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Old July 11, 2010, 12:53 PM   #1
usaign
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Afghanistan Outpost Scenario

This was an interesting thread I was reading on here about the outpost in Afghanistan where it looked like soldiers were blindly shooting over the top and the poster questioned the tactics of the soldiers. They wondered why the soldiers were blindly shooting versus carefully aimed shots. So I thought I might answer the question.

If you are in an outpost taking fire and the incoming fire is accurately hitting positions then you can reasonably assume the shooters are less then a half-mile away (probably more like a quarter-mile away) which means they are just a few minutes away from over-running your position. Who knows how many people might hit the wall in just a few minutes armed with AKs...will it be 10? 100? 1000? Will it be an organized force with ladders? Now there are traps placed up along the way such as Claymore mines and a lot of other good stuff, but maybe they might get through the obstacles. Who knows...

Lets say you take the carefully aimed shot theory. Well, if they are accurately hitting positions in the outpost then that means they could probably see you. If you stick your head up to take a shot then your head will probably get hit. Therefore, the only route to go is blindly pointing your rifle above the walls on full automatic and spraying in the hopes it will keep the crowd of Taliban from advancing further. While you are spraying them with suppressive fire, you call in an air strike or artillery strike to really take them out.

This method is not new, but has been practiced for many decades and is common sense tactics. Im not releasing anything you dont or shouldnt know. If you stick your head up to carefully aim then its going to get taken off. If you do nothing then the enemy is going over run your position. So you are left with spraying as many bullets as you can while an air strike takes out the enemy.

Is this type of tactics good for urban America? Well, I cant imagine a scenario, short of a street gang invading your residence, where it could be used in America. However, it makes perfect sense when you are sitting in an outpost in the middle of nowhere and your shots can go off safely into the forest.
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Old July 11, 2010, 01:20 PM   #2
m.p.driver
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It's called suppressive fire.
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Old July 11, 2010, 01:32 PM   #3
Glenn E. Meyer
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Not a General issue. Moved to T and T. However, in the urban USA, we really don't have easy access to fully auto guns to spray into the neighborhood.

I think that would be a bad idea.
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Old July 11, 2010, 05:31 PM   #4
usaign
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Could these tactics be used here? I thought about it and I think it depends. In Arizona, if you are a rancher, camper or law enforcement officer under attack by a small squad of drug runners then sure it can be used to that extent. Its not unusual to imagine that scenario considering there were some recent killings of peace officers in that region by Mexican drug lords.

If you are in a remote area and for some reason come under attack by a small band then maybe it can be used effectively.
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Old July 11, 2010, 05:57 PM   #5
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Mad minute & suppressive fire. I find it amusing when proven military tactics that seem haphazard are poked and prodded by armchair PhDs.

Can't see much legal use for it domestically. If you can, you might want to consider re-locating or changing whatever business you engage in.

Last edited by booker_t; July 11, 2010 at 06:06 PM.
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Old July 11, 2010, 06:01 PM   #6
Sodbuster
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Quote:
It's called suppressive fire
I thought that's what the OP called it.

BTW Much good reading on Afghanistan over on the British aarse site.
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Old July 11, 2010, 06:18 PM   #7
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Its always funny when those who have not been there question those of us who have. I had a guy tell me the Marine Corps training is silly and makes no sense with all the discipline. He thought close order drill was a big joke. Well i guess it does look that way if you have not been there. Close order drill is not to teach you how to fight but to obey a command without thought. You dont have time to think in combat.
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Old July 11, 2010, 07:19 PM   #8
MilProAkron
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definitely not new

I remember stories told by my Father's best friend, who passed away a few years ago. He was a viet nam vet and said that often times they would receive heavy small arms fire from the jungle and have no idea what they were shooting at, so they would stick their M16s above their cover and lay wild rounds into the jungle. He didn't seem too ashamed of the fact and I wouldn't suggest he should be.
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Old July 11, 2010, 07:26 PM   #9
usaign
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The soldiers in Vietnam were specifically trained to do that and the M16 rifles of that era were specifically designed. There is a long history behind it. They did an exhaustive study of 3 million battlefield reports from World War II and they concluded aimed accurate fire was useless as targets were on the move. They wanted to equip every infantry troop with an automatic rifle. The World War II German army had considerable success by equipping whole platoons with sub-machine guns and that was studied too.

