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Posted: 10/23/2002 5:49:06 AM EDT
10th Mountain Division Observations > > (Number = observation; D = dilemma; and LL = lesson learned.) > > 1: Many Soldiers had problems due to altitude. > > D: Soldiers deployed about 6,000' to 8500' by CH-47. Eventually moved up > to about 10,500'. Almost everyone had some problems with the altitude at > first. Most felt better after a few days. "Bunch of guys" had Acute > Mountain Sickness. No pre-treatment with Diamox because of the fear of > side effects. Symptoms included shortness of breath, vomiting, headaches, > dizziness, collapsing. Moved worst cases down for evacuation. Some were > treated with O2, Diamox, and Dexamethazone. > > LL: Rapid deployment of Soldiers to above 8,000' will almost always > produce altitude illness or decreased function ranging from minor > inconvenience to litter cases. If Soldiers were deployed higher than 8500' > more altitude-related casualties would have occurred. > > 2: Most Soldiers prefer the Camel Back for carrying water. > > D: Most started with a 3 days supply of water. Water was from streams and > treated with Iodine. Some Soldiers' water froze in canteens and had ice > chunks. Camel Back worked well as long as the tube didn't freeze. The > Hydra Storm was not favored by most because of the poor quality of the > tube and bladder. Many also drank IV bags due to lack of water. > > LL: Water is essential for Soldier performance. High altitude also > contributes to dehydration. Emphasis put on not letting water freeze in > Camel Back or in canteens. Gatorade or other flavoring good for hiding > taste of water and getting cold water down. More heat tabs are needed to > warm water. To keep loads low on extended operations, water re-supply is > essential. > > 3: Most Soldiers were happy with the performance of their cold weather > clothing. > > D: The DCU or Gore-Tex with Poly-P was worn during the day. No one wore > cotton t-shirts (cotton kills). The Interceptor Body Armor (IBA) was > actually good at keeping body heat in. At night when the temperatures > dropped, the Spear Suit black pile jacket was worn with Gore-Tex and > poly-p. Only a few people had to be moved to sheltered areas and re-warmed > due to cold temps. > > LL: Soldiers from the 10th are used to operating in a cold wx environment. > Proper training and experience with cold wx clothing and leadership > emphasis showed with the 10th and was key to preventing cold weather > injuries. > > What type of footwear and socks were worn and how did they perform? White > wool socks were worn with the Rocky or Matterhorn boots. Some were sized > too small due to the thicker sock, which caused a lack of circulation. > Socks were dried by placing in sleeping bag at night or inside Gore-Tex > jacket against the body. Issue cold wx boots at least one size larger than > normal boot size and try on with the sock that will be worn. Shoe polish > negates the effect of the breathable Gore-Tex and feet sweated which made > feet cold at night. Commercial water-proof treatment worked well. Some had > desert boots that fell apart in a week or two. The sides of the boots > ripped out. The sole was too soft for the rocky terrain. > > 4: Many different types of gloves were worn. > > D: The Desert Nomex glove/intermediate flyers glove worked well in daytime > when it was warmer. When it was colder at night, most needed a warmer > glove and put on the Gore-Tex/leather glove. Most did not like this glove > due to the lack of dexterity/poor quality. Black leather gloves with no > liner provide little warmth. Some wore civilian gloves over issue gloves. > No cases of frostbite or other cold wx injuries. Soldiers liked the air > activated chemical hand warmers. They had to be taken out of gloves > periodically to reheat. About 50% didn't work when opened. The hand > warmers were a local purchase and highly recommended. > > LL: A glove layering system is needed to rapidly add or take off glove > layers depending on the amount of dexterity or warmth needed. With heavy > gloves, a thin liner can be worn underneath and a slit cut in the trigger > finger for more dexterity. Chemical hand warmers were recommended. > > 5: Many different sleeping systems used. > > D: Some had black (heavier) sleeping bags and liked them despite the bulk. > Others had poncho liner/bivy sack/space blanket combination to save weight > and reduce bulk. The latter froze and could not sleep and would now > recommend the patrol bag (green sleeping bag). Those who used the green > patrol bag liked it a lot. However, the poncho liner/bivy sack/space > blanket was more than adequate to survive and complete the mission. > > LL: For short (1-3 day) missions with lows only in the 20s, Soldiers can > get by wearing all their clothing and using the combination bivy > sack/poncho liner/space blanket. For sustained operations in these temps > (lows in 20s) the green patrol bag is recommended. > > 6: Some weapon systems were affected by the terrain or altitude. > >
