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WannaJumpMyScooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 09:00 PM
Original message
DS1, DemMan and other ex-Marine types...
Why is our fucking Marine Corps getting it's ass handed to it using tactics straight out of Chesty Puller's playbook?

Where the hell is the real armor? Why are these poor fuckers buttoned up in ducks getting roasted alive then picked off one by one?

What the fuck>?
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. it's because liberals don't support our troops, and the troops know it
and so they've lost all the will to go on defending the freedoms of people they know hate freedom, and who would rather set a soldier on fire, after wrapping them in a gasoline soaked flag, then appreciate their sacrifices.

At least, i think that's the answer the republicans would give them. I'm sure it has nothing to do with spreading them too thin, not providing them sufficient materials, and allowing soldiers to go bankrupt and lose their homes while they're busy being on active combat duty either earning less they were from their regular jobs, or not earning enough siply because they're a fulltime soldier and the republicans keep cutting their benefits and their pay and stuff.

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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I thought it was John Kerry's fault
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. That's also part of it - because he threw medals away
that is why we are losing in Iraq.

Also, because Clinton had sex in the white house, but then that's the cause of everything, so there's really no reason to keep repeating it.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Clinton invented blow jobs!!!
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. And for that, I retroactively love him
:D
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. All men should, really.
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #15
23. As our favorite localized author once said "Anger is a gift". I say
Fuck that, Blowjobs are a gift. :D
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'll tell you why.
Edited on Thu May-12-05 09:56 PM by DS1
This answer focuses primarily on the Amtracks (AAVs Assault Amphibian Vehicles) that are mentioned in the recent article about that entire platoon being wiped out.

Because with so few dollars for training, the Marines turned its focus towards inspections. More inspections. Drill, marching, more inspections. Corporal punishment was phased out and replaced with formal Page 11's or worse, Office Hours for the slightest infractions. The Marines got so caught up *I was in 91-95, my brother was in 5 years from about 99-03* on being a bunch of shiny toy soldiers actual hard combat training was all but forgotten. I went through bootcamp's "toughest" scenarios having to yell "BANG" at targets since we were each issued 30 blanks for the day. I threw a total of one live grenade in 4 years. I never fired a live M203 round. Granted, my job was to drive the AAVs that the latest report is about, in the article they are called Amtracs, a name taken from the Vietnam era Amphibious Tractors.

In my 4 years of being a "Trakker", YATYAS to all my brothers, I never once fired from the turrent while the tank was in motion. In fact, I can easily say that I never fired more than 150 rounds out of the .50 cal. I fired less than 30 out of the MK19 Grenade Launcher. All of these were fired at stationary targets, typically hulks of abandoned water buffalos, from the same firing position the guy before me used. Shit, we didn't even get to fire real emergency flares, we were given one demonstration of what they looked like and how far they flew in tank school then proceeded to practice with duds.

Marine training budgets are shit. Rumor had it that the Navy Seals spent more money on ammo per day than the entire Marine corps, and frankly we all believed it.

Let's get to tactics.

Our tactics as Amphibious Tank drivers, when it came to invading beaches was too look as good as possible. This meant that we'd approach the beach to a thousand meters, then the lead tank would make a right or left turn, and the rest would follow at that point. Essentially, if in an actual invasion, we were lining ourselves up for the enemy to calibrate his weapons and play shoot the yellow ducks. Once we were all in line parrallel to the beach the order was given to advance and we'd all make simultaneous (see a pattern here? ) right or left turns and gun the throttle. It wasn't a race to get out of the water as fast as possible and somewhat out of harms way - our tanks are rated at I think 3 knots in the water. The pressure was on us to all keep a straight and orderly line, sort of like an inspection. Upon hitting the beach, we'd have to sit there until the last tank landed and the order was given to drop the ramps. In reality, we'd have all been shot to pieces by that point, but we'd have been shot to pieces in style. Once the grunts were out, they'd form their fireteam positions in front of us, and we were supposed to simulate providing suppressive fire by moving our turrets left and right. I should add that there's no targeting systems in these things. No stabilized guns, just a scope, two handcranks, and your wits.

