Small-Arms Overmatch

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

A former Ranger with experience commanding troops in Rhodesia and Namibia and then advising troops on the ground in El Salvador and Nicaragua explains what small-arms overmatch really comes down to:

When you’re close enough to engage the enemy with rifles and GPMGs, life is good. You don’t have to chase the rat bastards up hill and down dale dodging land mines and booby traps. No, they’re right over there, in range, and you get to KILL THEM. The units I commanded killed 147 by body count, for the loss of…..Zip, Zero, None. We lost more troops to vehicle crashes than to enemy small arms. The enemy were armed with the standard Soviet array, AKs, RPKs, PKs, and RPGs. We were armed with FN FALs and FN MAGs and yes we ate off the “overmatch”. We would engage them at a distance where their fire was not effective but ours was. And they died and we lived.

So, does this mean the 7.62 NATO round and its Belgian launch platforms are the answer? Well here’s where it gets tricky. The distance where their fire became ineffective was about thirty to forty meters. At or beyond that range they were going to shoot high, sometimes off toward the clouds high, sometimes cracking just over your head high, but high is high if your unit has the training and discipline to take advantage of it. And we did, our fire was effective out to about a hundred meters. Past that we too were just making noise, but inside that gap, and “overmatch” is as good a descriptive as any, we killed. Now I’m sure you’ve noted that every cartridge fired from any of the weapons mentioned above has, on paper, an effective range several times the engagement distances I’ve been talking about. Which, I believe is the point. