Hey, URR, I gots a question for you…


Marines with India Battery, the artillery attachment for Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fire a 120 mm towed mortar system, called the Expeditionary Fire Support System here, May 17, during Exercise Eager Lion 12. Eager Lion 12 is taking place throughout the month of May and is designed to strengthen military-to-military relationships of more than 19 participating partner nations. This is the second major exercise for the 24th MEU who, along with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group, is currently deployed to the U.S Central Command area of operations as a theater security and crisis response force. Photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fishe

In the Army, 120mm mortars are still an infantry weapon. What’s the deal with the Marines? 

And I’m just guessin’, but I’d say that’s probably close to a max charge there. Lots more muzzle blast than you usually see.

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12 Comments

Filed under ARMY TRAINING

12 responses to “Hey, URR, I gots a question for you…

  1. RoundHammer117

    Indeed that is max charge, if only they where dropping rounds on some actual Ne’er-do-Wells™, not just registering the tubes. Shame is, these days it is rare that the Ne’er-do-Wells™ actually catch their well earned High-Angle-Hell™. In iraq it was Beyond Forbidden™.

    In the Army, 60mils are a Company level asset, 81s and 120s Battalion level, located in HHC.

    But Marines always Gotta-Do-Their-Own-Thing™, starting with the MarPat uniform fiasco and now the HK M27 . . .

    While I cannot knock them for wanting a better boomstick, honestly, I hope it falls through at the very last second.

    It would be well-earned Karma for their whining about the Army’s plans to field the XM8 system in 2005. Combined with the Navy, Air Force and colt’s complaining and political skulduggery, got the program scrubbed. That the Marines are using the same backdoor procurement method the Army used to get this new weapon system – and being allowed to get away with it – shows they are far from unwanted and unloved these days.

    They get ACOGs on demand, too . . .

    Yes, still irks me, as the M4 I had in 2005 was a Jam-a-Matic™ that was Made-on-a-Monday™ and nearly got me killed. And I have OCD when it comes to PMCS requirements. Good thing I also had an M14, which I used exclusively after that. Much to the chagrin of my supervisor, a Mortar Maggot™ that hated Infantrymen.

    Yet my last M4 thought it was built by HK . . . surreal.

    Also because of the Marines’ antics, I have to read branch tapes to know the other guy is even American now . . .

    Marines are excellent fighters and outstanding Patriots, but their decision-makers at The Pentagon backstab and politicize too much.

    Like

    • RoundHammer117

      To address your argument Sir, I am Parachute Infantry. Met a lot of solid Marines who were Force Recon when attending Jump School. Learned a lot from a Staff Sergeant in my Stick who was the first one to tell me of politicizing.

      MarPat was patented, meaning the Army would have to pay a royalty to use the uniform pattern, which would never happen. The result? Pixel Grays, in which I saw friendlies at 1100 meters without the aid of binos.

      It is the universal camouflage pattern that universally stands out, making us all sore thumb targets. Then the Air Force and Navy had to play catch up, as they would not pay royalties either. Now, nearly everyone’s dress uniform looks the same, but the combat uniforms are all radically different. That makes no sense.

      So respectfully, Sir, the decision-makers in the Corps DID force that on all the other branches. Even if ultimately unintentional, the law of unintended consequences is ALWAYS in effect.

      They also complained when we were fielding the XM8. The 101st Airborne was to take the first field ready systems to combat, an RFI baptism of fire for lack of a better descriptive. We took several months preparing a training schedule, planning the housing and stowage, support equipment, et al, but the Marines and the other branches all complained that they “were not consulted” regarding the Army’s small arms procurement program. They got together with colt and got the program scrubbed.

      I let my temper get the better of me regarding the M27, Sir, as I was nearly killed when my M4 in the 101st Airborne had a remedial stoppage in a firefight. If I did not have needle-nose pliers in my multi-tool and an engine block as cover, I might not be here today.

      I tend to take such things personally.

