Authors: 1959- Bob Mayer
Tags: #Special forces (Military science), #Dave (Fictitious character), #Riley
To the members of ODA 055, B Company, 2d Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1984-1985: M. Sgt. Dave Boltz
Sfc. CW2c. Jim O'Callaghan
CWlc. Rodney Grow
Sfc. Craig Truskey
Sgt. Jaroslav Lupinek
S. Sgt. Bob Rooney
Cpl. John Jones
Sgt. Mike Johnston
Cpl. Emory Slifka
Sgt. Frank Metayer
S. Sgt. Tim Dedie
Sgt. Bob Allinson
S. Sgt. Renee Garza
S. Sgt. Brian Shipley
AAP Alternate assembly point.
AK-47 Standard Soviet automatic rifle. 7.62mm caliber.
AO Area of operations.
A team Basic operating unit of Special Forces.
AWACS Airborne early warning and command system.
Blackhawk Newest army transport helilopter. Dual engined.
Briefback Briefing given at the end of isolation period by the A team to show the commander the plan and that the team is ready to execute the mission.
Chem light Chemical light that when cracked will emit a low-level light for several hours.
Claymore Crescent-shaped antipersonel mine that shoots out hundreds of ball-bearing projectiles in an arc when fired.
C-130 Hercules four-engine turboprop plane; can hold up to sixty-four parachutists. May be jumped from either two rear doors or off the ramp.
Combat Talon Modified C-130 used by air special operations to infiltrate denied airspace at low altitude under almost all weather and light conditions to conduct air-drop, air-land, or surface-to-air recovery methods.
Detcord Detonator cord—a line of explosive that burns almost instantaneously.
DET-K Special Forces Detachment, Korea.
DMDG Digital message data group device.
DZ Drop zone.
E & E Escape and evasion.
1st SOW 1st Special Operations Wing. Air Force's special operations aircraft (AC-130, MC-130, HH-53) are all in this unit.
550 cord Nylon cord used for parachute suspension line.
G-l Administrative section of a headquarters responsible for personnel actions.
G-2 Intelligence section of a headquarters.
G-3 Operations section of a headquarters.
HH-53 See Pave Low.
IAP Initial assembly point.
IR Infrared. Anything IR (chem light, strobe light) cannot be seen with the naked eye but is like a regular light when seen through NVGs.
Isolation The time period prior to a mission when an A team is isolated to do mission preparation. Ends when briefback is accepted by the commander and the team departs for the mission.
J-7 Chinese-made jet fighter. Armed with two missiles and a 30mm cannon in the leading edge of each wing root.
LZ Landing zone.
M60 Medium machine gun. 7.62mm caliber. Belt fed.
M79 40mm grenade launcher.
M203 M16 rifle with a 40mm grenade launcher built in under the rifle barrel.
MC-130 See Combat Talon.
MP5 9mm submachine gun.
MTT Mobile training team.
NSA National Security Agency.
NVG Night-vision goggles.
ODA Operations Detachment Alpha. See A Team.
OP Observation point; position from which surveillance is conducted.
Pave Low (HH-53) two-engine, single-rotor, heavy-lift helicopter designed to operate in special operations missions at low altitudes under nearly any weather or light condition.
PVS-5 See NVG.
PZ Pickup zone.
Q course Qualification course conducted at Fort Bragg for all soldiers who want to be in Special Forces.
RFI Request for information.
RPG Rocket-propelled grenade, Soviet made. Consists of a launcher and separate rounds for firing, like a bazooka.
SAS Special Air Service.
SAW Squad automatic weapon. Light machine gun, 5.56mm caliber.
SF Special Forces.
SOCOM Army Special Operations Command based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Headquarters for U.S. Army Special Forces, U.S. Army Rangers, and Civil Affairs and psyops units.
SOP Standard Operating Procedure.
SVD Soviet sniper rifle.
Type 56 Chinese version of the Russian AK-47 automatic rifle. Fires 7.62 by 39 cartridges.
UH-60 See Blackhawk.
US-SOCOM Joint Services Headquarters for all U.S. special operations forces at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida.
Z-9 Also called Haitun by Chinese. Designated the SA-365N Dolphin by its manufacturer, Aerospatiale, which sold fifty of these to China. They can hold up to eight passengers, and by adding machine gun or rocket pods to the sides can be used as a gunship.
"He who knows when he can fight and
when he cannot will be victorious."
