A friend of mine passed this on from a Marine just back from Iraq.
A couple of weekends ago I got to spend time with my son Jordan,
>>>> who was on his first leave since returning from Iraq. He is well (a
>>>> little thin), and already bored. He will be returning to Iraq for a
>>>> second tour in early '06 and has already re-enlisted early for 4 more
>>>> years. He loves
>>>> the Marine Corps and is actually looking forward to returning to Iraq.
>>>> Jordan spent 7 months at "Camp Blue Diamond" in Ramadi. Aka: Fort
>>>> Apache. He saw and did a lot and the following is what he told me about
>>>> weapons, equipment, tactics and other miscellaneous info which may be
>>>> interest to you. Nothing is by any means classified. No politics
>>>> just a Marine with a bird's eye view's opinions:
>>>> 1) The M-16 rifle : Thumbs down. Chronic jamming problems with the
>>>> talcum powder like sand over there. The sand is everywhere. Jordan
>>>> says you feel filthy 2 minutes after coming out of the shower. The M-4
>>>> carbine version is more popular because it's lighter and shorter, but
>>>> has jamming problems also. They like the ability to mount the various
>>>> optical gunsights and weapons lights on the picattiny rails, but the
>>>> weapon itself is not great in a desert environment. They all hate
>>>> 5.56mm (.223) round. Poor
>>>> penetration on the cinderblock structure common over there and even
>>>> torso hits cant be reliably counted on to put the enemy down. Fun
>>>> Random autopsies on dead insurgents shows a high level of opiate use.
>>>> 2) The M243 SAW (squad assault weapon): .223 cal. Drum fed light
>>>> machine gun. Big thumbs down. Universally considered a piece of shit.
>>>> Chronic jamming problems, most of which require partial disassembly.
>>>> (that's fun in the middle of a firefight).
>>>> 3) The M9 Beretta 9mm: Mixed bag. Good gun, performs well in desert
>>>> environment; but they all hate the 9mm cartridge. The use of handguns
>>>> for self-defense is actually fairly common. Same old story on the 9mm:
>>>> Bad guys hit multiple times and still in the fight.
>>>> 4) Mossberg 12ga. Military shotgun: Works well, used frequently for
>>>> clearing houses to good effect.
>>>> 5) The M240 Machine Gun: 7.62 Nato (.308) cal. belt fed machine gun,
>>>> developed to replace the old M-60 (what a beautiful weapon that was!!).
>>>> Thumbs up. Accurate, reliable, and the 7.62 round puts 'em down.
>>>> Originally developed as a vehicle mounted weapon, more and more are
>>>> being dismounted and taken into the field by infantry. The 7.62 round
>>>> chews up the structure over there.
>>>> 6) The M2 .50 cal heavy machine gun: Thumbs way, way up. "Ma deuce"
>>>> is still worth her considerable weight in gold. The ultimate fight
>>>> stopper, puts their dicks in the dirt every time. The most coveted
>>>> weapon in-theater.
>>>> 7) The .45 pistol: Thumbs up. Still the best pistol round out there.
>>>> Everybody authorized to carry a sidearm is trying to get their hands on
>>>> one. With few exceptions, can reliably be expected to put 'em down with
>>>> a torso hit. The special ops guys (who are doing most of the pistol
>>>> work) use the HK military model and supposedly love it. The old
>>>> government model .45's are being re-issued en masse.
>>>> 8) The M-14: Thumbs up. They are being re-issued in bulk, mostly in
>>>> modified version to special ops guys. Modifications include
>>>> Kevlar stocks and low power red dot or ACOG sights. Very reliable in
>>>> the sandy environment, and they love the 7.62 round.
>>>> 9) The Barrett .50 cal sniper rifle: Thumbs way up. Spectacular
>>>> and accuracy and hits like a freight train. Used frequently to take
>>>> vehicle suicide bombers ( we actually stop a lot of them) and
>>>> enemy. Definitely here to stay.
>>>> 10) The M24 sniper rifle: Thumbs up. Mostly in .308 but some in 300
>>>> win mag. Heavily modified Remington 700's. Great performance.
>>>> have been used heavily to great effect. Rumor has it that a marine
>>>> sniper on his third tour in Anbar province has actually exceeded Carlos
>>>> Hathcock's record for confirmed kills with OVER 100.
