Tarnished Gold – Mission 07 – Hollow Anvil

With the successful elimination of at least one suicide bomber threat, we can now turn our attention toward trying to find an end to this war. The CDF has limited intelligence on the location of a ChDKZ headquarters and a mission is going to be launched to “cut the head off the snake” as it were. Our task is to escort a pair of infantry laden Mi-17s that is prepared to take control of the purported HQ.

When we come into the mission – the Mi-17s are already spooled up. Damn..they aren’t even bothering waiting for us!

We climb into our Apache and race after them, but we are still a couple kilometers behind them when I see the smoke trails and flashes ahead. It has been an ambush!

The two helos are down, but at least one of the helos has survivors…

As I slow down and start to try to pick out the enemy threat, the pilot calls out bad news and I see a flash go over our canopy…

We wheel around and I put the TADS on him and lay on the gun trigger. A few hundred rounds spray out at him and I see a few lucky smoke smudges as rounds hit him. I don’t outright kill him, but he circles back around losing altitude and then drops into the trees near us..

I turn on the FCR and head back toward the crash sites…

Through the zoomed in TADS view I can see an image straight out of the movie Lone Survivor as enemy infantry and machine guns line the far ridge. They are only a thousand meters or so from the crash site, so I have to move quickly…

I take out a couple of the enemy machine guns from afar with Hellfires, wary of close in MANPADs…

As we work over the ridge, new threats start approaching the crash site from the valley floor in the form of a truck, a BRDM, and a ZSU-23. All beckon for Hellfires…

The remaining infantry start moving out of the woodline like a pack of wolves, moving steadily toward the crash site and the surviving crew members…

I order my pilot to head for the treeline and start blasting away with rockets. We get close enough to see the whites of their eyes…

As we get closer, I spray the woods indiscriminately with 30mm cannon fire and out of the corner of my eye I spot the surviving crew who have popped smoke…

With the onrushing enemy troops still in the woodline and somewhat blunted by our fire, I figure this is the best moment and order my pilot to set down next to the crash site. As we come in a nearby machine gun in the woods opens up on us and laces us with holes. Fortunately, only avionics and non-critical systems are damaged…

The two Mi-17 crew come running over and strap themselves to the running boards of the Apache. This is an actual rescue technique that has been practiced and utilized by operators of the Apache…

As we lift off the machine gun once again pours lead into us and puffs of black smoke indicate hits on the fuselage and tailboom. Somehow our rotors avoid major damage and we scoot off quickly to the south…

It is a short, five minute flight to base where we drop off the wounded crew. Another fantastic mission concept by Franze and his campaign design team. Superb!

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