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Is personal marksmanship a limiting factor in combat effectiveness?


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The T stands for Trilux which, as you'll know, is a radioactive light source. There were mixed feelings about the SUIT sight which achieved a reasonable scale of issue - I think NI and the need to discriminate targets there was a big part of the motivation for its introduction. The main criticism seems to have been that the mounts were prone to falling to bits.

 

Might have been wrong about the T. The mounts for the SUSAT arn't much better the battle sight is very prone to breaking and the SUSAT would never work on the SLR. The Trilux was Trilithuim gas in a phospher coated glass vial, they had some rules about what to do if they break good to know if you wanted an hour break from where you were working.

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Might have been wrong about the T. The mounts for the SUSAT arn't much better the battle sight is very prone to breaking and the SUSAT would never work on the SLR. The Trilux was Trilithuim gas in a phospher coated glass vial, they had some rules about what to do if they break good to know if you wanted an hour break from where you were working.

Tritium, old chap, tritium.

 

Trilithium is natty stuff - unstable and likely to turn your average starship into sparkly powder if you so much as blink at it :)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trilithium

 

BTW, it would probably be unwise to try to sneak any tritium based lights into the US. It might warrant the attention of some unfriendly men wearing darks suits and mirror shades.

 

David

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IMHO, the important thing is not whether accuracy is improved for the Gravelbellies of the world, those rangework enthusiasts who will argue about the last 2% of performance; but of how much the accuracy is improved for the bulk of the army, who don't get enough range time.

 

The British experience was (in my experience) that SA80 raised standards across the board; far fewer soldiers on the range were "gun-shy", far more were confident in firing the weapon. The personal weapon test is now more demanding than the APWT ever was for the SLR, and yet similar proportions pass it for a similar investment in training time.

 

Well being one of the last to go through with SLR then SA80(A1) and having to fix optics the big difference is the SA80 is more forgiving little errors in shooting which might not make a complete miss. Not firing the SLR right will make you miss and give you a serious shoulder bruise but will make targets fall when hit.

 

Bad instructor who lets that happen. We had a slightly-built, rather cute 5'2" lass in our unit shooting team who was sh*t-hot with an SLR (fun was taking her to the Div championships, and watching her beat half the blokes in the order of merit); we would routinely fire 500 or 600 rounds a day in training, never any problems with bruises.

 

In my experience, and that of the Army Rifle Association (who ran all the competition shoots), the SA80 brought a leap in standards for the typical, as well as the advanced, user. Yes, a lot of it may have been due to the optic sight, but then SA80+SUSAT was mostly beating SLR+SUIT in competition. It's just easier to train people to hit what they're aiming at with SA80.

 

Essentially, all the targets shrank for the competition matches; but the winning scores stayed roughly similar.

 

The SLR did have an optical sight which was better quality than the SUSAT (less said about the quality of that the better) called the SUIT or Sight Unit Infantry Trained if I remember only issued in Norther Ireland.

 

We had 50-odd SUIT (Sight Unit, Infantry, Trilux) in our armoury before we converted to SA80; as SA80 was introduced, the backloaded sights got pushed out to other units. I was the awkward sod who would get the kit out on training to see whether it worked or not. My impression was that the mounting of SUIT to SLR top cover, while keeping its zero, was a bit fragile. Certainly, SUSAT (Sight Unit, Small Arms, Trilux) was a lot more firmly bolted to the weapon.

 

I know you have issues with the SUSAT, but that's because you mostly saw broken ones; I can't think of any breakages in a SUSAT in the last few years I was with the Company.

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That's why you have retard SOPs like the butt stock mag pouch and clearing drums everywhere. A trained rifleman does not need a clearing drum and if you're carrying a rifle, you have a mag in the well and spare ammo on your 1st line if you're not wearing 2nd line.

 

Sorry, wrong. Clearing drums are a vital part of weapon safety. Granted, the way Manic describes his FOB was that there were far too many of them. One for weapon clearance at the front gate, once inside weapons stay unloaded (and are assumed to be unloaded, not checked every ten seconds or 100m). Yes, if you're out on the ground, the weapon stays loaded.

