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IRAQ for Adults Only

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Cowpuncher

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The following is a report made up by a marine who has served in Iraq. If you are offended by Marine language, go on to something else.

From: Nic LaSlavic

>>>Subject: Report From Down Range
>>>
>>>This was sent to me by a Semper Fi, UAL retired, east coast type.
-----------------
>>>
>>>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
>>>inearly >>>06 and has already re-enlisted early for 4 more years. He
loves the
>>>MarineCorps and is actually looking forward to returning to Iraq.
>>>>>>Jordan spent 7 months at Camp Blue Diamond in Ramadi. Aka: Fort
Apache.
>>>Hesaw 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
>>>toyou. Nothing is by any means classified. No politics here, just a
Marine
>>>with a birds eye views 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 its 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 desert environment. They all hate the 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 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 ****. Chronic
>>>jamming problems, most of which require partial disassembly. (that 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 .45s 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 700s. 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 Hathcocks 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 **** 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 IEDs 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. Weve all seen the
>>>videos.
>>>
>>>13) Lights: Thumbs up. Most of the weapon mounted and personal lights are
>>>Surefires, 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, its 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 AK47s . 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 ****.
>>>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. Lets 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 Jordans
>>>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 IEDs are supplied by Iran, who is also providing terrorists
>>>(Hezbollah
>>>types) to train the insurgents in their use and tactics. Thats 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 Jordans NCOs lost a
>>>leg
>>>to one. These weapons cause a lot of damage inside the wire. Jordans 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 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 at line which is the trail of towns
>>>along
>>>the Euphrates River that weve 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., the police forces and the Army. The have had a massive spy
>>>and
>>>agitator network there since the Iran-Iraq war in the early 80s. 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 Aks and RPGs
>>>directly at our bases just to probe the defenses. They get mowed down
>>>like
>>>grass every time. ( see the M2 and M240 above). Jordans 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 thats the end of that more often than not. These hole-ups are
>>>referred to as Alpha Whiskey Romeos (Allahs Waiting Room). We have the
>>>laser
>>>guided ground-air thing down to a science. The fast movers, mostly Marine
>>>F-18s, 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 were 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 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 **** 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 Iraqis are a mixed bag. Some fight well, others aren't worth a ****.
>>>Most do okay with American support. Finding leaders is hard, but they are
>>>getting better. It is widely viewed that Zarqawis use of suicide bombers,

>>>en
>>>masse, against the civilian population was a serious tactical mistake.
>>>Many
>>>Iraqis 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 Iraqis 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 **** 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 guys, thats it, hope you found it interesting, I sure did.
>>>
 

nr

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Very interesting and informative reading. As usual the amount of bravery shown by our horable service men and women who must do more than just cope in Iraq is to be applauded. Thank you, Cowpuncher for posting.
 

Aztumbleweed

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Never di like the 16 luckily I was out before the 9 mil. came in. Glad to know the Marines are still giving it what for.

Semper Fi!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
A

Anonymous

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Very Interesting-- The comments about the M-14 are the same we heard from the Vietnam era-- altho heavier, everyone felt more secure with them...I loved shooting it and at least you knew the 308 round would do more than tickle......Scoped right they are a good midrange sniper rifle- and if you know what you are doing you can make them effective when you flip the switch to rock and roll...

Also how many times does it take before the government reallizes that the 45 auto is one of the best cartridge size rounds around...They first found out the lighter loads don't work back in the Philippines at the turn of the century- then the Nazi's feared both the Colt and the Thompson because of the effectiveness and killing power of the 45 round....When they went with the Baretta, many felt they should have stayed with the Colt or gone with the double action Sig Saur 45...I know that 45 ACP has knock down......

Someday I am going to own a 50 cal sniper type rifle- if for no other reason than when/if I miss that coyote at 1000 yards, at least he will know he's been shot at :wink: ......
 

Manitoba_Rancher

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OT,


I ve heard your neighbors say that you would be dangerous with a water pistol. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :wink:
 
A

Anonymous

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Manitoba_Rancher said:
OT,


I ve heard your neighbors say that you would be dangerous with a water pistol. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :wink:

Used to have one- It would shoot a stream of pressurized teargas or mace about 15-20 yards-- was fun to play with........
 

Jinglebob

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Thanks for the update. Probably ought to post this on the political session. But then poor ol' Dis would just have a coniption fit! :lol:
 

TK Ranch

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7.62 over a 5.56 any day should of kept the FN's up here, heavy but if you hit something it stayed down
 

Big Muddy rancher

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TK Ranch said:
7.62 over a 5.56 any day should of kept the FN's up here, heavy but if you hit something it stayed down


Guess the Marines agree with Northern rancher about those 223's :cowboy:

Thank youi for the update and for your contribution to our safety. I have a nephew back from Afganistan. Bomb hit the truck but he should beable to walk when his back heals and he gets some reconstruction on his foot. He wants to go back and be with his crew. God Bless
 

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