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WARNO Sheridan's Sabre 002

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Operation Sheridan's Sabre 002

South Vietnam - III Corps - Song Be Province - 1968










1. REGION: Song Be, South Vietnam

2. WEATHER: Clear Skies; 38F ; Wind <1kn NNE; Dawn 0415 IGT; Dusk 1900 IGT

3. TERRAIN: Mountains, Highlands, Jungle, Rolling plains

Background: In the aftermath of the surprise attack, the 1st Cavalry Division sought to resecure the surrounding area, recover lost fire support bases, and even launch retaliatory strikes on the PAVN occupying the area; however, their efforts were severely hampered by the amount of airframes lost during the surprise attack. The 1st Cavalry Division would assault several key PAVN supply bases, and other fortified positions, pushing them back towards the Cambodian border. These gains would come at a great price. The ever rising number of casualties would eventually render the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, combat ineffective. Seasoned officers, NCOs, many veterans of the Second World War and Korean War, would be bled from their ranks and replaced by draftees and young volunteers. On a greater scale, the first wave of the Tet Offensive would mark the end of the professional soldier in the United States Army in Vietnam, and usher in the era of the draftee. Scholars cannot agree, but somewhere between 55,000-100,000 US troops were taken out of action during the Tet offensive, and sent back to the United States. As a result, the US called for 300,000 draftee's to be trained and fill their places, in an attempt to retake the country and contain the chaos erupting in South Vietnam during this time. The post-Tet US Army is the one that is often portrayed in movies, where drugs, disorder, hippies, and the fragging of fresh junior officers runs rampant. This stereotype is often applied to the US Army as a whole during Vietnam, however the pre-tet US Army was a seasoned machine filled with motivated volunteers, professional soldiers, and veterans of the previous American Wars. As I stated this transition would occur as a result of the heavy casualties taken during the fighting immediately after the first wave of the Tet Offensive from February - March 1968. One more fact to drive home the colossal amount of casualties that combat units took; Nearly twice as many men were killed in the first three months of the Tet offensive, then the entirety of US KIA in 1967.


Situation: A week has passed since we survived the surprise attack on Camp Sheridan. The airfield is in ruin. Many of our outlying listening posts and fire support bases have been completely over run. US forces only control the ground they are standing on, at the current moment. The valley's, villages, mountains, and jungles are controlled by groups of Viet Cong irregulars as well as uniformed PAVN regulars. The 1/7th had located a PAVN Base Camp just several kilometers from Camp Sheridan, atop Hill 440. Close Air support was called to soften up the jungled mountaintop over the period of two days. Then elements of Alpha and Bravo company were flown in to assault and clear the hill. During the night, a PAVN Air-defense company entrenched itself on an adjacent mountain, and inflicted heavy losses on the fixed wing and rotary wing assets attempt to dislodge the enemy on Hill 440. We will begin in the morning, just hours after the failed air assault on Hill 440. Alpha Company has been scattered along the southern side of Hill 440, and taken heavy casualties. There are several birds down in the AO as well. Bravo Company managed to land, however they now have to act as a blocking force to repel a group of PAVN soldiers attempting to relive their comrades encircled on Hill 440. The PAVN have several 155mm Artillery pieces that are hammering Alpha Company who are pinned down nearby Hill 440. Additionally the PAVN Air-defense company is preventing Alpha and Bravo from calling in Medevac or CAS on their positions.

