“The hell of life is open only to the chosen ones; the rest stand at the gates and warm up from afar”
(Christian Friedrich Hebbel 1813–1863)
Night, a landing zone close to a base inside the war zone. Five snipers, 2 signalmen, 3 assault soldiers. Everyone fully equipped. Fully loaded on ammo, concussion and fragmentation grenades, some explosives, fuses, and NONEL. Everything packed in backpacks and crates. Assault rifles and pistols on us at all times. Sniper rifles in transport crates. Right next to them are the soft cases used to transport the rifles in the field.
Pistols are put in tactical vests. We don’t put huge holsters on our thighs. They get in the way when we’re boarding helicopters and during transport. Everything that I can lose, I secured with a line. We’re worried about communication, it often fails.
We took a bit of water and some MREs. We all wear helmets and headphones. We can talk normally and the reception is good. If you turn them up, you can hear better than normally.
We changed the batteries in the night vision goggles and scopes and put replacements in the pockets on our sleeves. Some people put them in a small pocket on their leg, just above their shoe.
We packed everything that might be useful as well as the stuff that will stay in the forward base. Tactical vests with ballistic plates are getting more and more heavy. Everyone is searching for a place to sit down.
It’s quiet, the stars are shining in the sky, I don’t remember the last time we had clouds here.
Thermoactive underwear sticks to my sweaty body. Most people use it, although cotton would be better if there were a fire. But we don’t plan to be set on fire. There’s also nonflammable thermoactive stuff, but it’s very expensive.
Desert combat boots and good socks. A lot of talc on our feet and inside our socks. Keep your feet dry for as long as possible. Shoelaces covered in tape, to stop them from coming undone at the worst possible moment.
A camel pack with 2 liters of water on our backs. The end of the hose is located next to our mouths. We rehydrate, it’s long after midnight, no helis in sight. I want to sleep.
We’re waiting for three CH-53 helicopters. We’re a task group. We don’t know where we’re going.
Initial task : PREPARE FOR COMBAT OPERATIONS IN URBAN AREAS.
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