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Posted: 10/12/2007 5:27:07 AM EDT
I am currently reading this book, "Robert's Ridge", and am really disheartened by the seemingly unorganized communication between different forces. I can't believe that the drone had the whole thing on camera, and was not able to allow other forces in the area to have that kind of information.

Please tell me that things have improved, and commanders are able to communicate real time info to forces on ground, and in the air.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 5:29:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By guns762:
I am currently reading this book, "Robert's Ridge", and am really disheartened by the seemingly unorganized communication between different forces. I can't believe that the drone had the whole thing on camera, and was not able to allow other forces in the area to have that kind of information.

Please tell me that things have improved, and commanders are able to communicate real time info to forces on ground, and in the air.


Well let me put it this way. At most AARs the comment "Comms could have been better" usually comes up.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 5:31:38 AM EDT
Lemme tell you a little story about communication...and this is cliffnoted....

RPG's/auto MG's ran through mosque
Our guys had video proof
Outside of our battlespace
Col. goes to 101st ABN and say "We got proof they run guns/rpg's so you can go in"
101st say "nah, we too busy, sorry"
Col. say "let us go in then"
101st say "you KSNG, haha yeah right, go away, its our battlespace"

Link Posted: 10/12/2007 5:42:42 AM EDT
In my old unit, during field exercises in the States, we'd have to go "cell phone tactical" numerous times for comms...we simply couldn't communicate with our broke-dick SINGCARs to save our lives.

We were getting a replacement (forgot the terminology) radio and we received refurbished SINGCARS, both of which were great improvements.

During one field ex, we had to take a bus instead of our duece and a halfs, we weren't allowed to draw radios I remarked that the only places to which we could deploy must have decent public transport and good cell coverage. The Commander was not amused.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 5:46:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TGMoore:

Originally Posted By guns762:
I am currently reading this book, "Robert's Ridge", and am really disheartened by the seemingly unorganized communication between different forces. I can't believe that the drone had the whole thing on camera, and was not able to allow other forces in the area to have that kind of information.

Please tell me that things have improved, and commanders are able to communicate real time info to forces on ground, and in the air.


Well let me put it this way. At most AARs the comment "Comms could have been better" usually comes up.


It seems like it would be relatively simple to set up a central communication system for each zone of conbat, linked to other zones, and so on. The communication center would provide intel to ALL combatants in the area, allowing them to share info and talk to each other, giving them a better picture of what was happening.

At Robert's Ridge, it seems like no one knew what was going on outside of thier own intel. I can't believe they landed in the same freaken LZ 3x. Christ, who was asleep at the wheel? And the gunship refusing soften up the landing zone, after being begged to do so by the SEAL team???????? All it would have taken was the intel, that Robert's was already dead.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 5:49:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By guns762:

Originally Posted By TGMoore:

Originally Posted By guns762:
I am currently reading this book, "Robert's Ridge", and am really disheartened by the seemingly unorganized communication between different forces. I can't believe that the drone had the whole thing on camera, and was not able to allow other forces in the area to have that kind of information.

Please tell me that things have improved, and commanders are able to communicate real time info to forces on ground, and in the air.


Well let me put it this way. At most AARs the comment "Comms could have been better" usually comes up.


It seems like it would be relatively simple to set up a central communication system for each zone of conbat, linked to other zones, and so on. The communication center would provide intel to ALL combatants in the area, allowing them to share info and talk to each other, giving them a better picture of what was happening.

At Robert's Ridge, it seems like no one knew what was going on outside of thier own intel. I can't believe they landed in the same freaken LZ 3x. Christ, who was asleep at the wheel? And the gunship refusing soften up the landing zone, after being begged to do so by the SEAL team???????? All it would have taken was the intel, that Robert's was already dead.


What seems simple in peace time usually isn't when the bullets start to fly.

It wouldn't have mattered if they knew Roberts was dead. They would have still went in after him. Seals don't leave their dead behind and all that.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 5:52:42 AM EDT
Comms are always an issue... always, always, always.

And it's not just an issue for the .mil folks... it was one of the issues that bedeviled the Columbine responders as well. It's part of the reason why some states are going to state-wide common radio systems for FD, LE, GOV agencies (usually some flavor of digital 800 trunked system).

If you can't communicate, you can't fight nearly as effectively.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 6:28:16 AM EDT
I remember role playing a bad guy at an urban training excersize in our trainup for Bosnia. I was walking arond playing nice with the GI's. The whole time I was turning knobs on thier squad radios and manpack SINCGARS. Fucked up thier comms big time. When asked about comms at the AAR, the comment was that the manpack and squad radios were absolutly useless.