1st Platoon's mission will be to pick an LZ near OBJ Alpha, then hike into the remote mountainous village & neutralize the PAVN Air-Defense Company & attached Artillery unit. Once the airspace is open, 1st Platoon will mount up and be flown into LZ Uplift. From there 1st Platoon will assist any friendly forces caught in the open LZ, close with Hill 440, and attempt to seize the Hill with a combined effort from 2nd Platoon, who will assault from the west.

a. Enemy Disposition

  1. 324th Infantry Battalion PAVN

    1. Well equipped regular soldiers

    2. Anti-Air, Mortar, and Artillery emplacements

    3. ~ 400 Soldiers

  2. Hill 440 Defenders

    1. Unknown Unit of PAVN Regulars

    2. Alpha Company reports that both LZ's contain anti-personnel landmines

    3. Appear fanatical and intending to fight to the death

    4. Mortars, Heavy Machine Guns, Rocket Propelled Grenades, and MANPADs

  3. Unknown disposition of Vietcong Irregulars

    1. Complete control of the countryside

    2. Able to easily spot & communicate the heading of US aircraft to PAVN forces

    3. *Don't expect to take any objective by surprise*

b. Friendly Disposition

  1. 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Platoon Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment

    1. Took heavy casualties upon landing.

    2. Pinned down by enemy fire from Hill 440 & artillery

    3. 2nd Platoon will attempt to assault the western side of Hill 440 when 1st Platoon arrives.

  2. Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment

    1. In contact with various elements of the 324th Infantry Battalion PAVN

    2. Acting as a blocking force, to now allow the 324th break through to Hill 440.

c. 2000s - Rules of Engagement

On order from your commander, enemy military and paramilitary forces are declared hostile and may be attacked subject to the following instructions:

  1. Positive Identification (PID) is required prior to engagement. PID is a reasonable certainty that the proposed target is a legitimate military target. If no PID, contact your next highest commander for decision.
  2. Do not engage anyone who has surrendered, or is unarmed or wounded. 
  3. Any requests for fire support or close air support within 600 Meters of a civilian center must first get authorization from commanding officer. 



Maps of the Province:








OBJ Alpha



Hill 440





Notes from Commander:

  • All requests for Close Air Support/Medevac/Resupply/Insertion are to go to Mako 1-6 on FREQ 60.0. Mako 1-6 will contact Rattler 1-6 on FREQ 50.0 to request an asset to assist 1st Platoon as necessary. Once the asset is in the area of Operation for Mako 1-6, Infantry can contact the bird via CAS Net FREQ 45.0 to guide in the bird/direct close air support.
  • If an infantry element is in threat of being overrun and requires immediate assistance, they may declare a "Tactical Emergency" to Mako 1-6, who will then have Rattler 1-6 redirect all available air assets to Mako 1-6's Area of Operation to prevent the unit from being overrun.
  • Expect the enemy to utilize grenades when in close combat.





1st Platoon, A. Company, 1/7th Cavalry

1st Platoon will clear OBJ Alpha & Bravo, then RTB for ENDEX.


1st Platoon


PRIMARY TASKING:  1st Platoon will clear the Anti-Air batteries & artillery guns off of OBJ Alpha.


SECONDARY TASKING:  Once the airspace is open, 1st Platoon will air assault into LZ Uplift & move to secure Hill 440.




71st Assault Helicopter Company


71st AHC is to transport 1st Platoon into the AO to neutralize OBJ Alpha, then remain clear of the AO. Once OBJ Alpha is neutralized, Rattler's will conduct a formal air assault into LZ Uplift.


PRIMARY TASKING: Transport 1st Platoon & Conduct Air Assault.


SECONDARY TASKING: Provide Emergency CAS, Ressuply, and medevac.


TERTIARY TASKING: Provide Medevac for wounded soldiers at LZ Uplift & LZ Colt.






Call Signs

  • "Mako 6",                   1LT J. Kauffman
  • "Mako 1-6",               SSG V. Handberg
  • "Mako 1-6 M"            SSG A. Cummings
  • "Mako 1-1",                SSG D. Jordan
  • "Mako 1-2",                CPL N. Bobcat
  • "Rattler 1-6",              2LT K. Grorud
  • "Rattler 1-1",              CW3 T. Sadler
  • "Rattler 1-2",              CW2 J. Rob

Hand Signals

  • Control + Num 5 = Rally/Set//Affirmative
  • Control + Num 2 = Halt/Hold/Stop/Negative
  • Control + Num 6 = Engage
  • Control + Num 4 = Go/Move/



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