Delta has a necessary and welcome relationship with police departments across the U.S. Sure that includes SWAT brothers, but the relationship is not specific to the special operations branches of law enforcement; rather, it is largely focused on the mainstream metro police force.
The Unit travels across the country in search of urban training environments in major cities. There are quintessential requirements for security perimeters around the training areas. Clearly the security cordon is for the safety of curious citizens, who may otherwise wander onto a target objective to see what all the commotion is about. But the fact that live ordnance — explosives and ammunition — is being expended on target precludes citizens from satisfying their curiosity.
Case in point: river operation in the Guyanese jungle
My team opened fire on targets in proximity to the waterline while motoring from combat raiding vessels. Most of the fire was coming from heavier crew-served weapons, as the scenario was one of ambush requiring initiative to gain immediate fire superiority. I can suggest that a lone mosquito haphazardly floating through our cone of fire would most certainly have had its legs shot off if it didn’t tuck them in.
Ramming our boats’ bows into the shoreline, my team and I assaulted through the forward line of targets quickly, then returned to “clean up” on the targets engaged. Jamming fresh ammunition into all weapons we were startled by the sight of a hefty DYI canoe floating down the river ostensibly with nobody aboard.
“By the Gods… she be the ghost of the Pequod herself — ahoy!” a gunner shouted in jest.
While it was thoroughly odd to see any sort of vessel abandoned and adrift, it was immediately apparent that several people were in pursuit just behind it, their heads bobbing and their arms thrashing to swim. We secured the boat and extracted the excited owners of the vessel. As the shittiest of luck would have it, the river ahead snaked immediately behind the firing line. When the ordnance started hailing through the jungle the locals abandoned their boat favoring the safety of the water below.
A security perimeter upriver (in this case) would have prevented innocent non-combatants from entering the danger zone of the ambush scenario.
Case in point: assault on moving target vehicle.
The location was Nimitz Road, a public road that ran behind the Unit compound. It was a night scenario involving the interdiction of a moving vehicle by friendly vehicles such that the target vehicle is forced to halt. At that point, the occupants are taken into captivity by the mobile assault force.
In this case, there was a security blocking force to prevent civilians from entering the interdiction; the target vehicle was identified as having entered the assault zone. The assault vehicles roared into action, quickly boxing-in the target and forcing it off of the road to a halt with a pit maneuver.
The driver sprang from the car and bolted for the nearby pinewoods — pipe-hitters juggernauted through the woods after the driver. Inside the car was a very — (VERY) distraught and hysterical female screaming and blubbering and pinning (no pun) to the heavens for deliverance.
“By the Gods… she be but a convincing actress, she!” remarked a pipe-hitter in jest.
The hitters in pursuit of the wayward driver returned empty-handed sulking and spitting fire at their failure. An intense interrogation of the female revealed that this was in most — (most} unpropitious fashion NOT… the target vehicle after all. Rather, it belonged to random civilian travelers who had been missed by the security blocking force.
Oh… holy hell!
Now we finally had the girlfriend of the driver of the car calmed down and read-into the scenario she had happened into. She called and called into the pine woods for her boyfriend to come out. He refused even the most sincere of her bidding as she was driven near hoarse by her (now) oaths and expletives as she was coming to the realization that her boo had run off to save his own fat ass leaving her to her demise.
“Miss, you’re getting tired, I can see that… let me have a go at it while you rest a spell,” coaxed one of the pipe-hitters — she conceded:
“OLLY OLLY OXEN FREEEEE… MATTHEW, YOU DUMB ASS — GET THE FUCK BACK OVER HERE AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR OLD LAAADYYY!”
“Ohhhh-kay, okay… thanks but we’ll just take it from here, Bart,” the assault commander urged.
In a major city, Delta depended highly on a secured area to prevent just such a disaster from happening. Metro police brothers put in very many overtime hours protecting our endeavors, and Delta had the deep pockets to pay the brothers for their overtime. It was truly a win-win game for both sides.
Cops and Delta rubbed elbows nicely at every opportunity. After Action Report (AAR) sessions — hot-washes as we called them — always involved the metro brothers, as we needed to know what went according to plan and what they did to remedy that which did not go according to plan. The valuable lessons learned we proudly carried with us to the next city metro for implementation.
On more than just a single occasion, I recall the admiration from police brothers indicating that we had the exponentially harder job because we had to go into denied territory (non-permissive environment) where everything 360 degrees around us wanted to kill us. They couldn’t seem to fathom the like.
It was easy enough for us to turn the admiration around to the cops and lament that while we at least knew who our enemy was — everyone — they had to constantly approach scenario after scenario in which they never really knew who their enemy was going to be. I recall that perspective always brought a conscious spark and face-flash of pride to the cops.
Case in point: the assault on the crackhouse
There was an invaluable service paid to us by our own local Fayetteville, NC police brothers: they kept us abreast of abandoned and condemned buildings, mostly residential plots, marked for demolition by the city of Fayetteville. Remarkably, many if not most, proved to be crackhouses: that is, houses that have become reduced to inhabitation by drug-addicted (junkies) vagrant squatters, or as I have more affectionately come to refer to them: “Nomadic Local Gentry of Incidental Leisure (NLGIL [pronounced: ‘nil-gil’).”
The police did kindly wrangle the NLGIL out of the marked crack houses allowing our operations and logistic bubbas to set up the residence as a target subject for a subsequent assault. One such assault entailed civilian attire and suppressed (silenced?) Submachine guns.
Our typical choice was H&K’s MP5SD. That is a 9 x 19mm NATO standard. My brother Sam Foster, multi-faceted maverick that he was, always carried a suppressed M3 Grease Gun, .45 caliber slugger with a heinous amount of knockdown punch.
“Say, geo… one nice thing about this assault is we won’t have to wear earplugs finally — won’t THAT be nice?”
“Yes, yes it would, Sam… life would take on new meaning for me.”
We pipe-hitters were piled into the back of a white 15-PAX windowless van and driven deep into the city’s armpit to swarm the crackhouse. Our police brothers had the street intersections around our objective covered… but it is a funny thing about crackheads: did you ever swat at a fly near your face only to be dismayed at the continuing presence of the fly? The gall of the thing to come back!!
Crackheads are like that fly: you shoo them, yet they come back. The van came to a gentle stop and we exited boasting neither pomp nor circumstance. We split into organized teams as we approached the house and diverged to our assigned sides to breach. The quiet radio-transmitted countdown from the commander released us to breach.
The crisp peel of iron bars shattering and glass frames raking pierced the residential repose. Cries and cries for mothers emanated from the house.
“Who the fuck is calling for their mother?” Sam puzzled as he vaulted through a freshly broken window.
I didn’t know but was about to find out. Sam’s prediction of a quiet raid with suppressed weapons was anything but. The targets in the house were backstopped by steel bullet traps. The modest mechanical actions of the weapons were but a blip to our ears, but the bullets slamming into the steel traps were ear-splitting, especially the .45 slugs coming from multi-faceted mother-fucker Sam Foster’s gun.
The flies had returned to the face. The NLGIL were back inside sucking white wisps through thin glass tubes with bulbous noses. We just worked the house around them. We were not concerned with them getting shot but they sure were. They laughed, they cried, they prayed. We smashed the dog feces out of the inside of the house, shoved NLGIL this way and that, and cursed the sharp report of bullets on steel — especially the .45s.
The eyes had been dotted but the t’s not crossed. Police kept newcomers from accessing the target area after the initial evacuation, but the original occupants had never really left, they had only collapsed back down on the residence and resume sucking.
Lesson learned for the very next city.
By Almighty God and with honor,