Operation Prairie Fire from the SOG Perspective
Staff Note, Prairie Fire is Third Coast's Vietnam War Era MILSIM event, this year held at the great fields over at Texas Paintball located in Jonestown, Texas. TCA players took a step back in time and shed plate carriers, optics, and night vision for a retro event. We even had the opportunity run alongside actual Vietnam Veterans (who were running and gunning every single phase). Jake, normally our Easy Company Commander, ran with our Studies and Observation Group Element, lead by Shawn "Spider" Prosen.
Recon Team Viper and Hatchet Team Columbia successfully ran a series of missions in the Prairie Fire AO and missions in the Daniel Boone AO. All team members essentially extracted after 2 days of heavy contact.
Initial recon missions led to the discovery of a heavy NVA / VC presence as well as a possible regimental HQ. Throughout the following day RT Viper successfully intercepted enemy caches with the assistance of US conventional CAV and Marine forces.
RT Viper was also able to plant eldest son munitions in the remaining caches leading to a complete breakdown of trust between VC and NVA supply lines.
Later that day VC forces counterattacked CAV at Outpost Kelly. HT Columbia cross back across the Daniel Boone AO to reinforce CAV and Marine units. RT Viper search for The regimental HQ. Unfortunately heavy casualties at Kelly resulted in RT Viper being extracted and pulled over to reinforce firebase Kelly. Ultimately firebase Kelly fell to NVA.
Following the loss of firebase Kelly US Cav and marine forces were inserted on separate LZs with HT Columbia on a third to retake the firebase. Heavy fire fights and bunker to bunker fighting resulted heavy casualties on both sides but the firebase was retaken.
BRIGHT LIGHT and ARC LIGHT
During the counter assault, a plane carrying a US ambassador to Laos was shot down deeper into the Daniel Boone AO across the fence. A BRIGHTLIGHT mission was tasked to RT Viper, HT Columbia as well as support element and advisory units from US Cav and Marines. Helicopters infilled to the teams to the Southeast of the crash site. By the time infiltration was complete it was darkness. U.S CAV and Marine forces secure the perimeter around the LZ's. RT Viper moved on the adjacent ridge lines to the crash site in order to flank possible NVA positions. HT Columbia took the direct approach drawing fire from RT Viper. HT Columbia ran into heavy resistance. US CAV and marine forces took heavy contact as well. RY Viper successfully completed the bright light and SOG teams and conventional forces dug in. Heavy VC contact resulted in a danger close ARCLIGHT to cover the exfiltration.
Before exfil could be completed the US embassy was attacked. All US forces converged to defend and retake the embassy. Unfortunately the embassy was too far damaged and the teams had to be pulled out. The embassy was unsalvageable. These BRIGHTLIGHT and ARCLIGHT missions were is successful. LEGHORN and Finishing the fight
US Cav and the remaining marine forces who survived the previous day were set up at firebase Kelly. Adjacent to firebase Kelly was a SOG relay station, LEGHORN, manned by one SOG team and indigenous forces. Due equipment failure and probing attacks those forces had to be withdrawn and RT Viper and HT Columbia inserted to reestablish the leghorn relay.
The relay was established early in the morning with a support by fire position mutually supportive between the Leghorn and firebase Kelly. NVA and VC forces attack both locations throughout the early morning. While the attacks were intense they were not successful in destroying either Kelly or the Leghorn relay.
Once communication was re-established with SOG CCN/CCC information from seismic sensors placed earlier in revealed VC movement carrying what appeared to be radio equipment. This radio equipment was most likely destined to a regional HQ.
Based off the intelligence given the HQ lay somewhere on the Northern edge of South Vietnam. Remaining US CAV and Marine forces expanded the perimeter of firebase Kelly to push the NVA up against the river making it easier for SOG teams to pursue.
HT Columbia swept the jungles near the Daniel Boone AO pushing towards firebase Kelly. Spread NVA contact seem to indicate the radios being moved by the river. Elements of RT Viper maneuvered through the river in order to flank the enemy and sandwich them in between conventional forces and the maneuvering HT.
VC patrol was allowed to transport the radio closer to regional HQ while being followed and harassed by RT Viper. Once the HQ was identified the VC forces were eliminated and the radio equipment recovered.
Firebase Kelly was re-established and would serve as the final LZ for both the SOG teams and conventional forces. VC forces mounted heavy counter attacks over the remaining two hours. The VC forces were pushed out enough for a Green Hornet transport ships to land and extract all wounded and the remaining forces. HT Columbia mounted a hasty defense and through volume of fire were able to cover the CAV and Marine unit s exfiltration.
Heavy enemy contact forced one of the birds to extract before being shot down. In doing so two wounded RT Viper members we're left at firebase Kelly. Future BRIGHT LIGHT Is planned to recover the bodies.
All US Cav and marine forces have been taken to Phu Bai and DaNang air bases to recover and reinforce. RT Viper and HT Columbia redeployed to REDACTED.
((TCA Staff note, thanks to BATS for contributing photos, and a special thanks to Jake Deweese for the great write up!))