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Tom Perroni
March 16th, 2010, 08:15 PM
MD Shooters,

got this via email today. A good read and an eye opener.


US Weapons:

1) The M-16 rifle:

Thumbs down. Chronic jamming problems with the talcum powder like sand over there. The sand is everywhere. 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 lack the ability to mount the various optical gunsights and weapons lights on the picatinny 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 can't be reliably counted on to put the enemy down.

Fun fact: Random autopsies on dead insurgents show 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 very time. The most coveted weapon in-theater.

7) The .45 pistol:

Thumbs up. Still the best pistol around 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. It is 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 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)

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 3 155 mm 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.

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.

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 various "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 an 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. They 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 facts:

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 just 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 inflicting 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 can't 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 damn. 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 right 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.

Morale:

According to Jordan , morale among our guys is very high.They not only believe that 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, is that 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 can't stand the thought of Iraq being an American ally (with, of course, permanent US bases there).

Anyway, that's it, hope you found it interesting.

Numidian
March 16th, 2010, 08:19 PM
I never knew my AK fired Russian .308 LOL

Streetgang
March 16th, 2010, 08:27 PM
I never knew my AK fired Russian .308 LOL

It does.

Tom good debrief. It's been a few yars since I've been over there, but fire fights from mosques were commonplace. The savages knew our ROEs ad used them to full advantage. Fortunately as you said, they expected less than what they got.
Thanks Tom.

Cpl. Cornbeef
March 16th, 2010, 08:34 PM
WOW! Very interesting, thanks for sharing this!

Bigdtc
March 16th, 2010, 09:03 PM
Eye-opening,.. Thanks, Tom.

Rattlesnake46319
March 16th, 2010, 09:07 PM
This is about 4-5 years old. Was making the rounds of the "Old Corps" network when Dad sent it to me. Much of it is now seriously out-of-date. Still makes for an interesting read.

Kevp
March 16th, 2010, 09:07 PM
This is the resurrection of an email that went around a couple of years ago. Much of it can be summarized as one guy's somewhat uninformed opinion. I personally see it as written by someone who really doesn't know weapons, but has latched on to the weapon equivalents of urban myths and regurgitated them. General characterization: BS!

Streetgang
March 16th, 2010, 09:10 PM
This is the resurrection of an email that went around a couple of years ago. Much of it can be summarized as one guy's somewhat uninformed opinion. I personally see it as written by someone who really doesn't know weapons, but has latched on to the weapon equivalents of urban myths and regurgitated them. General characterization: BS!

Really!? Tell us what specifically is BS?

Rattlesnake46319
March 16th, 2010, 09:15 PM
Streetgang - specifically, the "bad guy technology" section is BS. Explosives and "bomb technology" (I assume the author meant initiation systems by that) are not "TOP OF THE LINE".

Kevp
March 16th, 2010, 09:26 PM
Really!? Tell us what specifically is BS?

-M16s not working in sandy environments

-1911 .45s being issued enmass

-"special ops types" being issued HK 45s- if he is referring to MK23s, I don't know too many guys carrying that crew served beast- fielded doesn't mean widely used- "doing
most of the pistol work"- come on

- M14s being issued enmass. When this was written, it was a trickle and even now it can't be characterized as enmass

- SAWS are not a POS. They become that through a lack of maintenance and critical wear parts replacement

- M107s being characterized as accurate. What is his definition? It was fielded as an anti- material weapon system. Can you kill a guy with it? Yeah, but accurate is not the right term for it.

Should I go on? I know a little about this.

Streetgang
March 16th, 2010, 09:27 PM
Streetgang - specifically, the "bad guy technology" section is BS. Explosives and "bomb technology" (I assume the author meant initiation systems by that) are not "TOP OF THE LINE".

I agree with that but in general it was good. Again, I've not been deployed since 2004 so I understand things change. Nothing personal but, I just think Kev was a bit "general" in his comment.

Streetgang
March 16th, 2010, 09:35 PM
-M16s not working in sandy environments

-1911 .45s being issued enmass

-"special ops types" being issued HK 45s- if he is referring to MK23s, I don't know too many guys carrying that crew served beast- fielded doesn't mean widely used- "doing
most of the pistol work"- come on

- M14s being issued enmass. When this was written, it was a trickle and even now it can't be characterized as enmass

- SAWS are not a POS. They become that through a lack of maintenance and critical wear parts replacement

- M107s being characterized as accurate. What is his definition? It was fielded as an anti- material weapon system. Can you kill a guy with it? Yeah, but accurate is not the right term for it.

