JigdalayUsually, the calm and prudent commander of the 15 th special brigade of the special forces, Colonel Yury Starov, did not spare any epithets to our address this time. Shifting from one foot to the other, we, the officers of the 1 and 2 companies of the 154 14th special detachment, stood with heads down. We did not feel any particular personal guilt for not fulfilling the combat mission, since the final decision to stop the operation was made by the deputy commander of the detachment, for which he had a good reason - the moon setting behind dense clouds ...

In the mountains of Afghanistan, very poorly electrified, at night only the starry sky and the moon allowed a little bit to see the surrounding area, but when they hid in clouds, darkness fell, which even night vision devices could not penetrate. Such a haze caught our reconnaissance detachment at a hundred meters from the rebel ammunition depot in the Black Mountains (Torgar) in the west of Nangarhar province at the Jigdalai pass. To the warehouse, after landing the detachment from helicopters in 7 km from it, with the onset of night, a high-ranking field commander of the Mujahideen, who decided to settle with personal enemies from the neighboring front, brought us ... Our task was to seize a warehouse of ammunition of the armed opposition, located in the gorge of one of the spurs of the Torgar mountain range, two kilometers east of the village of Sari-Dzhigdalik. At this warehouse and brought us pokazchik, but at this time it was dark. We even heard the conversation of the guard, but to approach the warehouse in complete darkness was too risky. The detachment commander decided to return to the evacuation site, which we did with all the precautions, going out to it only in the morning.

- Today, get ready to fly ... With the landing of helicopters! - as the brigade commander cut off.

Plaque? Well, raid, so raid. That's just a long time ago the detachment did not commit it. After a network of tragic events in March 1986, when during 154 raids 13 Special Operations Squad lost XNUMX people, including three officers, the whole spring-summer period the main emphasis in the combat activity of the detachment was placed on ambush operations. And here again, on the fly - the most effective of all the special forces in Afghanistan. When preparing for it, scouts collected all information about the object, carefully negotiated issues of interaction with aviation and artillery, conducted classes and trainings, practicing methods and techniques of actions when landing, advancing to an object, inflicting defeat on it, capture and retreat. We had no time for all this ...

- Get on that slide! - I shout over the noise of helicopter engines, indicating to the crew where to land my group.

- Got it! - the commander of the helicopter nodded his head in the helmet.

I had not yet had time to remove the hand, which I pointed to the landing area of ​​my RGSpN No. 113, as a huge sultan of fire, smoke and dust soared into the air. This processed landing area attack aircraft. Either we were in a hurry, or they were late, but the missile attack was made at 300 – 400 m from the helicopter, which was very risky.

The commander of the helicopter turned the car aside and asked for radio "Rooks". Making sure that the bombing attack was completed, the crew directed the helicopter to the landing, sweeping away the still not accumulated dust from the air flow. This technique saved us greatly, as the group landed under the cover of dust.

Once on the site, we immediately launched a large-caliber machine gun NSVS-12,7, which was loaded into a helicopter already installed on the machine. Usually the body of the machine gun, the barrel and the machine were transported separately. I forbade the fighters to make any movement on the court, and the group literally dissolved among the rocks on the top of the mountain. To the right, approximately 500, 1000 and 1500 were distant, 3 groups also landed: one from our 1 company with 30-mm AGS-17 (provisioning group) and two groups of 2 company (capture and support). The secrecy of actions for my group was critical, as we occupied the left flank in the battle formation of the reconnaissance detachment adjacent to the Djigdalai Zelenka, the kishlak zone along the Black Mountains. From the information from the indicator, we learned that in Zelenka, the Mujahideen, in addition to the usual large-caliber machine guns, recoilless guns and mortars, had an 12-barreled rocket launcher system, as well as man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS). The gang used a rocket launcher to attack the outposts guarding the Surubi HPP and the Kabul-Jalalabad road. "Spirits" cost nothing to wipe our group from the high-rise with a RS volley.

Our task is to cover up the actions of the capture group, suppress the firing points of the Mujahideen with fire and prevent the enemy reserves from approaching.

As soon as the seizure group began to descend into the gorge in the direction of the ammunition depot, the enemy pressed it to the ground with machine gun fire.

Apart from a shot-through radio station, the capture group managed to losslessly and rather quickly force the guard to retreat, destroying two Mujahideen.

- Comrade Lieutenant, "spirits"! - I hear a loud whisper of my observer.
- Below, two people!
- Do not shoot! - I give a general command for the "forgetful", as I strictly warned the fighters - not to open fire without my order.

Up to two mojaheds at the bottom of the warehouse guard were about 600 m. I give them to leave the gorge on the plateau, making amendments to the machine gun sight. I put the SPP optical sight with variable multiplicity x3 and x6 on the six (maximum magnification), and the firing range regulator in the “6” position (600 m). I clearly see in the hands of one "spirit" a PC machine gun, and the other has a carbine "Lee Enfield". The tape of my machine gun is filled with cartridges of MDZ (instant action incendiary), which have the effect of bursting. Paws machine gun firmly secured stones. Short sighting line. I take lead in one figure and the value of the machine gunner Mojahedin. The second "spirit" immediately jumps over the stone, but its shelter is almost 30 degrees below my position and therefore unreliable. I give a few single shots and a short turn on a boulder. "Spirit" does not stand up and jumps out from behind a stone. He, crouching down, runs to the meter scour at the bottom of the gorge - the only reliable shelter. Two short bursts make him "sit down." 12,7-mm bullet MDZ, hitting the "spirit" in the lower back, literally broke it in half.

