USMC grunts Equipment/weapons review

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by melbo, Nov 14, 2005.


  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Got this today from a friend

    Very interesting report from a grunt to his dad. Sort of interesting
    to see
    the M-14 and M-1911-A1 being used by the grunts.

    >Subject: Battlefield Equipment Report
    >Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2005 04:54:52 -0800
    >
    >Like he says, we won't see this anywhere!!!
    >
    >Interesting read off my PW list, passed on to you, all my "war monger"
    >buddies. Bet you didn't read this in any of your papers.
    >---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >
    >
    >Hello to all my fellow gunners, military buffs, veterans and
    >interested guys. A couple of weekends ago I got to spend time with my
    >son Jordan, who was on his first leave since returning from Iraq. He
    >is well (a little thin), and already bored. He will be returning to
    >Iraq for a second tour in early '06 and has already re-enlisted early
    >for 4 more years. He loves the Marine Corps and is actually looking
    >forward to returning to Iraq.
    >
    >Jordan spent 7 months at "Camp Blue Diamond" in Ramadi. Aka: Fort
    >Apache. He saw and did a lot and the following is what he told me
    about
    >weapons, equipment, tactics and other miscellaneous info which may be
    >of interest to you. Nothing is by any means classified. No politics
    >here, just a Marine with a bird's eye view's opinions:
    >
    >1) The M-16 rifle : Thumbs down. Chronic jamming problems with the
    >talcum powder like sand over there. The sand is everywhere. Jordan
    >says you feel filthy 2 minutes after coming out of the shower. The M-4
    >carbine version is more popular because it's lighter and shorter, but
    >it has jamming problems also. They like the ability to mount the
    >various optical gunsights and weapons lights on the picattiny rails,
    >but the weapon itself is not great in a desert environment. They all
    >hate the 5.56mm (.223) round. Poor penetration on the cinderblock
    >structure common over there and even torso hits cant be reliably
    >counted on to put the enemy down. Fun fact: Random autopsies on dead
    >Insurgents shows a high level of opiate use.
    >
    >2) The M243 SAW (squad assault weapon): .223 cal. Drum fed light
    >machine gun. Big thumbs down. Universally considered a piece of shit.
    >Chronic jamming problems, most of which require partial disassembly.
    >(that's fun in the middle of a firefight).
    >
    >3) The M9 Beretta 9mm: Mixed bag. Good gun, performs well in desert
    >environment; but they all hate the 9mm cartridge. The use of handguns
    >for self-defense is actually fairly common. Same old story on the 9mm:
    >Bad guys hit multiple times and still in the fight.
    >
    >4) Mossberg 12ga. Military shotgun: Works well, used frequently for
    >clearing houses to good effect.
    >
    >5) The M240 Machine Gun: 7.62 Nato (.308) cal. belt fed machine gun,
    >developed to replace the old M-60 (what a beautiful weapon that
    was!!).
    >Thumbs up. Accurate, reliable, and the 7.62 round puts 'em down.
    >Originally developed as a vehicle mounted weapon, more and more are
    >being dismounted and taken into the field by infantry. The 7.62 round
    >chews up the structure over there.
    >
    >6) The M2 .50 cal heavy machine gun: Thumbs way, way up. "Ma deuce"
    >is still worth her considerable weight in gold. The ultimate fight
    >stopper, puts their dicks in the dirt every time. The most coveted
    >weapon in-theater.
    >
    >7) The .45 pistol: Thumbs up. Still the best pistol round out there.
    >Everybody authorized to carry a sidearm is trying to get their hands
    on
    >one. With few exceptions, can reliably be expected to put 'em down
    with
    >a torso hit. The special ops guys (who are doing most of the pistol
    >work) use the HK military model and supposedly love it. The old
    >government model 45's are being re-issued en masse.
    >
    >8) The M-14: Thumbs up. They are being re-issued in bulk, mostly in
    >a modified version to special ops guys. Modifications include
    >lightweight Kevlar stocks and low power red dot or ACOG sights. Very
    >reliable in the sandy environment, and they love the 7.62 round.
    >
    >9) The Barrett .50 cal sniper rifle: Thumbs way up. Spectacular
    >range and accuracy and hits like a freight train. Used frequently to
    >take out vehicle suicide bombers ( we actually stop a lot of them) and
    >barricaded enemy. Definitely here to stay.
    >
    >10) The M24 sniper rifle: Thumbs up. Mostly in .308 but some in 300
    >win mag. Heavily modified Remington 700's. Great performance.
    >Snipers have been used heavily to great effect. Rumor has it that a
    >marine sniper on his third tour in Anbar province has actually
    exceeded
    >Carlos Hathcock's record for confirmed kills with OVER 100.
    >
    >11) The new body armor: Thumbs up. Relatively light at approx. 6
    >lbs. and can reliably be expected to soak up small shrapnel and even
