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 11-17-2005, 23:10 Post: 119484

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 News you won t get on TV

I recieved this from a friend in Alaska. I took out the references to the original sender, but rest assured it is the real deal.

It is a long read but worth while if you are into weapons and tactics and the truth of what is going on in Iraq. Here it is:

Guns that work in Iraq

Hello to all my fellow gunners, military buffs, veterans and interested guys. 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 of interest to you. Nothing is by any means classified. No politics here, 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 it 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 the 5.56mm (.223) round. Poor penetration on the cinderblock structure common over there and even torso hits canít be reliably counted on to put the enemy down. Fun fact: 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 a modified version to special ops guys. Modifications include lightweight 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 range and accuracy and hits like a freight train. Used frequently to take out vehicle suicide bombers ( we actually stop a lot of them) and barricaded 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. Snipers 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 lbs. 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 a 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 lights are Surefire's, and the troops love 'em. Invaluable for night urban operations. Jordan carried a $34 Surefire G2 on a neck lanyard and loved it. 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 fighting 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, the 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 have 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 in Jordan's area were in abandoned cars. The enemy would take 2 or 3 155mm artillery shells and wire them together. Most were detonated by cell phone, and the explosions are enormous. You're not safe in any vehicle, 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 avoviding 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 NCO'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 by cell and satellite phones, and also by email on laptops. They use handheld GPS units for avigation 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 etc.) 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 and agitator 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 and 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 have 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 Alpha 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 cut 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 shit. 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 are locations where they meet, stage for attacks, cache weapons and ammo and 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 new 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 American serviceman. This motivates the criminal element who otherwise don't give 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 serious 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 civilians.

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 equipment, 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).

Anyway that's it, hope you found it interesting, I sure did.

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 11-18-2005, 06:19 Post: 119486

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 News you won t get on TV

Great read. Thanks for posting that report.

The comments about the American media are particularly disheartening. I wish more people with similar military connections would do the same in order to combat the media's spin. They're not even being subtle about it anymore. And it seems more and more people (who can't think for themselves) are jumping on the bandwagon. It's frustrating to watch. I hope most of our troops don't think the majority of Americans share the opinions the media force feeds us on a daily basis. I'm glad to hear a first hand account that the Iraqis are starting to stand for themselves and that we aren't viewed as "invaders" by all of them. I'm also glad to hear moral is high among the troops. I'm sure I represent a lot of people when I say that I'm proud of what our guys are doing over there. Tell your friend to keep up the good work, stay safe, and God bless America.

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 11-18-2005, 07:39 Post: 119490

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Indeed! a great read! It is sad to see that some things still have not changed. The M-16 was a piece of crap when I was a young private and the Vietnam Vets. also knew it was a piece of crap as well as was the M-60. The M-60 worked well but was a VERY high maintenance weapon. (either that or the M-60's we had were just wore out) Prior to deploying to Iraq, about 75% of the M-60's on post were inoperative. I hated the M-9 Baretta from day one. Both the M-9 and the M-16 fire a marginal and minimally effective round. NOTHING has surpased the M-1911A1 .45 caliber pistol in my opinion. For reliability and putting a big hole in things close up it is fine weapon. There are bigger and badder rounds and pistols but none are as light and simple to work on. If I had my choice of 3 weapons, they would be the M-14, M-3 (Benelli Super 90) 12 gauge & 00 buckshot, and M-1911A1. The M-109 sniper rifle (Barrett .50 cal)is an awesome and very effective firearm. Any shot hit in the torso or a major portion of a limb is fatal, not to mention ability to make hits through brick, cement, and cinder block walls.

It is interesting to see very similar comments that were made by veterans of the Vietnam War. I am very saddened to see that our military is still being run by politicians and not allowing them to exterminate the enemy where ever they may be by whatever means required.

We as a nation are so very fortunate to have brave men like Jordan who endure the hardships they are engaged in now.

The left wing socialist extremists & news media along with their steady drone of propaganda do our military men and women no favors. The nation wide epidemic of "ME TOOism" depicted by a monsterous display of automobile window and antenna flags and magnetic "We Support the Troops" stickers seems to have worn off and the original intent seems to have been forgotten. Again, I will use the term "We as a nation" certainly are not behaving and acting like we are a nation at war to our own shame and undermining. I realize this does not apply to all but I think I can safely say much more than a few.

