Saturday, April 28, 2007

Incoming

28 Apr 07
The RAF Force Protection (FP) guys came to see us today about reinforcing our hangar and office buildings with sand/concrete walls. Flight Lieutenant (pronounced “Lef-tenant”) Dave is the officer in charge of the operation so came to survey the area. After the survey we had a long talk about the COB and security within it.

Dave works in the FP Cell which is in a concrete bunker but with only a tin roof. The cell tracks incoming rockets. When a rocket is fired, the computerized radar tracking system triangulates launch points and projected impact points. The senior controller within the cell calls out, “Rocket!” Simultaneously another controller sounds the “incoming” alarm. The senior controller then calls out “Launch point: …” followed by an 8 digit map coordinate. The next phrase called out is the projected impact point; “Impact point: …” followed by another 8 digit map coordinate. The final piece of info called out is the actual location of the projected impact “Impact location: …” Meanwhile plotters gathered around a map work frantically to plot the launch location and impact location. An attack scenario would go something like this (with fictitious map coordinates): “Rocket! Launch point: 80463521. Impact point: 88657290. Impact location: Allenby Lines.” All of this happens within 10 seconds.

A few weeks ago we had a rocket launch and the controller called out (again, fictitious coordinates) “Rocket! Launch point: 80892398. Impact point: 88345343. Impact location: … [pause to recheck coordinates/location] … Impact location: my location!”

Dave said for the first time everyone in the cell looked at one another, hit the dirt, and then pulled their body armor over top of them. A 240 Katusha rocket (75 lbs warhead) landed right outside of their building. All of the ceiling tiles and lights fell out of the ceiling. Dave said there was an enormous crack! that rung in their ears for over an hour.

The work centers that surround the outside of the bunker were crowded during shift turnover so there were twice as many people about. Despite that, everyone responded appropriately (do your damnedest to melt into the earth beneath you as quickly as you can) and they suffered only two very light injuries.

1 comment:

emitch1 said...

Whew! A close call that prompts more prayers! I hope someone fired back at those rat-bastards!