The French left the FOB at 3am and drove past the bridge and exited the road and crossed the river to the large bar in the centre of the river, they then crossed over the anastomosing channels to the south of the bar and climbed the bank. The vehicles bogged numerous times in the treacherous channels and the force was only able to reach the southern bank at around 7am.
The element of surprise had been lost, the compound where the hostages were thought to be was deserted, but breakfast tea was still hot.
Mission: Failed to make contact
When the USMC trucks arrived at Patrol Base 55 the two US platoons left on a circuitous patrol route to search the compounds to the south of the base. They moved in open order, while back at base the radio interception team listened to the comms chatter.
And so it went on, the US patrol was unable to find the cache, they arrested two suspicious individuals and handed them over to the MANPOL in Azmakassar. They were seen walking down the road back to their compounds the next day.
Mission failed to make contact - Insurgents melted away
Mission failed - Insurgents appeared to be pre-warned.
Base Fuel Surprise drops to Adequate.