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Weapons failed US troops during Afghan firefight

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posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 12:19 PM
It appears that during the recent firefight in Afghanistan many troops weapons overheated and/or jammed making them worthless in the fight..

Weapons failed US troops during Afghan firefight

In the chaos of an early morning assault on a remote U.S. outpost in eastern Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Erich Phillips' M4 carbine quit firing as militant forces surrounded the base. The machine gun he grabbed after tossing the rifle aside didn't work either.

When the battle in the small village of Wanat ended, nine U.S. soldiers lay dead and 27 more were wounded. A detailed study of the attack by a military historian found that weapons failed repeatedly at a "critical moment" during the firefight on July 13, 2008, putting the outnumbered American troops at risk of being overrun by nearly 200 insurgents.

Its come up before - I'm sure it will come up again. I know its something the government looks at from time to time. But, its another case for those pushing for a replacement for the m4/m16.

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 12:21 PM
reply to post by Frogs

And the guys hanging out in the Mosque had nothing to do with it right?

Stephan Mace of the Army’s 61st Cavalry Regiment knew the Taliban would be waiting for him when he returned to eastern Afghanistan in September.

During a two-week leave in early September, the 21-year-old specialist sat on his father’s couch in Winchester, Virginia, and discussed his concerns over Forward Operating Base Keating in Kamdesh District, a region known as a Taliban stronghold.

“He talked about the village next to the base, that it had 300 Taliban, and they couldn’t do anything about it because they were in mosques hiding or with other civilians,” says his father, Larry Mace.

“They knew they were there and they couldn’t do anything about it and they killed them.”

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 12:36 PM
reply to post by RoofMonkey

Ummm...source for your qoute? That's not from the article I linked in my OP.

Maybe I'm just being dense - but without the source at least more to go on that what you gave in your quote I'm at a bit of a loss regarding your question.

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 12:41 PM

Sorry, didn't intend for it to seem like it was from your source.

And its more of a rhetorical question. One issue that came up in the Police Action of Vietnam (which is what they originally referred to it as) was the selection and designation of targets from within the bounds of Washington DC.

Now, we have a similar issue in that we have Politically Correct rules of engagement. Even though the building is religious in nature, if the combatants are using it, it should be a viable target. But no... we have to sit and wait until it's too late.

[edit on 11-10-2009 by RoofMonkey]

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 12:55 PM
Overheating seems to be the issue on this, 9, 30 rnd magazines in the space of 30 minutes, on full automatic, no rifle or machine gun can cope with this IMO, spare barrels for the GPMG, Should be plenty after the cold war rundown, the rifle on the other hand might be more tricky, poor fire discipline seems to be the other issue ...IMO

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 12:57 PM
this just makes me ill the govement could have given these guys hk416 or hk 417 where overheating is less of a problem. and i am so glad i am not there and in military i would be either dead or in prison because if i thought e\nemy was using mosque as sanctuary i would level it. same if it was a church or buddist or hindu shrine. sorry but to me its just a building my faith is in me not some old moldy structure.

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 01:06 PM
This is a big part of the reason we are losing the war in Afghanistan. Compare and contrast these two pictures.

The average US soldier is so saddled down with unnecessary gear it's crazy. None of it really makes them a better fighter and least of all more mobile. It's like riding a motorcycle or a bike without a helmet. Yeah it's more dangerous but in my opinion it's much more important at times to be able to see your surroundings and be able to better react because you can see and hear things better. Just my opinion.

[edit on 11-10-2009 by Zosynspiracy]

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 01:22 PM
Better still this Baby tried and tested for many a year inoperations

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 01:36 PM
Really what do people expect? The amount of rounds cycled through would heat up most rifle barrels. The big difference between our rifle and what the Taliban uses is that the ak-47 requires very little up keep. The ak will fire after just about anything. A case of a old weapon being superbly engineered.

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 01:41 PM

Originally posted by hangedman13
Really what do people expect? The amount of rounds cycled through would heat up most rifle barrels. The big difference between our rifle and what the Taliban uses is that the ak-47 requires very little up keep. The ak will fire after just about anything. A case of a old weapon being superbly engineered.