Should I go on? I know a little about this.

Nope you covered it. I agree with most of your assessment. Mk-23's were being used to some degree and you are right about 1911's. By the time the war began, most had been destroyed. The only units I knew of that still had them was RECON. We had dumped MK23's for P226's and resurrected 686's long before and our M4's were very reliable. I do know alot of guys did bitch about the ineffectiveness of 5.56 and 9mm rounds though and with good cause.
Dude, I wasn't trying to question your background, I've heard you have some experience. I just thought you came out hard without justification.
Good points for sure.

Kevp
March 16th, 2010, 09:40 PM
Streetgang,

Many of our problems particularly with weapons are due to these urban myths and institutionalized bad habits that permeate the Army and the USMC. It pisses me off when I see it. I also hate seeing old stuff that wasn't all that helpful to begin with being resurrected four years later. This was pre-Zargawi eating a JDAM. That might have been a red flag for some.

Streetgang
March 16th, 2010, 09:43 PM
Streetgang,

Many of our problems particularly with weapons are due to these urban myths and institutionalized bad habits that permeate the Army and the USMC. It pisses me off when I see it. I also hate seeing old stuff that wasn't all that helpful to begin with being resurrected four years later. This was pre-Zargawi eating a JDAM. That might have been a red flag for some.

:thumbsup::beer:

mikec
March 16th, 2010, 09:46 PM
2) The M243 SAW (squad assault weapon):

Isn't it the M249? Anything that has this error should be questioned. Right?

I remember reading this several years back as well. People questioned it then.

K Train
March 16th, 2010, 09:47 PM
I agree w/ Kevp, lots of urban legend in this 'good read and eye opener'. I don't think the OP should post this as 'quality info'

Kevp
March 16th, 2010, 10:04 PM
Isn't it the M249? Anything that has this error should be questioned. Right?

I remember reading this several years back as well. People questioned it then.

Give that man a cigar! Yet another data point among many.

boule
March 16th, 2010, 10:21 PM
Explosives and "bomb technology" (I assume the author meant initiation systems by that) are not "TOP OF THE LINE".

To the extent that it has become publically available, bomb technology has been catching up for a while. What they indicate in the text - shaped charges - have a really short standoff range. They might be brought to bear if a vehicle is passing a very narrow road or an obstruction or can be buried but if US troops there would not have learned by now to avoid such traps we would see significantly higher losses. Additionally I would be surprised if cell phones and other commonly used frequences for triggers were not jammed by equipment on the convoys.
The alternative, using directional shrapnel mines, is defeated by the use of armoured vehicles. Scratch the paint, do some damage or injure exposed personell but mobility kills are rare. Might have worked early in the war but now I doubt it.
Have not seen any really big bang mines on the internet for a while - are they out of artillery shells or is hiding them becoming too difficult?
A few of the damages visible in pictures and videos show rather small, penetrating damages in vehicles. Those would be consistent with some kind of kinetic energy projectiles. There should be little chance of Iraquis fielding modern anti-tank guns with tungsten or DU penetrators so the most likely source would be explosively-forged penetrators... a good idea for a standoff mine for targets smaller than a tank.
Oh, and most directional mines can be cobbeled together in a small mechanical shop in the backyard as long as you get the raw materials. No need to smuggle anything manufactured in from another country.

Summmary - whoever wrote the explosives part has neither a real understanding of this topic nor took any time to examine the results.

Kevp
March 16th, 2010, 10:36 PM
The best thing the OP or mods can do is delete this thread not only because alot of it is BS, but because it also comes very close to posing some OPSEC issues in a few of the areas where it is somewhat accurate. At least it is old. I'd like to choke whoever started circulating it again. I got it forwarded to me again the other day.

Rattlesnake46319
March 16th, 2010, 10:45 PM
I have to agree with Kevp. This thread is open to Google and continuing it would pose OPSEC issues. Mods, could we please kill this one?

Tom Perroni
March 16th, 2010, 10:52 PM
Md Shooters,

My Bad if this is in fact 4-5 years old. This as I said was sent to me today. It was sent to me by a former DELTA Operator who I trust. So I scanned it looked good to go so I posted it.

