Mar 1, 2010

SF Team Hits Enemy Spotter

My team was in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in a large valley surrounded by high mountains. We were moving to three towns that were located on the other side of a mountain on the north end of the valley. The towns had sneaky routes that the Taliban traveled though.
We intercepted radio traffic that they were setting up ambushes on our route into the town. We scanned the ridges looking for the spotter that was calling in our position. We located him on a ridge-top 1,950 meters away. Team sergeant called for me to bring the M107 up to the front to engage the spotter.
I dialed the correct elevation for the shot I was about to take. I was able to read the wind at ground level because of a flag placed on an Afghan grave near our location. However, I could not correctly read the wind on top of the ridge. I got into a good supported shooting position, fell into my bubble, and took the slack out of the trigger. My first shot hit low and left.
The spotter got up from his position and ran from right to left along the ridge-line to get off the mountain. I used hold offs for my correction and had to add in lead because of his movement. My second shot missed. We did not see an impact so we thought the shot went over the spotter. I hit him on my sixth shot. He was hit in the midsection. The radio chatter stopped and we continued our operation for the rest of the day.
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