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Posted: 3/11/2006 2:55:34 PM EDT
You know, the one that reported to Bush today that was headed by some retired general? I realize that some of the findings may be classified, but does there seem to be a conensus on how to fight these damn IED's?



I sure hope so.........
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 3:18:06 PM EDT
It's just another weapon, like a bullet or a grenade.
There's only so much that can be done. It IS war after all.
If they come up with a solution to stop the threat of IEDs, we will no doubt being creating another weakness to be exploited in a different manner.

Snipers
SVBIEDs
SAF
IEDs
­etc.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 3:46:07 PM EDT
Yeah, you're probably right. If I were a bettin' man I'd say the answer to REDUCING (not gonna eliminate them entirely) IED's is surveillance of some sort: Predators, sniper teams, deploying guys in numerous outposts in a city as opposed to one big FOB (as some Army unit did in Tal Afar), etc. Perhaps some kind of high-tech wavelength disruption could also help, but "eyeballing" in one way or another would seem to be the most logical way. Problem is, not enough "eyeballs" to peruse all the roadways in Iraq.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 3:59:27 PM EDT
someone one time mentioned setting up a computer program that just randomly dialed phone numbers, since so many of the IEDs are set off by calling the cell phone attached to them.

i could imagine this being very effective. while Hussain and Hadji are in their basement building an IED they get a random call... BOOM! and think of all the times the calls may go through and set off roadside IEDs while theres nobody by it, rather then the bad guys calling the phone when theres our soldiers and vehicles by it
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 4:08:32 PM EDT
I'm sure the fact that many of them come from Iran was brought up.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 4:29:17 PM EDT
The US army is already doing much of what can be done, jamming radio freqs, improving training, adding new vehicles-buffalo, casspir, RG 31, ect. There has been many crazy ideas; using lasers, using the F 22 raptor, sniffer dogs, bees, ect.

Iraq is a worst case senerio because of all the readily available munitions. The US Army didn't learn from the Irish insurgency, the Rhodesian insurgency, the Lebanon insurgency, and the Malayasian insurgency. All vehicles have to be engineered to withstand an IED blast. Our troops are paying the price right now.

IED's are a symptom, not the underlying disease---the failure to manage an effective counterinsurgency campaign.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 4:32:42 PM EDT
OPSEC.

Kharn
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 4:32:53 PM EDT
Don't the South Africans have vehicles that are purpose built to resist powerful IEDs?
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 4:37:01 PM EDT
the buffalo, casspir, RG 31 are designed to survive an IED, actually they are made in the US by expat South Africans who left after apartied.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 5:22:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Arty8:
the buffalo, casspir, RG 31 are designed to survive an IED, actually they are made in the US by expat South Africans who left after apartied.



The Casspir is a now obsolete design no longer produced as far as I know. I do know the US will not buy any more and the will be replaced by the Buffalo.

The Buffalo is built in SC.

The RG-31, as well as the Husky and Meerkat, are built in South Africa still.

The Buffalo and RG-31 and good vehicles, and very survivable.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 6:17:03 PM EDT
I work (production planner) for a company in Phoenix that makes both steel and composite ballistic armor for HMMWV, HET HEMTT, PLS and the M915A, M916A platforms. We also have done a little work for Stewart & Stevenson in Texas before we bought them out. On a sidenote, we also make ceramic/ composite ESAPI plates for all branches of the military and the Dept of Homeland Security. While we are working full shifts, the kits need to be getting in theatre a lot faster than they apparently are. Right now our business is swinging towards a LOT of replacement parts, especially ballistic glass, desperately needed in Iraq and Afghanistan to service vehicles already damaged in IED attacks.

Remember, we rarely hear of the success of our armor, except in testimonials from soldiers in the field. The media are only interested in the body count (American, of course).
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 7:08:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ABNAK:
You know, the one that reported to Bush today that was headed by some retired general? I realize that some of the findings may be classified, but does there seem to be a conensus on how to fight these damn IED's?



I sure hope so.........



