Into the StormbyTRIAX©
75 miles from Kafjiya Mountains
1st BCT Battalion Combat Team
Major Kalandro Digma Commanding
13 Leopard 2A6EX Main Battle Tanks rolled by the desert of northern Ar'Raq followed by 24 Puma CFVs, 27 Boxer APCs, 6 Fennek Combat Cars armed with 50 caliber machineguns, and 3 Fennek Combat Cars equipped with 80mm mortars. Leading the procession is a detachment of engineers in 3 track-laying engineering trucks.
Major Kalandro Digma on top of his tank's command cupola gazed towards the horizon. He made the decision to utilize the track-laying engineering trucks to expedite their travel time across the desert and into the Kafjiya Mountains 4 hours earlier. By bypassing the roads and moved straight towards the mountains he knows that the time to arrive will decrease, thus giving the Task Force Special Attack Group a chance of survival with their swift arrival.
"Major, the Dune Warriors have made contact with 1st Lt. Ace Diwa's Task Force sir," reported his communication specialist, "So far there are no casualties in our side and the Dune Warriors took a serious beating."
"Good, but this will only be their preliminary assault on the Task Force," replied the 1st BCT Commander, "Inform the Task Force Commander that we will be arriving on the rear of the enemy's position within 6 hours."
"Yes sir," his communication specialist immediately broadcast Major Digma's message.
In front of Major Kalandro Digma's command Leopard 2A6EX tank is the track laying vehicle from the combat engineering section of the regiment, while 2 more track laying vehicles are in both flanks of the 1st BCT Commander. Behind him and on both flanks is his Battalion Combat Team making quick progress towards the Kafjiya Mountains.
'Just hold on Ace, don't give up nor give in. I'm on my way with the rest of the battalion. For GOD's sake survive kid,' the 1st BCT Commander thought.
Kafjiya Mountain Pass
1st Lt. Ace Diwa flick his wrist to the right as he controls the turret of his Leopard 1A6EX Main Battle Tank, 4 T-90/S Main Battle Tanks, 8 BRDM-2 Combat Cars and 8 BMP-3 CFVs, along with 10 BTR-3 APCs, and 8 BMP-3 showed up on his scanners.
"Look alive, people we got company," he warned the men under his Task Force Special Attack Group.
"Hey Ace I got word from 1st BCT H.Q."
The Task Force Commander turned his head towards Rick, the communication specialist.
"What they say?"
"We got to hold on for about 8 hours Ace," Rick smiled at least now they won't have to wait half a day for help to arrive.
"Great, that's really great!"
"The bad part is they will hit the Dune Warriors from the rear leaving us to occupy them in the meantime," Rick added the other part of the information passed down to him from Major Kalandro Digma's command.
"It don't matter Rick, our primary concern are the civilians of these area," Ace replied, "If we don't do what we are doing right now. Then many of them will be slaughtered. Remember they are pro-government and the bad guys will massacre them for that."
Ace locked on to the nearest T-90/S loaded the TERM round in his Leopard 2A6EX 120mm main gun and squeezed the trigger. With the aid of a drone overhead, his round was guided to his target as a second TERM round is loaded again and fired. His 120mm main gun thundered and he was rewarded with a distant fireball knowing his target is destroyed. The other 3 Leopard 2A6EX followed their Task Force Commander's lead and fired their main guns, 3 more T-90/S were obliterated.
"Pumas locked onto the enemy CFVs and APCs, knock them out of commission and we will provide support," Ace barked his order onto his communication system, "Drone pilots, slow down the enemy's advance."
"Copy that Lieutenant," replied Captain Macie Curtiss.
As the Puma CFVs and Leopard 2A6EX tanks maneuvered into firing position, 4 light UAV drones streaked overhead. Armed with 4 Hellfire Anti-Tank missiles, the drones unleashed a barrage of missile fire. The mountain pass lighted up with multiple explosions as 16 armored vehicles belonging to the Dune Warriors Mercenary regiment was hit by Hellfire missiles.
"Infantry troops coming in," reported an infantry team leader in his bunker.
"Hold them off boys," said Ace over the communication channel, "Don't let them get through."
The 54 infantry troops opened fire with their weaponry, FN-SCAR 5.56mm assault rifles, FN-Minimi 7.62mm machineguns, 40mm revolving grenade launchers, and 50 caliber sniper rifles came to life. The Dune Warriors infantry troops was soon raked down by murderous and precise fire from the 54 defenders, overhead the UAV drones armed with 20mm gun pods began their strafing run. The 20mm cannons gunned down many more of the enemy's infantry troops. 80mm mortar shells exploded in the right spots where many of the attackers are huddled in a group, as 2 Fenneks scout-combat cars raced through a firing position and peppered the attackers with their 50 caliber machineguns, causing more casualties as the machine gunners concentrated their fire onto the enemy's position. Soon they started to withdraw unable to withstand the combined firepower of the defenders.