Here is a link to the history that describes Project SALVO. The "spray and pray" concept dates back to World War II with German infantry units being equipped with the MP40.

http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/Articles.asp?ID=125
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Old July 11, 2010, 10:00 PM   #10
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You gotta remember too, . . . the "other side" is not standing out there in the rice paddy/sand box/jungle/urban street while someone on our side is throwing 3000 fps lead his direction. He's looking for something to duck into or under also.

Suppressive fire can put them on the ground long enough for your dedicated shooter to maybe peek around the corner, between the sand bags, or pop up for a quick look and shoot.

Spray and pray may not be economical use of logisitical tools, . . . but if it keeps the bg's at bay, . . . it's a fine tactic.

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Old July 11, 2010, 11:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
They did an exhaustive study of 3 million battlefield reports from World War II and they concluded aimed accurate fire was useless as targets were on the move.
I think that the US Marine Corps would have a difference of opinion with that.
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Old July 12, 2010, 12:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
If you are in a remote area and for some reason come under attack by a small band then maybe it can be used effectively.
Well, almost...

If you are in a remote area and have a LOT of ammunition available and for some reason come under attack by a small band then maybe it can be used effectively.

Suppressing fire when all you have is one gun and a reload or two is not nearly as effective as when you are carrying a couple of hundred rounds that you can send downrange in a big hurry.

It also helps if you are in the company of several buddies with similar amounts of ammunition and motivation, but that's another story.
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Old July 12, 2010, 12:24 AM   #13
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Stupid ideas that work aren't all that stupid.

If you can safely lay down blind fire, it can be effective. If Abdul the friendly Afghani lived in your lane of fire, that could cause problems! If only the wild goats live there, quantity has a quality all its own.

I've seen some of the psychological effects of supressive fire. People hit the deck when you start unleashing 7.62 from a belt-fed weapon! (Even if you are only using blanks for training!)
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Old July 12, 2010, 12:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
The soldiers in Vietnam were specifically trained to do that and the M16 rifles of that era were specifically designed. There is a long history behind it. They did an exhaustive study of 3 million battlefield reports from World War II and they concluded aimed accurate fire was useless as targets were on the move. They wanted to equip every infantry troop with an automatic rifle. The World War II German army had considerable success by equipping whole platoons with sub-machine guns and that was studied too.
Well, the concept certainly caught on---sadly. Now days, the average soldier's basic marksmanship skills (which aren't very good) are testimony.

Don't know why horses' fanny bureaucrats are unaware that soldiers who can hit what they aim at are far more effective. Good marksmanship skills don't precude them from using supressing, spray and pray, or covering fire when it's called for.

If you want to know the abysmal degree to which soldiers are trained with firearms, then read some of Farnum's Quips. He gets correspondence from soldiers all the time. Front line troops are well trained, but most of the US Army is not. They've never been taught to live with loaded weapons. Many students in Farnums' urban rifle courses are military who've paid for their own training.
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Old July 12, 2010, 06:40 AM   #15
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Its a fine tactic for the military but useless as well as stupid for the average citizen in a self defense situation.
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Old July 12, 2010, 08:15 AM   #16
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Suppresive fire is very new.

Having not been developed prior to the invention of the musket and the Napoleonic Wars.


What will they think of next???!!!
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Old July 12, 2010, 10:51 AM   #17
booker_t
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Quote:
Dwight55: Suppressive fire can put them on the ground long enough for your dedicated shooter to maybe peek around the corner, between the sand bags, or pop up for a quick look and shoot.
And set up your 60 or 81mm!
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Old July 12, 2010, 12:04 PM   #18
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Those of us concerned with defensive tactics concentrate on the "defensive" part, and the military is more about "offensive" tactics. That's why we generally don't do military tactics here.

Occasionally, I can see where the two would overlap, but that's not the case here. As a few here have said, there might be a one-in-a-million case where it might be useful, but for most of us, suppressive fire is useless and irresponsible. Remember, you're responsible for every round that leaves your weapon.

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