>>>> 11) The new body armor: Thumbs up. Relatively light at approx. 6
>>>> and can reliably be expected to soak up small shrapnel and even will
>>>> stop an AK-47 round. The bad news: Hot as shit to wear, almost
>>>> unbearable in the summer heat (which averages over 120 degrees). Also,
>>>> the enemy now goes for head shots whenever possible. All the bullshit
>>>> about the "old" body armor making our guys vulnerable to the IED's was
>>>> non-starter. The IED explosions are enormous and body armor doesn't
>>>> make any difference at all in most cases.
>>>> 12) Night Vision and Infrared Equipment: Thumbs way up. Spectacular
>>>> performance. Our guys see in the dark and own the night, period. Very
>>>> little enemy action after evening prayers. More and more enemy being
>>>> whacked at night during movement by our hunter-killer teams. We've all
>>>> seen the videos.
>>>> 13) Lights: Thumbs up. Most of the weapon mounted and personal
>>>> are Surefire's, and the troops love 'em. Invaluable for night urban
>>>> operations. Jordan carried a $34 Surefire G2 on a neck lanyard and
>>>> I cant help but notice that most of the good fighting weapons and
>>>> ordnance are 50 or more years old!!!!!!!!! With all our technology,
>>>> it's the
>>>> WWII and Vietnam era weapons that everybody wants!!!! The infantry
>>>> is frequent, up close and brutal. No quarter is given or shown.
>>>> Bad guy weapons:
>>>> 1) Mostly AK47's The entire country is an arsenal. Works better in
>>>> the desert than the M16 and the .308 Russian round kills reliably. PKM
>>>> belt fed light machine guns are also common and effective. Luckily,
>>>> enemy mostly shoots like shit. Undisciplined "spray and pray" type
>>>> fire. However, they are seeing more and more precision weapons,
>>>> especially sniper rifles. (Iran, again) Fun fact: Captured enemy
>>>> apparently marveled at
>>>> the marksmanship of our guys and how hard they fight. They are
>>>> apparently told in Jihad school that the Americans rely solely on
>>>> technology, and can be easily beaten in close quarters combat for their
>>>> lack of toughness. Let's just say they know better now.
>>>> 2) The RPG: Probably the infantry weapon most feared by our guys.
>>>> Simple, reliable and as common as dogshit. The enemy responded to our
>>>> up-armored humvees by aiming at the windshields, often at point blank
>>>> range. Still killing a lot of our guys.
>>>> 3) The IED: The biggest killer of all. Can be anything from old
>>>> Soviet anti-armor mines to jury rigged artillery shells. A lot found
>>>> Jordan's area were in abandoned cars. The enemy would take 2 or 3
>>>> artillery shells and wire them together. Most were detonated by cell
>>>> phone, and the explosions are enormous. You're not safe in any
>>>> even an M1 tank. Driving is by far the most dangerous thing our guys do
>>>> over there. Lately, they are much more sophisticated "shape charges"
>>>> (Iranian) specifically designed to penetrate armor. Fact: Most of the
>>>> ready made IED's are supplied by Iran, who is also providing terrorists
>>>> (Hezbollah types) to train the insurgents in their use and tactics.
>>>> That's why the attacks have been so deadly lately. Their concealment
>>>> methods are ingenious, the latest being shape charges in Styrofoam
>>>> containers spray painted to look like the cinderblocks that litter all
>>>> Iraqi roads. We find about 40% before they detonate, and the bomb
>>>> disposal guys are unsung heroes of this war.
>>>> 4) Mortars and rockets: Very prevalent. The soviet era 122mm rockets
>>>> (with an 18km range) are becoming more prevalent. One of Jordan's
>>>> lost a leg to one. These weapons cause a lot of damage "inside the
>>>> wire". Jordan's base was hit almost daily his entire time there by
>>>> mortar and rocket fire, often at night to disrupt sleep patterns and
>>>> cause fatigue (It did). More of a psychological weapon than anything
>>>> else. The enemy mortar teams would jump out of vehicles, fire a few
>>>> rounds, and then haul ass in a matter of seconds.
>>>> 5) Bad guy technology: Simple yet effective. Most communication is
>>>> cell and satellite phones, and also by email on laptops. They use
>>>> handheld GPS units for navigation and "Google earth" for overhead views
>>>> of our positions. Their weapons are good, if not fancy, and prevalent.
>>>> Their explosives and bomb technology is TOP OF THE LINE. Night vision
>>>> is rare. They are very careless with their equipment and the captured
>>>> GPS units and laptops are treasure troves of Intel when captured.