Yeah, but that's an unfair comparison. The AK-47 never was issued with it's own built in cuisinart or espresso dispenser.

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 01:51 PM
reply to post by RoofMonkey

But but..............the Russians have a # military with # technology right? I mean they could NEVER produce anything close to our superior fighter jets and nuclear submarines!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! American arrogance is funny.

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 02:03 PM

Originally posted by Zosynspiracy

American arrogance is funny.

I'm not arrogant... I'm a realist. Some of our stuff will run rings around the best that any one in the world can produce. But in War.. real war, you only have to get it right once to take it out. The people on the superiority soapbox sometimes forget about that.

I spent the better part of 20 years learning and knowing what the USSR had in the way of missile technology. Some of it was laughable. Some of it damn lethal. Just like the US.

Our problem... speaking as a US person... is that too many times a weapons budget will balloon out of proportion compared to it's usefulness. The same thing happens in other fields... such as NASA and Space exploration. How many times have we had to go fix that damn toilet on the ISS?

[edit on 11-10-2009 by RoofMonkey]

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 02:12 PM
reply to post by RoofMonkey

No the Russians designed a damn good infantry weapon. The ak-47 and it's "offspring" do not require as much maintaince as a m-4 to function. I own a ar-15 which while dependable dosen't hold a candle to my sks for dependability. There is a reason the Russian fire arms are used world wide. They are cheap, dependable and require next to nothing in training!

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 02:27 PM
I shot over 3000 rounds from my M249 in less than 20 minute before, barrel was hot as hell but it still functioned (weapons maintenance is life or death so we keep out weapons clean as ****, we even have company down time every day for weapons maintenance.) If anything happened, I wouldn't be able to perform POPS or take it apart to fix it. Now the M4 and M16, I shot just about 5 mags and it the barrel started to burn my sling and started smoking and started to burn the leaves that the barrel was touching. Same with M240B and the M2, after a while the weapon became extremely hot and failed. We lost 2 M2 one time on a training range (internal components just broke, even our onsite armorer couldn't fix the problem), and a couple of them blew up in Iraq in sector.

For urban warfare, they are fine. But when you take them to jungle or desert, they will usually jam up. The spacing inside the weapon itself is so small, any buildup of carbon, dirt, or anything will cause a malfunction. If you look at the AKs, DShK, and other weapons they have, the spacing inside is more than enough to help counter buildups. I seen and shot AKs that were so dirty, we all believe it wouldn't even fire but it shot like a cherry.

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 02:32 PM
reply to post by hangedman13

I err.. am not disagreeing with you.

That's why I made my cuisinart statement about US weapons.

The F-111 was developed with "Jointness" in mind. Due to everybody in creation not understanding what the requirements of the other branches were, and striving to protect their share of the pie, managed to come up with a fighter that would be hard pressed to land on a carrier with out trashing it's landing gear. Let alone, actually be a fighter.

Technologically, I think the only thing the US Navy got out of that whole mess was a fancy new helmet.

[edit on 11-10-2009 by RoofMonkey]

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 02:38 PM
reply to post by johnwayne

And this is exactly one of the many reasons we are getting our buttkicked by a bunch of sandal and dress wearing taliban with no body armor and 60lb packs full of the latest gear and gadgets. We need to adapt to our environment. You want to defeat your enemy, you become your enemy. Why aren't we sending out thousands of troops dressed as Taliban? Ground EVERYTHING for a few days and let these guys infiltrate the most remote, Taliban heavy areas. Throw them for a loop. Can you imagine if you the Taliban couldn't recognize themselves from a US soldier? There would be some way for us, i.e. super communication devices to where we could identify each other to avoid friendly fire incidents. But those are the tactics we need to be using. And not just a handful of special ops guys dressing up as Taliban. But THOUSANDS of US troops.

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 02:39 PM
That's sad that US forces were killed for faltering equipment. All I can say to the President and the Pentagon is to get the materials they need immediately! Cut the garbage, and spend the necessary funds ,and get a replacement in the field for the M-16/M-4.