      May that SOB robert mcnamara and ALL his wiz kids burn in hell for all the American blood on their hands.

      The M16 should have been scrapped in 1973, but by then, too many egos were involved – just like now – for it to be replaced. The idea had become an institution. The armed forces should have admitted – albeit quietly – that the M16 system was flawed and place a proposal request for a new assault rifle, properly tested and vetted. Though with the budget cuts following Viet Nam and political attitude towards the Armed Forces, that would be impossible. So they did what any bureaucratic agency did when stuck with a piece of junk equipment: they polished the turd until a man could shave in the reflection.

      The M16A4 is a good rifle . . . though it would have been better had it debuted in 1965, not 1994. For a good portion of my first combat deployment, I employed an FN16A2, after discovering the M4 to be . . . wanting in its ability to neutralize a threat. The First Sergeant and CO considered it a harmless favor, as that M4 was signed into circulation in an under-equipped 173d Airborne in 2003. The rifle proved more effective overall and I must admit, I was surprised I would WANT an M16.

      Sadly, I would not be surprised if we were still using AR15-based small arms a hundred years after its initial design. And that milestone is not so far away . . .

      At least the Army has recognized its blunder with the Pixel Grays and is discreetly switching to MultiCam.

      Please allow me to reiterate, I have ZERO problem with Marines on the ground. I respect them for their skills and discipline, just as I respect any man in Combat Arms. We bleed the same color, we fight for the same cause, we are brothers under the skin. We are all American Fighting Men, where the most basic of us is far better than some countries special forces.

      There is not a fight we cannot win, because we serve the cause of Liberty.

      My problem, is with the decision-makers, whatever color their uniform – in which I apologise for failing to clarify originally – as they spend all their time in The Puzzle Factory backstabbing each other and trying to get all the attention and cookies.

      Since the war began, I never saw a poorly equipped Marine Infantryman.

      I have seen plenty of poorly equipped Army Infantrymen, but superbly equipped pogues and REMFs . . . even as late as 2009.

      The Corps genuinely loves their warfighters, I sincerely wish the Army would take lessons from that.

      The best to you, Sir.
      -RH

      Like

  2. UltimaRatioRegis

    RoundHammer,

    What, did you not make it through Parris Island or something?

    You clowns get almost a third of the Defense budget, while the Marine Corps isn’t even going to get 4% this time around, so quit your bellyaching.

    Those 120s are an experiment for embarked forces to have flexible fire support available to them. MEUs are built around a Battalion Landing Team, and have to bring all of their stuff with them. The artillery battery that supports is being tested with 120 mortars, as well as with a mix of M777s, and the standard embark package of the M777 towed tubes.

    As for the rest of your griping, MARPAT and the associated boots are the best combat uniform I have seen in my 30 years wearing the damned things, especially the footwear. The Corps didn’t force the Army or Navy or AF into the goofy stuff they bought. You did that all on your own.

    It was Earle Wheeler and then Johnson at the top of the Army that went along with LeMay that got us the damned M-16 to begin with. So if you are gonna start bitching about that little varmint gun, start there. The Marines wanted to stick with the M-14 and had that jammed up our collectives because of the ARMY’s politicising.

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    • The Mattel toy was fine for the Air Farce, but not for anyone else. The recruiter that put me up for flight school liked the 16 and hated the 14, for some reason (that he was SF might have had something to do with it). I’d like to see something in the 7mm class myself. The Remington 6.8 would have been fine in my book. I read that a rechambered AR was peening a bit, but the AR really needs to go anyway. Direct impingement is not a good system. Worked OK for Stoner when he used IMR powders for development, which burn hot and clean, but ball powders burn cooler and are far easier on auto weapons. They are also dirtier and tuned the 16A1 into jam-a-matics. It didn’t help that a war with the Ordnance Corps insured that cleaning kits were not properly distributed.

