Murphy's Law: July 1, 2003

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One thing the Iraq operations brought out was the lack of firing ranges where the troops could practice using their weapons they way they did in Iraq. A firing range where vehicles can drive in and fire their .50 caliber machine-guns and TOW missiles are rare. The army has a few, the marines have none. Yet a common tactic was to have hummers out front, equipped with .50 caliber machine-guns and TOW missiles, acting as scouts. Often, the resistance was slight enough so that the scout vehicles could fight their way through and keep going. But you are better at this if you have a chance to practice it a few times with live ammo. Firing ranges like this are expensive, for .50 caliber rounds keep going for nearly ten kilometers, and are heavy enough to injure anyone they hit even at that extreme distance. But the .50 caliber machine-gun proved to be the most effective weapon for these scout units. There will probably be more electronic (video game like) ranges for these troops before there will be more live fire ranges. The electronic ranges are pretty good, but it still means the first time your troops get out there and do it with real weapons, it will take them a day or two to fully move from the electronic world to the real one. This is usually not a problem, mainly because American troops tend to be so much better trained than their opposition.

 


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