The long and troubled history of the M-16 goes back to the Vietnam War, and even then, soldiers detested the M-16 for its frequent faltering in combat situations. The Vietnam war ended some 30 years ago and they had almost all that time to work-in a replacement for the M-16 before our current conflicts, but I guess money is best spent elsewhere?

It is a travesty, that our soldiers are being marched into combat with obsolete weaponry. As a matter of fact, in many case US soldiers in Vietnam picked up AK47s from dead Vietcong or NVA forces. Even firearms inventor, Mikhail Kalashnikov, comments on it in this 2006 article about the current conflicts and the Vietnam War. I tried to find the article as it was originally published, but to no avail, so the "physicsforum," has it cited in it's entirety.

"In Vietnam, American soldiers threw away their M-16 rifles and used [Kalashnikov] AK-47s from dead Vietnamese soldiers, with bullets they captured. That was because the climate is different to America, where M-16s may work properly," he said.

"Look what's happening now: every day on television we see that the Americans in Iraq have my machine guns and assault rifles in their armored vehicles. Even there American rifles don't work properly."

So it is not Soviet propaganda anymore, but a reality, that the M-16 is a piece of junk and has always been. Even in Iraq, it has been used to an extent, instead of the US issued weaponry. Just look at the video below and you will see. Scroll to time 2:13 and you will see what Kalashnikov is talking about in the flesh.

It is a sad day, when men and women are marched into combat with shoddy hardware, which the weapons experts have been aware of for 30 years, and expect optimal efficiency and overall victory.

[edit on 11-10-2009 by Jakes51]

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 03:11 PM
There are a number of things that are painfully obvious.

The FIRST is that one never, ever assumes a fixed position. Alesia was a fixed fortification. The Alamo was a fixed fortification.

A fixed fortification is nothing more than a fixed target. A fixed fortification or fixed position renders useless the most effective principle of warfare - freedom of movement.

To man a wall, a bunker, a window, or trench, one is exposed to something. With no ability to maneuver, one becomes a fixed target.

Graves are fixed positions.

The second problem is that we tend to fire on automatic. First, you can't hit **** on automatic. It burns ammo, and it burns up weapons. The faster you shoot the M-16 variants, the faster they crud up.

Does this tell anyone anything?

Overheating? How about overshooting. If you burn a magazine with 25-30 rounds, how many hits did you get?

There are times you need fire superiority, but those times are in the first few moments of engaging. After that, it should be all about getting hits and downing targets.

Hits are the only thing that counts, and our .223 doesn't have enough 'grunt' to reach out and touch someone with any degree of accuracy beyond 200 meters. Oh, you can hit stuff if you're in a good frame and have time - but in combat - things are a bit hurried and you are more excitable.

Yes, SF procures its own weapons. Oddly, they've largely reverted to the old Model 1911, and many carry the tried and true M-14 variant, as it has the 'grunt' to knock the hell out of whatever it hits.

AND it's very, very reliable under a number of combat conditions.

I blame this on the commanders.

For putting their troops in fixed positions and permitting the to become fixed targets.

And for not getting them the weapons that meet the need.

In mountainous country, the .223 is as useless as tits on a tomcat. In desert country, the .223 is useless as tits on a nun.

I never let anyone fire but the very first clip on full auto. After that, we were picking targets.

Not shooting.

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 03:15 PM
Side diversion... just bullets hitting stuff at 1 million frames per second.

[edit on 11-10-2009 by RoofMonkey]

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 03:36 PM
reply to post by RoofMonkey
why don,t you stop and think. the us and the uk have taken on them selves to be the world
police . who gave them the right to dictate to the world as how things should be. no one .we have nuclear capability but we deny it to other contries . i suggest we sort out our own problems before we dictate to other countries as to how things should be.
and as for the usa everything you touch as regards to other countries fails. you meddle into the politics and cause more problems than there was to begin with. in a nut shell if the us can,t control it it distroys it

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