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Posted: 11/21/2003 10:28:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/21/2003 10:30:27 AM EDT by MouseGun87]
This is a picture of my buddy who is now a US PMC instructor for the new Iraqi Army. The PMCs are not issued weapons, in fact the US military does not allow them to be armed outside their training compound. However, when they ride the military convoy, the good GIs manning the Humvees usually loan everyone an AK47 for "door guns" just in case the Fedayeen wants to come out and play. The good SGT gave this one for him to keep. Unfortunately, like many other confiscated AKs, the stock on this Chinese Type56 is missing. So the MO crews of AR15.com is going to send him (he is a Missourian) a nice OD-Green KVAR stock in a care package hopefully before Christmas.

Pls pray for his safety and the safety of other servicemen and women over there.

Link Posted: 11/21/2003 10:35:17 AM EDT
Excellent pic!

Good to see our people are armed and ready to defend themselves.

Link Posted: 11/21/2003 10:40:41 AM EDT
Some more AK pics ...

My buddy supervising his students in rifle practice.

And this one taken off the NY Times, he was instructing the Iraqi NCOs in urban combat training.

Link Posted: 11/21/2003 10:57:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 11:10:42 AM EDT
What's the deal with they gray BDUs?

Link Posted: 11/21/2003 11:13:26 AM EDT
Very true Campy, but the GIs who ride with these PMCs know better. Last week a convoy carrying PMCs was attacked. Their luck held, nobody was hurt on our side, and the PMC killed at least one Fedayeen attacker. But two days later it was a different story. Just minutes away after leaving the front gate of their base camp, the convoy was attacked. This time they lost two PMCs. Sad.

Looks like the Fedayeen is starting to target the PMC and the new Iraqi army under training. Just a week away from graduating the first infantry battalion, a Kiowa patrol found a freshly dug ground just a couple clicks outside their camp. MPs were sent to investigate. They unearth some 80 120mm mortar shells, all fresh. The only explanation is the Fedayeen was planning a mortar attack, probably during the graduation ceremony when the camp received a lot of attention from reporters etc. Glad they found out before the attack could be carried out.

This is the kicker. The majority of the shells are ..... French made !!!! There are some Russians and Hungarians, but mostly French made that look like US shells (with english writing and markings very similar to US made shells). I'd say the Frogs have a lot of explaining to do !! Here are the pictures of the 120 mm mortar shells they found:

Link Posted: 11/21/2003 11:16:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Lancelot:
What's the deal with they gray BDUs?

The gray BDU indicates that he is a PMC (Private Military Contractor) ... a civilian employee hired by the DoD to train the new Iraqi army. These guys are ex military with excellent credentials, esp. in training. The GIs often call them "Mercs" ... but they are not.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 11:24:30 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 11:33:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:

MouseGun87 looks like you got a good friend there.

Indeed, he and his family are really close to me and mine. My 5 yr old daughter sometimes just cries out of the blue ... when we asked her she said "I miss Chris, and I am scared the bad guys will shoot him .."

He has 9 yrs of service under his belt with units like the 101st, 10th Mountain and another mechanized unit that I forget now. He received an EIB (Expert Infantry Badge). He just graduated with a MS degree in Instructional Design (College of Education) from University of Missouri-Columbia. He also wrote a short manual for infantry small unit tactics (directed toward reenactment groups, paintall and airsoft milsim players) which should be published early next year. I have no doubt Uncle Sam hired the right man for the job in Iraq.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 11:52:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 1:53:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 1:59:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Jeepcreep:
I mailed your buddy, a stock, and mounting screws yesterday. It came off a type 56 just like the one he has. Tell him to keep an eye peeled for it....AND THANK HIM FOR HIS SERVICE!!!!

Thank you sir! I will forward this to him.

His wife told me that packages from home takes about 3 weeks to get there. My care package will go out tomorrow.

Thanks again.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 2:34:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 2:54:05 PM EDT
Does your friend get issued body armor? From what I`ve read it`s a life saver. Maybe we could take up a collection to get him some? In his shoes, I don`t know who to be more worried about;the students or the Fedayeen.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 3:27:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By arbob:
Does your friend get issued body armor? From what I`ve read it`s a life saver. Maybe we could take up a collection to get him some? In his shoes, I don`t know who to be more worried about;the students or the Fedayeen.

This is a sticking issue. Chris said that the PMCs are issued the older style flak jacket. This type of jacket does not stop rifle bullets at all. He really would like to get a new Interceptor jacket with plates that can stop rifle bullets, but he was told that the company and the military do not think the PMC need Interceptor jacket. He was upset when he found out about this policy when he just arrived.

I am still in Grad school and poor as a student can be. Were I in a better position financially, I would not think twice to buy him a brand new interceptor jacket here and send it to him.

The US PMCs are responsible to train the Iraqi NCOs, and in turn the Iraqi NCOs are responsible to train their respective men at platoon and company levels, still under the supervision of the US PMC instructors. This is part of his email that explains his relation with his students:

I do interact with the NCOs outside of the classroom. Of course I eat with them and run PT every morning with them. But I also help in administrative/advisory roles on a daily basis as well--at least while they are in my school. So there's a lot of "face time". Additionally, I write their NCO evaluations each month, counsel them face-to-face with an interpreter, and I'm one of the O/Cs (Observer/Controller) for the STX and FTX when we go to the field.

So yeah, the NCO's know me on a first name basis. The soldiers know me through some of the tactical classes I've taught them--they know my face, but they know me more through reputation through their NCOs. As you might have guessed, I'm definately one of the more laid back instructors. I'm usually (though not always) the "good cop".

Many of the NCOs and even a few of the officers from the 1st Battalion stop by to say hello. I just had a platoon sergeant and a company first sergeant (they say "company sergeant major") stop by and see me today. So, I'm in good, I guess you'd say.

Then I asked him how the troops react to all these anti US attacks by Fedayeens and other arab fighters. This is what he said:

There have been a significant number of infiltrators from Syria and Iran and Saudi. Once again, these countries are exporting the hatred they culminate. They export their problems. But the massive number of attacks during this Ramadan season seem to be predominately carried out by Fedayeen. Once again, the attacks are mostly one-sided. The Fedayeen are losing...but we can feel the strain. The situation is tense right now.

The soldiers are upset by this. Iraqis have lost police and soldiers in these attacks. Do they want revenge? I don't know. They want peace. But not at the price of letting the Baathists and the Fedayeen to return to power! So yeah, they seem pretty determined to stand and fight.

The PMCs were worried about the troops at first. They considered wearing body armor and carry weapons at all times when instructing the troops. But then they agreed that doing this will send the wrong message of distrust to their students. So they all agreed not to wear body armor and carry weapons (unless required for training purposes) while interacting with their Iraqi students. Yeah, I was worried that he got shot by one of his students too. But this is not the case. The students realized what these Americans are there to do and they return the trust shown to them with enthusiasm. No PMC has been injured or killed by their own student so far. From what Chris told me, he has a lot of respect for the Iraqi soldiers because he realizes the risk these soldiers take by being there. The Fedayeen and other anti US groups do not treat them and their family kindly, yet they stick with it. In return, the Iraqi troops also show a lot of respect to their US instructors. Chris is also familiar with muslim religion and customs, since I myself a muslim (but I am no extremist! :). This knowledge helps him a great deal in getting his point across to the troops in the most effective and efficient manner.

He is a good friend, and I would stand up and fight alongside him any day.
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