PHD #478: Detaching
Summary: Vandenberg talks to Decumius about his plans and aspirations.
Date: 19 June 2042 AE
Related Logs: Ciro being promoted, Missives, a few others.
Decumius Madilyn Vandenberg 
More than just an office for the Marines and their XO, this room has remote surveillance views of the Brigs as well as a state of the art communications center built into the far bulkhead. A locked and heavily armored door to the aft leads into another room, the white lettering on it reading 'ARMORY.' There are a few desks scattered around the room for getting necessary paperwork done and the Commandant's picture hangs on the wall next to one of the President.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear
Post-Holocaust Day: #NUMBER

With two Cylons in custody, life can get a little crazy. Security has been stepped up across the board on Deck Six and forcing the Marines to becomes quite a bit more busy. ..And apparently rank doesn't protect anyone from that. Vandenberg has been in and out of the hub for most of the day in her combat blacks, a shorter rifle strapped across her torso. This time when she comes in she takes off her helmet, dangling it by the straps as she steps towards her desk. Lady looks tired.

Decumius appears to be the current duty NCO for the security hub, a job which he doesn't look like he particularly enjoys very much. Nor does he look comfortable in the tan duty uniform, something which he generally takes care to avoid wearing at all costs. Still, he isn't very busy at the moment, which is a blessing. He sips a coffee and looks over as Vandenberg enters, nodding at her. "Sir."

Van looks to Decumius and nods. "Corporal. How's life on the wild side?" She settles the helmet on her desk and shoves her hands into her pockets, turning back to face him as she leans on the desk. "Had a chance to speak to our inmates? I hear Command is going to allow people access to give them a chatter."

Decumius shakes his head at Van. "I don't give a frak what those gluebags have to say. Besides, a Marine Corporal has no bearing on what happens with them, so I'll just wait and see what people say second hand." He shrugs.

Vandenberg shrugs. "Maybe, maybe not. But they do have quite a few interesting things to say - no doubt about that. They're talkin about a binding cease fire with certain members of their ..race? Breed? Type?" She shakes it off. "They're also talkin about how there is the potential for another phase of the war."

Decumius raises his eyebrows. "A ceasefire, sir? Interesting. Guess someone higher up will make the right noises at them so we can get on with our lives. What kind of new phase?"

"Yeah. They're talkin about calling a truce of sorts and they want our help. There's been a bunch of subtle and not-so-subtle requests for it from these Two's and Eleven's before. Truth is, they need our help. At least the people in Lampridis do. They say that we've got something they need that will help them out in its own way." The Captain removes a cigarette and sticks it between her lips. "New phase of the war, the Two says, will likely involve their model Three's. Apparently they are building all manner of weapons systems around the central colonies. He indicated the Raider Factories we found were built by them."

Decumius grimaces at that thought. "Well, no one said life was going to get easier for us, sir."

Natalie shakes her head as well, plucking the smoke from her lips and blowing the acrid air towards the air vent above her. "Nope. Chances are pretty good it going to get worse. I already spoke with Constin and we're in agreement that we're going to have to extract the people down there - which means boots on the ground one more time. We're also thinking command is going to want to take them up, at least temporarily, on the ceasefire. These people are claiming they know where to find a new home: Kobol."

Decumius rolls his eyes at that. "Listen, sir I'm a religious person. But what's the frakking point of us finding Kobol? Aren't the Cylons just going to follow us there? There's nothing indicating that they just wanted our territory. President Adar tried to surrender to them unconditionally, I heard, in the first few hours…"

Natalie ashes the cig and shrugs. "Unconditional surrender? Hadn't heard that myself. Course, then again I was stuck in a tree at the time. I never did like his ass." She mutters the last part. "Finding it means that once we've located it, we can destroy the directions to its location. Or distort them. I agree that eventually the Cylons are going to find us there. They're machines. They can look forever. It might be several generations but they would eventually find us. Thus, we may be forced to ally ourselves with some of them in order to simply survive as a species. We all know that if the Cylons really wanted us dead and they knew our exact location it wouldn't be hard to jump in a dozen or two basestars and curbstomp us."