I got caught doing it by an OC (but not by any of the troops). He pulled me aside and asked me what I was doing so I fessed up - I thought I was going to be in trouble. He was very surprised and told me to let him know if I was able to do it again. For the rest of the morning I would walk by him with my fingers extended counting how many radios I was up to. Must have looked like I was giving him gang signs or something. I think I got up to 4 or 5 before I quit.

When the blanks started flying they couldn't communicate and couldn't figure out why. Something as simple as making sure you're on the right freq/channel can suddenly become not so simple when you're as stressed as you are when you're in combat. It's called the fog of war for a reason. They were quite shocked when my Company Commander and the OC told them why their comms were so screwed up. I wasn't there, but I wish I could have been.

Having said all that, I read a book called, IIRC, 'Not a Good Day to Die' which was about Operation Anaconda. The Roberts Ridge issue was prominent in the book. The difficulties they had were, IMHO inexcusable. An Air Force General sitting in Kuwait (Quatar? somewhere along the Gulf) shouldn't be overruling a SF unit commander on the ground thinking he has a better idea of what's going on than the guy who's actually there. There were alot of screwups that I think was a matter of comm dificulties, but made worse by inter service rivalry and turf battles. It's been a while since I've read the book though, maybe I should read it again.

-K


Link Posted: 10/12/2007 6:34:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Screechjet1:
In my old unit, during field exercises in the States, we'd have to go "cell phone tactical" numerous times for comms...we simply couldn't communicate with our broke-dick SINGCARs to save our lives.

We were getting a replacement (forgot the terminology) radio and we received refurbished SINGCARS, both of which were great improvements.

During one field ex, we had to take a bus instead of our duece and a halfs, we weren't allowed to draw radios I remarked that the only places to which we could deploy must have decent public transport and good cell coverage. The Commander was not amused.


There's a lot of misunderstanding about comms-I remember being looked at like some kind of friggin' wizard because I could do a KY fill correctly back in the day.

Also, working ECM OPFOR, you wouldn't believe how long it would take a lot of US Army nets to sort out a simulated hot mike jamming attack.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 6:43:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Pita_146:

Originally Posted By guns762:

Originally Posted By TGMoore:

Originally Posted By guns762:
I am currently reading this book, "Robert's Ridge", and am really disheartened by the seemingly unorganized communication between different forces. I can't believe that the drone had the whole thing on camera, and was not able to allow other forces in the area to have that kind of information.

Please tell me that things have improved, and commanders are able to communicate real time info to forces on ground, and in the air.


Well let me put it this way. At most AARs the comment "Comms could have been better" usually comes up.


It seems like it would be relatively simple to set up a central communication system for each zone of conbat, linked to other zones, and so on. The communication center would provide intel to ALL combatants in the area, allowing them to share info and talk to each other, giving them a better picture of what was happening.

At Robert's Ridge, it seems like no one knew what was going on outside of thier own intel. I can't believe they landed in the same freaken LZ 3x. Christ, who was asleep at the wheel? And the gunship refusing soften up the landing zone, after being begged to do so by the SEAL team???????? All it would have taken was the intel, that Robert's was already dead.


What seems simple in peace time usually isn't when the bullets start to fly.

It wouldn't have mattered if they knew Roberts was dead. They would have still went in after him. Seals don't leave their dead behind and all that.


It would have mattered, as close air support would have allowed the Seals to retreave the body with out going into a hot LZ. Second, they wouldn't have set down on the same LZ. There was an alternative, that they all seemed to have missed, because of the bad comm.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 6:46:06 AM EDT
Part of the problem is about 2/3 of Soldiers and Marines are only marginally competent with communications equipment. Of course SINCGARS, Harris, etc; are not very user friendly. Add in FBCB2/Blue Force Tracker and you've got your hands full.

Simple to use, intuitively menu driven equipment would help solve these problems.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 6:54:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FightingHellfish:
Part of the problem is about 2/3 of Soldiers and Marines are only marginally competent with communications equipment. Of course SINCGARS, Harris, etc; are not very user friendly. Add in FBCB2/Blue Force Tracker and you've got your hands full.

Simple to use, intuitively menu driven equipment would help solve these problems.


In this incident, it seemed more like the intel was not being passed along, and there was no central control of it. The Seals and pilots could communicate, but the info was not passed to them, until it was too late. It seemed like the commanders knew that Roberts was executed early on, but never passed that info on to the guys in the field. It seems like the AWACS should have done a better job of coordinating things. How did three different choppers try to land on the same hot LZ after the first was shot up?
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 12:16:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/12/2007 12:17:20 PM EDT by guns762]
bump for hope that our forces have at least learned something, and changed the way they do things?
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 12:27:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 12:42:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 1:31:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By guns762:
bump for hope that our forces have at least learned something, and changed the way they do things?


They'll never learn. They may change things for a while after something extraordinary happens but they'll go back to their usual ways.
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