Pull back the troops and:

Link Posted: 3/11/2006 7:13:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ABNAK:
Yeah, you're probably right. If I were a bettin' man I'd say the answer to REDUCING (not gonna eliminate them entirely) IED's is surveillance of some sort: Predators, sniper teams, deploying guys in numerous outposts in a city as opposed to one big FOB (as some Army unit did in Tal Afar), etc. Perhaps some kind of high-tech wavelength disruption could also help, but "eyeballing" in one way or another would seem to be the most logical way. Problem is, not enough "eyeballs" to peruse all the roadways in Iraq.



I've been in and around Tal Afar a few times - not sure if what we did their is much different than what others are doing - the "difference" was more likley in the mind of the reporter or whoever whose wiritngs you must have read.

Every region is different, and our forces are doing an admirable job mitigating the threat.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 7:15:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By shocktrp:

Originally Posted By ABNAK:
You know, the one that reported to Bush today that was headed by some retired general? I realize that some of the findings may be classified, but does there seem to be a conensus on how to fight these damn IED's?



I sure hope so.........



Pull back the troops and:

www.jeromegoolsby.net/nucflash/nuke21.jpg



it's the only way to be sure
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 7:23:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By tenmikemike:
I work (production planner) for a company in Phoenix that makes both steel and composite ballistic armor for HMMWV, HET HEMTT, PLS and the M915A, M916A platforms. We also have done a little work for Stewart & Stevenson in Texas before we bought them out. On a sidenote, we also make ceramic/ composite ESAPI plates for all branches of the military and the Dept of Homeland Security. While we are working full shifts, the kits need to be getting in theatre a lot faster than they apparently are. Right now our business is swinging towards a LOT of replacement parts, especially ballistic glass, desperately needed in Iraq and Afghanistan to service vehicles already damaged in IED attacks.

Remember, we rarely hear of the success of our armor, except in testimonials from soldiers in the field. The media are only interested in the body count (American, of course).




Keep up the good work, your country thanks you
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 7:28:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/11/2006 7:29:38 PM EDT by Garand_Shooter]

Originally Posted By tenmikemike:
I work (production planner) for a company in Phoenix that makes both steel and composite ballistic armor for HMMWV, HET HEMTT, PLS and the M915A, M916A platforms. We also have done a little work for Stewart & Stevenson in Texas before we bought them out. On a sidenote, we also make ceramic/ composite ESAPI plates for all branches of the military and the Dept of Homeland Security. While we are working full shifts, the kits need to be getting in theatre a lot faster than they apparently are. Right now our business is swinging towards a LOT of replacement parts, especially ballistic glass, desperately needed in Iraq and Afghanistan to service vehicles already damaged in IED attacks.

Remember, we rarely hear of the success of our armor, except in testimonials from soldiers in the field. The media are only interested in the body count (American, of course).



IM me your email and I will send you some pics of your stuff in action. But damm can you guys make them door latches stronger?
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 7:31:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By tenmikemike:
I work (production planner) for a company in Phoenix that makes both steel and composite ballistic armor for HMMWV, HET HEMTT, PLS and the M915A, M916A platforms. We also have done a little work for Stewart & Stevenson in Texas before we bought them out. On a sidenote, we also make ceramic/ composite ESAPI plates for all branches of the military and the Dept of Homeland Security. While we are working full shifts, the kits need to be getting in theatre a lot faster than they apparently are. Right now our business is swinging towards a LOT of replacement parts, especially ballistic glass, desperately needed in Iraq and Afghanistan to service vehicles already damaged in IED attacks.

Remember, we rarely hear of the success of our armor, except in testimonials from soldiers in the field. The media are only interested in the body count (American, of course).



We're trying. We moved over a hundred of the kits last fall when I was in the AOR, and some uparmored front end loaders and fully uparmored HMMVWs too.



Keep up the good work cranking them out, and we'll do the best we can to get them where they are needed.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 7:32:21 PM EDT
Well, maybe if the media didn't report on how effecive IEDs are at killing US Forces, we wouldn't be in this fucking mess.

I am dead serious (pardon the pun). If any of you are history buffs, you will recall that the Germans in WWII had developed a very effective anti-ship mine. The mine was pressure sensitive and would go off when exposed to prolonged surface pressure changes (at least 8 seconds). It is even credidted with sinking a minesweeping vessel after D-Day...AFTER THE PORT WAS ALREADY DE-MINED. Apparently, the countermeasures employed by the minesweepers were ineffective against this new mine. But despite it's effectiveness, the mine never propogated. Why, you may ask? Becuase we reported that the vessels were sunk by conventional mines and classified the true reports. Thus, the Germans were never aware of their effectiveness and the massive potential so the project was shelved.

