Over the weekend, Rocketman returned, and brought with him rocket attacks on two consecutive nights. He seems to have some intelligence about the base, because his attacks have coincided with the dinner hour. Obviously his intelligence isn’t that good, or he would know that the troops fear the chow hall more than they do his rockets. He decided to mix things up this time, firing 107mm and 122mm rockets. On the second night, fourth platoon was on duty as the quick reaction force, and so I joined them when they were sent to the projected launch location moments after the rocket’s impact. (For my friend who got married on Saturday, I estimate that it was at about the time that you said “I do” that we were rolling out to search for the Rocketman.)
Iraq’s topography is not as flat as you might imagine. The trip to the suspected launch site took us across a field of wadis that challenged even the Humvees’ ordinarily robust suspension. “Hold on Dickens!” yelled driver Pv1 Harkless to gunner Spc. Dickens, as the vehicle traversed crevasses of cement-like dirt. Bouncing around in the vehicle, I realized why the Humvees have padded interior roofs. We finally came to a canyon that the vehicles could not cross. Another unit was able to find a crossing before we did, and so they continued the chase from there.
On a recon mission the next day, I was able to see the area in which one set of the rockets was fired. Without a launcher, the terrorists apparently resorted to propping the rockets up against a dirt incline and hoping, inshallah, the rockets hit anywhere near the target. I have some pictures of parts of the rockets and the launching systems found, which are posted here.