My group is silent - there was no order to shoot. Only here I noticed a company commander, Major Alexander Kukhtin, who was pulling me on the shoulder next to him: "Let me shoot a machine gun ...". In the heat of battle, sending the company commander away, I pull away from the sight and, shrugging my shoulders with an innocent smile, I apologize:
- Next time, Nikolayevich. Sorry

I communicate by radio with the commander of the seizure group, Lieutenant Viktor Tymoschuk, and warn him that at the exit from the gorge there are two “bearded” ones. A few minutes later our scouts appeared. At this moment we noticed another “spirit” that flashed on the slope of the ridge covering the entrance to the gorge. "Dukh" was in the rear of the seizure group and could calmly shoot scouts from his position and then go beyond the ridge with impunity ... with impunity?

Yes, if not for our busy slide. I am again at the sight of the machine gun. A short line - and the "spirit", noticeably dragging the leg, hides behind the nearest large stone. I give a couple more bursts of cover and I hear a scream on the air:
- Cease fire on your own!
- What is your own? ..

With an optical sight at a distance of 450 – 500, it is impossible to make a mistake. A short skirmish on the radio puts everything in its place. Soon, three fighters from the capture group "drew themselves" on the ridge. When they approached the wounded "spirit", he was already unconscious - he really had his leg broken. The 12,7-mm MDZ bullet has an explosive property and causes a painful shock. We used such ammunition in the "Cliff" because they made it possible to correct the fire against outbreaks of bullet breaks, without unmasking our position, as in the case of fire with tracer. One "but" - it is impossible to pierce the MDZ bullets with machine-gun constructions made of stones in the form of a semicircular wall (SPS), or clay walls of a double shaft. Therefore, we have always included cartridges with B-12,7 armor-piercing and incendiary bullets or BZT-32 tracer-incendiary tracer in the ammunition load of the NSVS-44 "Rock" machine gun.

Having destroyed, together with the capture group, the protection of the warehouse, we focused all attention on Djigdalai Zelenka. While the scouts of the capture group were busy at the warehouse, preparing its contents for loading into the helicopter and exploding, the “spirits” did not waste time. It took about half an hour to break the first missiles. The Mujahideen began to fire at the helipad on the top of the ridge, where the capture and support teams landed and forced the support team to retreat and hide behind the ridge. "Spirits" beat approximately from a distance of 4 – 5 kilometers. We were from the firing position of the MLRS only three kilometers away. In this situation, it was reassuring that the enemy had not yet found our group.

Now the capture group was covered by our group, the group on the right flank and the group of Senior Lieutenant Nikolai Zherelin. He noticed a detachment of 30 – 40 Mujahideen advancing from the village of Myarasulbaba to the warehouse. He stopped them with fire from the artillery assigned to us by the outpost No. 17, located on the Kabul – Jalalabad road.

It took too long to find the ammunition cache. The indicator knew only the place of residence of the warehouse guard (shed), and the warehouse itself had to be searched for indirectly (the ammunition was hidden in the ground). Twilight set in. The squad commander decided to send valuable trophies and our heavy weapons by helicopters. The detachment was supposed to prepare the seized ammunition for blasting and, under the cover of darkness, enter the evacuation site. There was less than an hour before darkness, and the Mujahideen could hardly have organized a serious opposition. However, we were not insured from firing rockets. As soon as our "Rock" flew away by helicopter, the group became more mobile, we changed the place, as it was unmasked by the landing of the helicopter. The company officer, who had just arrived from the Union a couple of weeks ago, categorically objected, arguing that he was at this height by the convenience of the position and ... the point of the combat order.

I explain that the following missiles will explode here in 5 – 7 minutes. Does not believe. Taking advantage of the lack of a personal radio station from a company commander, I request permission from the squad leader for a change of position. I receive good. I inform the company that the detachment commander ordered me to advance.

We secretly leave our positions, go down the slope opposite from green stuff. Behind at one hundred meters the explosion of the RS was shooting. The company company looks at me in surprise.
“This is a sighting,” I calmly comment on the gap. - After a minute, the rest of the 11 eras will begin to level the slide.

Immediately the top of the mountain was covered with sultans of 107-mm rocket rockets, with a howl and a roar piercing the ground.

- One, two, three ... ten, eleven. - I get up from the ground and give the team a group for the nomination.
All the 11 rockets left in the 12 barrel-mounted launcher, were put on the top of the mountain where our 2 group was located a few minutes ago ...

- You were right. Wheels, Shurik, - said the company commander who caught up with me. Since then, the phrase "Wheels, Shurik" has become winged. I and my comrades often used it until the 1993 year, when our service roads diverged from Alexander Kukhtin.

We climbed the ridge to the main forces of the detachment at dusk, and at night we went up the ridge to the evacuation site. The time remaining until dawn was passed by the group, making every effort not to freeze. We were dressed lightly, we did not count on spending the night in the mountains, and we planned to carry out the raid in 2 hours. Alas, in subsequent years of service, this rake had to be attacked more than once ... We met the helicopters with the first rays of the sun, which is not known for something more than rejoicing - solar heat or evacuation.

The result of the raid was the captured two Chinese Hunyin-5 MANPADS (analogous to Strela-2, USSR), PKM machine gun, 4 RPG, 2 machine gun and 2 carabiner, about two tons of anti-tank mines, 107-mm missiles, shots to the RPM and mortar min. Ammunition we destroyed undermining.

It was the last raid carried out by 154 ooSpN scouts using helicopters. Soon a ban was imposed on such a method of withdrawing special forces intelligence units to the area of ​​the raid. The reason for this was the large number of Afghan opposition from Stinger MANPADS and other anti-aircraft systems weapons.

It was the "Stingers" who forced our command to make a decision to conduct the described raid. According to the available information, it was the American MANPADS that were supposed to be in stock, the capture of which then for the entire Limited contingent of Soviet troops in Afghanistan was the task No. 1.
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