A weekender at Camp Nevada

Discussion in 'The VMBB True Story Tellers' started by Guest, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. Guest

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    Mithrandir
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 157
    (8/3/01 9:44:25 am)
    | Del All A weekender at Camp Nevada
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    I submit this story, for you enjoyment, as an example of the kinds of things that some reserve units do on their "Week-end Warrior" stints......now... I cannot remember the exact name of the camp that this took place at but the I will use the name of the town that the camp in located in... that should be close enough for government work..wouldn't you say????


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    A weekender at Camp Nevada

    While with the 917th Chemical Detachment (Decon), we would go on our weekend warrior trips attached to the 325 Q BN.

    This was a regular occurrence for us… and one that would be ended soon as we had just gotten word that the unit was to be dissolved … something about President Carter signing a Chemical Warfare pact with Russia… that meant that all the Chem. units in the Reserves and NG were to be disbanded if the Russians removed their chemical weapons from Europe….…. only the AD units were to survive…..

    What a bitch……

    No one was happy about this development… we WANTED to be NBC people….. we ENJOYED being NBC people…..well…. hearts were rather heavy… but… Oh well.. there are other jobs in the Reserves…..

    So we busied ourselves with road march preparations…..

    The BN had selected a site located about 50 miles south of KC in Nevada MO where there was an small NG camp. . (Na VAY da-I provide pronunciation here because the people there are really notorious for getting PO’d when someone says it as NAVADA-the state- go figure huh?)

    It had originally been a stopping point on the rail line for WWII prisoners that were being sent to western Kansas for internment. So it had billets surrounded by barb wire and a small but very secure prisoner compound, a rifle range , an MG range and many other facilities for a good weekend training session…

    However… the whole post was only a mile long and ¾ of a mile wide.

    But… it was good for the training of a QM BN…or cub scouts…. depending upon how you looked at it….. come to think of it… there isn’t much difference… OH…. Now I remember what the difference is…... the scouts do not have artillery……

    Now… the BN. had just gotten a new commander… and he decided that all of the units were going to do a night move & maneuver.

    The units were all at the Reserve center by 4:30PM on a Friday night and were going to pull out about 6:30 that evening.

    So by the time we get there… it will be dark.

    He wanted to see if the BN could road march… dismount & then set up in the dark….while being stalked by OPFOR.

    OK… blanks and adapters were issued…marching orders issued and we set out…. my little chem. detachment went so far as to Cammo up themselves and their vehicles…..(they had returned from the AT at Ft. McCoy that I told you about earlier.. ”The Little Unit That Could”)…. every thing looked good…..

    After about two hours… and two stops along the highway for vehicle problems (theirs.. not ours)…. we arrived at the camp. and were told which point we were to occupy and how long we had before we had to report in…..

    Well…. these guys had no reason to be guided by someone like me nor the Capt. as they were a team now…. no orders were needed…and they did a very, very good job..

    Two GP Mediums tents, one GP small tent and all the vehicles were in position and all perimeter defenses had been set up…..guards were out and the two scouts we sent out reported in…. everything was done … by the book… within one hour…..WITHOUT one light or flashlight being used….. they had gotten a lot of experience at the last AT on doing this in the dark…..

    “Tents are up ….Commo up and running.. contact with the BN is good… all overhead Cammo in place… vehicles secure… four first shift guards in place…Perimeter secure….. “ I reported…..

    The Capt. then says “Have the men stand down…. we have done our work … go to bed.. we will go 100% in the morning as per the schedule…..”

    So… we all settle down and start a small fire and make coffee & cocoa… we can hear the BN main HQ being set up about one hundred and fifty yards from us to the East… God they are making a lot of noise!!!! and look at the lights…. they are all over the place……

    Noise & light discipline obviously are oxymoron’s to these guys……..

    A chopper suddenly can be heard hot-footing it toward us…… must be the new commander….

    Yeah.. like HE would travel by ground!!!!…. the old commander would have been in the front of the column… THIS guy likes to be seen and make an entrance…..

    It lands about a ½ mile away in the main parking lot at the main gate….(and that’s the only gate too!!!)