Had they known, we would have been in a world of shit.

Same with today; if the media reported that IEDs were ineefective, then the insurgents would not employ them as much and explore other methods. But instead, the media provides insurgents with free and comprehensive After-Action Reports on the effectiveness of their tactics.

Link Posted: 3/11/2006 7:36:42 PM EDT
IEDs = Mines.

Mines have been a weapon for a long time.

They've always been effective at disrupting transportation, and probably always will be.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 7:37:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/11/2006 7:42:27 PM EDT by Adam_White]

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:

Originally Posted By tenmikemike:
I work (production planner) for a company in Phoenix that makes both steel and composite ballistic armor for HMMWV, HET HEMTT, PLS and the M915A, M916A platforms. We also have done a little work for Stewart & Stevenson in Texas before we bought them out. On a sidenote, we also make ceramic/ composite ESAPI plates for all branches of the military and the Dept of Homeland Security. While we are working full shifts, the kits need to be getting in theatre a lot faster than they apparently are. Right now our business is swinging towards a LOT of replacement parts, especially ballistic glass, desperately needed in Iraq and Afghanistan to service vehicles already damaged in IED attacks.

Remember, we rarely hear of the success of our armor, except in testimonials from soldiers in the field. The media are only interested in the body count (American, of course).



IM me your email and I will send you some pics of your stuff in action. But damm can you guys make them door latches stronger?



"Where the fuck did this spring come from? I hope it wasn't important."

"Hey, now my door won't open!"

"Yeah Sir, that door doesn't close, you'll have to use the combat lock"
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 7:42:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Adam_White:

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:

Originally Posted By tenmikemike:
I work (production planner) for a company in Phoenix that makes both steel and composite ballistic armor for HMMWV, HET HEMTT, PLS and the M915A, M916A platforms. We also have done a little work for Stewart & Stevenson in Texas before we bought them out. On a sidenote, we also make ceramic/ composite ESAPI plates for all branches of the military and the Dept of Homeland Security. While we are working full shifts, the kits need to be getting in theatre a lot faster than they apparently are. Right now our business is swinging towards a LOT of replacement parts, especially ballistic glass, desperately needed in Iraq and Afghanistan to service vehicles already damaged in IED attacks.

Remember, we rarely hear of the success of our armor, except in testimonials from soldiers in the field. The media are only interested in the body count (American, of course).



IM me your email and I will send you some pics of your stuff in action. But damm can you guys make them door latches stronger?



"Where the fuck did this spring come from? I hope it wasn't important."

"Hey, now my door won't open!"



Glad to see some experiences were not unique to this country!
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 8:00:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By builttoughf250:
someone one time mentioned setting up a computer program that just randomly dialed phone numbers, since so many of the IEDs are set off by calling the cell phone attached to them.

i could imagine this being very effective. while Hussain and Hadji are in their basement building an IED they get a random call... BOOM! and think of all the times the calls may go through and set off roadside IEDs while theres nobody by it, rather then the bad guys calling the phone when theres our soldiers and vehicles by it


That sounds funny. I like the idea. Alot.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 5:17:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Adam_White:

Originally Posted By ABNAK:
Yeah, you're probably right. If I were a bettin' man I'd say the answer to REDUCING (not gonna eliminate them entirely) IED's is surveillance of some sort: Predators, sniper teams, deploying guys in numerous outposts in a city as opposed to one big FOB (as some Army unit did in Tal Afar), etc. Perhaps some kind of high-tech wavelength disruption could also help, but "eyeballing" in one way or another would seem to be the most logical way. Problem is, not enough "eyeballs" to peruse all the roadways in Iraq.



I've been in and around Tal Afar a few times - not sure if what we did their is much different than what others are doing - the "difference" was more likley in the mind of the reporter or whoever whose wiritngs you must have read.

Every region is different, and our forces are doing an admirable job mitigating the threat.