Decumius frowns, but he offers an assenting nod. "Yeah, I imagine they could. I was in the middle of the Jharkand Basin, too, but I read about it here."

Natalie nods, seeing the man isn't very chatty. Next topic. "Anyhow, I was kind of curious if you had given any thought to what we had talked about in terms of where you are going and what you might want out of your time in the Marines."

Decumius smiles a little bit at Vandenberg's question. He looks away for a moment, to the computer monitor in front of him. His hands fly on the keyboard as he taps something into the console. Then he looks back. "Sure, sir. I'd say yes."

"So you think that you're looking for more of a role within the platoon?" Her brow lofts and she takes a drag on the cigarette. "I've handed off the platoon sergeant position to Sondray who had the rank but I'd also considered giving it to you. Sorta throw you off the deep end and see if you can swim." She smirks. "I wanted to talk to you some more, though. Find out what it is that you think you should be doing."

"I'd say I'd like to command the weapons squad. Recon is, afterall, all about sighting the company or battalion's heavier weapons for an attack. Down to the level of medium machine guns, light mortars, Karlstovs and such I know how to employ them, everything about the weapons, where they're most effective and how to control them when they're being fired. From being in recon and especially April Lightning, I know what each weapon system is good at doing and what it should be used for, and when. I don't mean to blow sunshine up my own ass, but I'm frakking good with that kind of shit. I'd be good in it." Decumius says, causing the Private on duty with him to look over her shoulder, roll her eyes and smirk at the theatrics.

Van is likely a little surprised to see the Corporal suddenly come forth with so many words, but it does not deter her from paying attention to what is being said. When he's done, she quirks her brow and looks past him as she drags thoughtfully on the smoke. "Mm," she softly grunts. A sniff, an ash of the smoke, and she levels her eyes back at him. "Maybe. I'd have to talk to the Colonel about it. Are you looking to have dedicated members in the squad or would this group be specific to tasking and people would otherwise work within their own squads and platoons?"

"For a proper weapons detachment, or section, depending on the size and if it's at the platoon or company level, you should have dedicated people. That doesn't mean different people can't be rotated through. But it puts very powerful assets at the command of an officer who's a step back from the battle being conducted by his NCOs. So that officer can now emply the two Zasta M80s to support a squad on the advance, let's say, give them cover fire, then volley some rockets from the two Karlstovs, while the squads are able to put down their own fire with the lighter M813s. Depending on what we're given to play with obviously. I know we have the Zastas and Karlstovs." Decumius answers, thoughtfully. The Private watching him before goes more serious, looking back at her work.

"Yep, sounds pretty good. My experience with weapons teams is limited since the core of my infantry time was with a special tasks platoon." Its not a secret Vandenberg was a tunnel rat for a lot of years. But they probably wouldn't have much use for a weapons team. Fighting in cave systems tends to negate the (intelligent) employment of recoilless rifles. "We also have Cavalera M120's buried in one of the armories for a cold day. Would you see the squad more of a heavier, fixed position group that the platoon maneuvered around and used as our axis? Or would you see it more as a maneuver group?"

"Neither. The squads need to be the main focus for the way we do business. They've got enough firepower within them that we'd simply be an augmentation. Honestly, a weapons det is useful most when it's supporting the rifle squads. Since our motto here has to always be speed and aggression, given our small numbers and reliance on quickly winning the firefight, the weapons squad needs to be nearly as maneoverable as the rifle squads. Obviously I don't see them employed taking buildings unless absolutely necessary. But, supporting the guys on the outside of the building before they make their way in? Yes." Decumius says, looking energized by this latest conversation. "Anyways, guys carrying the Karlstovs have carbines. All of the number twos, those being the ammo bearers, they've got rifles. Machine gunners got backup pistols, too. Everyone is capable of defending themselves outside their main roles. Zastava can be used close range in a pinch, it's a frakkin versatile gun. Those things were Godsdamned life savers in April Lightning when we were fighting house to house and street to street."