    About twenty minutes later we get a call for the Capt. & I to attend a Staff meeting.. so off we go… walking down the road….. without a care in the world……

    It is about 10:30 PM now…..and as we enter the TOC, we hear the other officers talking about how one of the other small detachments had been hit by the OPFOR as they tried to get into their assigned point…they were all in a tizzy and fit to be tied…..

    We did not hear any gunfire……..no explosions…… no yelling…(except by the BN as they tried to set up)…..

    It turns out… after the officer of that unit (the 325th QM Service & Support CO.) had halted the units march at a cross road….to step out and read his map by moonlight... and while they were stopped …..the OPFOR unit walked out of the darkness and captured the first three vehicles in the march and drove them off… troops… equipment and all….

    And left him standing in the road wondering what happened…..

    The Capt. is snickering now… and trying not to laugh out loud…. Ever since he took command of the Detachment.. the other units officers in the BN. had always teased him about HIS unit being too small… too weak… too everything……..They stopped teasing him after the McCoy incident but…. Well…. officers will be officers… and some of them never learn….

    It was their turn to be embarrassed.

    The meeting ended and we started back to the AO…. as we were talking about … well .. everything…. I see that our boys are standing at the edge of the road….”What’s going on” I yell out……..

    “Someone here to see the SSG.”

    It is the officer who commands the 102nd ARCOM’S OPFOR …. a 2Lt…. he and I had worked to ether several times before… you see…. I and five of my guys had been picked and trained to work for the OPFOR on the western side of the state …after the ARCOM commander got word of the McCoy incident….. and there are two other units that do the same thing… one on the East side of the state and one in the south…. we are rarely all together at any one time… so the LT is our Laision……

    Our Capt. did not know anything about this… we had kept it a secret from him so as to not let it leak to the other units in the BN… not that we didn’t trust him… it just that.,.. the OPFOR officers know that all it takes is one wrong word and the whole thing will not work right……

    My Capt. asks “so how did this happen??”

    “I was an ARCOM OPFOR guy with the 5039th USAR school before I joined the detachment… and after McCoy.. they needed some people on this side of the state… so I asked some of our people to volunteer…. and they did…”

    “Well how in the hell did they get trained”??

    “You know those little three weekend drills that some of our guys were gone for personnel records stuff in St. Louis?… well.. that was it… they were being trained then….in St. Louis…”

    He is pouting now…”well… I wish I HAD KNOWN so I could have volunteered” while kicking at a rock on the ground….

    Everyone has a good laugh… even the Capt. ……

    Well… on to business…. the LT relates how they took the vehicles and that they now had twenty prisoners, two deuces and one CUCV, three PRC radios and a long list of tentage and other supplies……

    But that is not why he is here…. he wants us…… the unit… to defect……He knows that we are to be disbanded and he wants to use that as a way of seeing how the BN would handle such a defection….. the Lt. asks us to work with the PYOPS unit that is out here working for him… they are going to start a voice(loudspeaker) campaign against the BN and we would be a part of it. He wants to know if we will do it and also wants to know if I have any moles in the BN HQ or in any of the other small units…..……..

    “Not only YES…. but HELL YES”……

    “what?? defect ? or Moles?”

    “BOTH…. I have two moles in the BN HQ and they … ………well…. I won’t tell you now…..maybe later…”.

    So. the Capt. the Lt. and I sit down and start discussing how the unit will play it… the rest of the guys are sent to get some sleep.

    At Midnight……… call comes in from the BN HQ… seems that the new commander didn’t like the way that the BN did the night set up…. and wants to do it AGAIN!!!!…

    OK… everybody up…… strike the area… we are moving…..

    Many , many, many under the breath grumbling and cussing,…… and that’s just me and the Capt.!!!

    So we strike the AO and move to the other side of the post and set up again…. all in the dark…. and in under one and ½ hours……it is now 2:30… the Capt. has Commo and reports in…. they say “Stay UP… Someone will be around to inspect your AO”…..