 

You're not talking about "a few days of carbine class", or range enthusiasts with excellent weapon handling here. You're talking about soldiers who are routinely doing massive working days, and operating on the raggedy edge of what is physically possible for the fit soldier. It's all very well to talk about what a "well trained soldier" should do, but we're talking about extreme fatigue. Routine tasks get f***ed up. Simple things, like "load", and "unload". And "sh*t, I thought it was empty".

 

The simple SOP is, unload once inside the gate, in an unloading bay / clearing drum. Thereafter, carry the weapon everywhere, and at least a magazine (if not fighting order) but leave the weapons unloaded. Safer all round. After all, statistically how often do people need to fire their weapon right now inside a base (as opposed to the five seconds it would take to fit a magazine and make ready); compared with how many accidents happen were they forced to load and unload far more than is necessary?

Edited by FirstOfFoot
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[quote name='Dennis for example, were there situations where improved marksmanship could have changed the outcome of a combat engagement?

 

Dennis. Well it's only a guess but missing an armed and aggressive target gives the now alerted party the opportunity to kill you! Not entirely a desirable situation. This may of course be mitigated by supporting fires. The most important and immediately available of course will be that from your own squad members. Who hopefully will be more competent. It does of course mean that you are NOT "pulling your own weight" as a reliable team member. WB

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For the 50 years from about 1860 the rifle dominated the battlefild, and rifle shooting was the key infantry skill. Tacticals were fairly simple and presented plenty of targets. The Brtish Army epitomised musketry skill. WW1 saw several things, the rise of the MG, then appearnace of the tank and most signifianctly the emergence of mobile firepower from artillery. In the trenches the most valuable infantryman was the expert bomber, rifle shooting was basically irrelevant.

 

The new sources of firepower dominated the 20th C battlefields so shooting skills became less important coupled with the need for infantry to master a heap of additonal skills. The Cold War emphasised the relative irrelevance of infantry and their shooting.

 

However, lesser intensity conflicts were a different matter, not least because contacts were rare and fleeting and real firepower was either unavailable or inappropriate. In many of these campaigns shooting was close range, eg Malaya, etc. This led to battleshot training in jungle lanes and the like with the emphasis of shooting very fast but at close targets.

 

N Ireland caused a change because targets were fleeting but often at something like 'normal' battle ranges or more. The results on the ground were not reassuring. This led swiftly to a new training regime, 'Shoot to Kill' with new training tests (AWPT), it also led to the adoption of optical sights for every man. Interestingly it took many years for other armies to 'get it', and many still seem to have not done so. I don't think there's any doubt that SA80 kicked things along because it brought good shooting into the grasp of the average soldier.

 

Of course in more conventional situations there are perversely more difficult targets, they may hang around for longer but they are more difficult to acquire. It also means more conventional fire fights where suppressive fire is essential.

 

I think there's another influence as well, the advent of laser based training systems which actually encourage soldiers to take proper aim on non-firing exercises and at targets that behave reasonably realistically. To this you can add the other indoor training systems using lasers and their predecessors with live ammo which all contribute to tactical shooting skills.

 

There's another point about shooting training as well, some armies seem to use different commands on the range to those used in the field. The former being designed to ensure safety. The Australians introduced one set of commands for both situations in 1970. This covers the all important subject of weapon 'state' and the terms (orders) used. Having clear orders about weapon state are essential, and 'clearing' all weapons before entering base areas is essential. There is no reason for anyone other than sentries to have a weapon with a round in the chamber.

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BTW, it would probably be unwise to try to sneak any tritium based lights into the US. It might warrant the attention of some unfriendly men wearing darks suits and mirror shades.

 

David

Do you mean sneak tritium sights into the UK? I have several weapons with tritium sights. Nil problemo, can get them at my Friendly Neighborhood Sikotik Store* and even mail order.

