When we left off Kunsan Air Base was under a terrorist attack, that attack continues.
Airman First Class Pearce nervously jumped up through the opening of the top turret and loaded the M-60 machine gun. He yelled down, “Ready. Let’s go!” Jenkins raced toward the action.
Williams jumped into his vehicle and cranked it up. Not taking the time to buckle his seatbelt, he slammed it into drive and planted his foot down hard on the accelerator. The vehicle tires spun causing it to fishtail as it tried to get some traction. As they turned the corner of the revetment, he was trying to keep the vehicle under control and get back on the taxiway. He could see the fire and white smoke coming from somewhere north, but he could not make out from where.
“Control, this is Tango Foxtrot Tango. There have been three explosions at the com building, and we are in route.”
“It’s Comm,” Thomas shouted. He quickly got on the radio. “Control, this is Tango Alpha One. We are in route, also.”
As they hit the West taxiway, Williams turned sharply left and hammered down once again on the gas. The vehicle had traction and lurched forward. Then, from behind them, came four more explosions in quick succession. He slammed down hard on the brake slid to a halt. He looked over his right shoulder as flames and smoke were coming out of four aircraft revetments. He could see airplane parts still flying through the air and coming down with a crash.
After the last plane exploded, the five attackers ran across the taxiway and headed down through the middle of the grassy area that separated the two taxiways. Their next target was the aircraft on the opposite side at Tango 8. They passed along the outer beam of the building lights as they ran.
Williams spun the vehicle around and headed back towards the perimeter bunkers. It was already too late to stop any penetrations. However, he figured if they could get to the perimeter fast enough, they could at least try and stop anyone else from coming in. Just then, Thomas spotted five men in civy’s running across the taxiway with weapons in their hands. He grabbed the mic. “Control, this is Tango Alpha One. We just had four more explosions at spots 13, 14, 15, and 16. We also spotted five men armed with AK-47’s running across the taxiway from spot 13, headed for the maintenance area. We are going to set up a blocking force on the east side of spot 18. Do we have permission to engage?”
“Tango Alpha One that is affirmative.” The controller followed up with, “Control to all post and patrols, condition red, threat-con delta. I repeat, condition red, threat-con delta.”
Staff Sergeant Wager, the senior controller of the three on duty, was plotting on the map. One of his assistants was operating the radio and keeping track of the situations as they occurred, while the other was handling the blotter. Everyone in Security Control was busy.
Thomas responded, “We copy. Have anyone on patrol that can, join us there.” Williams jerked the wheel hard left and thought, the perimeter will have to wait. He pulled around to the west side of spot 18 and stopped. The immediate threat was here. “Let’s go.” He jumped out followed by Williams. But as soon as they started to run towards the back end of the revetment, AK-47 rounds started coming in. They both hit the dirt.
Lt. Chung and his men were running in a crouch through the small maintenance area located directly east of spot 21. As they approached the southwest corner of a small building, they saw a truck about a hundred meters directly south of them pull to a halt and two men get out. Both were armed with M-16’s. He took aim and fired a full 30-round burst.
Colonel Christopher was listening to the radio when he heard the first transmission. “Control, this is Charlie One. I am in route. I need a sit/rep and initiate a recall!”
As the five farmer terrorists ran across the grassy area behind spots 11 and 8, they heard an AK-47 open fire to their left. They stopped and crouched down. Figuring it was the lieutenant firing at the Americans, they decided to split up. Two of them headed to spots 3, 4, and 5, while the other three continued on to spots 2 and 1.
Williams thought about returning fire, but quickly changed his mind when a few more rounds kicked up dirt in front of him. “Get back to the truck,” he yelled. Thomas was way ahead of him. “Come on,” he yelled back.
Jenkins, driving hard, was coming up on the side road that led from the taxiway to the back side of the com building. “Hold on.” He turned hard right.
“Hey,” Pierce yelled down, “I have three bad guys to my left running behind spots 11 and 8.”
“You sure about that,” Jenkins responded.
“Yes, Sir, all three are carrying AKs.”
“That’s bad guys alright.” Jenkins jerked the wheel hard left and brought the headlights to bear.
“Control, this is Tango Alpha One,” Thomas yelled over the radio. “We are receiving small arms fire from the small maintenance area directly north of spot 18. We are pinned down at this time.”
Daniels had gone to bed at about 2100, and was at the point of drifting in and out of sleep when he was startled awake by what he thought was an explosion. He opened his eyes and focused on the ceiling, listening intently. After no other sounds came, he closed his eyes. He thought that it might have been a dream. A few seconds passed by and another explosion sounded. This was no dream. Knowing a recall was about to happen, he jumped up, got dressed quickly, grabbed his gear and his weapon, and headed out into the hallway, shouting for everyone to get up.
Sgt. Allen and SSgt. Hightower had run out about the same time. Daniels told them to get to the second and third floors and get the others up. The two men ran upstairs and Daniels could hear them banging on doors and shouting for everyone to get up, they are under attack. It did not take long and he had everyone from element two ready for combat. He was organizing everyone into teams when three trucks and a deuce pulled up. All the drivers were yelling for everyone to get in. Daniels went to the lead driver and given a quick status report. He could hear the distant weapons fire as he loaded his men into the CUC-Vs, and everyone else into the deuce. He then yelled, “Let’s get it!”
Lieutenant Cooper, the acting Ops Officer, arrived at where he thought he could best direct the action and got on the radio. “Defense Control, this is Oscar One. I’ll be taking over as on-scene commander. Have all responding units not already engaged, rendezvous with me. You know the grid coordinates.”
“Copy, Oscar One. Charlie One is in route as well.”
Jenkins brought the Pig to a sliding stop and his gunner yelled down, “I have three men, 100 meters to my nine o’clock.”
The team deployed quickly as Pierce covered them.
“Tango Alpha One, this is Tango Foxtrot Tango. We are on the maintenance road running between spots 6 and 8. We have three bad guys in sight behind spot 8 and are engaging.”
Tango Whisky Tango, a two-man foot patrol in the east turn around area, was responding to the fight when they saw two men cross over the east taxiway running towards 3, 4, and 5. “Tango Whisky Tango to Tango Alpha One, we’ve spotted two bad guys crossing the east taxiway from the west. It looks they may be headed for spots 3, 4, and 5. We are moving to intercept and engage.”
The three attackers, caught in the headlight beam of the fire team with no place to run, dropped down prone and opened fire with their AK-47’s on full-auto. Sgt. Jenkins and two of the team on the ground with him answered with a return fire of their own. The exchange of fire was deafening. Then, the M-60 opened up. Jenkins thought for sure that whoever was out there shooting at them was about to be dead.
Pearce, at less than a hundred meters, opened fire with the M-60 and at that close range should not have missed. But with the incoming AK-47 rounds bouncing off the armor plating of the Pig and the plating around him, that’s exactly what happened. Suddenly, the M-60 stopped firing. It was out of ammo! Pearce began to panic.
Jenkins heard the M-60 stop firing and his new-found confidence disappeared. He knew Pearce had run out of ammo. “Pearce, Pearce!” he yelled above the noise. “Get that gun outta there.”
Pearce, shaking badly, managed to dismount the M-60 from the turret. He was lowering himself down through the opening, dragging it behind him when it got caught on the harness.