The unit in Tal Afar I'm referring to is run by some O-6 (brigade commander IIRC) with a PhD who is supposedly some guru on counterinsurgency. Instead of having one large FOB that his guys operated out of he dispersed them across the whole town in 23 little FOB's. This supposedly provided a two-fold benefit: it allowed the troops to be "seen" by the civies and be amongst them, as well as physically being able to observe the majority of roadways throughout the town 24/7. Apparently the number of IED's in their AO dropped significantly.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 10:14:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ABNAK:

Originally Posted By Adam_White:

Originally Posted By ABNAK:
Yeah, you're probably right. If I were a bettin' man I'd say the answer to REDUCING (not gonna eliminate them entirely) IED's is surveillance of some sort: Predators, sniper teams, deploying guys in numerous outposts in a city as opposed to one big FOB (as some Army unit did in Tal Afar), etc. Perhaps some kind of high-tech wavelength disruption could also help, but "eyeballing" in one way or another would seem to be the most logical way. Problem is, not enough "eyeballs" to peruse all the roadways in Iraq.



I've been in and around Tal Afar a few times - not sure if what we did their is much different than what others are doing - the "difference" was more likley in the mind of the reporter or whoever whose wiritngs you must have read.

Every region is different, and our forces are doing an admirable job mitigating the threat.




The unit in Tal Afar I'm referring to is run by some O-6 (brigade commander IIRC) with a PhD who is supposedly some guru on counterinsurgency. Instead of having one large FOB that his guys operated out of he dispersed them across the whole town in 23 little FOB's. This supposedly provided a two-fold benefit: it allowed the troops to be "seen" by the civies and be amongst them, as well as physically being able to observe the majority of roadways throughout the town 24/7. Apparently the number of IED's in their AO dropped significantly.



Sounds like you are referring to the 3d ACR, and COL McMaster, though Tall Afar itself was the AO of just Sabre Squadron. I know of at least two of us that post here that are in 3d ACR.

I finf it hard to believe that other units don't make regular use of OPs and other sites outside of their main FOB. I know for a fact that Cincinnattus posted here from withing Falluja, and it sure didn't sound like he was on an established FOB.

Odds are COL McMaster tried to explain NORMAL Army operations to some reporter who thought all soldiers hung around in the MWR center to play in video gane tournaments (the impression you would get never leaving the Green Zone or LSA Anaconda, apparently).

Our biggest advantage we had over units in Baghdad and other large urban areas is that the whole area, from the Syrian border to Tall Afar, was OURS. No bureaucracy, no confusion, no detachment from the mission. Cavalry traditionally thrives on the frontier, and we were uniquely equipped to do just that (organic Aviation, and logistical capabilities normally only found at Division level).

Contrast that to a combat unit in Baghdad, sharing the AO with hundreds of other units, one unit is in charge of route security, they see something and report it all the way up the chain - maybe it gets to a unit rolling down that road later in the day, maybe it doesn't. Heck, just readin Cincinnattus's Army QRF horror story was enough to make me glad I was far from such nonsense. Our guys never dilly-dallied to respond to any action.

We controlled the whole city, watche everythting that entered and left it, and could interdict the whole supply chain from the border to the city streets - that is an advantage the folks in Baghdad would love to enjoy.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 10:23:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By joker581:
Don't the South Africans have vehicles that are purpose built to resist powerful IEDs?



yes/no- land mines, not IED's.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 11:04:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Adam_White:
I finf it hard to believe that other units don't make regular use of OPs and other sites outside of their main FOB. I know for a fact that Cincinnattus posted here from withing Falluja, and it sure didn't sound like he was on an established FOB.



When we arrived in our AO, there were several routes/streets that were brutal with IEDs. We established hardened OPs and CPs leading out from our various little firm bases. These allowed enough eyes-on to prevent the implantation of IEDs along our most travelled routes, in an out of our Pos.
Here's one, just north of Blackwater Bridge:



Manned 24-7, these were a thumb in the eye of the local insurgents. They were often harrassed with RPGs, SAF and grenades. They were effective.
The insurgents could always anticipate our ingress and egress, because we always return home. Cover those areas, and it made their jobs tough.
Once snipers began hitting these OPs, however, it became a problem.
It becomes cyclical: IEDs, snipers, grenades, repeat.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 11:13:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:

Originally Posted By Adam_White:
I finf it hard to believe that other units don't make regular use of OPs and other sites outside of their main FOB. I know for a fact that Cincinnattus posted here from withing Falluja, and it sure didn't sound like he was on an established FOB.