If I'm deflating the aura of the Marines, too bad, this is how it was. During one exercise, a simple water march (driving the tanks around the side of an island for an hour or so) from A to B, 80% of the tanks broke down. The few of us that actually made it got the night off while the mechs worked overnight to repair our hogs. Breakdowns happened all the time. Which gets me to our land training.

Training in our tanks involved going as slowly as possible. We didn't want to break anything. Our LTs were too scared to push, despite even having some Gulf I combat vets asking them wtf. Training wasn't about lessons learned, it was about being able to notch in a pre-set number of hours in some tabulature from Command Marine Corps. Breaking a final drive *the expensive piece that connects the tranny to the tracks - stupidly placed in the front* was hugely expensive, and took hundreds of man hours to fix. This was just about ~the~ primary concern, so speeds were kept to a minimum.

Eh, I've done enough ranting. It's not fair to say that all the Marine units are getting their asses kicked for using stupid tactics, I'm sure that's untrue. But what I can tell you is that the AAVs are the weakest link, and it's no big secret that AAV platoons are where the Marines send the senior enlisted people that made it to senior levels just for sticking around long enough - in other words, it's where they send all the dolts. Yet, in general, the Marines are soo incredibly overfocused on looking pretty and being 'squared away' with their 'pressed cammies' and 'shiny boots' that they've, IMO, lost their way.

edit: There's ONE crucial thing I left out: People talk about Clinton gutting the military, but when I got to my unit it had about 70% of its tanks in working condition. This was in 1992. Just as I was leaving in late 1995, we all had brand new tools, and a brand new tank was being offloaded at our unit per week until we were fully replaced with new stuff. About a week after I left the unit was in a new building, and was fully operational. That's what the FReepers call gutting the military
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SOteric Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Wow. Now that's an answer!
:)
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I think that is by far the most I have ever seen DS1 type on DU.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Same thing I was thinking while I was reading it!
Good answer, DS1!

Truth is, Clinton "gutted" the military by not wasting money on Star Wars and nuclear missiles and other bullshit the republicans wanted, and by putting money into actual needed equipment (but which equipment didn't come with bazillion bucks for the military industry friends of the republicans).

But the republicans cutting veteran benefits and the VA, and cutting combat pay, and failing to protect our soldiers from the new bankruptcy law, and not giving them needed armor, or needed equipment, and letting their famlies flounder, and making them buy their own meals in hospital, assuming they get any medical care - that's called "supporting our troops".
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. That's because you're new
There was a time, Young Skywalker, when... :-)
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. I'm not new.
I used to have a different name.

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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Okay.
:hi:

Maybe you are correct, but I've gone on long posts like this plenty of times in the past. Then nobody replied anymore, so I didn't bother :shrug:
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Well that's no good.
I keep thinking you should post more than you do.

I'm not kidding.

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usedtobesick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. it's a chain of command issue
I was an Army puke and lived and worked with Marines for years. The issue is they aren't cross tasking these units these units. Mix the Marines with the heavy army units and make them both a viable fighting unit. Hell the Marines have M-1A1's where are they? This isn't a beach landing it's time to make these units heavy, it's not the troops it the frickin chain making bad calls for all of the services. Same thing with the Light Army units. Too easy to shoot. I hate seeing light wheeled units driving into these battles. Make them all heavy for now.
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I can't believe anyone survived going over a mine in an AAV
like in the article. I'm going to edit what I'd just written because it could give away tactics, but in general, these vehicles are weak in order to float. There's no water in the middle of the desert, this isn't where they were intended to be used. The "Triple AV, or Advanced Amphibious Assualt Vehicle" was supposed to be released last year, but I'm guessing Rummy dropped funding in order to make way for his Stryker bullshit.
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usedtobesick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Stryker and FCS are not good for troops
Look at the Bradley, still the worlds tallest fighting target. Who makes these calls? Rummy, VP Dick? We could all look at the calls these guys have made and the lives it costs. I hated them all the first time I served under them back when Daddy was in charge.
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. They are good for defense manufacturers.
Funny thing about bootcamp. They beat into our heads about how much ass Maj Gen Smedley Butler kicked, but they NEVER mentioned this

http://lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm
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usedtobesick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. excellent article
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. It's not an article, it's a letter from a pissed off General who was
asked by the big corporations of the time to help overthrow the Government. FDR *DING DING DING* was fucking all their plans up with his New Deal, the Corporations didn't want any of that, so they tried to buy him out to run a Presidential Coup.

