1. Just a quick quote from our first article:
"Many shoot/no-shoot engagements were based on the enhanced ability of the shooter with a rifle combat optic to see and identify the target. Those not equipped with magnified optics were reliant on information provided by those who were. Not only did the optic enhance marksmanship, reduce enemy positions faster and save Marine lives, it reinforced the rules of engagement by allowing only combatants to come under fire by those equipped with this ability to discern what was in the hands of the civilian dressed individuals near Marine positions."
Nice Report on the TA31F Rifle Combat Optic by Gunner of the 7th Marines
2. The rifle combat optic (RCO) was a major combat multiplier, mounted on M16A4’s. The Rifle Combat Optic is many times more than just a scope. It uses a two eye open technique that is quickly learned by all shooters (we received 81 of them 3 weeks before we attacked). Where the rest of us had to locate and identify potential targets with binoculars, then transfer to the rifle for the engagement, the individuals armed with the rifle combat optic had the benefit of identifying targets and the weapons they carried followed by the simplicity of pulling the trigger as their cross hair remained on the newly identified target. Many shoot/no-shoot engagements were based on the enhanced ability of the shooter with a rifle combat optic. Those not equipped with magnified optics were reliant on information provided by those who were. Not only did the optic enhance marksmanship, reduce enemy positions faster and save Marine lives, it reinforced the rules of engagement by allowing only combatants to come under fire by those equipped with this ability to discern what was in the hands of the civilian dressed individuals near Marine positions. Had every Marine had the ability to focus in on the hands of the individual in civilian attire, far fewer non-combatants would have been engaged. The distance, however slight, was too far to identify which civilian clad individuals were armed and which were not when using the naked eye. The days of using iron sights are gone with the loss of enemy formations and use of civilians as diversions and backstops. We can no longer simply aim in on every human we see. A blurry target will produce a civilian death.
The incoming rifle combat optic is going to stir up quite a debate between Marines focused on continuing the same marksmanship program and those who want to transition into combat engagement instruction. The debate will be healthy for our Corps however. I am ready to cast my vote for the rifle combat optic and re-write the marksmanship order to culminate in combat style engagements instead of the current known distance engagement. The iron sights will go the way of the water cooled machinegun and become obsolete.
Source: Gunner of 7th Marines
3. Every Marine was seeking ACOG. Squad leaders were taking it for themselves for reasons unknown, probably for ease of targeting. They all wanted it.
Source: 1 MARDIV Observations
4. M16A4 with associated combat optic (ACOG 4x), the West Coast’s SAM Rifle ~ All interviewed were extremely pleased with the performance and felt it “answered the mail” for the role of the Squad Advanced Marksman (SAM). All said the fixed 4-power ACOG sight that was included was the perfect solution. It gave them the ability to identify targets at distance, under poor conditions, and maintained ability to quickly acquire the target in the close in (MOUT/room clearing) environment. As above, many “stacked” it with the AN/PVS-14 to get a true night capability. No Marines present in interviews knew of any situation where the shooter could shoot the gun to its full capability or outshoot it. Interviewees included STA platoon leadership and members who are school trained MOS 8541 Snipers. They saw no need for the accuracy and expense involved in the version being built for the “East Coast” SAM Rifle by Precision Weapons Section (PWS), WTBN, Quantico. The standard M16A4 with issued optic more than satisfied their requirements.
Source: MarSysCom Liason Team
Lots of good info in general here:
Knowing the Gunner in question, I would have to say he has both good and bad ideas.
Good feedback. Looks like the terrain left no place to hide except in the distance - and out of iron sight range.