US training in Iraq

Discussion in 'The Training Wing' started by Mr Happy, Oct 24, 2005.

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  1. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    On the +
    using vehicles on a normal range and 'doing' adhoc local training.

    On the -
    Using vehicles on the normal range and then the lack of safety staff.... Or is that teh fellah with the videocam.

    http://www.youtube.com/?v=P24bprkXGCU

    Anyone else got any points?

    Mr H
     
  2. I don't see the problem. The Army always did know how to take the fun out of shooting. Opportunities like this allow one to put it back in again. I think there probably was someone in charge of safety, you hear someone hollering to clear weapons at the end, and there are a couple of people standing around at the back not participating.

    We had the nice advantage that our platoon went on detached ops every now and then on our own little base, which had its own range. We fired off loads of rounds, including AK and RPK which we happened to have access to. We'd try to come up with 'interesting' things to do, and did things that would probably get us thrown off the range in the US. Which is silly, because most everything you're likely to do in combat is going to get you thrown off the range in the US. In this case, they have people running around, shooting from odd positions, and involving the vehicles that they would have in real life. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

    NTM
     
  3. 2 possibly 3 people at the back. The small building is probably the range hut, as the 2 guys standing and observing are either side.

    As CT says , someone is hollering to clear weapons at the end.

    That looks like a fun shoot!
     
  4. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    You've both failed... the following points apply

    1. Dude being filmed breaks away from the firing line and heads to the back of the Hummers (e.g. the wrong place to shoot)
    2. Safety guy shouts (WTF are you doing from afar)
    3. Dude moves back forwards to the second firing line as others arrive and then the all start blatting again (note how he can't remember how many rounds to fire from what position, hence he keeps glancing right, note how many of the others can't either)
    4. Dude runs to the rear of the Hummer and starts firing NOTE the camera man is forwards of the rifle
    5. Dude drops to kneeling and IIRC moves forwards so safety guys in little hut cannot see him shooting.

    and thats without watching the magazine changing drills and application of safety catches or the where the barrel is pointing.

    and without pointing out that the Dude is concentrating more on being on film than where he's shooting from... or at.
     
  5. You've both failed... the following points apply
    Quatsch.
    Sorry mate, disagree.

    1. Dude being filmed breaks away from the firing line and heads to the back of the Hummers (e.g. the wrong place to shoot)

    You will note that he does not even begin to look like he is about to shoot from behind the line of troops. He moved back, all right, apparently receives a second magazine from the filmer ("Here, go for it", then watch the shadow hand something over, followed by shooter slapping magazine), and moves back to the firing line before recommencing fire.

    2. Safety guy shouts (WTF are you doing from afar)

    He shouts '(unitelligible) Move!' and everyone moves back the the sandbag line. Then 'WTF are you doing,' probably directed at our guy but I would wager more because of the fact that he's wandering around instead of shooting, not because he's shooting unsafely. There's a much simpler command for such situations: "Cease fire." He then yells 'Everybody get down' and all kneel or sit. He then calls 'Vehicles' and everyone runs to the vehicles. He's the, um, event co-ordinator at least, if not a safety. This little shoot actually had more control than I initially gave it credit for when I first watched it.

    3. Dude moves back forwards to the second firing line as others arrive and then the all start blatting again (note how he can't remember how many rounds to fire from what position, hence he keeps glancing right, note how many of the others can't either)

    Or he was looking to see if anyone else was sitting, or shooting from an odd angle. I don't think an exact ammunition expenditure count is really an issue on that sort of exercise. Unless you would submit that knowing what your colleagues are doing is bad practise?

    4. Dude runs to the rear of the Hummer and starts firing NOTE the camera man is forwards of the rifle
    True, and this is the only point on which I will conceed anything. However, the cameraman is also more than well clear of the line of fire and is not in a position of any great danger. Even in Basic, the live fire-and-maneuver events require that someone is shooting whilst behind the forward line of his partner. The running to the vehicles is part of the exercise.

    5. Dude drops to kneeling and IIRC moves forwards so safety guys in little hut cannot see him shooting.
    Can't agree. He drops because the he's allowed to. There's no way he's not visible from the guys standing at the hut. If the whole point of this scenario is some form of tactical realism, I think it's encouraged that you want to be kneeling, not standing. I personally happen to prefer kneeling, and go to it when I have a choice. Some prefer lying. Personal preference, though the Army definitely prefers if you lie down.

    All in all, this sort of thing isn't exactly something I've not done in civilian life. I'll wager most soldiers are used to shooting 5.56mm rifles in much more free-flowing natures than the Army encourages, either out back of their fields or on 'tactical days' with the local shooting club.

    NTM
     
  6. I couldn't wait for the Humer to get a round in its tyre...so disappointed!
     
  7. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    Its amazing how people can see the same thing but not agree. I'm ill today (bad case of prescription drugs taken in wrong order delivering vomit and shite all over the place) so I will be quick.

