout out the perimeter
of the town, fix enemy security checkpoints
and defensive works, and then get the hell
out of dodge.
Easy peasy, just another night of playing
tourist in the most dangerous place on earth.
You approach the town from the southwest,
allowing you and your team the advantage of
As you near the bluffs that overlook the target,
you’re careful to move swiftly but silently.
The bluffs offer an almost perfect vantage
point on the town below, and you fully expect
that some enemy security presence may be present,
so your team stops a few hundred meters from
Silently slipping the tactical backpack you
carry off your shoulder, you quickly grab
your thermal night vision monocular viewer
and snap it onto the mount on your helmet,
then flip it down to get a good view of the
terrain ahead of you.
Because of the town’s lights in front of you,
regular night vision would be useless, creating
huge glare that would blind you.
The thermal viewer however doesn’t care about
ambient light too much, and any warm bodies
would stand out like a blazing torch against
the cool desert floor.
To your surprise, you spot nothing- the enemy
failed to post security personnel on the most
glaring security vulnerability overlooking
Well, their mistake is your gain, and you
signal the all-clear to your team with hand
and arms signals.
The enemy’s relatively unsophisticated, and
obviously not very well trained, but you can’t
risk that they may have a radio frequency
locator, and thus you have to wait for your
hand and arm signals to be relayed down the
chain of soldiers.
Sure, your throat mike can be set to a relatively
low power setting so it’s more difficult to
pinpoint with an RF locator, but why take
You and your team edge up closer to the bluffs,
and finally are able to oversee the town below.
The first buildings start about two hundred
meters from the base of the bluffs, and you
spot an armed checkpoint at what appears to
be a main road into the town roughly a half
You dig into your backpack once more, this
time digging out a pair of thermal binoculars.
With their help you’re able to scope out the
rooftops directly ahead of you, looking for
fixed enemy positions.
Sure enough you spot them- at least two machine
gun emplacements situated on the roofs of
two of the tallest buildings on this edge
Your designated comms guy makes a quick note
in a field notebook, and those notes are copied
by four other men- if one of them ends up
buying the farm, the intelligence will still
be recorded in the field notes of at least
four other soldiers.
Your vantage point overlooks the town so well,
you’re able to mark down several other security
Once you’ve got as good a tactical picture
as you can get from your vantage point, you
once more dig into your backpack and pull
out your tactical data pad, pulling up satellite
imagery of the town that you downloaded back
Using the pad’s stylus, you make quick notes
on the image of enemy defensive emplacements
and other notes of interest.
Your communications guy digs into his own
backpack and removes a foldable antenna, quickly
setting it up and pointing it at the night
Radio emissions can be easily tracked by enemy
electronic warfare agents, but satellite communications
rely on direct links that can be much harder
Within minutes you’re uploading the info on
your data pad to the US’s MilStar satellite
network, and just in case something goes wrong
with the upload, five of you have pen and
paper backups on your person.
You receive a return ping over your comm gear
and are asked to stand by for new orders.
It’s been a long hike from the Blackhawks
that stealthily deposited you a few clicks
away and out of ear shot, so you dig into
your backpack once more and pull out a modified
These aren’t standard MREs, they’re slightly
smaller and instead of full-blown meals, are
mostly made up of packets containing extremely
high calorie energy gels.
Vitamin and mineral supplements round out
the meal, it’s all very compact and designed
to be eaten on the fly with no preparation.
The gel tastes vaguely like lemon, and mostly
like wet, hot ass, but what it lacks in taste
it makes up in rich stores of fats and energy,
exactly what you need to keep your body going.
Over the satellite comms gear you finally
get word back: the brass have decided that
they don’t just want to take a look-see at
the town anymore, they want to hit it, and
hit it hard.
And now your mission has moved from recon
to preparing the valley below for all-out
An air assault element is already packing
into Blackhawks and Ospreys, and they plan
to land a contingent on the opposite side
of the town to act as a distraction, while
another contingent gets dropped smack-dab
in the very center.
Your job is simple, neutralize the ability
for the enemy on your side of town to respond.
Aw hell, you think to yourself.
Leave it to the army to throw a perfectly
good plan straight out the window.
You and your two squad leaders take inventory
of equipment and go over the intelligence
you have on the enemy below.
Drawing up a rough plan, you quickly move
to execute it, knowing that the air assault
is already on its way.
From the side of your backpack you unlatch
a long length of rope, and from a side pocket
you remove the gear needed to rappel down
the side of the bluffs.
You don’t have anything strong to anchor the
rope to, so you hand one end of it to a teammate
who wraps it around himself a few times and
then lays down, feet towards the edge of the
He’s your anchor as you roll out over the
edge, trying your best to be as silent as
you can be, while moving as quickly as possible
as you rappel to the bottom of the bluff.
Up above your teammate grunts with the exertion,
but to your relief, doesn’t lose his grip
on the rope.
One by one a full squad of you make the descent,
leaving a second squad up top.
You previously identified a good wadi that
runs to the nearest buildings and keeps you
out of sight, and you make haste using your
night vision monoculars instead of flashlights.
Reaching the edge of the buildings, you work
your way towards the checkpoint you spotted
Silently exchanging hand and arms signals,
you and another of your teammates removes
several bricks of C-4 explosives from your
backpacks and begin preparing them for remote
Another man removes four Claymore anti-personnel
mines and gives them a quick lookover.
