After Action Report No. 13
Date: 17 JAN 2015
Place: Camp Clark, Nevada, MO Report filed by: Pvt Williams, Peter
Bryan Carlin, Dwight Davidson, and I attended the tactical reenactment held at Camp Clark in Nevada, MO on 17 January 2015. Although the event in its entirety encompassed the course of Friday through Sunday, we decided to drive down and back on Saturday, making it a one day event.
We were involved in three scenarios during the tactical, all of which required us to be on the offensive. In the past, the scenarios were alternating between offensive and defensive actions, allowing Allied and Axis reenactors alike to participate in both. This year we were solely offensive. Perhaps this was simply because of the group which we were attached. It is possible the other Allied units participated in alternating actions. I do not know at this time. I do know it was disappointing to not have a chance defending an objective instead of continuously attacking them.
The first objective was to capture a group of buildings located in dense woods. This scenario was a SNAFU from the beginning. Too many people in command, moving too slowly through the woods, taking too long to cross a creek, etc. caused us to arrive too late to the objective. By the time we finally arrived, the enemy was gone.
The second objective was a fortified area (the Army uses it as a FOB training site). We arrived late because we were informed that it was closer than it really was, causing us to have to search for it. When we did find it, whoever was in command quickly lost control of the situation and it became a free-for-all cowboys and Indians shootout.
The final objective was the MOUT site, with a secondary objective being a bridge and crossroads some ways from the site. The plan was for the main force to assault the MOUT site while a squad (5 riflemen and a BAR gunner) quickly advanced to the crossroads and bridge and held it before the enemy could fall back and destroy the bridge. We were with the squad tasked with taking the bridge.
We encountered problems from the start. The plan called for us to travel cross country, through a densely wooded swamp-like area. Unfortunately the vegetation was so thick, with trees, thorn bushes, briers, and shrubs, it made it difficult to travel quickly. In hindsight, it would have been quicker, or at the very least as quick and less frustrating, to travel by the road. By the time we came within sight of the crossroads, the enemy was already taking defensive positions. We tried advancing along the tree line and the attack stalled. We tried crawling and leap-frogging along a sunken culvert but an MG-42 held us up. Dwight Davidson tried sneaking through the woods where he successfully picked off at least two of the enemy as they tried to outflank us. We were in this state of stalemate when the enemy blew the bridge. While we ultimately failed to capture the secondary objective, we later learned we drew defenders away from the MOUT site, thereby aiding the main assault against the primary objective.
Overall it was a decent event and, as in previous years, the coordinators at least tried to keep the action moving while providing meaningful objectives. The final scenario was the most enjoyable in my opinion. We had perfect weather for the event, we conducted ourselves in a manner reflective of the traditions and history of the 116th Infantry, and we enjoyed ourselves.