Thursday, June 6, 2019
Seven Skinny Cows: Moving Day
The first order of business after the initial debriefing was to confirm the sighting in of all weapons. Chernovsky assumed that the scopes had been bumped or something had happened. He had seen his men shoot and it was inconceivable to him that they missed so much.
Most of the arms were .22 LR semi-automatics and the most common model was the Ruger 10/22, a model Larry Tomanica thought very highly of due to its extremely robust magazines. Most of the .22 LRs carried fixed 4x 32mm scopes like the Simmons 22 Mag Rimfire scope.
To Chernovsky and Quinn's surprise, only one of the rifles needed adjustment.
The second order of business was to move camp. The current location was both indefensible and glaringly visible. It was past time to "get off the X".
Squad One was tasked with moving a little more than one mile to the west and “observing” southbound traffic on Gunn Road and eastbound traffic on Vermontville road. They had already scouted the area and prepositioned some of their supplies. They chose to camp immediately east of an old gravel pit. The property was owned by a man who had played on the 1959 Eaton Rapids Varsity football team and he was more than willing to let them set-up out-of-sight from the house.
Squad Three was tasked with moving a mile to the east and “observing” southbound traffic on Smith Road and West bound traffic on Vermontville. They expected zero traffic on Vermontville because Eaton Rapids had the bridges clamped down at M-99. They did not yet know that Eaton Rapids allowed a group of fighters through.
Squad Two, Quinn’s squad, was tasked with the paved road that was expected to see the lion’s share of traffic. That is also where Chernovsky hung out so he could efficiently support the other two squads.
The move was an all-day evolution. You don’t just throw all your stuff in the back of a truck and move it nor was there any snow so sleds could not be used. It has to be carried and the people who are doing the carrying need over-watch.
One squad carried for a quarter mile while the other did over-watch. Then they switched. After dropping off the goods from the first trip, each fire-team left one member to guard the goods while the remainder went back for more goods.
Quinn’s squad had it much easier. They still had to move but they only moved a ¼ mile. They followed the same protocol.
Life became less fun with the squads broken up. Each squad had to do its own cooking and cleaning. Each squad had to come up with an observation rotation AND they had to have one fire-team on-call to support the other squads in the event the number of hostiles was overwhelming.
The operation of Quinn’s squad was typical.
They had a primary observation post that was pushed as far north as was defensible. In the case of Quinn’s squad it was where the paved road crossed over Silver Creek. That is where they set up the honey-pot houses and dropped the roofs of the pole barns.
Water creates natural boundaries. “Real” armies avoid bridges because they are choke-points. Their institutional knowledge informs them that bridges are death-traps and it is better to wade through mud, slide down steep banks, swim through water even if you have to steady yourself with a guide-rope than it is to saunter across a bridge where there might be opposing forces watching you.
Chernovsky was betting that none of the hostile forces that were expected to explode out of Lansing had no institutional memory of such things.
The second ambush point was half a mile south of that. The west side of the road was a very steep embankment that had been carved out by Silver Creek and the east side was a knotted, thorny mess.
The third ambush point was a full mile south of the second ambush. That was the one that support teams from Squads One and Three were expected to boogie to when Squad Two went into the ditch. It was a mile-and-a-half run from their camp to the third ambush point.
A half mile south of the third ambush point was the refugee in-processing station at the northern limits of Pray Church.
Chernovsky’s plan was simple.
He expected the hostiles to check out the honey-pot houses, get drunk and pass out.
Then a force would go in during the night and execute them as they slept. They would drag the bodies out of the houses and back up the road. There they would stack the bodies as a deterrent to any hostiles who might think of heading south toward Pray Church.
Chernovsky had a few cards he was holding close to his chest but he couldn’t see any holes in the plan. In his mind it was a play guaranteed to generate a first down every time it was run.