      The Koreans make a good piece (I own a semi-auto version) that has served the ROKs quite well. rechambering for a more powerful round would be easy and yield a good piece. The XM-8 seemed to be good as well.

      I like the the FN-FAL or G-3 better than the M-14. I think my recruiter’s dislike of the 14, however, was mainly because of weight. The 16 used to be somewhat lighter (the A1 I was issued in the TNARNG was only about 8 pounds loaded) The last AR I held was that empty and my DR-200 is as well.

      Like

    • RoundHammer117

      To address your argument Sir, I am Parachute Infantry. Met a lot of solid Marines who were Force Recon when attending Jump School. Learned a lot from a Staff Sergeant in my Stick who was the first one to tell me of politicizing.

      MarPat was patented, meaning the Army would have to pay a royalty to use the uniform pattern, which would never happen. The result? Pixel Grays, in which I saw friendlies at 1100 meters without the aid of binos.

      It is the universal camouflage pattern that universally stands out, making us all sore thumb targets. Then the Air Force and Navy had to play catch up, as they would not pay royalties either. Now, nearly everyone’s dress uniform looks the same, but the combat uniforms are all radically different. That makes no sense.

      So respectfully, Sir, the decision-makers in the Corps DID force that on all the other branches. Even if ultimately unintentional, the law of unintended consequences is ALWAYS in effect.

      They also complained when we were fielding the XM8. The 101st Airborne was to take the first field ready systems to combat, an RFI baptism of fire for lack of a better descriptive. We took several months preparing a training schedule, planning the housing and stowage, support equipment, et al, but the Marines and the other branches all complained that they “were not consulted” regarding the Army’s small arms procurement program. They got together with colt and got the program scrubbed.

      I let my temper get the better of me regarding the M27, Sir, as I was nearly killed when my M4 in the 101st Airborne had a remedial stoppage in a firefight. If I did not have needle-nose pliers in my multi-tool and an engine block as cover, I might not be here today.

      I tend to take such things personally.

      May that SOB robert mcnamara and ALL his wiz kids burn in hell for all the American blood on their hands.

      The M16 should have been scrapped in 1973, but by then, too many egos were involved – just like now – for it to be replaced. The idea had become an institution. The armed forces should have admitted – albeit quietly – that the M16 system was flawed and place a proposal request for a new assault rifle, properly tested and vetted. Though with the budget cuts following Viet Nam and political attitude towards the Armed Forces, that would be impossible. So they did what any bureaucratic agency did when stuck with a piece of junk equipment: they polished the turd until a man could shave in the reflection.

      The M16A4 is a good rifle . . . though it would have been better had it debuted in 1965, not 1994. For a good portion of my first combat deployment, I employed an FN16A2, after discovering the M4 to be . . . wanting in its ability to neutralize a threat. The First Sergeant and CO considered it a harmless favor, as that M4 was signed into circulation in an under-equipped 173d Airborne in 2003. The rifle proved more effective overall and I must admit, I was surprised I would WANT an M16.

      Sadly, I would not be surprised if we were still using AR15-based small arms a hundred years after its initial design. And that milestone is not so far away . . .

      At least the Army has recognized its blunder with the Pixel Grays and is discreetly switching to MultiCam.

      Please allow me to reiterate, I have ZERO problem with Marines on the ground. I respect them for their skills and discipline, just as I respect any man in Combat Arms. We bleed the same color, we fight for the same cause, we are brothers under the skin. We are all American Fighting Men, where the most basic of us is far better than some countries special forces.

      There is not a fight we cannot win, because we serve the cause of Liberty.

      My problem, is with the decision-makers, whatever color their uniform – in which I apologise for failing to clarify originally – as they spend all their time in The Puzzle Factory backstabbing each other and trying to get all the attention and cookies.

      Since the war began, I never saw a poorly equipped Marine Infantryman.

      I have seen plenty of poorly equipped Army Infantrymen, but superbly equipped pogues and REMFs . . . even as late as 2009.

