The Marines get some…

Via John at The Castle Argghhh! comes a bit of news from Afghanistan. The Marines put a patrol on the road. 30 Marines were ambushed by a force estimated at 250 Taliban. The final Score? Marines-50, Taliban-0. The highlight? One young Marine, serving as a Designated Marksman, got 20 of the Taliban all by himself. This alone would be a somewhat stunning feat of arms. The kicker? He did it with 20 shots. That’s some shooting, Corporal. BZ.

During the battle, the designated marksman single handedly thwarted a company-sized enemy RPG and machinegun ambush by reportedly killing 20 enemy fighters with his devastatingly accurate precision fire. He selflessly exposed himself time and again to intense enemy fire during a critical point in the eight-hour battle for Shewan in order to kill any enemy combatants who attempted to engage or maneuver on the Marines in the kill zone. What made his actions even more impressive was the fact that he didn’t miss any shots, despite the enemies’ rounds impacting within a foot of his fighting position. Via Ace

What is a Designated Marksman? He’s about halfway between a rifleman and a sniper. Snipers in the Marines generally belong to headquarters units and are part of the reconnaissance and intelligence gathering portion of the unit. A Designated Marksman is an integral part of the rifle squad. Maybe this article will shed a little light on the subject. We’ve talked about the M-14 before, in this post. Note that both the Army and the Marines are using this concept, albiet with minor differences.

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Load HEAT

We’re heading out to the desert for Turkey Day. The internet connection there is abysmal, so posting might be somewhat light for the weekend. I’ll try to throw some stuff up. In the meantime, let’s take a look at what we have in store for this week.

I first noticed this actress in Veronica Mars. Only now am I going back and watching her in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (after last week’s Sarah Michelle Gellar post, I’ve decided to watch the whole series). Here ya go, boys, Charisma Carpenter.

It’s a twofer: We’re a food blog and a French blog!

We last heard from Le Blog de Merlin discussing the US Army in Afghanistan. Our faithful reader in the land of Oz, Aaron Poeze wondered what the Frenchman thought of our food. Asked and answered!

Breakfast is more than welcome because it’s very hearty and totally fits for morning patrols or any other activity. It’s made of eggs, fried bacon (forget about your diet), various cereals, pancakes with cheese, fruits, spicy sausages and peppered minced-beef cream (???) which comes with balls of salty bread that one must cover with that same cream. Not much is missing from this meal, although; a purist like me would say that it lacks a good piece of grilled bread topped with a thick layer of salty butter. I am talking about feeling the grains of salt under your teeth and feel it melting on your buds (not place for cheap butter, you’re a Breton or you’re not).

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Go over to Aaron’s and read the whole thing.

There’s nothing new under the sun…

We aren’t the first folks to fight in Afghanistan. There’s a pretty good chance we won’t be the last. The Soviet Union’s  invasion in 1979 led to nine years of fruitlessly struggling to dominate the country. In the end, their failure in Afghanistan may well have led to or accelerated the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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Wanna See Some Crazy Irish?

Head over to Jake’s Life and watch the video that this came from:

irish-rangersIt is an amazing video, and incidently, has a great soundtrack.

Our cousins in the UK are working their collective fannies off in Afghanistan, and they receive only a fraction of the public support our guys get. Go to Jake’s and show them some love.

Victory in Iraq Day

Zombie has declared today to be Victory in Iraq Day. I’ll hop on that bandwagon!

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Go to his place and see a truly massive post on why this is so.

But don’t forget that we called this one a little early.

There is stil a lot of tough fighting to do, and a heck of a lot of dull, tedious work. Now is not the time to forget the incredible young men and women over there.

Warheads on Foreheads…

You have to love it when your readers do your research for you. Makes blogging a lot easier. Frequent reader Vmaximus pointed this little gem out to us via the comments:

Xbrad,
I found this at Theo’s,
I do not know anything about mortars, but is this how a mortar team works?
It does not look like they even aim till about 7 min in. Then they are slinging that tube around like there is no tomorrow. Do you know anything about Mortars?

Why yes, Vmax, I do know a little about mortars. But just a little. I suspect that the Infantry School, where mortarmen train (mortarmen are infantrymen, 11C’s to be specific) might not approve of their firing drill. But that doesn’t mean they don’t know what they are doing.

NSFW language.

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The mortar crew is obviously in a well prepared defensive position. They are at an outpost, likely very much like the one pictured here. They have had time to figure out likely enemy avenues of approach. In addition to digging in, they figured out where they would most likely be shooting, and are prepared to do it with minimal preparation.

The other thing is this- they are only throwing the rounds a fairly short distance. The gunner can see what he’s shooting at. He’s shot mortars enough that at short ranges, he can eyeball it. You see him pop up to see where the rounds are striking, then dropping down to shift the rounds a little bit to spread the coverage over the target.

One other interesting bit. Towards the end, the last round he fires? You see him take it out of the packing, then pull some light colored stuff off the base of the round? That’s propellant. Mortar rounds carry their powder on the outside of the case. By varying the number of these “charges” you change how far the round will go.

You also hear troops talking about “107s coming in!” That’s the 107mm Chinese Type 63 bombardment rocket. Taliban troops love shooting these things, usually from a crude homemade launcher. They are wildly inaccurate, but big enough that they only have to get lucky once.

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