She pulls on the smoke again, listening to his proposal and outfitting. The Captain only lets her eyes fall away to look towards the ashtry when its used. "Seems you have a pretty good understanding of how to deploy teams, Corporal." She taps on the butt of the smoke once and looks back up. "Would you want access to the Cavaleras? Those tend to be DM weapons." Anti-aircraft / anti-armor - if the armor isn't MBT sized. "Where would you see it fitting into the rest of the company? Would this team be large enough to support a company-sized action if we went all-in? What kind of training are you thinking?"

"I'd personally suggest that if you're going to deploy a company sized weapons section then a Staff Sergeant or a Gunny should be leading it, with at least two dets of direct fire weapons and at least one det of indirect, like mortar. But I see it as a primarily platoon level thing. Obviously if the whole company's out doing shit and needs a weapons det we can always be detached, but that's just a matter of staying flexible. The platoons individually should get the feel for working within the context of a proper combined arms group, and working with a good detachment. It all depends on what the Colonel's looking for. I see it as a weapons det for every platoon, except maybe the MPs." Dec pauses to think about the other question. "No, the Cavaleras we should train with but they can't be the primary weapon system. We lug 'em out if we need them. Otherwise they stay home. It's extra weight we can use to carry more ammo for our other weapons. Training, well, there's not a lot of guys who aren't rusty on the guns. We need to do a lot of sim training in the range, and then live fire so people get the feel. We need to integrate them into training exercise the platoons and companies are doing, so they can get used to doing their roles. But infantry already know all these weapons, it's just a matter of settling back in."

"An indirect fire system like a mortar," she repeats, smirking. "If you've ever seen a mortar be used a direct fire weapon, trust me, you'll never call it indirect ever again." She chuckles, stubbing out the smoke in the ashtray. "I think you'd probably be good with integration since we all know each other. We'd just have to get most of the Marines familiar with working with heavier weapons on a regular basis. That's not a problem. We could use the practice anyway." She sniffs, swiping her thumb at her nose. "If we land on Lampridis and have to be there more than a day or two, there's a good chance we may have to defend it." Something to consider. "Given what we saw, where would you envision you platoon fitting in with a fixed defense?"

"As the basis of it. In a fixed defense, the heavy weapons become the main effort and the riflemen and light machine guns become supporting elements. The medium machine guns, karlstovs et cetera are set up with interlocking arcs of fire. The lighter shit is set up around it. That's how we did it when we were outside Tigrania City and the SSLF threw a battalion of their dudes at us. They were quiet, well disciplined, trained.. and they still got cut to pieces. Course, we also had air support, arty, and armoured vehicles, but that's a different story." Corporal Lucius Decumius grins.

Vandenberg seems quite satisfied with the answer. Is she asking this to learn or to test him? It could go either way. "Well a weapons squad isn't going to give you a lot of ground covered due to the size of the element. Would you see the team dispersed during a defense and have the rifles augment them? Or would you see the team set up in a core location and have the rifles defend a major point of contention?" She doesn't comment on the arty or support yet.

"The team gets dispersed around each platoon, but acts as the backbone of the platoon. So we have two Zastas, let's say, we put them out at the flanks of the platoon positions so that they can fire enfilade on enemies to their respective fronts. Like if position one is getting attacked, position two will be able to fire down the side of the attackers because of how they're sited. That's what makes a good defensive position. So yeah, they're integrated as necessary. The key with all of these things are flexibility ,but that's what makes us more effective than the Cylons and, I'd say, more than any other military force that's come before us. It's why we win, usually." Decumius states bluntly.

Madilyn has arrived.

"Down there, there are no flanks. We've got noplace to retreat to. We'd have to see employment, true, where we can interlock our fields of fire to mutually support each other. But we're going to have to be as in their face and unconventional as possible." The Captain nods a few times absently. "And I agree for the msot part. The composition of the group also contributes. There has been a lot of talent rescued. Diverse groups like this bring a lot of varying educations and viewpoints. Like you said, that's what helps us fight and win - because it makes us more flexible." She crosses her arms. "What kind of people would you be looking for? Or would this be comprised of standard Marines?" Vandenberg is leaning against her desk talking to Decumius, who is seated at the main surveillance console nearby.