>>>> Who are the bad guys?:
>>>> Most of the carnage is caused by the Zarqawi Al Qaeda group. They
>>>> operate mostly in Anbar province (Fallujah and Ramadi). These are
>>>> mostly "foreigners", non-Iraqi Sunni Arab Jihadists from all over the
>>>> Muslim world (and Europe). Most enter Iraq through Syria (with, of
>>>> course, the knowledge and complicity of the Syrian govt.) , and then
>>>> travel down the "rat line" which is the trail of towns along the
>>>> Euphrates River that we've been hitting hard for the last few months.
>>>> Some are virtually untrained young Jihadists that often end up as
>>>> suicide bombers or in "sacrifice squads". Most, however, are hard core
>>>> terrorists from all the usual suspects (Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas
>>>> These are the guys running around murdering civilians en masse and
>>>> cutting heads off. The Chechens (many of whom are Caucasian), are
>>>> supposedly the most ruthless and the best fighters. (they have been
>>>> fighting the Russians for years). In the Baghdad area and south, most
>>>> of the insurgents are Iranian inspired (and led) Iraqi Shiites. The
>>>> Iranian Shiia have been very adept at infiltrating the Iraqi local
>>>> govt.'s, the police forces and the Army. The have had a massive spy
>>>> network there since the Iran-Iraq war in the early 80's. Most of the
>>>> Saddam loyalists were killed, captured or gave up long ago.
>>>> Bad Guy Tactics:
>>>> When they are engaged on an infantry level they get their asses kicked
>>>> every time. Brave, but stupid. Suicidal Banzai-type charges were very
>>>> common earlier in the war and still occur. They will literally
>>>> sacrifice 8-10 man teams in suicide squads by sending them screaming
>>>> firing Ak's and RPG's directly at our bases just to probe the defenses.
>>>> They get mowed down like grass every time. ( see the M2 and M240
>>>> above). Jordan's base was hit like this often. When engaged, they
>>>> a tendency to flee to the same building, probably for what they think
>>>> will be a glorious last stand. Instead, we call in air and that's the
>>>> end of that more often than not. These hole-ups are referred to as
>>>> Whiskey Romeo's (Allah's Waiting Room). We have the laser guided
>>>> ground-air thing down to a science. The fast mover's, mostly Marine
>>>> F-18's, are taking an ever increasing toll on the enemy. When caught
>>>> out in the open, the helicopter gunships and AC-130 Spectre gunships
>>>> them to ribbons with cannon and rocket fire, especially at night.
>>>> Interestingly, artillery is hardly used at all. Fun fact: The enemy
>>>> death toll is supposedly between 45-50 thousand. That is why we're
>>>> seeing less and less infantry attacks and more IED, suicide bomber
>>>> The new strategy is simple: attrition.
>>>> The insurgent tactic most frustrating is their use of civilian
>>>> non-combatants as cover. They know we do all we can to avoid civilian
>>>> casualties and therefore schools, hospitals and (especially) Mosques
>>>> locations where they meet, stage for attacks, cache weapons and ammo
>>>> flee to when engaged. They have absolutely no regard whatsoever for
>>>> civilian casualties. They will terrorize locals and murder without
>>>> hesitation anyone believed to be sympathetic to the Americans or the
>>>> Iraqi govt. Kidnapping of family members (especially children) is
>>>> common to influence people they are trying to influence but cant reach,
>>>> such as local govt. officials, clerics, tribal leaders, etc.).
>>>> The first thing our guys are told is "don't get captured". They know
>>>> that if captured they will be tortured and beheaded on the internet.
>>>> Zarqawi openly offers bounties for anyone who brings him a live
>>>> serviceman. This motivates the criminal element who otherwise don't
>>>> a shit about the war. A lot of the beheading victims were actually
>>>> kidnapped by common criminals and sold to Zarqawi. As such, for our
>>>> guys, every fight is to the death. Surrender is not an option.
>>>> The Iraqi's are a mixed bag. Some fight well, others aren't worth a
>>>> shit. Most do okay with American support. Finding leaders is hard, but
>>>> they are getting better. It is widely viewed that Zarqawi's use of
>>>> suicide bombers, en masse, against the civilian population was a
>>>> tactical mistake. Many Iraqi's were galvanized and the caliber of
>>>> recruits in the Army and the police forces went up, along with their
>>>> motivation. It also led to an exponential increase in good intel
>>>> because the Iraqi's are sick of the insurgent attacks against
>>>> The Kurds are solidly pro-American and fearless fighters.