Look it up.
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onager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #12
26. Smedley Butler truly kicked ass...
Edited on Thu May-12-05 10:34 PM by onager
...and I walked past a huge photo of him every day, when I was going to Drill Instructor School in San Diego. Yes, believe it or not, you have to go to school to be a D.I. It's pretty much like 6 weeks of boot camp again, only you're an NCO with Gunnys and E-8's yelling at you.

As far as the defense contractors, a lot of them hate this Iraq shit as much as most sane people do. I work for one of the biggest aerospace/defense companies going.

Believe me, a LOT of things are not getting funded because the military services are burning up their budgets trying to replace all the stuff they're losing in Iraq. I hear about this all the time, and we've BEEN hearing it for 2 years now.

I was at a meeting with people from another big contractor not long ago, and nearly fell out of my chair when I overheard a reference to "that moron in the White House."

Those AAV's might be a good example of the funding issues. As I understand it, originally the Marines planned to upgrade all of them with the Bradley suspension. They had to do that because the added weight of the Rafael applique armor package was breaking the damn suspensions. But the USMC only got enough money to upgrade the vehicles piecemeal. Then Iraq blew up, and that money is gone. So you see some AAV's running around Iraq in the old configuration, and some updated.
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WannaJumpMyScooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:18 PM
Response to Original message
17. and of course the same POS CH-46's are flying
missions now, patched holes from VN and GW1 and all!

what a sad, pathetic place to be stuck.
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. No shit.
Our 'not-on-the-books' orders were, during a loading operation in Pearl Harbor, was to never board a '46 that didn't have leaking hydro fluid. Because if you couldn't see hydro fluid, it was just about to run out, and crash, and kill you.

My brother was asked to volunteer to be a rider in an Osprey test, he took my advice and declined. The Osprey that he was first slated to ride in crashed, killing all twelve on board. They'd dragged some other young and eager dude into it to provide weight, and look good doing it, and the goddamn thing nose dived into the desert.

Goddamn all this war shit, I'm fucking sick of it.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. I second that last line.
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. You know what...
I read your response, and I looked back at all the marketing materials the Marines put out, and it's nothing but testosterone fueled bullshit.

When men ran out of animals to kill, or killed them with too much efficiency, they started killing each other.

And that, my friends, is my feminist moment of the night.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Your feminist moment of the night--LMAO.
In the same thread in which you called blowjobs a gift. Hitting hard on the irony meter tonight DS1.

:D

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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. HA!
I never said it was a perfect feminist moment! I still like the fun inventions!
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WannaJumpMyScooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. how do you know a woman invented blow jobs?
could be a gay invention, no?
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. That's a really good question
I hereby retract my statement, and give my full unworthiness towards the soul that invented blowjobs.
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usedtobesick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. I'm an Aerospace Engineer
and work on all of the active aircraft, ground vehicles, and boats. I just kills me to see where our money goes instead of to where it is really needed. I can't even watch TV anymore. I get a email everymorning with the names of the young people who's lives were stollen from them the day before. I used to pray for everyone of them everyday. Not it just hurts too much.
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. The helos I did ride had more patches than the AIDS quilt
Keep doing what you do well, lives depend on it.
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usedtobesick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-05 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. I remember that every day
spending more time finding ways to keep people safe. Just wish it was more civilian in nature, someday!
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WannaJumpMyScooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-13-05 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #21
34. I remember during the last days of Nam we were on a mission
to salvage all usable airframes from wherever we could.

One such salvage effort was a CH53 with a tail number ending in 0096... that same plane was on the cover of Time Magazine last year offloading Marines on the USS Belleau Wood.

It was laying on its side in about 4 feet of water for a year or so before we provided a perimiter for engineers to drain the paddy and haul the carcass to Hwy1 to truck it to Saigon.

This was in late summer 74.

I assume it underwent a complete rework, and was upgraded to a G model and has been in constant use since.

Amazing the shit the Marine Corps keeps using.
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