    >will stop an AK-47 round. The bad news: Hot as shit to wear, almost
    >unbearable in the summer heat (which averages over 120 degrees). Also,
    >the enemy now goes for head shots whenever possible. All the bullshit
    >about the "old" body armor making our guys vulnerable to the IED's was
    >a non-starter. The IED explosions are enormous and body armor doesn't
    >make any difference at all in most cases.
    >
    >12) Night Vision and Infrared Equipment: Thumbs way up. Spectacular
    >performance. Our guys see in the dark and own the night, period. Very
    >little enemy action after evening prayers. More and more enemy being
    >whacked at night during movement by our hunter-killer teams. We've all
    >seen the videos.
    >
    >13) Lights: Thumbs up. Most of the weapon mounted and personal
    >lights are Surefire's, and the troops love 'em. Invaluable for night
    >urban operations. Jordan carried a $34 Surefire G2 on a neck lanyard
    >and loved it. I cant help but notice that most of the good fighting
    >weapons and ordnance are 50 or more years old!!!!!!!!! With all our
    >technology, it's the WWII and Vietnam era weapons that everybody
    >wants!!!! The infantry fighting is frequent, up close and brutal. No
    >quarter is given or shown.
    >
    >Bad guy weapons:
    >
    >1) Mostly AK47's The entire country is an arsenal. Works better in
    >the desert than the M16 and the .308 Russian round kills reliably. PKM
    >belt fed light machine guns are also common and effective. Luckily,
    >the enemy mostly shoots like shit. Undisciplined "spray and pray" type
    >fire. However, they are seeing more and more precision weapons,
    >especially sniper rifles. (Iran, again) Fun fact: Captured enemy
    >have apparently marveled at the marksmanship of our guys and how hard
    >they fight. They are apparently told in Jihad school that the
    >Americans rely solely on technology, and can be easily beaten in close
    >quarters combat for their lack of toughness. Let's just say they know
    >better now.
    >
    >2) The RPG: Probably the infantry weapon most feared by our guys.
    >Simple, reliable and as common as dogshit. The enemy responded to our
    >up-armored humvees by aiming at the windshields, often at point blank
    >range. Still killing a lot of our guys.
    >
    >3) The IED: The biggest killer of all. Can be anything from old
    >Soviet anti-armor mines to jury rigged artillery shells. A lot found
    >in Jordan's area were in abandoned cars. The enemy would take 2 or 3
    >155mm artillery shells and wire them together. Most were detonated by
    >cell phone, and the explosions are enormous. You're not safe in any
    >vehicle, even an M1 tank. Driving is by far the most dangerous thing
    >our guys do over there. Lately, they are much more sophisticated
    "shape
    >charges" (Iranian) specifically designed to penetrate armor. Fact:
    >Most of the ready made IED's are supplied by Iran, who is also
    >providing terrorists (Hezbollah types) to train the insurgents in
    their
    >use and tactics. That's why the attacks have been so deadly lately.
    >Their concealment methods are ingenious, the latest being shape
    >charges in Styrofoam containers spray painted to look like the
    >cinderblocks that litter all Iraqi roads. We find about 40% before
    >they detonate, and the bomb disposal guys are unsung heroes of this
    >war.
    >
    >4) Mortars and rockets: Very prevalent. The soviet era 122mm rockets
    >(with an 18km range) are becoming more prevalent. One of Jordan's
    >NCO's lost a leg to one. These weapons cause a lot of damage "inside
    >the wire". Jordan's base was hit almost daily his entire time there by
    >mortar and rocket fire, often at night to disrupt sleep patterns and
    >cause fatigue (It did). More of a psychological weapon than anything
    >else. The enemy mortar teams would jump out of vehicles, fire a few
    >rounds, and then haul ass in a matter of seconds.
    >
    >5) Bad guy technology: Simple yet effective. Most communication is
    >by cell and satellite phones, and also by email on laptops. They use
    >handheld GPS units for navigation and "Google earth" for overhead
    views
    >of our positions. Their weapons are good, if not fancy, and prevalent.
    >Their explosives and bomb technology is TOP OF THE LINE. Night vision
    >is rare. They are very careless with their equipment and the captured
    >GPS units and laptops are treasure troves of Intel when captured.
    >
    >Who are the bad guys?:
    >
    >Most of the carnage is caused by the Zarqawi Al Qaeda group. They
    >operate mostly in Anbar province (Fallujah and Ramadi). These are
    >mostly "foreigners", non-Iraqi Sunni Arab Jihadists from all over the
    >Muslim world (and Europe). Most enter Iraq through Syria (with, of
    >course, the knowledge and complicity of the Syrian govt.) , and then
    >travel down the "rat line" which is the trail of towns along the
    >Euphrates River that we've been hitting hard for the last few months.
    >Some are virtually untrained young Jihadists that often end up as