"They're falling back," said the infantry commander.
"Not yet, their armored vehicles are heading straight to the pass," replied an infantry team leader.
"Captain Curtiss, I read 6 MI-25 attack helicopters inbound. Can you do something about it?"
"Lieutenant Diwa, my drones are out of ammo. They need to land and re-armed," replied the intelligence officer who is in command of the UAV Drone pilots.
"Damn it," Ace cursed under his breath, "Infantry troopers, are you equipped with anti-aircraft weapons?"
"This is 2nd LT. Satsumo, each 6-man team are equipped with a shoulder launched anti-tank and anti-aircraft missile."
Ace sighs in relief and thinks quickly.
"The MI-35s are coming through the mountain pass, take out the first 2 aircrafts and the tanks will use the main guns to take out the others," instructed 1st Lieutenant Ace Diwa, "Captain Curtiss you have said before that the enemy have some artillery, am I right?"
"Yes they do," she replied.
"I want you to take your UCAS (Unmanned Combat Air System), find them, and take them out," he directed her, "If not we will be sitting ducks if they start using their artillery and not of us will come out of this alive."
Macie Curtiss was silent for a moment, knowing that even the man she is fond of will be killed if she fails.
"They will be taking off in a few minutes," she finally found the courage and determination for a reply to the man her heart yearns for.
"Tankers, position yourselves for a good firing solution against the helicopters," he told his 3 tank commanders, "use HEAT rounds and make your shot count. If not and the MI-35 unleashed their fury on us, there will not be anything left of us to bury."
Without hesitation the 4 Leopard 2A6EX maneuvered to position, their 120mm main guns elevated to firing position. Within a few minutes the dreaded helicopter gunships of the Dune Warriors arrived.
"Infantry troops, lock on your anti-aircraft missiles and fire!"
Immediately 9 troopers ran out of their bunkers, kneel and took aim of their shoulder launched missile launcher tubes. The pilots of the helicopters didn't expect such unconventional response from the defenders, their shock and surprised bought extra few seconds for the missiles of the defenders to lock on and fire.
"Missile lock on target," the gunners squeezed the trigger and their missiles streaked off their tube.
The missiles from 9 launchers streaked towards their targets, a few seconds later 2 MI-35 exploded into a spectacular fireball. The 4 Leopard 2A6EX 120mm main guns thundered as their HEAT rounds was fired from their main cannon, massive fireballs erupted as the 4 remaining MI-35s were hit and began to tumble crashing down in a heap of burning and scorching metal.
"Pumas CFVs and Leopard MBTs attack," Ace shouted the command as he urged his tank driver forward.
The Dune Warriors didn't expect a counter-attack from a few armored vehicles, causing shock and confusion for a moment. The main guns of 1st Lieutenant Ace Diwa's Leopard 2A6EX thundered twice as his APFDS rounds found their mark turning another T-90/S into a smoldering fireball. His 3 tanks and 8 Puma CFVs unleashed their barrage of fire from their main cannons. 120mm rounds and 30mm SABOT rounds crisscrossed the mountain pass, turning the Dune Warriors combat armored vehicles into smoldering wreck.
"Hold your position men," ordered Ace, "They are retreating."
From above 6 missiles darted towards the defenders position, immediately the 8 Puma CFVs and 4 Leopard 2A6EX switched on their flares and counter-measures.
"Defensive maneuvers Ryan!"
Ace's tank zigzags in reverse avoiding the missiles as they detonated harmlessly away from their Leopard 2A6EX. As 1st Lieutenant Ace Diwa checked his scanner, 2 Puma CFVs were struck by the missiles lifting the vehicles into the air before a fireball consumed the Cavalry Fighting Vehicles. In front of his tank another Leopard 2A6EX maneuvered close to his main battle tank. A pair of anti-tank missiles speared the unfortunate Rim-Cat tank exploding in a massive fireball, another 6 blips of air contact showed in his scanner. The computer analyzed the vehicles as MI-35 attack helicopters.
"Oh shit, we're doomed," he said to himself.
From above a pair of missiles streaked towards 2 of the MI-35s hitting them and consuming each gunship in a massive fireball. Then 4 UAV drones darted towards the remaining attack helicopters of the Dune Warriors.
"Way to go Captain Curtiss," Ace shouted with relief as the encouragement was voiced out over the communication channel from the surviving tankers and Puma crew members.