"Preferably infantry marines who have experience in a weapons section of sort, or at least who've worked with the weapon at length before. Nothing is particularly hard. It's the same brain that gets you good at assaulting positions that makes you good at this kind of thing. It's all combat brain, you know what I mean, just being a good soldier. I don't want any sacks of shit, sir, that's really frakking important since these weapons comprise most of the group's firepower. Rifles can go down. If a Zasta goes down, for instance, then." Decumius makes a shooting motion with his fingers. "Then the next person better be on that frakking gun getting it up and roaring, right away."

As the two marines chat it out in the security hub, the presently scarce CO enters. With a mug in one hand and a few file folders tucked under the other arm, she manages to look ill-rested and harried, as evidenced in the unusually casual hairstyle of a simple ponytail, and the bags under her eyes. She hadn't exactly been called down, but rather, this is a chance encounter as she makes her rounds to personally collect necessary reports and logs to complete some other paperwork or another that she's fallen woefully behind on.

Vandenberg shrugs. "We can't be picky along those lines. The problem with cherry picking the best people is that the whole company suffers. When you keep the talent spread around amongst the rest of the group it benefits most of everyone. Keeps us from being deficient in, like you said, combat mindset and intelligence inside the rest of the unit." She runs a hand through her hair, ruffling it with her fingertips and seems about to say something else when Madilyn enters. Vandenberg stands off her lean and looks to her. "Evenin, Colonel," she drawls out in her accent. "Got a second?"

As Madilyn enters in, Corporal Decumius, the security hub Duty NCO, moves immediately to the desk he's occupying to gather up a small, thin folder. He turns around again to hand it to the Colonel. "Today's duty report, sir. Not too much to report, other than comings and goings." He nods at Vandenberg, and says as an aside, "Well, you're right, but I'm just saying in a best case scenario that's how I'd go for it, sir. We obviously don't have best case here." He grins.

The folder is retrieved and added right on top of the stack under her arm, an automatic action by now, as Madilyn turns to Vandenberg. "Certainly, Captain. What's the topic of discussion this evening? I hear talk of division of talent, and I assume that it's in reference to the CMC here?" Decumius gets a nod of thanks to the prepared report, and the succinct verbal summary. "Very good Corporal. It should be easy to look over then."

"True enough, Corporal. Fight with what you've got. While I was stuck on Aerilon I watched the group of people who volunteered for the militia at Neath and grabbed the natural leaders for Sergeant positions. Had to divy up the talent, though, and some people didn't understand why." Vandenberg shakes her head and looks back to Madilyn. "Uh, sort of sir. We're talking about developing a section that might be able to help out the whole Company. But we'd need your permission to do it. Corporal Decumius, here, has brought up the idea of forming a weapons squad that deals with the heavy weapons. As well, they would be responsible for helping to train up the rest of the company on the bigger stuff we have."

"Yup. Nothing too strenuous, sir." Decumius replies to his Colonel easily with a shrug, falling silent as Captain Vandenberg explains their previous conversation. He does add, however, "A small weapons detachment in each platoon is preferable. It can be drawn out for company level stuff but it concentrates the platoons' Zastas and Karlstovs and whatever other assets into one group."

"Who's on the short list Captain?" Madily replies back to Vandenberg first, then to Decumius. "Corporal?" Thankfully, there's plenty of desks to set down all the things she carries, so she can retrieve a small pad of paper from a pants pocket along with a pen hooked in the same pocket. "I'll put down your name, Captain, and the Gunnery Sergeant Constin's as well. As I recall, you two have developed a particular - albeit perhaps begrudging - fondness for the Karlstovs."

