I started this series, TDG (Tactical Decision Game) Tuesdays, to get you more in the mindset of how you could potentially handle a given tactical scenario with a limited amount of resources and manpower. My goal is to get you to read these scenarios and think about what resources you have available, what sort of scenarios you might encounter, and what gaps you need to fill in your equipment/training.

I will use the basic 5-paragraph operations order format, or SMEAC, to present the scenario as follows;

Situation: Disposition of all friendly, hostile, and adjacent forces.

Mission: What we are trying to do.

Execution: How we are going to do it.

Admin & Logistics: Who/what is getting where and how.

Command & Signal: Who is in charge and how they are communicating.

TDG 8: Retrans Raid

Situation: Guerrilla warfare scenario. Chechnya, Spring 1995. The Russian army has successfully taken the capitol city of Grozny. Chechen rebels are retreating to the mountain areas, and the Russian army is slowly and methodically pursuing them. You are not a member of the semi-conventional rebel forces, you are part of a small “battalion” (actually squad-sized) of local militia. You are a team leader within your “battalion.”

  • OPFOR Situation: The Russian army has pushed large amounts of its forces through your AO. However, the Russian Brigade Operations Center is still located many miles further back, beyond the range of normal VHF radios. This has forced them to set up a “retrans” (RTX) site, essentially a manned repeater station, to extend their communication range.

    • RTX Site: The site is located on the ridgeline at the location marked on the map. The antennas, which are skylined, tipped you off to its presence. Upon further observation through binoculars you can tell that they have 2x BRDM-1 armored scout cars to carry all the necessary equipment. You know that the maximum seating in a BRDM is 4, so you estimate between 6 and 8 enemy soldiers occupy the site.

    • Other units: The Russians have shown a lack of aggressive patrolling in the area, and you have not seen any Russians within at least 5km in the last week besides the RTX site. Your cousin Shamil says he thinks he saw some Russian mortars across the valley, but you’re not sure how accurate that is.

  • BLUFOR Situation: Your “battalion” has no antitank weapons, so you allowed the main Russian armored force to pass by unmolested. Rather than leave your village to fight in the mountains, your group has decided to stay in place to care for your families, while causing a nuisance for the Russians in their rear areas. You are a team leader, in charge of 4 other volunteers

  • Independents Situation: There are no adjacent friendly forces that you are aware of, all other rebels passed through a week ago heading for the mountains. There are no civilians near the RTX site.

Mission: Assault and neutralize the RTX site in order to hinder the Russian commander’s C2 capabilities, resupply ammunition, gain intelligence, and demoralize enemy troops.

Execution: Up to you. Your “battalion” commander has directed you to lead your team in this task.

Admin & Logistics: You have the following resources:

  • 5 fighters, including yourself

  • 4 AKMs with 3 magazines each

  • 1 PKM machine gun with one 100-rd belt of ammo

  • 1 mosin-nagant sniper rifle with 4x PU scope. You will need to take rounds from the machine gun belt to feed this rifle.

  • 4 hand grenades

Command & Signal: You are in command of your team, operating alone. You have no electronic communication devices, so any non-verbal communication will need to be analog.

In this week’s TDG, you will notice that you have pitifully little ammunition. This was a common struggle for the Chechens, and got even worse as the war dragged on. In situations like this, you must avoid lengthy engagements at all cost. This can be accomplished with one or a combination of the following: stealth, speed, violence of action, accuracy, and fire discipline.

It is also worthwhile to note that, while you do not have night vision in this exercise, the Russians you are fighting likely don’t either. At this point in the war, Russian troops had very few night vision devices, and probably wouldn’t waste them on a RTX site.

Feel free to post your answers and discuss.

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