Friday, February 03, 2012

RPG Primer

--AFP/Getty image

Things that are complex are not useful.
Things that are useful are simple.

― Michail Kalashnikov

It'll shoot whether it's covered in mud

or filled with sand.
It's so easy,
even a child can use it;
and they do
--Lord of War


Sometimes there is truth in a grain of sand, or so the CSI programs tell us. Here is another close study in Ranger's photo deconstruction series: The RPG, or, Don't throw your weapon in the dirt (fr. a photo which has long been sitting on Ranger's desktop).

This photo shows a U.S. trooper training an Afghan to fire an RPG (we must have found the sole male Afghan lacking that skill.) It reflects lax training and poor staff planning or training execution. These observations do not denigrate the efforts of the actual range supervisor.

While it is understood that where the rubber meets the road the troops as always improvise and do the best possible, but a whole war cannot rest upon the sum of cobbled together actions. Wars must be more substantial than that.

This is said knowing that the OSS and the Special Forces in Vietnam (early war) trained under similar restrictions, but those were different scenarios. In those situations the friendlies were operating in an unconventional war/guerrilla war (UW/GW) environment and WE were the UW's and GW's; that is not the case in Afghanistan.

Now for the nitpicking (and what is being a soldier, but that?):

  • The range is simply a sand pit. What you would expect for a redneck militia training force, but inappropriate for training up an Army.
  • There are no safety precautions evident. The U.S. trainer protects his ears from blast with his dick skinners. Why didn't somebody provide proper ear protection for all engaged personnel? (NOTE: RPG blast will seriously injure unprotected ears.) The shooter also lacks safety glasses or eye protection.
  • Where is the trainer's weapon for self-protection?
  • The AK-47 lays in the dirt. Is this correct RPG-firing form? More correct would be to teach the firer to keep the weapon slung on his body. It is a fine general rule to not place your weapon on the ground or out of ready reach, especially so when firing an RPG as you will ALWAYS draw enemy counter fire.-
  • Would the trainee be dressed differently in combat than on the firing line? You should train as you would fight. He is not wearing his load-bearing equipment (LBE).
  • Why isn't the shooter kneeling to present a lower profile, making him less of a target
  • Where is the translator?
  • Note the dudes sitting in a group off to the side. Why are they not involved in the training? Are they in the dunce corner, or taking a time-out? A soldier learns by observing as well as by doing!

So those are the RPG thoughts for the day. RPG's and AK-47's -- Communist bloc innovations that have been killing U.S. soldiers for a long time . . . even after they've been thrown in the dirt.

Labels: , , , ,


Anonymous tw said...

Hey, he's got his foot on the firing line though !

Saturday, February 4, 2012 at 9:16:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

sorry i missed that small point.

Sunday, February 5, 2012 at 11:05:00 AM GMT-5  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home