Natalie shakes her head to the Colonel. "I'm not putting my name in the hat for this one unless you'd like me there, sir. I'll have enough going on during operations and actions to keep me busy. And sticking a Captain inside a small squad detachment is.. distracting." She chuckles. "I'm not naming names. Short list, long list.. I was just thinking a standard size squad. The Corporal wants the creamy best but I was thinking we might just throw him a couple regular joes. I can give him a couple of the guys I was on Aerilon with, too - assuming you're giving it a go-ahead."

"Like I said, sir, I'd suggest keeping this within the platoons. That way the individual platoon commander becomes used to employing and siting weapons heavier than rifles and light machine guns. But they're still able to be used in a company context, detached from the platoon. Then they'd be under one of the Headquarters officers and a SNCO from HQ. But, day to day, they shouldn't need a senior NCO attached to them if they're within a platoon, just a squad leader, a Sergeant probably." Decumius chimes in to Madilyn. "That's the way we did it when bullets were flying on Sagittaron, sir, and it worked very well for us. I've seen other units have a company weapons platoon, but when they got detached to individual platoons they didn't work as cohesively because they didn't know the officer, the NCOs or the troops as well." A small smile appears on his face as the Captain talks. "Yeah, ultimately every Marine needs to be able to employ these guns because they're much more important for putting down fire than the rifle. Weapons dets may not take ground usually, but they're big enablers in doing so. They prevent casualties and cause them for the enemy."

"The specialized experience of these heavy weapons is limited in close quarters, however. I hope that any of this training doesn't detract from the other responsibilities these soldiers would have on this ship. Somewhere, I cling to the idea that we're still a police force, not an army. We're ill-equipped to fight large-scale ground battles. If this helps to bridge the gap left by our lack of field cannon and support vehicles however…" Madilyn muses, stopping to purse her lips together. "If this is what you want to do, you make it your baby. Both of you. I want a full-on, prepared plan for how you're going to do this. Names, equipment, training protocol, seeing as how live fire exercises aren't going to happen for some of these weapons."

"No reason to overcomplicate assignments, Corporal. There would just be a single team for this. But the point is well justified." Vandenberg seems sure of that, nodding to the man as she finishes, her attention then going to Madilyn. "Well, we are. We're police, sir. That's our job. But we also have to be infantry when the duty calls. Stuff like this does help, but its never going to replace our lack of heavier stuff. We're fighting walking titanium. Bigger is better. But if I notice that there is a problem or people are slacking, I'll kill it personally." She pauses. "Also, there's another thing, sir. Gemenon and what the Two said about another war."

"Not really, sir." Decumius shakes his head at Madilyn. "Zastas are great on ship and in Cee-Que-Bee." That's Close Quarters Battle, to the uninitiated, which means gunfighting within fifty metres. "The Zasta gunners all have sidearms anyways. Everyone else, Karlstov gunners and all of the number twos, they have carbines which makes them capable of regular ol' rifle fire. Trust me, sir, we used these weapons dets when we were fighting house to house and street to street in Tigrania City during Op April Lightning. They were frakking lethal, and we didn't have any more problems with them. Fighting room to room is like fighting on a ship." He reaches for a cup of water from his desk and drains it. "As far as the MP platoons, sir, well, they don't need a weapons detachment. The two /combat arms/ platoons could more than account and assist them when necessary." He puts stress on the words combat arms, indicating infantry, assault engineer, etc… "But I guess that's not the route that you guys want to take with it, so that's fine. I just like the integral platoon support because they work better within and without." A grin appears on his face. "I'm comfortable with that, sir. And as far as I've seen, well, it's been a whole lot more essential for me to have been a good infantry marine in my time here than been a good policeman. I've gotten mediocre marks as an MP since I've been aboard, but passable. Having a just passable infantry marine is /not/ on."

"Just don't go blowing up my ship with Karlstovs, alright Corporal? That's what I mean. If you want to make this happen, then draw up a plan, and get it on my desk. That's step one. Step two…well, we'll have to see how step one pans out, now won't we Corporal." There's no way to escape this debate without looking like a complete fool is there? "I'm going to have to take your words for it, of course. You're the ones that've been on the ground and seen this shit. For me, this whole frakkin' war is just a thought-exercise. And that, of course, is the downfall of a peace time rank and training as one of your combat engineers."