"Like I said, we are here to save you asses 1st Lieutenant Diwa," she replied.
The drones fired their air-to-air missiles at the Mi-35s as the helicopters released their chaffs and counter-measures. Macie Curtiss hissed in frustration as her drones missiles failed to down anymore of the gunships, she maneuvered one of the drones behind a MI-35 and toggled a button choosing the drone's 20mm gun pod. Her finger squeezed the trigger letting off a few seconds burst, the 20mm rounds found their marked, chewing at the helicopter's airframe before bursting the gunship into another fireball. The remaining 3 gunships fired their 30mm cannon nose turret at the other drones. A pair of fireball lighted the sky as 2 UAV drones were destroyed by the 3 MI-35s.
"I got you now," Ace locked onto one of the MI-35 and fired his 120mm main gun.
The Leopard 2A6EX of 1st Lieutenant Ace Diwa emit a flash of lighting and the sound of thunder as the 120mm cannon roared to life, the HEAT round found their target turning a MI-35 attack helicopter into a burning wreck.
"Thanks for the assist Ace," Macie called over the communication channel.
She squeezed the trigger and ripped open another Dune Warrior's gunship, the heap of fireball came tumbling down as the remaining pair of UAV drones circled around the last surviving MI-35. One of the drones turned from behind and fired the 20mm cannon. The last MI-35 gunship came crashing down in a massive fireball.
"Alright gentlemen, withdraw back to our defensive position."
The surviving 3 Leopard 2A6EX and 6 PUMA CFVs rolled back towards their defensive perimeter. Ace sighs and took off his helmet, grabbing his camel hump hydration system, he bit on the straw and suck in the water quenching his thirst. He knows that his Task Force Special Attack Group have a few more hours before their help can come, another confrontation from the Dune Warriors is inevitable. But for now he is glad to be alive and for now he knows that his men have a few hours to rest, re-armed, refuel, and eat before the next attack.
"You did a good job 1st Lieutenant Diwa," Macie Curtiss encouraged him in his ability to repulse an attack.
"We just got lucky Captain Curtiss," he replied to her, "But then again, if a man's courage hold. Luck is enough to sway the tide of battle in his favor."
"I like that quote," she commented.
"So do I and my grandfather have told me that many years ago."
"He sounds like a wise man."
"Indeed Captain Curtiss, my grandfather is a very wise man."
35 Miles south of the Kafjiya Mountain Pass
1st BCT Battalion Combat Team
Major Kalandro Digma Commanding
"Get the Task Force Commander on the Communication Channel," ordered Major Kalandro Digma to his communication specialist.
"Yes sir," the man replied to his superior officer, "you're on the communication link Major."
Kalandro Digma, commanding officer of the Rim-Cat's 1st Battalion Combat Team keyed in his radio.
"Ace, how are you holding up?"
"Not bad Major Digma, we have repelled another attack but I have losses this time," replied the Task Force Special Attack Group Commander, "Sir, we need your assistance soon or we may be overran by the enemy."
"The battalion is almost there, Ace. Just hold on to your position."
"Copy that sir."
Kalandro Digma known as Kalagiman which translates gloom and terror for the enemy eyed his battalion and keyed in his communication channel.
"Let's move it gentlemen, we must keep going and engage the enemy or our brothers in that pass will not live to see tomorrow."
The 1st Battalion Combat Team's tanks, APCs, CFVs, and combat vehicles rolled forward as quickly that they can move together.
"Major, we need to refuel before engaging the enemy sir, if not we will be sitting ducks if the fuel runs out," warned his executive officer.
"GFF-4s are bringing our ammos and fuel. We will refuel prior to engaging the enemy and while we are refueling. We should let the artillery open up on them."
His executive officer smiled and nodded his approval.
"Shall I give order for the MARS (Medium Range Artillery Rocket System) to open fire once they get into range?"
"Order all artillery to commence firing once we are in range."
"Copy that sir," replied the 1st BCT executive officer as he keyed in his own communication system and informed their artillery detachment of the order.
Kafjiya Mountain Pass
1st BCT Task Force Special Attack Group
1st Lieutenant Ace Diwa commanding
"Alright gentlemen, refuel and reload your ammunition. I'm sure we are not through with this yet," Ace called onto to his men. "Major Digma and the 1st BCT are not far behind so stay alive gentlemen."
"Copy that sir," replied the men under his command.
Half an hour later his men are once again ready to do battle against their opponent, the Dune Warriors once again made their move. Bringing to the fight are 20 T-90/S, 30 BTR-3s, 30 BMD-3s, 30 BMP-3s, and 60 BRDM-2s was immediately registered from the Rim-Cat's scanners.