      The Corps genuinely loves their warfighters, I sincerely wish the Army would take lessons from that.

      The best to you, Sir.
      -RH

      Like

  3. M1A1TrkTrror

    In some Cav organizations (3 Brad 5 HMMWV), the 120mm (tracked, not towed, thank god) is a company level asset. The Squadron mortar platoon is broken down into sections and distributed to the three line troops, 2 tubes / tracks each. This is actually by MTOE, and not simply an opcon.

    Having worn the ACU in Afghanistan, and having seen MARPAT, ACU-D (they added brown spots, just kind of looks like dirty ACUs), and Multi-cam during my tour, MARPAT and Multi-cam worked the best, with ACU-D and actual dirty ACUs still looking better than a fresh set. I’d say the Marines did a good job of not being asshats about their cammo. It only took the Army 6 years to swap the ACU for Multi-cam ( only in certain situations, of course, can’t admit a mistake was made…). I’d say we win the retarded service award in that sector.

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    • RoundHammer117

      Speaking of ACUs, Sir, our Rifle Company had several men picked to “test” the Pixel Grays. The only good features about them is the pleated bellows for the shoulders and the zipper, wearing armor is more effective with both.

      When we did force on force training, the “Gray Man” would give his group’s position away. Every time.

      They got failing grades, across the board. On the official assesment card I received, I selected MultiCam as the best choice. The Crye Precision design won by an overwhelming majority across the Army, which is exactly why they picked the Pixel Grays . . .

      I still have my all my briefing memos on the XM8 and the assesment cards. The manuals were apparently modified from the G36K series, with improvised photoshop pictures of the XM8. While our DONSAs would disappear, as we would be coming in on weekends to shoot and learn the manual of arms, we would at least have a superior weapon system.

      Hardly a price to pay, really.

      Like

  4. UltimaRatioRegis

    QM,

    I would go for a short-stroke piston AR in 6.8mm. About 115 grains, cruising at about 2800 MV from a 21″ 1 in 7 NATO twist barrel. That’ll drop ‘em at 300.

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    • RoundHammer117

      Had an opportunity to use the HK416D14.5 in a Tac Course, Sir, proved outstanding. Easy to shoot, smooth recoil cycle and a tack-driver, seemed to not know it could have a stoppage, too bad I could not have one overseas.

      The 6.8SPC would have delivered on the promise of dropping them at 600, certainly.

      Like

  5. UltimaRatioRegis

    RH,

    What was patented was the little EGA embedded in the camouflage pattern itself. The rest was up for grabs. Which is why you saw non-USMC utilities of a very similar type shortly after ours debuted.

    The Marine Corps fights for table scraps at the big meal. Our budget this year will be about $23 Billion. Your armor force budget is considerably more than that.

    You are right, our infantry are our bedrock. We, (the artillery), the tanks, the entire USMC air wing, plus tracks, LAVs, and everybody else is here for one purpose, and one purpose only. To support the Infantry in contact with the bad guys. Shame on the SOB who fails to uphold.

    I would follow Conway through hell in a gasoline suit. Dunford, too. Some others past and present, not so much. But overall our leadership is significantly better than what I see in other services. Has not always been the case.

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    • RoundHammer117

      I always argue against it when I hear that Marines are lacking in the thinking department. I point out there is not a Marine Rifleman in combat without a PEQ15 or ACOG on his weapon, a PersComm radio, or up to date armor. That they are smart enough to get the HK M27 through verbal judo is the exclamation point.

      I wonder if it was the years of being neglected that made them savvy.

      If that is the case, Army Infantry really needs to take notes.

      A lot of money has been wasted on a lot of junk that we never needed, and not enough for the kit that will help us bring the fight to the enemy.

      All the best, hope you enjoy the weekend, Sir.
      -RH

      Like

  6. Esli

    It is not uncommon to have army FA guys manning the 120mm mortars in Afghanistan from what I hear.

    Like