Monday, June 25, 2012

How The Battle Is Fought Here

The mission the other night was clear.  Keep a main smuggler trail under surveillance for drug or human smuggling trafficking.  Getting to the operations area was hard.  You needed to go up and over three steep hills at an incline of about thirty-five degrees.  Not easy if you are not used to it.  Especially not easy when you are carrying a vest and a pack.  Luckily a storm came in and knocked the heat down about twenty degrees or so.  Bad side of that is lightning and slick slopes to worry about.  Well we made it too the op area in one piece, after having to dodge a few rattlesnakes and cattle to get there.  However, our luck turned shitty before we even got there as our scanner picked up mexican radio traffic which could only mean one thing, we were spotted by cartel lookouts.  Oh well, on with the mission as our pickup was not for another fifteen hours.  We set up a team on either side of the trail on elevated ground and waited.  I used my FLIR PS32 thermal camera to be able to spot traffic and tell if it was a drug load or human smuggling load coming through.  We were dumped on by different storms coming through but no traffic.  As daybreak, we formed up and headed out to check the spotter location.  We hiked it to the base of the hill the shack was on that the cartels use.  Packs were dropped and the team headed up to check out the shack.  I stayed with the packs as rear security.  After about five minutes I spot two individuals coming out of a wash in a valley below me.  They immediately start climbing the trail to get to their OP.  I radio our team already up there to set up and wait.  At this point I am on my belly as our gear was dropped in a semi open area and did not want to spook the spotters.  As they walked up the trail, they took a break for about twenty minutes under a mesquite tree which obscured my view of them but not of one of our team.  Once they got rolling again, we got ready to spring the trap.  After a few minutes, the call came across the radio that the trap was sprung and the cartel spotters surrendered.  We radioed our base and they called Border Patrol.  BP asked us to bring the spotters out to meet them.  All and all it was a good mission and everybody came out of it safe.  More to follow.

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