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Thread: Current Inadequacy of Small Arms Training for All MOSs in the Conventional Army

  1. #1
    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Default Current Inadequacy of Small Arms Training for All MOSs in the Conventional Army

    CURRENT INADEQUACY OF SMALL ARMS TRAINING FOR ALL MILITARY OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTIES IN THE CONVENTIONAL ARMY, by MAJ Issac W. Ellison IV

    This thesis examines the current inadequacy of small arms training for all military occupational specialties (MOSs) in the conventional Army and the lack of focus on weapons training for the dynamic nonlinear/noncontiguous (NL/NC), asymmetrical battlefield that today’s soldier encounters. Small arms weapons training and qualification in the United States Army is largely based on the defense and is woefully inadequate in the area of dynamic offensive operations. The NL/NC battlefield operating conditions increase the requirement for all soldiers, including combat support (CS) and combat service support (CSS), to be able to fight and defeat or suppress and escape (based on the size of the threat) an adversary and requires more offensive vice defensive training. The Army is going through a revolutionary change to meet the needs of current and future battle in an asymmetrical environment. This change is evident by the development of Units of Action and Employment, Network Centric Warfare, new vehicles and communication systems, new Warrior Ethos and a Joint and Expeditionary Mindset. Unfortunately, the Army’s marksmanship program is not moving at the same speed that the rest of the Army is advancing. The Army’s marksmanship program is inadequate for properly training soldiers for the type of combat that they are currently facing and will likely face in the future.
    SUBJECT TERMS
    Close Quarter Combat, Marksmanship, Combat Marksmanship, Soldier Training, Military Marksmanship
    Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

    DOWNLOAD HERE


    And another good read on similar subject

    Skill At Arms Training
    In Non-combat Units
    Captain C. m. Leckie Australian Army

    As unconventional forces shift their eff orts to attacking ‘soft er’ targets—such as supply
    convoys, logistics bases and headquarters—to avoid the lethal fi repower of combat units,
    soldiers that have traditionally not needed ‘skill at arms’ come under fi re. Th e author argues
    that non-arms corps troops require a higher level of marksmanship training to cope with
    an increasing likelihood of engaging in close combat.

    DOWNLOAD
    Last edited by sgmgrumpy; 07-17-2007 at 02:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Council Member Armchairguy's Avatar
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    Default Seems like a no brainer

    I'm amazed that such a basic need isn't being addressed properly. Having the training to keep all troops proficient in the use of their small arms seems to be as important to me as bakers knowing how to use an oven. I'm guessing the higher ups are all too dazzled thinking about JDAM's and Excalibur rounds to remember this.

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Default Nothing new....

    Sadly this has happened in almost every war we've fought. There have only been a handful of cases where marksmanship training has been up to snuff when hostilities broke out (World War I is perhaps the best example, but the Philippines is another good example), and in many cases there's been a fading of competency as the conflict goes on (Vietnam saw at least two revamps of small arms instruction).
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default

    Before we go too far down this road, I'd say that there are allot of theater entry requirements which stress CQM and CQB for all MOSs - I'll bet Tom can speak to the MREs at FT Polk. Every unit that I've seen has pushed hard on this, and even in theater there are ranges on the FOBs - part of the requirements are to shoot allot - if there is a use of deadly force / or a negligent discharge - somebody usually asks the question when the last time a Joe or Jane fired a weapon - its part of making sure we are able to follow the ROE for deadly force.

    Now - those troops which are out patrolling are probably firing more then the ones who are tagged to more supporting roles - but that is probably natural.

    If there is one complaint I did not see in theater in 06/07 it was the lack of trigger time. As mentioned there are a host of entry requirements and shooting and Force Pro type tasks are a big part of them.

    I think we've made some massive leaps forward on this subject, and I believe we've made some big leaps in making sure soldiers have good individual equipment - this would extend to crew served systems as well. CL V availability for shooting in theater was never a problem - I got everything I asked for.

    The one negative comment I might make was that often a small unit might over-respond to an incident. In other words they'd fall back to the drills they'd learned in training which might not have considered the adverse effects of their actions. Another way to say it is that they might omit the step of positively identifying the source of enemy fire in getting out of an IED ambush kill zone. The sad part of this is if the IED was placed in such a way that the trigger man was never in any danger the SDZ of today's modern small arms in an urban environment populated by a host of civilians and friendlies who might not populate a BFT can make for some serious and unintended consequences.

    While we have the resources to train good battle drills, we must also train leaders to direct and control fires, and most importantly decide when to deviate from a drill so that we kill the people we need to kill and save the people we need to save.

    Best regards, Rob

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    Council Member MattC86's Avatar
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    Wink

    This sounds like another question of "adaptability" to me - it certainly seemed (to outsiders like myself, anyway) that in much of 2003/04, small-arms equipment and tactics training was in dire short supply for many traditionally non-combat MOS's. Jessica Lynch, ambushes of supply convoys, etc.

    Has the Army done a good job of "hardening" - to shamelessly plagiarize from Kilcullen - CSS and other non-combat arms with effective small-arms/small-unit equipment and tactics training? It would seem to be imperative, and I would assume was rapidly recognized as a major need early in 2003 or 2004.