 

 

*AKA Gun store. One of my Dad's 'Enjanearing' grad students once spelled 'psychotic' that way on a paper. OTOH, Dad the Dean once gave me a list for the BoozePlace with "burbin" on it. When I called him on it later he said, "You got it didn't you?" sipping as he spoke. "A TRUE Engineer uses whatever works."

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Guest bojan
...BTW, it would probably be unwise to try to sneak any tritium based lights into the US. It might warrant the attention of some unfriendly men wearing darks suits and mirror shades.

 

David

 

Lot of Yugo SKSs imported have tritium inserts in the sights.

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http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htinf/art...s/20070505.aspx

 

Anybody have any experience with this?

 

The EST (Engagement Skills Trainer) 2000 consists of a movie theater size screen (but at ground level, not raised) with back projection target situations displayed as interactive movies. The troops use rifles, pistols and machine-guns that are actual weapons, but modified to fire "electronic bullets", and, via a thin cable, use a pneumatic system that provides recoil as well. There is a sound system to depict the sound of the weapons firing, as well as a computer controlled tracking of ammo fired, letting users know when they have to reload.

 

 

 

Because it is a simulator, it captures a precise record of exactly where the soldiers weapon is aimed, how well the soldier pulls the trigger, and how long it takes to find and fire at the next target. This enables instructors to much more rapidly detect problems troops are having, and correct them. Tests have shown that you can take people with no weapons experience, put them through four hours of EST 2000 training, and take them to a rifle range, and they will be able to fire accurately enough to exceed military requirements.

 

 

 

The simulator can be used for training troops in ways that are impractical using live ammo. For example, when used for "shoot/don't shoot" situations, the appropriate visuals (either an enemy soldier, or a civilian) are shown on the video screen. Soldiers train in a group, positioned as they would be in a real situation. The scenario then plays out, allowing the troops to practice when they should shoot, and when they should not. Training can be for day or night scenarios, and for a wide variety of situations.

 

 

 

Each EST 2000 system can train 800-1,000 troops a month. An instructor runs the software that controls the system, and the training. Troops who have been through the "shoot/don't shoot" simulator report that facing the real thing was a lot easier, less bloody, less stressful and less dangerous as a result. Troops who practice other types of combat situations on EST 2000 also report excellent results in combat. The simulator not only provides better training, but does it at less coast, and is much safer. Much like the payoff with flight simulators.

 

 

 

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http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htinf/art...s/20070505.aspx

 

Anybody have any experience with this?

 

The EST

 

We have one at FT Bragg. My battery used if a few times- it was good for the target discrimination (shoot-don't shoot), quick fire techniques before we moved to the shoot house and urban assault course, and for practicing fire control and distribution to the squad + MG team level. We were an artillery battery starting the training to be employed as mounted maneuver in Iraq. Once we used it once or twice, my 1SG sent all my SSGs to become operators-instructors.

 

It is impractical for a squad leader or section chief to take his squad to a live fire range for a morning's training- it takes the resources of a whole PLT to open and run the range. It is practical for a squad leader (or even a team leader, except that FT Bragg location requires that the operator-instructors be SSG or above) to take 4-5 troopers to the EST and get some training benefits.

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We have one at FT Bragg. My battery used if a few times- it was good for the target discrimination (shoot-don't shoot), quick fire techniques

 

I would add shooting at moving targets who behave unpredictably. Those are about the only things I think it's good for. The recoil is nearly non existent so it could lead to bad habits. Though for us the biggest problem was that ours only could only hold 4 people at the same time (small caserne) so going there with a platoon wasn't very productive, especially because live fire was easy to do.

 

It is impractical for a squad leader or section chief to take his squad to a live fire range for a morning's training- it takes the resources of a whole PLT to open and run the range.

 

:blink: :blink: :blink:

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The recoil is nearly non existent so it could lead to bad habits

So this part needs some enhancement?:

via a thin cable, use a pneumatic system that provides recoil as well.

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So this part needs some enhancement?:

via a thin cable, use a pneumatic system that provides recoil as well.