When we arrived in our AO, there were several routes/streets that were brutal with IEDs. We established hardened OPs and CPs leading out from our various little firm bases. These allowed enough eyes-on to prevent the implantation of IEDs along our most travelled routes, in an out of our Pos.
Here's one, just north of Blackwater Bridge:

img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/Cincinnatus/OPCappella.jpg

Manned 24-7, these were a thumb in the eye of the local insurgents. They were often harrassed with RPGs, SAF and grenades. They were effective.
The insurgents could always anticipate our ingress and egress, because we always return home. Cover those areas, and it made their jobs tough.
Once snipers began hitting these OPs, however, it became a problem.
It becomes cyclical: IEDs, snipers, grenades, repeat.




Is that an Iraqi soldier?



Also, were the Iraqi Army units in Fallujah strictly composed of Shiite/Kurds or were there Sunnis as well?
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 11:14:33 AM EDT
I really need to learn how to type - or at least proofread. It's embarassing having my typos quoted .
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 1:34:51 PM EDT
Adam_White,
Yeah, it was Col. McMaster that the article was written about. Also remember it mentioning that you guys were not allowed to call them "Haji's" because it was OFFENSIVE.

Sounds like you guys had Tal Afar pretty well locked down. Do you think the problem with Baghdad is that different units each serve a different function, i.e. one is for route security, one for QRF, etc.? Would it be more streamlined (and thus more effective) to "scale up" the Tal Afar tactics to fit larger urban areas? I realize that is saying a mouthful due to the sheer size of the Baghdad area.
BTW, thanks for the insight and keep yourselves safe as folks like you allow us to live in relative comfort. Being ex-Army myself I can appreciate the sacrifices you all make.

AIRBORNE!!!!!
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 2:40:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ABNAK:
Adam_White,
Yeah, it was Col. McMaster that the article was written about. Also remember it mentioning that you guys were not allowed to call them "Haji's" because it was OFFENSIVE.

Sounds like you guys had Tal Afar pretty well locked down. Do you think the problem with Baghdad is that different units each serve a different function, i.e. one is for route security, one for QRF, etc.? Would it be more streamlined (and thus more effective) to "scale up" the Tal Afar tactics to fit larger urban areas? I realize that is saying a mouthful due to the sheer size of the Baghdad area.
BTW, thanks for the insight and keep yourselves safe as folks like you allow us to live in relative comfort. Being ex-Army myself I can appreciate the sacrifices you all make.

AIRBORNE!!!!!



We had a squadron outside of Baghdad the whole year. Heck, our whole regiment started out there. I truly don't think there is anything particularly special about what we did. Each area is different and has its own politics. I can't specifically speak about oips in Baghdad though with anything but pure speculation, as I was not there long enough.

Sure, COL McMaster has a unique way with words that may have helped on the psyop side of things. More likely, he was able to articulate to some reporter what others had been unable to do. Most reporters think they already know everything - it takes a special kind of person to get them to listen.

There is a reporter now working on a book making a premise similar to yours - that we did something unique in Western Ninewah - but specifically in comparison to how the Regiment operated down where Cincinnatus was during OIF I (3d ACR was the first US forces in the Western Tigris region, and handed Fallujah to the Jarheads). COL McMaster was highly perturbed about the premise, since, as he sees it, it was a reporter starting with a book idea then using selective hearing and research to get to the conclusion he wanted. About the only thing reporters could NOT ignore was our success, so they seem to like to start from there and then invent the rest.

The real advantage we had was our unit - and our independence of the bureacracy. As any Marine with experience in large ops will tell you, air-ground integration is a serious force multiplier. The Army / Air Force separation makes that difficult, and even withing the Army our aviation assets are detached and isolated. The one major exception is a Cavalry Regiment. We also have a extremely robust logistical capability, as were are deicigned to be self-sustaining indefinitely - and were able to tie straight in to theater logistics pipelines while continuously feeding, fixing, and arming forces covering a very wide Area of Operations.