    It is now 3:15AM… and the new commander comes up in a jeep……”you guys have done great … get some rest… the staff meeting will be at 9AM…..good work…” He is saluted and he leaves……

    We all drop and sleep where we are………

    The staff meeting was a rather brusque one… the commander is pissed…..seems that the BN HQ couldn’t get six tents up in three hours….. in the dark….without using flashlights… the OPFOR has six more troops from the PR unit and no one seems to be able to find the mess sections large coffee urn (& maker)……the pictures taken last night from the helicopter using the NV camera showed that the BN HQ is lit up like NY city!!!!!

    “The only unit that did the job… was the Chem. Det …… you should learn from them!!!”… the officers all look distressed.. cowed… embarrassed……and are shifting from one foot to the other…. one seems to be contemplating ducking under the edge of the tent and escaping…..

    DAMN!! a complement!!

    Just then… we hear it…… the PYOPS unit has started their campaign!!!!

    “Attention… attention….. this is the 3926th motorized rifles…. surrender!!!!…. you have no chance…. lay down your weapons… and come join us……” And they start to talk about things that only the BN should know…. they name the names of NCO’s and officers and talk about their family problems and that if they came over that they would be treated as “heroes” of the revolution and so on and so forth…. typical propaganda stuff.. directed and specific people in the BN HQ command chain……

    Some of what they are saying is really laughable but… hell… its only a game!!… until they start talking about our Detachment and how they know that it is going to be disbanded and that we are being treated unfairly and that we should join them…. All the officers in the TOC start looking at one another……no one says a word about it……

    The Capt. & I go back to our AO.

    And so.. it begins..

    The commander orders that those guys be found……the first shirt sends out a small squad… but… they are gone…..then they are back later in a different spot.. and start in on them again……and they send out another squad…And this goes on all day long and into the night…. the BN people cannot seem to find nor to so much as to catch a glimpse of who is doing it (other than they know what unit it is--- they are attached to the BN anyway and that is why they know so much)…… but the PYOPS unit is playing the game well…..

    When night fell.. the OPFOR attacks in three places at once… the BN is in a state of disarray… ALL the units along the line have been hit….

    except us…….

    You see….. when night fell…. we struck camp and moved into the main post and took up residence in the billets…..

    The BN does not know that we are gone…….when the OPFOR attacked the BN HQ on that side… their defenses are weak and the OPFOR gets to within 100 yards of the TOC……MAN is the commander PISSED…….

    Not only is he pissed… but he just found out that our mole had set charges in HIS vehicle!!!!!!… AND…. Marked three more vehicles as “destroyed”…. AND two of the 1.5 generators are gone along with three light-sets…..AND six more troops are missing….AND ….

    Well… you get the picture… the longer this “exercise” goes on… the “behinder” they get…….

    When Sunday morning comes……. Just as the sun comes up…..there is a call to the BN HQ from the NG post OIC……. Seems that there is a Missouri Highway patrolman here…. and wants to see the BN XO…….so the XO has to use an old M151 jeep to get there.. because someone wired charges to HIS CUCV during the night………

    When he gets to the post HQ…. He introduces himself to the Patrolman….. and is promptly arrested!!!!!! For twenty five outstanding speeding tickets…..he is cuffed…. The XO’s body guard is raising a ruckus now… he thinks that this should not be happening (he is a CID guy) and begins to hassle the Patrolman…….who then promptly arrests HIM too…..And both of them are removed from the post….all before the BN has any idea what is going on….(the XO’s driver is now a prisoner and the jeep is confiscated)

    Now…. Don’t get too worried about this situation….. …. The Patrolman is an OPFOR guy with the 5039th USAR school in KC… he really IS a Highway patrolman!!!!! But the tickets were a ruse… to get key officers out of the exercise……

    The commander is REALLY VERY PISSED………

    He sends two officers (a Capt & a Lt.) to go back to the reserve center and find out what is going on with this arrest thing… he tells them to use the helicopter…..When the two officers get to the helipad…. They are met by the pilot and two support guys……….. the chop lifts off……. and swings toward the north to head back to the reserve center…. Then promptly lands at the small airport in Nevada……just a few miles away……

    You see…. The Pilot and the support guys…….who are ALL OPFOR…now there is two less officers and one less chopper in the picture…….

    By the time the BN commander gets wind of all of this…. He is beyond really pissed!!