"Here they come again," the infantry commander bellowed through his communication system.
Artillery shells whistled from the air as it plummeted to the ground followed by the enemy's rocket battery. Explosions rocked the defense lines as the infantry hunkered down, covering themselves from the deadly artillery barrage.
"Captain Curtiss, have you located their artillery position?"
Ace shouted over the communication system as he gives command to his remaining combat vehicles to stay out of range from the artillery barrage.
"I got them Lieutenant Diwa. I'm starting a bombing run on their artillery," she replied over the communication channel.
"Well you better hurry Captain Curtiss," Ace responded.
A pair of Boxer APCs zigzags out of the artillery barrage's range, the crew desperately evades the falling deadly shells and rockets around them. The Boxer APCs turned one last time almost out of harm's way when a shell found their mark and a rocket pierced through the second Boxer APC. Both armored personnel carrier instantly turned into a massive fireball killing the crew inside in an instant.
"Stay out of range gentlemen and for the infantry troops, keep your heads low," Ace reminded his men as he shook his head at the loss of 2 APCs.
A few miles away 20 2S19 Msta 152mm Self-Propelled Howitzers and 20 BM-27 Uragan 220mm Multiple-Launched Rocket System fired their deadly weapons aimed at pulverizing the few defenders of the mountain pass. From the air, 8 UCAS Unmanned Combat Air System Drones started their bombing runs. Locking on to their targets with the laser guided missiles and guided bombs the flight of UCAS unleashed their deadly cargo. In one swoop the artillery detachment of the Dune Warriors was eradicated as every self-propelled howitzer and multiple-launched rocket systems were turned into a burning wreck. Angered by the loss, Ahmed Abu-Bakar commander of the Dune Warriors brought all his helicopters into flight to intercept and destroy the 8 UCAS.
"We got contacts on the air, they're MI-35s," warned one of the drone pilots from the ground.
"Well each UCAS is carrying 4 Sidewinders air-to-air missiles, might as well engage them."
"Alright Captain Curtiss," the drone pilots along with their commanding officer turned their UCAS around and engage the enemy.
In the mountain pass, infantry troops disembarks from their BTR-3 APCs as they moved forward on foot hungry to destroy the Rim-Cat's infantry positions. The infantry teams of the Rim-Cat have pulled their bolts placing a round ready to be fired from their weapons. Snipers took aim with the help of their long-range multi-functional scopes and switched it to thermal, as they aligned the crosshair of their weapon to the heat signatures of the Dune Warriors infantry troops. The machine gunners ready themselves as they aim their Minimi 7.62mm machineguns to the direction of the attack. The rest of the infantry teams aimed their FN-SCAR 5.56mm rifles ready to meet their attackers.
"Mortar team ready and the enemy is in range," said the mortar team leader from his Fennek 80mm mortar mounted scout-car.
'"Commence firing mortar team," the order was given and the immediately the mortar team lobbed in their rounds for quick firing succession.
Mortar shells whistled through the air and detonated as the Dune Warriors advance, groups of men were tossed into the air as the mortar round found their mark. Bodies were torn apart by the effective killing potential of the fragmentation rounds that the mortar is bringing on their enemy. A pair of Fennek with .50 caliber machineguns mounted scout-car raced to the area where the enemy is huddling from and opened up with their machineguns, mowing down dozens of infantry troops. Desperately the enemy advances taking losses from the mortar and machinegun crews of the Fennek scout-cars, as they near the defensive line of the Rim-Cat's infantry teams, the snipers opened fire. Picking out the leaders of the Dune Warriors infantry then their radiomen, the devastating effect of the snipers threw their enemy into confusion as more mortar shells and a pair of .50 caliber machineguns opened up on them.
"Keep up the fire Fennek Teams," ordered the Rim-Cat infantry commander.
From another area of the defense line, Dune Warriors infantry troopers manage to advance within the range of the defender's weapons. Machineguns from the FN-Minimi 7.62mm and FN-SCAR 5.56mm rifles opened up. The ranks of infantry troopers from the enemy was quickly decimated, again the Fennek scout-cars raced towards the area and lays down their barrage of .50 caliber machinegun fire and 80mm mortar rounds. More infantry troops advances towards the defenders as they disembark from their BTR-3 APCs. This time they are supported by the BRDM-2 scout-cars, BMP-3 CFVs, BMD-3 CFVs, and T-90/S tanks.
"Boxer APCs take up position to support the infantry, tanks and CFVs with me!"
1st Lieutenant Ace Diwa led a counter-charge as he hopes to stall the advance of the Dune Warriors and buy time for their own reinforcement to arrive.