 

In the version that we use, as far as I could tell, the pneumatic system somehow just recocked the weapon, it didn't move the weapon much. Might be that ours differs a bit from the system employed by the US for the AR series because our weapon uses a separate gas tube. Thus theres' no way to move the breech unless one would use a heavily modified rifle where the pneumatic system feeds directly into the gas tube.

 

Yes, I think that's the main area that could be improved upon.

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I don't know exactly how it works, but on the US system, you can adjust the recoil. No issues with it training bad habits by not being present.

 

And yes, it takes a PLT to open a range- you need a SSG or above safety officer and a SSG or above OIC- most squads only have a single SSG. You also need an ammo handler to draw the ammo from the ASP, and usually guards overnight so that you can take it to the range before the ASP opens at 0800. I agree that we make things absolutely too complicated, but that is the way things are run in garrison. Downrange, obviously, it is different.

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I don't know exactly how it works, but on the US system, you can adjust the recoil. No issues with it training bad habits by not being present.

 

We seemed to have gone for the "cheap" adaption solution :(

 

And yes, it takes a PLT to open a range- you need a SSG or above safety officer and a SSG or above OIC- most squads only have a single SSG. You also need an ammo handler to draw the ammo from the ASP, and usually guards overnight so that you can take it to the range before the ASP opens at 0800. I agree that we make things absolutely too complicated, but that is the way things are run in garrison. Downrange, obviously, it is different.

 

I misunderstood. I thought you needed a squad or 2 worth of people to man the perimeter or some such. The above doesn't sound too bad. How about 2 squads going by themselves(2 NCO's seem to be enough)? The only thing I find really strange is the need to guard the ammo overnight. Can't you just lock it up in a locker? (I don't mean HG's and such, just rifle ammo.)

 

BTW who's responsible for the day to day individual/fire team training? Is that directed from platoon level or done autonomously by the Squad Leader?

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We seemed to have gone for the "cheap" adaption solution :(

I misunderstood. I thought you needed a squad or 2 worth of people to man the perimeter or some such. The above doesn't sound too bad. How about 2 squads going by themselves(2 NCO's seem to be enough)?

 

Staff NCOs are only one per platoon, typically.

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I just spent a glorious afternoon in the EST 2000 at Vilseck a few weeks ago. Seems like the unit to be trained failed to show up and it just left me and the operator by ourselves. We ran every scenario they had, starting with BRM, and concluding with a "Red Horde" scenario. We had the sound turned all the way up, so the incoming artillery was really good.

 

I would call it an excellent trainer. Especially if you have multiple magazines to practice combat reloads. It's easy to "cheat" on reloading just be slapping the magazine.

 

Recoil was plenty stout for an M4 carbine.

 

At the end of the day, I was completely worn out and happy. And a lot smarter on engaging moving targets and "snap-shooting" techniques.

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We seemed to have gone for the "cheap" adaption solution :(

I misunderstood. I thought you needed a squad or 2 worth of people to man the perimeter or some such. The above doesn't sound too bad. How about 2 squads going by themselves(2 NCO's seem to be enough)? The only thing I find really strange is the need to guard the ammo overnight. Can't you just lock it up in a locker? (I don't mean HG's and such, just rifle ammo.)

 

BTW who's responsible for the day to day individual/fire team training? Is that directed from platoon level or done autonomously by the Squad Leader?

 

2 squads could run the range by themselves- but with the amount of effort you put forth to forecast, draw and move ammo (requires a special 2 or 3 day course to get the stamp on your driver's license to draw ammo, plus you have to have an officer/NCO that has the 80 hour hazardous materials certification to certify to load to move on public roads (including on post). In some units, ammunition draw & issue is consolidated into the support platoon in the headquarters company/battery. As an artillery unit, I had more than the "usual" number of ammunition handlers (with the driver's license stamp) and hazmat NCOs, because we need to be able to move from firing point to firing point without someone from outside the platoon to certify the loads and drive the ammo.

 

Why the ammunition storage rules are the way they are is another story. Has rifle ammo been locked in a locker overnight- I'm sure it has. Is it supposed to be? No.

