When I first got in-country, an ambush was called an ambush. Then we became kinder and gentler, working to win their hearts and minds, so we stopped doing ambushes. We would set "Water Borne Guard Posts" (WBGPs) instead. But make no mistake, a WBGP was nothing but an ambush with another name.
At night, along the river bank, noise and light discipline is very demanding .... and stressful .... particularly when you know that if you fuck it up, it might start the Fourth of July. We took WBGP very seriously back then.
I remember my very first WBGP. We were sitting with our bow on the waters edge, totally dark and quiet. Since I was sitting on the bow, I was the first one to hear it. Someone was breathing heavily and walking past the boat on the riverbank. OIC had given us weapons free on any noise coming from off the boat, so, I cranked up my M-60. Of course, when I started shooting, it created a wonderful chain reaction, and we lit off the engines, backed out into the river and proceeded to light up the riverbank with all our firepower.
When we had suppressed the incoming fire, we popped a flare to see what the hell was going on. We found a wild boar still trying to catch his last breath after being torn up w/ 50 cal, 7.62 and 5.56.
This was about an hour before first light, so we just backed out into the main channel and dropped the hook. I don't know if we claimed a KIA or not, but the "firefight" was documented in an after action report.
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