    Ever see a grown man froth at the mouth?????…. well HE WAS……..and it is not a pretty sight to behold…..all of his plans for a training exercise has failed… fallen through….. blown out…stumbled……choked…. puked…. and you may pick any other word to describe the situation……it would fit…..


    At noon… there is a mass OPFOR attack on the BN ….. they are holding there own and seem to be fending off the attack…..

    EXCEPT….. two teams of OPFOR.. one team dressed in older Russian jump suits and one dressed in Czech paratrooper outfits… penetrates the perimeter and enters the TOC……. All the officers and senior NCO’s are captured….. but the commander had just stepped out a few minutes earlier to use the porta-potty……

    The Monitors(referee’s & such) call a halt to the exercise….. it is over…… the commander concedes… and orders all units to stand down and prepare for the road march back to the reserve center.

    During the debriefing… the commander wants to know who these guys were who got into the TOC…….

    They are introduced to him….. as eight members of the 917th Chem Det… the one that is going to be phased out…….



    Epilogue…

    The two moles I had recruited from the BN staff….. one was the full-time AD unit clerk-a SFC…. and the other was…….the BN intell officer!!!!!… it was these two that disabled or planted charges in the vehicles….


    Two month later the Chem det is disbanded…. The members go to other units… and the Capt. is promoted… and offered the XO job at the BN……for the next two years… the BN is hit by the OPFOR time and time again….. but the OPFOR never gets anywhere near the BN TOC again…….

    Now…. I wonder why????





    Out…..










    Indybear57
    Moderator
    Posts: 504
    (8/3/01 1:01:15 pm)
    | Del
    ezSupporter
    Re: A weekender at Camp Nevada
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mith-a MOST excellent story! Sittin' here grinnin' like a Cheshire cat while I read it. It's good to see you posting again. Really missed your input!

    Indy

    dirty423
    Member
    Posts: 49
    (8/3/01 6:30:44 pm)
    | Del Re: A weekender at Camp Nevada
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    Clausewitz himself would be proud of that example of "The Fog of War".
    The point of the spear

    Mithrandir
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 158
    (8/6/01 10:20:56 am)
    | Del Re: A weekender at Camp Nevada
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    dirty423...

    funny you should use that term....

    My last reserve unit was the 135th MI BN (Hvy) and its unit motto was "cutting through the fog of war"


    out...

    homer4
    Moderator
    Posts: 1369
    (8/6/01 8:24:14 pm)
    | Del Re: A weekender at Camp Nevada
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    Mith...sounds like a scene from " The Dirty Dozen" or the like. the term used to be "Adapt and Improvise". "25 tickets"...Hehe! Good stuff.
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.
  2. Mithrandir

    Mithrandir Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Durango Colorado, the right knee-pit of Colorado
    Welll... after I posted this story... some months later I remembered the name of the post..

    It was Camp Clark.....

    and here is the only surviving picture taken that weekend....

    needless to say.... it was my last OPFOR opportunity....I retired just four years later..or was it six... oh well....

    Attached Files:

  3. SixTGunr

    SixTGunr New Member

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    I think I know just where this place is Mith ...

    Sits on the southeastern quadrant of Nevada Missouri ... Yes? No? Maybe?

    Pretty good sized place from what I can see of it from the highway ... ;)

    Six
  4. Mithrandir

    Mithrandir Member

    Joined:
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    Durango Colorado, the right knee-pit of Colorado
    YUP! you got it... southwest quad...

    there was a old road the joined some of the training areas together and we formed up there before making our hit on the battalion.....


    and NO.... Camp Clark is only two miles wide by two miles long.....

    It was a whistlestop for the WWII German prisoners being sent out to western Kansas for internment....

    The prison camp has been rebuilt by the engineers and is still used today for MP training by the NG and sometimes the local Reserve units..

    We attacked that prison later that night and freed ten prisoners (play ones, not real ones)..

    MAN !! were they pissed!!!!...



    out...
  5. Mithrandir

    Mithrandir Member

    Joined:
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    Durango Colorado, the right knee-pit of Colorado
    Just stumbled across this old OPFOR operations map of the post....thought that you might like to see it..






    out...

    Attached Files:

  6. berto64

    berto64 Active Member

    Joined:
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    Another outstanding tale, Mith. Thanks for the memories!

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