>>>> According to Jordan, morale among our guys is very high. They not only
>>>> believe they are winning, but that they are winning decisively. They
>>>> are stunned and dismayed by what they see in the American press, whom
>>>> they almost universally view as against them. The embedded reporters
>>>> are despised and distrusted. They are inflicting casualties at a rate
>>>> of 20-1 and then see shit like "Are we losing in Iraq" on TV and the
>>>> print media. For the most part, they are satisfied with their
>>>> food and leadership. Bottom line though, and they all say this, there
>>>> are not enough guys there to drive the final stake through the heart of
>>>> the insurgency, primarily because there aren't enough troops in-theater
>>>> to shut down the borders with Iran and Syria. The Iranians and the
>>>> Syrians just cant stand the thought of Iraq being an American ally
>>>> (with, of course, permanent US bases there).
This post creating a shit storm on the General forum a couple of weeks ago. Pretty much proven to be a dupe.
It was forwarded to me from a USCG Admiral
Obviously forwarded a few more times than that........
And the 9mm round comment is kind of weird......my buddy was issued a MP5 for a clearing weapon....in 9 of course. Was more than happy with it, except they are a pain to clean.
.45's are not being isuued "en masse" to anyone. Only Marine special Ops units are using them and in very small numbers.
M-14's also are not being issued in bulk. Again, a few spec Ops units have them as designated marksman rifles. This is nothing new.
I've personally never seen a mossberg in Military service. We use 870's for breaching weapons. The mossberg is a piece of shit, the 870 isn't.
DO a search and see if you can the thread that I'm referring to. It was the exact same e-mail. Someone on ARFCOM, I can't remember who, completely debunked %90 of the statements in this e-mail.
It was a while ago so you may not be able to find it. If you can't find it, just try and post this in the general forum. The dupe police will arrive quickly.
From my experience in Europe I was more than happy using 9mm, I have to say I do love my .45 now I am here. But anyway its not my opinion your reading just posted it for interest
The mossberg 590A1 is an issued weapon.
A breach gun is different and I have seen the 870 used.
I'm not saying they're currently in use, but one of the guys at my work was telling me that he did some spec-ops stuff in south america in the army and was assigned as a breacher. he told me that he was issued a 10 gauge shotgun that was sawn off to about 15 inches overall that he used to just obliterate the locks and hinges off doors down there.
He said it kicked so badly that he had to put on hand on the grip and the other on top of the receiver to try to control the muzzle flip and recoil the best he could.
I have seen Mossberg 500 shotguns in use with the 25 ID and I also saw those guys carrying the M14. Wouldn't call it "en masse" but there were quite a few.
Never heard any complaints about the SAW either but I was a M2 gunner so I didn't give a shit. Give it a bath in 30 wt oil and you're good to go.
5.56 is fine. Nobody doped up on crack is going to go down easy no matter what you shoot them with.
Didn't someone point out that he's supposedly in the USMC yet uses the ARMY'S designation M24 instead of the USMC M40?
M40 vs. M24 info
Smells like B S
Last I checked the SAW is an M249 not an M243
We just moved here a few weeks ago from Central Texas fort Hood where my wife was a JCHAO Compliance Officer at Darnall Army Community Hospital. Based on the large quantity of wounder that they get in (averages 25 per week or more of Army and Marines), the most destructive weapon they use on the good guys is the IED. She was also a first responder with the Head of Trauma Surgery. When 1st CAV was there, the woundede figures were higher. With 4th ID deployed the numbers will remain high unless things change. The trauma care is quite good with residents from all of the services learning the trade so to speak.
I'm old tanker and grunt and miss taking care of my folks. The girls and guys are doing a great job in a very rough neighborhood. The RPG is a good weapon but from my wife's statistics the IED is propbably one of the worst weapons our folks have to deal with.
Speaking of IEDs. Whenever I'm driving around in my sleepy little town, I oftentimes see a bucket or paper bag or backpack or some bit of detritus on the side of the road and instantly thing 'That's a perfect place for an eye-ee-dee!'
Then I get to thinking. Why don't our guys just have one humvee or light-armored vehicle (c.f. M3 or M113) at the spear point of any convoy dedicated to having riflemen simply putting rounds into every paper bag, backpack or five gallon bucket laying on the side of the road?
If most IEDs are shaped charges (as I'd assume they would be), wouldn't a hit from a rifle from several dozen yards away safely detonate the thing and allow the convoy safe passage?
Or do they do this already and I just don't hear about it?
Dude you wouldn't believe the amount of shit and garbage lying on Iraqi streets.
Some are shaped charges but most are merely arty or mortar rounds rigged to a timer or remote. Picture 2 155mm arty shells in a sandbag buried beside the road or stuffed in a dead dog.
It's been two years since I was in Iraq and I still take notice and avoid roadside trash on LV streets.