Thanks for posting that Mark. It was not only a very good read but a stark reminder that out of sight and out of mind is NOT the solution.

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 11-18-2005, 08:15 Post: 119499

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Very interesting. It's not surprising the .308 is well liked over there. It's also not surprising the M14 is also desired. It never really had a chance to show itself.

I wonder what the troops are thinking about that statement yesterday by Rep. John Murtha. I can't imagine it will help moral over there.


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 11-18-2005, 09:26 Post: 119507

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With the latest push by the anti-war groups, the insurgents are rallying and getting a renewed hope to win. I agree with Chief, we need to really stomp and crush them. It is too bad that all of us that want to win aren't given a chance to publicly state our feelings.

It is too bad that the Barrett .50 is outlawed in California and seen in a bad way. But what do you expect from California. The NRA just called me the other night looking for more donations to defeat the recently passed legislation in San Francisco banning ownership of pistols and the sale of Shot guns and rifles.

In my opinion the M-16 is a good weapon for certain circumstances. It has no place in jungles and deserts. It is definitely underpowered. The light weight cartridges are good to allow carrying more ammo. (ie. it is good for spraying bullets and head shots). The same situation holds true for the 9mm.

A lightened M-14 is the way to go. It is reliable and has good knock down power. I did like the M-60 as well and never had any problems with performance. There is nothing in this world like a Browning .50 Cal. but they are awefully heavy except for mounted applications.

We weren't issued shotguns but were able to purchase them on the blackmarket. Ammo shortages through supply were a problem 30 years ago. Learned early to take care of yourself since no one else cared. (Always had 12 gauge and 1,000 rounds backup) That philosophy has held true for the rest of my life. Plans B & C are always in the works.

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 11-18-2005, 11:11 Post: 119509

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Thanks for passing that along Mark. My utmost respect for Jordan, his comrades, their sacrifices and what they're doing in Iraq and other parts of the world. A friend of one of my own relatives, a Lt., just returned from duty in Iraq. He felt we belonged there, that we were making a difference and shared the same sense of duty and honor as Jordan. You don't seem to hear that in the media.
I cringe when I see Cindy Sheehan and her supporters on TV. I empathize the loss of her son but she, and now, Rep. John Murtha from my home state, are responsible for prolonging the war and it's casualties. The enemy sees and hears this division at home and is emboldened by it. As with your friends son Jordan, I have the utmost respect for Rep. Murtha's service and sacrifice for this country, but, how can you say to pull our troops out after all of this? What about all the service people that have given their lives? Was it for nothing? Do we just say, well, sorry! If I had a son or daughter get killed in Iraq I'd be pissed but if they now just up and pulled out after having a son or daughter killed I'd be looking for revenge on someone's ass. I was putting gas in my car when it was $3 a gallon. There was a woman behind me and a man on the other side of the pumps. Though I normally keep to myself, I commented, "Some people say we're in Iraq ONLY for the oil, if that's correct, I wish we'd start taking some." The woman misunderstood my comment and said, "Yes, I don't know what we're doing over there!" and made a few other comments about the President. The gentleman on the other side of the pumps said, "Would you rather them be fighting over here?" I personally believe we would be!
I have to say one other thing. I don't consider myself to be prejudicial, BUT, I don't hear Muslims condemning the slaughter of innocent people (especially women and children), beheadings, mutilation of bodies, etc. If they don't condemn it, they must support it. If they support it, then I guess I'm against all Muslims. So be it.
That's all my opinion and I suppose I could be wrong.
Like I said, I normally keep to myself, sorry for the rant but not for my feelings on it.

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 12-06-2005, 12:28 Post: 120507

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That was very interesting reading. My weapons of choice are:
sidearm- .45 auto, they don't get back up.
rifle- M1 Carbine, light, compact, very easy to handle and effective to 100yrds.
Garrand, heavy but very effective.
M14, heavy but more fire power than Garrand, very good.
Anything the gov has designed and used after that is junk. If you notice they always go back to the .45 auto. There never has been a sidearm made that is more suitable for combat or personal use. Those are my opinions and they don't have to be yours.

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 12-06-2005, 14:04 Post: 120516

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We all owe a lot to the American Soldier, regardless of the war.
Sadly there are those in elected office that are ....well who knows what...they don't. As I have said before no one accuses a politician of having common sense.
The best we can do is to pray for the soldier, let them know we appreciate them and vote the idiots out.

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