Sun Tzu: The Art of War
University of Beijing, People's Republic of China Summer 1966
The breath of the Dragon was consuming its own brain. Tears rolled down the man's face as he watched his books and computer tapes fed into the roaring bonfire. Eighteen years of work. The man averted his eyes and turned to the officer who had led the Red Guards onto the grounds of the university and initiated the fire. He asked only one question. "Why?"
Prefacing his reply the officer spit at the man. "Stinking Ninth Category. You and your counterrevolutionary friends will no longer work against the Great Revolution." In conclusion the soldier swung an ax handle, the end impacting on the front of the man's head. He staggered and blinked, trying to remain conscious as blood cascaded down his face.
The man did not understand the reasons. He didn't think the soldiers feeding the fire truly knew either. But the bleeding man did understand that his life's work here was over. The Old Men in power had decided that this was to be the new way. The man didn't resist as the Red Guards dragged him away along with his fellow scientists.
They were taken to Tiananmen Square and lined up. The man recognized many fellow educators and scientists from the university in the ranks that faced a makeshift platform. A political commissar, screaming out his words from the platform, confirmed the man's fears. "You have sinned against your fellow workers. You have been more concerned with having expertise in your intellectual fields than following party doctrine. You have failed to follow Chairman Mao's Socialist Education Movement. You must learn from the People's Liberation Army. You must learn from your fellow workers. We believe you can be saved."
The commissar nodded toward the row of army trucks that lined the far side of the square. "You will be reeducated. You must accept the need for manual labor. It is the essence of our life. You must have a greater regard for the goals of the party than for your trivial, specialized academic pursuits."
The officer gestured and his comrades rushed forward, bullying the prisoners in the square toward the trucks. The man allowed himself to be swept along. There was nothing he could do. As the trucks roared out of the square, his thoughts lingered on his wife and four-year-old son. He knew now that not only was his life's work over, but he would never again see his family.
The Cultural Revolution was in full flower.
Guandong Province, Fall 1966
The man swung the rusty hoe into the hardscrabble ground. The scar on his forehead itched where the ax handle had hit. The wound had not healed well at the People's Community Farm. He shook the sweat out of his eyes as another worker came near. The man recognized the scientist from the university's staff. In better days they had argued together over many intellectual matters. Now the scientist had more important information he wished to impart. "I am leaving tonight."
The man was astonished. Leaving? There was no place in China where the party would not find him. "Where are you going?"
"Hong Kong. And then America."
The man shook his head. "They will never let you into Hong Kong. They will send you back and then things will be worse for you. You will be considered not capable of being rehabilitated."
The scientist looked up briefly and met the man's eyes. "There is a rumor that for people with expertise in certain fields of knowledge, the door to Hong Kong will open. It is said the Americans and the British are taking in some of these people. It is said they believe that the enemy of their enemy is now their friend."
The man thought about that. It would not be hard to leave the farm. The few guards did not believe that there was anyplace for their prisoners to go. The scientist's last sentence especially caught the man's attention. He absently rubbed the twisted scar on his forehead while he thought about what had gone up in the flames at the university and the bleak future here. He considered the possibility that he might be able to get his family out some day.
"I will go with you."
"War is a matter of vital importance to the state;
the province of life or death; the road to survival or
ruin. It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied."
Sun Tzu: The Art of War
Fort Meade, Maryland
Wednesday, 31 May 1989, 2020 Zulu
Wednesday, 31 May 1989, 3:20 p.m. Local
The small flashing light on the wall screen crept across the overlay of the eastern edge of China, heading with agonizing slowness toward the safety of the ocean. The men in the room watched the light's progress with mixed feelings. From the back of the room, Doctor Meng could tell that the air force general, Hixon, was the most anxious. With two good reasons, Meng knew. That light represented Hixon's prized toy, the B-2 Stealth bomber, and, more importantly, Hixon was in charge of the mission.
The aircraft was displayed on a screen measuring almost forty feet wide by twenty feet high, which dominated one end of the Tunnel. Facing the screen, in ascending rows, were banks of terminals where the various officers responsible for the mission worked. In the rear of the room, on a slightly raised dais, sat Meng, who oversaw the whole operation through a terminal that linked him to the master computer.
Meng glanced down at the computer screen as new input scrolled up. In a low voice, consistent with his small stature, he read the results. "There is sixty-five percent probability of target destruction."