    As far as the deficiencies among 11Bs and others, that seems hard to believe, at least for an outsider like myself. With all the alluded-to trigger time at FOBs and of course out in the field, I would think most combat personnel, at least those with considerable time in-country or previous tours, would be at the razor's edge, so to speak.

    Also I wonder how long it will take for a Marine to come in gleefully chirping "every Marine a rifleman"

    - Or is this a problem among USMC units as well?

    Matt
    "Give a good leader very little and he will succeed. Give a mediocrity a great deal and he will fail." - General George C. Marshall

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    I mentioned Lt. Col. Rex Applegate on another thread, so here is a little history about his point shooting method. During WW2 among other things he trained OSS agents of all types,races and sexes. In some cases all he had was one hour to train them. In one hour he was able to teach and demonstrate the principles of point shooting. Their is alot to learn from this man.

    Also my avatar (besides being a cool picture of crockett) is an actual point shooting position and it is highly accurate out to about 15 meters with very little practice. The hardest part to teach is to get people to stop using their sites and start pointing.....and hitting.

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    Default Cliche, I know...

    Quote Originally Posted by MattC86 View Post

    Also I wonder how long it will take for a Marine to come in gleefully chirping "every Marine a rifleman"

    - Or is this a problem among USMC units as well?
    I'll take the bait. I led some non-grunt types in two deployments, and relentlessly focused on small arms training. The most dificult part was getting the ammo. Nonetheless there was plenty of opportunity to get the Marines doing more than the known-distance shooting skills.

    There have been several cases of CSS Marines getting attacked on convoys, with the Marines immediately dismounting and destroying the enemy. Just the same, I personally knew a former Marine officer who led a convoy between Ramadi and Fallujah some years ago and managed to abandon and lose his HMMWV and the SINCGARS radios in the HMMWV. He's no longer serving.

    I think Marines have a generally superior ethos when it comes to small arms training, but that ethos needs to be drawn on if its going to result in anything substantive. And there are plenty of excellent army units that know how to use their weapons. Indeed, I don't think America's army is the army of Jessica Lynch. Witness this.

    Cliche, I know, but it's just a leadership issue. If you make it a priority, it'll happen.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default You kids and your two handed shootin'

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    I mentioned Lt. Col. Rex Applegate on another thread, so here is a little history about his point shooting method. During WW2 among other things he trained OSS agents of all types,races and sexes. In some cases all he had was one hour to train them. In one hour he was able to teach and demonstrate the principles of point shooting. Their is alot to learn from this man.

    Also my avatar (besides being a cool picture of crockett) is an actual point shooting position and it is highly accurate out to about 15 meters with very little practice. The hardest part to teach is to get people to stop using their sites and start pointing.....and hitting.
    Two hands for rifles, one for pistols and rewolwers, knives go to brachial or femoral arteries...

    You're right. Applegate and Fairbairn had it right a long time ago. Both deserve far more emulation than they get.

    Good post.

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Ken, I hear what you are saying, except Applegate did recomend and teach two handed point shooting. I forget where or when he first said it but he did constantly bring up the point you made by the fact that the weapon is called a "hand gun" and you might need your other hand for something else i.e. flaslight,etc.

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    MAJ Ellison has a keen grasp of the obvious. Marksmanship has been broken in the Army for some time, every unit seems to have a couple of active shooters who read 23-9 and know what the SAIB is and generally take charge of the marksmanship program in the unit. If you think it's hard to schedule range time in the states, it's very difficult here in Iraq, between missions, maintanace and occasional days off.

    During our MOB site we recieved some decent small arms training, we fired the CQB and of course qaulified with all our weapons. However, there were glaring gaps in our training that became evidant during our first week in Iraq. My unit didn't zero or shoot with our M68's (Aimpoint) until we got to our FOB in Iraq. That should have happened at the Mob site. Only two NCO's in our company understood how to use the laser boresight, which saves you hours upon hours zeroing on the range.

    My unit is equipped with every device known to the army, PAQ 4 lasers, MAR's sights, M 68's, ACOG's. The problem is no one knows how to use them.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I know, Slapout- but if I didn't pick on you, who would

    Arty 8:

    Most Infantry units I was in would have been glad to lend you hand if you asked, y'all try that? May have to jiggle the schedules a bit...

    That does not excuse what you're saying, though -- and you're right. And somebody at your Mob station let you down, big time..

  12. #12
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Ken, there are a few out there that would. But I thought the point you made was worth talking about. One handed shooting needs to be practiced more than it is. Also besides me, you are probably the only person here who knows who "Jelly Roll" is. I was going to add him to the list but I figured nobody would have a clue. Ah Yes rifle, handgun, knife and if that doesn't work go for those family jewels

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Wink Heh. Too true. Lacking jewel access, the eyes...

    ------------------

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    Council Member SabreXray's Avatar
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    Simulations (An underutilized training tool). Have you been in an EST (Engagement Skills Trainer)? Great simulator. I got two hours one on one tutoring and mentoring from a good marksmanship instructor using the EST for 9mm marksmanship. I never knew why I had been missing before. The EST allows analysis of your shooting mechanics and allows the shooter the ability to fine tune his marksmanship skills.

    (By the way there are much cooler simulators out there; my favorite that I have been allowed to "play" with is the CCTT, Close Combat Tactical Trainer).


    JP

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