    >suicide bombers or in "sacrifice squads". Most, however, are hard core
    >terrorists from all the usual suspects (Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas
    >etc.) These are the guys running around murdering civilians en masse
    >and cutting heads off. The Chechens (many of whom are Caucasian), are
    >supposedly the most ruthless and the best fighters. (they have been
    >fighting the Russians for years). In the Baghdad area and south, most
    >of the insurgents are Iranian inspired (and led) Iraqi Shiites. The
    >Iranian Shiia have been very adept at infiltrating the Iraqi local
    >govt.'s, the police forces and the Army. The have had a massive spy
    >and agitator network there since the Iran-Iraq war in the early 80's.
    >Most of the Saddam loyalists were killed, captured or gave up long
    >ago.
    >
    >Bad Guy Tactics:
    >
    >When they are engaged on an infantry level they get their asses kicked
    >every time. Brave, but stupid. Suicidal Banzai-type charges were very
    >common earlier in the war and still occur. They will literally
    >sacrifice 8-10 man teams in suicide squads by sending them screaming
    >and firing Ak's and RPG's directly at our bases just to probe the
    >defenses. They get mowed down like grass every time. ( see the M2 and
    >M240 above). Jordan's base was hit like this often. When engaged,
    >they have a tendency to flee to the same building, probably for what
    >they think will be a glorious last stand. Instead, we call in air and
    >that's the end of that more often than not. These hole-ups are
    referred
    >to as Alpha Whiskey Romeo's (Allah's Waiting Room). We have the laser
    >guided ground-air thing down to a science. The fast mover's, mostly
    >Marine F-18's, are taking an ever increasing toll on the enemy. When
    >caught out in the open, the helicopter gunships and AC-130 Spectre
    >gunships cut them to ribbons with cannon and rocket fire, especially
    at night. Interestingly, artillery is hardly used at all. Fun fact: The
    >enemy death toll is supposedly between 45-50 thousand. That is why
    >we're seeing less and less infantry attacks and more IED, suicide
    >bomber shit. The new strategy is simple: attrition.
    >
    >The insurgent tactic most frustrating is their use of civilian
    >non-combatants as cover. They know we do all we can to avoid civilian
    >casualties and therefore schools, hospitals and (especially) Mosques
    >are locations where they meet, stage for attacks, cache weapons and
    >ammo and flee to when engaged. They have absolutely no regard
    >whatsoever for civilian casualties. They will terrorize locals and
    >murder without hesitation anyone believed to be sympathetic to the
    >Americans or the new Iraqi govt. Kidnapping of family members
    >(especially children) is common to influence people they are trying to
    >influence but cant reach, such as local govt. officials, clerics,
    >tribal leaders, etc.).
    >
    >The first thing our guys are told is "don't get captured". They know
    >that if captured they will be tortured and beheaded on the internet.
    >Zarqawi openly offers bounties for anyone who brings him a live
    >American serviceman. This motivates the criminal element who otherwise
    >don't give a shit about the war. A lot of the beheading victims were
    >actually kidnapped by common criminals and sold to Zarqawi. As such,
    >for our guys, every fight is to the death. Surrender is not an option.
    >
    >The Iraqi's are a mixed bag. Some fight well, others aren't worth a
    >shit. Most do okay with American support. Finding leaders is hard, but
    >they are getting better. It is widely viewed that Zarqawi's use of
    >suicide bombers, en masse, against the civilian population was a
    >serious tactical mistake. Many Iraqi's were galvanized and the caliber
    >of recruits in the Army and the police forces went up, along with
    their
    >motivation. It also led to an exponential increase in good intel
    >because the Iraqi's are sick of the insurgent attacks against
    >civilians. The Kurds are solidly pro-American and fearless fighters.
    >
    >According to Jordan, morale among our guys is very high. They not only
    >believe they are winning, but that they are winning decisively. They
    >are stunned and dismayed by what they see in the American press, whom
    >they almost universally view as against them. The embedded reporters
    >are despised and distrusted. They are inflicting casualties at a rate
    >of 20-1 and then see shit like "Are we losing in Iraq" on TV and the
    >print media. For the most part, they are satisfied with their
    >equipment, food and leadership. Bottom line though, and they all say
    >this, there are not enough guys there to drive the final stake through
    >the heart of the insurgency, primarily because there aren't enough
    >troops in-theater to shut down the
    >borders with Iran and Syria. The Iranians and the Syrians just cant
    >stand the thought of Iraq being an American ally (with, of course,
    >permanent US bases there).
    >
    >Anyway guys, that's it, hope you found it interesting, I sure did.
     
