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The Hunt by Andy McNab

The Hunt by Andy McNab

Author:Andy McNab [McNab, Andy]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: WelBeck


CHAPTER SiX

Recce

The Chinook’s ramp touched the Afghan dirt. Jay was off first, nothing to see through his night vision except the dust cloud kicked up by the heavy rotors. When the massive machines had lifted into the air, and the dust finally settled, Jay found the Supacat ready for action with its engine off. The RAF, and the people who had designed the Supacat to fit inside a Chinook, had really done an amazing job, and now the patrol were quickly mounting the .50 cal.

The moments during and straight after landing were always vulnerable, but with an old soldier’s sixth sense, Jay knew in his gut that this was a clean infiltration. The silence of the desert was absolute. Out here, away from the vegetation of the green zone, there wasn’t even the buzz of insects to disturb the night. In the distance, the sound of the Chinooks was fading away. The rest of Jay’s men were on board the second heli: foot patrols who would be dropped closer to the site of their OPs. Slowly but surely, the noose was being placed around Dadullah’s neck.

Jay and his men scanned the area around them through night vision, and thermal sights. They saw nothing, and after a soak period, Jay was fully convinced they had come out undetected.

“Mount up, lads.”

Rusks – real name Farley – was the vehicle’s driver, and started the engine once the other seven men were aboard. It was a heavy load for the Supacat, but not impossible. Beside the driver was the usual commander’s spot, but Jay had told one of his men to take it. In the event of a contact, Jay would be more use on the radio than behind the pintlemounted GPMG.

Almost in the centre of the wagon was the .50 cal, and Tricky was taking the first stag on that. Jay was just behind him, where he could duck into cover to check maps, or stand to see the terrain. Robbie and JB were on the dirt bikes to act as scouts and outriders, and the final two men made themselves as comfortable as they could on the piles of ammunition and stores at the back of the Supacat. It wasn’t the most comfortable way to ride into a fight, but it was a long way to walk.

Rusks drove steadily, listening to instructions or warnings from the other men on the vehicle, or the snipers on the dirt bikes. The desert was mostly flat, but there was always the chance of an unexpected rock, or wadi. Thanks to the star-lit Afghan night, the visibility through the NVGs was good, and a look through a thermal sight was even better. They made good time, and Jay listened in to the radio net: all of the insertions had been successful. No hot HLS, no contact, and no one dropped in the wrong position.

Jay allowed himself a little smile. This was it. About as “operator” as it gets. Him and seven of his men, alone, cutting



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