I try to put out all the Open Source Intel I get for you guys. However in the future I will have to screen more carefully.

As for any OPSEC Violation if it has been out for 4-5 years as you say then WTFO?

My apologies for the bad Intel.

Rattlesnake46319
March 16th, 2010, 11:00 PM
No worries, Tom. You posted this in good faith. From what I've seen, there aren't any OPSEC issues with your original post. But there's potential as the discussion goes on.

Don't let it stop you. I look forward to your posts.

mikec
March 16th, 2010, 11:02 PM
Md Shooters,

My Bad if this is in fact 4-5 years old. This as I said was sent to me today. It was sent to me by a former DELTA Operator who I trust. So I scanned it looked good to go so I posted it.

I try to put out all the Open Source Intel I get for you guys. However in the future I will have to screen more carefully.

As for any OPSEC Violation if it has been out for 4-5 years as you say then WTFO?

My apologies for the bad Intel.

Might want to check and see if you pissed him off or is he playing a bad joke on you.

Tom, no foul. You meant well. I just felt like I was back in 2005.

Tom Perroni
March 16th, 2010, 11:19 PM
Might want to check and see if you pissed him off or is he playing a bad joke on you.

Tom, no foul. You meant well. I just felt like I was back in 2005.

Mike,

Roger That!

I will call him in the a.m. In the mean time I will watch my 6.

boule
March 16th, 2010, 11:24 PM
I have to agree with Kevp. This thread is open to Google and continuing it would pose OPSEC issues.

Could you tell me what kind of operational intelligence might we be revealing? The current armament can be observed by anyone in the region posing as a civilian or if they cannot recognize the armament set up a concealed camera or two in a patrol area.
Reliability of weapons - counting on something definately jamming will only make you encounter one that does not.
Bomb technology - There are even hints on Wikipedia on the current IED's employed and how they are countered :innocent0
armor of vehicles - urban survival kit specs or comparable specs of other nations are more or less in the open

Unless we have a very stupid raghead population, they should have these facts already.

aquaman
March 16th, 2010, 11:31 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPG-29


What about these. Lebanon summer 2006. Its not like they don't know about them.

Papi4baby
March 16th, 2010, 11:37 PM
I got quite a few co-workers that have been and get deploy to the sand box, matter of fact three are there now.

Can't talk about the M16, but i asked about the M4 and i was told if you maintain it, it will work. We train with dummies sometimes, and i asked if they ever had malfunctions on the M4, and of the 3 i asked, i was told, never. I think is a good system, just have to be kept clean and oiled. They told me everyday before heading out, it was a tear down wipe and oil.

Never asked about the stopping power of the 62gr round, but i do know the USMC is going to a 77gr bullet that spec ops has been using, that was originally develop for the SCAR.

Rattlesnake46319
March 17th, 2010, 12:06 AM
Could you tell me what kind of operational intelligence might we be revealing? The current armament can be observed by anyone in the region posing as a civilian or if they cannot recognize the armament set up a concealed camera or two in a patrol area.
Reliability of weapons - counting on something definately jamming will only make you encounter one that does not.
Bomb technology - There are even hints on Wikipedia on the current IED's employed and how they are countered :innocent0
armor of vehicles - urban survival kit specs or comparable specs of other nations are more or less in the open

Unless we have a very stupid raghead population, they should have these facts already.

No, I can't. Because if I did tell you that, I would, in effect, be telling anyone with internet access. Personally, I prefer the enemy have less information than I do. The less they have and the more we have, the less likely that someone's mother gets a visit from two people in dress uniform. That equals happy-making for me. I'm funny that way.

I'm aware that much of this is out in the open. Were it up to me, it wouldn't be. Just because some White House staffer or Congress critter says something to the press to make themselves look important does not mean that information is unclassified. Unfortunately, it seems that the self-esteem of some political hack is far more important than the life of a member of our military.

As for Wikipedia, I can't control it, so tossing that one at me is pointless. However, I can politely ask the mods here to limit what goes out. Whether they choose to or not is up to them.

Push me on this one. I lost a friend 4 years ago today because of information getting out when it should not have. SGT Amanda Nicole Pinson. Go look her up.