Link Posted: 10/23/2002 5:49:53 AM EDT
D: All re-zeroed in Uzbekistan and some noticed a difference (shot high > with the original sea-level zero due to altitude). Some used graphite lube > instead of CLP to prevent sluggish action or malfunctions, but those who > used CLP and LSA had no problems. CLP can be used down to about 0 to 10F. > Many did not like the M68 optics. Red dot covers far away targets. In > sunny/light conditions you lose the red dot. Can't make windage and > elevation adjustments for long range targets. Too fragile. > > LL: Re-zero weapons when deployed to altitude/cold wx environments. In > extremely cold temps, graphite or LAW should replace CLP to prevent > sluggish action or malfunctions. Replace M68. > > 7: Enemy tactics affected ability to engage target. > > D: Enemy during day stayed far out of small arms range. Mortars got lots > of kills. Some felt long range shooting skills lacking. > > LL: Need at least one heavy (.50 cal) sniper rifle per sniper platoon. > (Canadians hit targets out to 1800m with McMillian sniper system.) Can 1-2 > Soldiers per squad be given extra long-range marksmanship training to > engage long distance targets instead of having to use M240? > > 8: Many Soldiers used their own Magellan's instead of Pluggers. > > D: Maps were out-of-date Soviet maps that were in places inaccurate and > hard to read. A GPS was one of the primary means of navigating. The > Plugger was considered inadequate due to its weight, bulk, and use of many > heavy batteries. Civilian Magellans were preferred. Most Soldiers don't > use all the functions on the Plugger. > > LL: Develop a stripped down version on the Plugger that can be used by > Soldiers just for navigating, etc. Still need Plugger for fills, etc. > Getting accurate large-scale maps to the ground units is essential. > > 9: Mortars played a key role in many situations. > > D: Mortars were responsible for many kills. The enemy kept its distance > during the day and took cover in advance of air support. The mortar > computer (M23 mortar ballistic computer) couldn't get set low below 400m? > M8 base plate (60mm) latch breaks on hard ground. M9 base plate > recommended. Replace M115 boresight with M45. With mortars, first round > hits on high elevation targets was difficult (took 5-6 rounds). Each man > carried 2 mortar rounds each with mortar plt carrying 5 each. > > LL: Mortars are essential in mountainous terrain because of the distance > and terrain. It worked well that when halted the mortar rounds weren't all > dropped off at the guns but only brought in to replace those fired. That > way when they went to move again they didn't have to re-distribute the > rounds. > > 10: Combat LifeSavers (CLS) saved lives. > > D: Soldiers were trained on CLS tasks once a year and prior to mission in > Uzbekistan. They were essential when there were more casualties than > medics. Every man had an IV bag initially and on later missions it was cut > back to E-4 and above. IV bags were kept on body and didn't freeze. There > were 1-2 CLS per squad. One squad had 3 EMT trained Soldiers. > > LL: The CLS training has proven its worth especially when smaller > decentralized units are operating with Medevac a long time out. In cold > weather, IV fluids are useless unless they can be warmed to body > temperature. There is no well-known technique to do this and it needs to > be addressed. > > 11: Most felt they went in too heavy. > > D: Soldier load was from 75-110 lbs. Many felt they had too much weight to > move efficiently in that terrain at that altitude. Rifleman carried > between 10-14 30 round mags plus 2 mortar rounds. Saw gunners carried > around 1600 rounds and M240 gunners around 1200. Three days of rations and > water were packed along with the assortment of cold wx gear, batteries, > etc. > > LL: Many felt they could have gone in lighter as long as they go in for > 24-72 hours and have sling loads pre-rigged and ready for re-supply. A > cold wx contingency load could also be pre-rigged if needed to lighten the > initial load. > > 12: The terrain and altitude make combat in mountains extremely > physically demanding. > > D: Units need to get away from the normal PT routines before deploying to > the mountains. Pushups, sit-ups and 5-mile runs will not prepare Soldiers. > They need to have the ability to spend time in the mountains to physically > adapt to the terrain and altitude. Soldiers were not used to steeper > slopes and wasted time and energy. > > LL: Emphasis on ruck marches (6-8 mile) with heavy loads. Cardiovascular > training, strength and mountain walking techniques need to be stressed. > Subject matter experts (SMEs) need to give blocks of instruction on even > the > basics of mountain walking techniques. > > > > >
Link Posted: 10/23/2002 6:26:33 AM EDT
good post, thanks
Link Posted: 10/23/2002 8:32:14 AM EDT
Excellent post...but I seem to have heard all this before...in a land far, far away...
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