 

Jim, I don't know how USMC safety regs work- if you allow Sgts to do the duties we reserve to SSGs, but most Army squad leaders are SSG, with a SFC PSG, so a platoon with 3-4 SSGs authorized usually has 2-3. When I left the battery, I was 6 of 11 SSGs filling SSG billets, and 3 of my 4 SFC billets were also filled by SSGs.

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We seemed to have gone for the "cheap" adaption solution :(

I misunderstood. I thought you needed a squad or 2 worth of people to man the perimeter or some such. The above doesn't sound too bad. How about 2 squads going by themselves(2 NCO's seem to be enough)? The only thing I find really strange is the need to guard the ammo overnight. Can't you just lock it up in a locker? (I don't mean HG's and such, just rifle ammo.)

 

BTW who's responsible for the day to day individual/fire team training? Is that directed from platoon level or done autonomously by the Squad Leader?

 

2 squads could run the range by themselves- but with the amount of effort you put forth to forecast, draw and move ammo (requires a special 2 or 3 day course to get the stamp on your driver's license to draw ammo, plus you have to have an officer/NCO that has the 80 hour hazardous materials certification to certify to load to move on public roads (including on post). In some units, ammunition draw & issue is consolidated into the support platoon in the headquarters company/battery. As an artillery unit, I had more than the "usual" number of ammunition handlers (with the driver's license stamp) and hazmat NCOs, because we need to be able to move from firing point to firing point without someone from outside the platoon to certify the loads and drive the ammo.

 

Why the ammunition storage rules are the way they are is another story. Has rifle ammo been locked in a locker overnight- I'm sure it has. Is it supposed to be? No.

 

Jim, I don't know how USMC safety regs work- if you allow Sgts to do the duties we reserve to SSGs, but most Army squad leaders are SSG, with a SFC PSG, so a platoon with 3-4 SSGs authorized usually has 2-3. When I left the battery, I was 6 of 11 SSGs filling SSG billets, and 3 of my 4 SFC billets were also filled by SSGs.

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but with the amount of effort you put forth to forecast, draw and move ammo (requires a special 2 or 3 day course to get the stamp on your driver's license to draw ammo, plus you have to have an officer/NCO that has the 80 hour hazardous materials certification to certify to load to move on public roads (including on post). In some units, ammunition draw & issue is consolidated into the support platoon in the headquarters company/battery.

 

:blink:

 

Wow. I think I would go mad...or simply not bother :o

 

Sometimes, being chronically short of training time actually doesn't sound too bad if it prevents byzantine procedures like the above creeping in.

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2have an officer/NCO that has the 80 hour hazardous materials certification to certify to load to move on public roads

 

In what way is SAA hazardous?

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:blink:

 

Wow. I think I would go mad...or simply not bother :o

 

Sometimes, being chronically short of training time actually doesn't sound too bad if it prevents byzantine procedures like the above creeping in.

 

Not bother was the answer when I was on active duty. And was same 20years ago.

 

In 87-88 I was Spt PL for an Inf Bn. If you wanted to fire had to forecast ammo 120days out (BN S-3). Confirm at 60 and 30days. Schedule a draw date/time with the ASP week out (Spt Lpt/S-4). Req ranges 60days out confirm 30days (S-3). Range meeting/conf 30days and week prior. Co assigned to run range have recons, rehearsal, TIP, crawl/walk/run/etc. To draw ammo (even if limited to Inf small arms) - Every truck had a -30level tech inspection by civ ammo employee before would be allowedin the ASP (not even Class I leak/seepage). Had to have a "convoy" lead vehicle (even if the convoy was one truck with one can of 5.56. Lead veh could haul no ammo of any type. Could only haul ANY ammo on a 5T or larger truck. Convoy Co and TC fro each truck was armed. His ammo supply was ONE FIVE round magazine which could NOT be in the weapon (my little rebellion against stupidity was to mag in the .45). And Forscom ammo allocation (this in the boom times of the Reagan admin) allowed 120rd/11 series/yr. Setting up an Olympic venue about the same.

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