Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All my instincts are wrong.

When an IED disables a vehicle in the convoy, I jump out to assist.  This is wrong.  Unless my help is needed, an up-armored humvee is the best place for a fire team leader.

When I jump out, I’m in a hurry and forget to close the door behind me.  This is wrong, as it leaves the other occupants exposed.

When I take fire, I fire back.  This is wrong, as it is the turret gunners’ job. (Those bits in generation kill that show the humvee crews firing M4s from the windows is, evidently, teevee creativity.)   If I leave the humvee, my job is to get on the “cold” side of the vehicle and assist with the crossload.  I should only use my M4 to engage anybody who makes it too close for the turret gunners to shoot safely.

It’s very difficult for a vehicle commander to assess anything happening behind him.  He has no rear visibility.  He relies entirely on information passed over the radio and from the turret gunner.  These are hard to hear at best and incoherent at worst.

All advantage lies with OPFOR.  The determine the location of an attack and control the pace.  They have surprise.  They are impossible to see unless they fire, and difficult even then.  Depending on the terrain, they can pop up one place, fire a burst, then duck down and appear somewhere else.  Like wack-a-mole.  Depending on the terrain, they face lots of easy targets, especially if they attack from both sides of the convoy.

All advantage lies with the blue force.  Our up-armored humvees  are (mostly) impervious to small arms fire.  The .50cal in the turret can clear a forest in seconds.  Depending on the terrain, a disabled humvee can be surrounded by the other convoy vehicles, protecting everyone during the crossload.


Anonymous said...

"all my instincts are wrong"

That is what training is for. Replacing obsolete instincts with fresh ones.

What are you doing anyway? I thought you were doing civilian work, but this reads "fire team leader". Is this just a training situation?

Do you really expect you will be doing that in Afghanistan?

I tell you now, if I really behaved in Iraq like I was trained at Fort Riley, there would be a whole lot more innocent dead people lying about.

Elusive Wapiti said...

Phi, are you in the AOR yet? Or are you still in pre-deployment spin-up training?

Also, somehow I missed your announcement post that you're going over. Be safe over there.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what on earth are you doing over there? I thought you were a nerdy engineer?

Oh, I'm sure you're not allowed to tell us...

Dr. Φ said...

I typically write posts well in advance of their publication. This one was written while I was in training; I am now in the AOR.

My regular duties here are still evolving and will likely be what I want them to be. So you can bet they will involve (1) engineering and (2) shooting lots of ammo. :-)

I will post more details presently.