    Oh Lord, soldiers running around behind vehicles with loaded weapons where safety officers can't see them (the WTF are you doing comes late because he can't see Dude), if he yells to move to the various points I haven't heard it but happy to 'hear' it from you. Its horrendous from where I am but if you think running around like this without knowing shoots is part of the training culture in the US then I'm not surprised at the number of ND's and Blue on Blues you have.

    In the British army you would be 5 rounds standing, 5 kneeling, 5 sitting for example, looking at the shoot, others seem all to be changing and moving pretty much at the same time, I refer you to 'individuals' on a range are bad.

    Not really 'range' behaviour is it..

    Safety was inadequate due to RSO not being able to see the firers to make sure blah blah blah see all the above.

    Hmmmm, these boys look like their from a NG unit in NJ to me... I'm not sure every one gets to join rifle clubs in NJ. Gotta go poo now.
     
  8. [Argh! Darnit, the bloody machine lost my first try at a reply.

    Its amazing how people can see the same thing but not agree.
    A matter of perspective. You're using a different set of criteria than I am.

    I see this a little differently, as a range safety officer for some years

    The good news then is that I've run a few Army ranges in my time as well, both official ones in training, and ad-hoc ones in theater, like this one. Means I can see your point of view, and legitimately dismiss it as completely irrelevant! :)

    I put it to you that any soldier that is moving when the others aren't, made ready when others aren't is either doing something wrong or not doing something (of their drills).

    I agree. Something is amiss.

    If you genuinely feel that Dude is just faster and more capable than the other five or so guys shooting on the range and is demonstrating all the requisite skills whilst concentrating on his actions then thats fine and just one of those BIG ATLANTIC differences.

    Considering that Dude has demonstrated that either he failed to ensure that he had the correct amount of ammunition for the evolution, or failed to maintain proper rate of fire discipline, I also would be hesitant to call these the actions of a model soldier. It is probably right that he should attract the ire of his NCO. However, this is evidently for different reasons than you propound.

    Oh Lord, soldiers running around behind vehicles with loaded weapons where safety officers can't see them

    Why should it matter where the soldiers are carrying loaded weapons? (As I hear the Range Officer in you faint and hit the floor).

    Consider the situation: These guys are in Iraq. They go around with chambered rifles out and about in the general populace for hours at a time (we did eight on average), without any range safety NCOs whatsoever. (American policy is if outside the wire, charge weapons.) On some bases, you don't remove the magazine from the rifle. On my little FOB (And I do mean mine, I was the HMFIC), soldiers in the TOC kept their sidearms chambered 24 hours a day. Are you seriously meaning to suggest that a soldier who can be trusted to not shoot someone for all that time off the range can suddenly not be trusted on a range simply because the NCO can no longer see him? (I'm starting to get to that perception comment I made at the beginning here)

    (the WTF are you doing comes late because he can't see Dude)

    Consider the following facts.
    (A ) A HMMWV is big, but not so big that you can't see someone standing on the far side.
    (B ) Dude walks away from the firing line when the firing line is half-way between the targets and the sandbags. In all that time it takes him to get to behind the HMMWV from there, do you really think the NCOIC wouldn't have seen him?
    Assuming that the WTF is directed at Dude, and that's not an automatic assumption since you can hear someone apparently responding to the WTF if you listen closely, it seems to me more that the NCO is literally wondering why he's going off the line and going back to the line.

    if he yells to move to the various points I haven't heard it but happy to 'hear' it from you.

    I assure you, he does.

    Its horrendous from where I am but if you think running around like this without knowing shoots is part of the training culture in the US

    Language barrier. "Knowing Shoots?" Does that mean 'Know the desired conduct of fire for the evolution?'

    then I'm not surprised at the number of ND's and Blue on Blues you have.

    An entirely different discussion. The good news is that a year or two ago, someone finally had the balls to start training in a manner to deal with the ND problem, which was over-reliance on supervision, and absolutely no trust in the soldiers to carry out simple tasks on their own. Blue on Blues is a matter of target identification, not knowing how many shots you're supposed to fire.

    In the British army you would be 5 rounds standing, 5 kneeling, 5 sitting for example

    I know where you're coming from, the Irish Army trained me in the same way. However, the US Army doesn't do things that way. Even in the formal qualification shoots, you can expend all 20 rounds into one target if you wish. You won't pass, but that's up to you. It's a common 'tactic' to not shoot at the 300m targets, for example, so that you get a few spare shots at closer ones should you miss them. There's a lot more room for individual thought in that system.

    As it happens, I am not a huge fan of the criteria for qualification and basic rifle marksmanship in the US. I personally believe that it might be beneficial to teach the kneeling, sitting and standing positions, for example. That's right, they are neither taught nor tested on the range. US Army Rifle qual is 20 rounds supported prone or supported foxhole, and 20 rounds unsupported prone. But wait, then what are they doing in the video? Stay tuned, dear reader!

    looking at the shoot, others seem all to be changing and moving pretty much at the same time, I refer you to 'individuals' on a range are bad.