A devastating weapon, the Claymore features
a wall of C-4 placed directly behind over
700 steel pellets.
The weapon is so devastating that it can even
destroy lightly armored vehicles.
Stealth is the name of the game, and once
more you move forward.
The enemy has a small pool of armored vehicles
a hundred or so meters behind the checkpoint
to enter the town, and you move through the
shadows, depositing bricks of C-4 along the
rows of vehicles.
On the other side of the motor pool, your
teammate mirrors the move.
Next, the squaddie with the Claymores begins
setting them up facing what looks like a makeshift
He runs a long det cord from each mine to
a position forty meters back.
The ambush is set, and as you hurry back to
a fighting position you can already hear the
soft but distinctive sound of helicopter rotors
in the distance.
The enemy though, is also starting to hear
Shouts of alarm ring out, and men rush out
of the barracks and straight into the roaring
blast of the first Claymore mine.
Steel pellets shower the area at a speed of
3,937 feet per second (1,200 m/s), absolutely
shredding anyone caught in their path.
A second Claymore goes off a moment later,
ensuring no survivors.
Not long after, the C-4 placed amongst the
vehicles in the motor pool begins to blow
in rapid succession, devastating the fighting
The sound of rotors is much stronger now,
and up on the rooftops a crew works to prepare
an anti-aircraft cannon to fire.
However, from up on the bluff outside of town
one of your soldiers has removed a laser target
designator from their own backpack, and has
been marking the anti-aircraft gun for the
last thirty seconds.
Tens of thousands of feet above, a US Air
Force Reaper drone fires off a single hellfire
The missile’s intelligent seeker locks on
to the laser designator’s beam and rides it
directly to its target, obliterating the enemy
Enemy forces have spotted you and your team
though, and the dark alleyways have turned
into a shooting gallery.
A third and then fourth claymore explosion
devastates a group of enemy soldiers rushing
after you, but there’s still more and they’re
opening up on you and your team with everything
As you return fire you suddenly recoil and
fall back as red-hot searing pain explodes
across your forehead.
Panicking you put a hand up to your forehead
but realize that no, you haven’t been shot.
An enemy round has impacted on the concrete
wall right next to you, showering your face
with shards of razor-sharp concrete.
Your team medic digs into his backpack and
quickly removes his field first aid kit.
He washes your wound with a saline solution
to wash away the shards, and then uses tweezers
to remove any still stuck in your flesh.
Then he applies a quick-dry chemical paste
to your wounds, drying in seconds and sealing
them to prevent further bleeding or infection.
Another one of your team members though is
less lucky than you, and takes an actual round
on the thigh.
The man is dragged behind cover as the medic
digs into his backpack once again.
This time though he removes a large syringe
like device, it looks almost like a miniature
caulk gun, and he plunges the end of it into
the wound, depressing the plunger.
The soldier screams briefly, but as the medic
removes the device the wound is filled with
a quickly hardening foam.
This wound too is instantly sealed, and the
medic turns to treat other wounded.
Somewhere in the city, the assault is in full
progress and it seems like the entire valley
has erupted in gunfire.
Circling overhead, Apache helicopters provide
close air support, often guided on target
by the laser target designators of your teammates
on the bluffs above the town.
Rockets, missiles, and even the big autocannons
on the nose of the Apaches all home in on
the thin laser beam, shredding any enemy positions
the beam encounters.
You can hear the distant sound of rumbling
engines, and realize that the enemy is moving
on your position with whatever vehicles they
Once more whipping out your thermal binoculars,
you spot the telltale glow of vehicles moving
down a wide street and coming straight at
You can’t quite tell yet, but they look
like Soviet-style BMP armored personnel carriers-
way more than you’re equipped to handle.
You confer with your team and take quick stock
of your remaining inventory- one of your guys
has a recoilless rifle, but that won’t stop
all six BMPs currently coming your way.
You start preparing for a very fast retreat
when suddenly you hear the sweetest sound
in the world.
It’s a sound like the world being torn in
two, and the effect on the enemy BMPs is immediate.
Cannon shells from an A-10 flying overhead
rip through the armored vehicles, destroying
them in seconds.
The A-10’s engines roar as the plane banks
and wheels, coming around for a follow-up
After the second attack, there’s no more
movement from the vehicles below.
On the streets though, ammo is getting low,
and you’re grateful for the several extra
magazines you’ve all stashed away in your
You weren’t supposed to need it, but it pays
to stay prepared.
Behind you, the team medic goes about his
job, administering further treatment to the
injured with medicines and tools from his
Finally, after what seems like an eternity
of battle, the gunfire begins to ebb out.
The enemy is surrendering, completely overwhelmed
by the surprise attack.
Over the radio net you get a call from your
comms guy- friendly forces are approaching
Digging once more into your backpack, you
allow yourself to relax as you slide down
to the ground, back to a wall, and take a
long drink from your canteen.
Now that you know what soldiers carry into
battle, why not check out our other video,
How I Survived a Warzone- or perhaps you’d
prefer this other video instead?
Either way, click one now, and keep that adrenaline
It’s zero dark thirty, and your twelve man