  2. magnus392

    magnus392 Field Marshall Mags Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Good read! I saw a uniformed Marine at the store last night and shook the man's hand. He said he was heading out in Jan. 06 I wish him the best. We are proud of everyone over there!
     
  3. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Awesome intel! Thanks for the sit-rep.
     
  4. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I even learned a few things, and I have been getting the "you are going" briefs!
     
  5. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    THis has been posted on a few other boards and I heard a rumor that there is a BS cry on some of it over at ARF. Haven't seen it yet.

    I do take it as one man's opinion on what he saw there. Not necessarily everyones or Uncle Sam's
     
  6. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I think we should break out the armory and re-issue the M1 Garands. A 30-06 will eliminate the opium advantage.
     
  7. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    I have heard that # from day one of the invasion is more than double of that. b::
     
  8. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Tonight at dinner I bought a Cav scouts dinner that just came home from Iraq.
    I don’t know him, but I thanked him by buying his dinner without telling him.
    Try that when you see our service men and women in uniform.
    He was smiling looking around the room as he left, I asked not to be known from the waitress..
     
  9. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Very cool. You and I are of the same Tribe... [monkeyeating]
     
  10. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I have had that done on several occasions. It is really nice, but we really want to know so we can make that thank you connection. It feels nice to be recognized, it is just human desire to recognize back. The last time, the bill was over $200 and we never got to say thanks!
     
  11. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    You rock Quig! If I ever get the chance to buy you dinner Sniper, I will include a few suds too [beer]
     
  12. BRONZ

    BRONZ Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    QS

    I have told my two boys 4 and 3 to go up to uniformed soldiers and one sailor while shopping to thank them for protecting our country. One of the soldiers who was waiting for his wife, who was in line almost broke down.
     
  13. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Yeah bronz it does go along ways for them, What a great Kid you have.
     
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