    Depends on the reason. Would you submit that there's a problem in that Dude shoots from sitting, while everyone else shoots from kneeling?

    Not really 'range' behaviour is it..

    Which now brings me squarely to the point of contention and the 'perception' issue I've mentioned before. It's not range behaviour. It's not supposed to be range behaviour. It takes place on a range, but it's not a 'Range', if you catch my drift.

    Here's the problem. Combat is chaos. Rifle ranges in the Army are strictly controlled sequences of events. Any time I've gone to the Range, be it for famfire, zero or qualification, it has been with a set, pre-determined sequence of criteria in peacetime conditions to evaluate against a set standard of marksmanship. I am assuming that even in the British Army, the corporal does not holler out "Kneeling, 5 rounds, in your own time, fire!" during a combat engagement, and things tend to be a bit fluid, and that people will do things in a firefight that is not done on a Range. For example, there is probably no 'Range' table that you as a Range Officer have ever presided over which basically consists of "Targets appear to your front, engage, fall back to the vehicles, continue to engage" which is as near as I can tell exactly the scenario which is being played out on the video. Yet, I would surmise that such an requirement might well be encountered in the field. I think you would agree, say, that kneeling is a viable position. The US Army appears not to agree. The mere fact that people are shooting from kneeling/sitting in this video is a very clear indicator that this is not a sanctioned evolution, though it may well be a practical one. On the basis of "Train as you fight, fight as you train", would you submit that when given the opportunity to fire live rounds, they should familiarise themselves with a fighting withdrawl which by its nature is going to have people moving around to vehicles, sitting or kneeling or lying down to personal preference, or should they train to hit 34/40 on a properly run qualification table with appropriate peacetime range safety rules and procedures such as can be found in Ft Riley or Brecon. (Or wherever you shoot rifles in the UK)

    Start to get where I'm coming from now? I said at the very beginning that your basis for objection is irrelevant, and the grounding for that is that this isn't a typical Range. As long the two very basic safety rules are followed (Don't sweep anyone, and that at the end of the evolution all rifles are cleared), pretty much anything goes, because that's exactly the same rule that they could have an hour later as they drive home from the range if they get ambushed.

    Hmmmm, these boys look like their from a NG unit in NJ to me...

    No idea where you're getting that from. It's a 1st Infantry Division patch, Kansas and Germany.

    I'm not sure every one gets to join rifle clubs in NJ.

    No, probably only the people who are interested. You'll find a lot of soldiers are interested in such passtime pursuits, and that most Army bases are in gun-friendly states helps their ownership of rifles. Even myself, in very anti-M-16 San Francisco, California, have two loaded 30-round magazines on my computer desk (I was cleaning them as I watched a video) and shoot tactical rifle twice a year, without being a club member.

    NTM
     
  9. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    read and acknowledged.
     
  10. Rayc

    Rayc RIP

    The US Army is training its soldiers due for Iraq in India's Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJW Scool).

    Apparently, it is worthwhile for the US Army.

    General Sir Micheal Rose before being assigned for Central Europe did an extensive study of India's terrorist prone areas and also the CIJW.

    In my discussion with him, he stated that it was very useful.
     
  11. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    A chum of mine working with the Indians in a UN mission was fairly impressed by them, though the handover to the Paks didn't go so well....
     
  12. Interesting. I wonder how many soldiers go through it? Obviously not all 150,000 a year that cycle through Iraq...

    NTM
     
  13. Im not even gonna get into a verbal Im more experienced than you mach with neither septic nor brit.

    But i'll Say this. They were some crowy Drills and i dont care how realistic your trina make your range...

    The Position and hold should be firm enough to support the weapon (Look at the butt floating above his shoulder)

    Sight alignment (Well he's just glancing around the place the quickly lettin a few off)

    I would hedge my bets his gat aint pointin naturally at the target.

    Oh and released and followed through my arrse!!!!

    And before you start gobbin off about nah thats not how it happens in war u just blat away becoz of flappin etc. I couldnt give a shit Blat away n you'll miss. Thats why theyre shass on the range... MAJORITY!!!

    "Think Big Four and you'll hit your barn door"

    See yas at Bisley next summer... Peace!
     
  14. As someone who holds the big "A" qual the RCO is not at fault. no one is (less the tit with the camera). at no point is anyone with in 520 etc and the 200 mils rule seems to be applied. It is just that to many people seem to forget what ranges are training for - battle. In battle we take risks and during training we should with in reason be allowed to get close to them risks - i've been on to many ranges where sprogy orfices have not had the balls to let things flow. I acted as safety on a range where troops with no experience did not want to go forward during an attack be cause of fear - this is because all their training up to then had been to safe. One of the first things you learn up at Brecon is we need to have risk in training to make it realistic.