I empathize with the Jarheads in that the Army has been trying to get rid of the Cav for years. Heck, half of the Army think the 1st Cav division is a Cavalry unit - and that really confuses the issue. We, like the Marine Corps, seem to have to constantly justify our existence. As COL McMaster would be the first to say - it wasn't nothing special about HIM that allowed our success, but something special about the UNIT. This is an intelligence based war, and the Cavalry Regiment was purpose built from the ground up to be the eyes and ears of a Corps commander.

Reprters don't understand MTOE issues, but they do understand a Colonel who speaks their language, reaches out to them, and rather famously wrote a book highly attacking the lies that led to the Vietnam war. This, IMHO, makes a lot of reporters want to somehow present him as more different from other commanders than he actually is. His reaching out to the media doesn't mean he necessarily LIKES them, he just realizes they are a part of the picture. He similarly reached out to our detainess.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 5:19:03 PM EDT
Hopefully your views on a self-sustaining "mini-unit" has caught on. Witness the relatively recent reorganization of the 101st here near me at Ft. Campbell. The addition of a 4th Brigade with each having it's own inherent "support" units permanently attached to them (aviation, arty, armor, MP, Cav, trans, etc.) is a head in the direction of the TO&E of which you speak. Each is supposedly deployable independently of the others.

BTW I didn't mean to include "CAV" guys as support per se. I merely mentioned that they were of a group of missions not normally assigned to an Army BRIGADE specifically in a divisional size unit.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 8:41:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 8:43:06 PM EDT by Adam_White]

Originally Posted By ABNAK:
Hopefully your views on a self-sustaining "mini-unit" has caught on. Witness the relatively recent reorganization of the 101st here near me at Ft. Campbell. The addition of a 4th Brigade with each having it's own inherent "support" units permanently attached to them (aviation, arty, armor, MP, Cav, trans, etc.) is a head in the direction of the TO&E of which you speak. Each is supposedly deployable independently of the others.

BTW I didn't mean to include "CAV" guys as support per se. I merely mentioned that they were of a group of missions not normally assigned to an Army BRIGADE specifically in a divisional size unit.



Unfortunately, the actual practical application of those smaller "UA's" has left much to be desired. Aviation is still an issue, as the Aviation community seems to be pushing for an all aviation unit to be divied up by commander on the ground. This, of course, takes away all the team familiarity and comfort level you get with habitual relationships (but gives senior aviators more and bigger units to command ). These units also have dangerously little combat service support capability - they can pretty much only break and distribute pushes from Corps, and even that capability is minimal. They have little ability to run their own storage and issue operations - critical, IMHO, to real self sufficiency. "Just in Time" logistics never works in combat.

On top of all that, the Division may have decentralized execution on paper, but those 2-stars don't like to give up power. 3ID may not have offically run a "DMAIN" and "DREAR" in Iraq, but that is pretty much what they did - they just called it something else.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 7:04:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:

Originally Posted By Adam_White:
I finf it hard to believe that other units don't make regular use of OPs and other sites outside of their main FOB. I know for a fact that Cincinnattus posted here from withing Falluja, and it sure didn't sound like he was on an established FOB.



When we arrived in our AO, there were several routes/streets that were brutal with IEDs. We established hardened OPs and CPs leading out from our various little firm bases. These allowed enough eyes-on to prevent the implantation of IEDs along our most travelled routes, in an out of our Pos.
Here's one, just north of Blackwater Bridge:

img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/Cincinnatus/OPCappella.jpg

Manned 24-7, these were a thumb in the eye of the local insurgents. They were often harrassed with RPGs, SAF and grenades. They were effective.
The insurgents could always anticipate our ingress and egress, because we always return home. Cover those areas, and it made their jobs tough.
Once snipers began hitting these OPs, however, it became a problem.
It becomes cyclical: IEDs, snipers, grenades, repeat.




Is that an Iraqi soldier?

Yes.





Also, were the Iraqi Army units in Fallujah strictly composed of Shiite/Kurds or were there Sunnis as well?


99% Shia with a few Kurds.



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