"Yes, sir. On the money," pipes quickly from Vandenberg. She coughs away once, covering her mouth and then looking back to the Colonel after the diversion. "Sir, the Two is saying that there is a large potential for war coming. We're already at war in our minds, but the difference is that this is looking like something different. Its a potential shift in the Cylon's strategic position and may represent the opening minutes of a Cylon civil war. Word is also that the Cylons need our help on Gemenon." She crosses her arms over her vest, resting on the P90 strapped there. "I'd like your permission to start prep on what we could use in case we need to occupy Lampridis - especially if it comes to a war. If we land there and enter into a truce, that could be the catalyst needed to push them into shooting at each other."

Decumius grins at the Colonel, chuckling. "Hey, sir, I wouldn't have gone anywhere without my battalion's attached assault engineers. Seriously, those guys saved our tails a bunch of times." He nods. "But I'll use common sense. And I'll have the plan drafted on your desc in the next few days, sir."

"Give them Karls and Zastas and point them at their twins. Nothing would make me happier. If you say you need heavy weapons support, I say we'll do what we can to accomodate. We've got Charlie, our lone rifle platoon. I'd say lets rework them into the combat platoon, off the top of my head. There's your dedicated combat arms platoon that you can draw out of the other MP platoons. Now, that's just a thought bourne out of an exhausted and near-comatose brain, so take it at face value," Madilyn replies, while retrieving the folders and mug, and putting the pad away.

Vandenberg nods along while Madilyn drops ideas on Decumius, standing still but for a slight crook to the right of her hips. After permission is granted, she nods. "Thank you, sir. I should have something drawn up rather soon. I need to check on what's available from the different departments, too."

"Sounds good, sir. May need to switch some shit around then, since a bunch of us infantry are posted to Dog as it stands. But we'll cross that bridge when we reach it." Decumius notes, reaching down to write a few lines of notes on a piece of paper in front of him.

"Do what you have to. If your plan calls to pull people from every platoon, do it if that's what makes the thing work. The same goes for you Captain." A single nod is given to both of them, and as unceremoniously as she entered, Madilyn leaves to continue collecting up reports and sorting through them.

"Aye, sir," Van replies quickly to the departing Colonel, her attention then turning towards Decumius. "Good thinkin, Corporal. That, oddly, hadn't occured to me. Guess that's what I get spending all my damned time ratting around tunnels or pretending to be a cop." She winks, the Captain smirking easily with the remark.

"Beefed up combat platoon. I like it." Decumius mumbles to himself, smiling contentedly. He continues jotting down the odd note here and there. He chuckles at Van.

Vandenberg nods. "Its usually something that shows benefits when it comes down to firing shots in anger. I think we will see the pay-out right away when the shooting starts. But I appreciate the suggestion, too. Goes a long way to showing that you're serious about moving and stepping up." She drums her fingers once across the butt of the tiny rifle. "I just promoted Sondray into the platoon sergeant position. As of tomorrow morning, you'll replace him as second squad. Draw up that proposal for the Colonel and once it is approved, we'll designate second squad as our weapons detachment. She might say this is partly my responsibility, but I'll trust you to handle this yourself. Gotta prove you deserve it."

"Roger that, sir. Sounds good." Decumius answers his commander simply, having lapsed back into the 'I don't have much to say' category.

Vandenberg nods a few times and turns back to her desk. She takes up the helmet and looks the Marine from boot to buzzcut. "Oh, hey. One last thing, Decumius? I catch you without Sergeants stripes again, its your ass in a sling. I won't tolerate a squad leader who can't police his own uniform. You rectify that as soon as possible or I'll take that squad personally and let you hang out with your current crew." She smirks, gesturing to him with her helmet towards the end.

Decumius grins broadly, winking at the Captain. He nods, but he doesn't reply verbally. And what do you know, duty's up! "Have a good night, sir." That grin's not leaving his face any time soon.
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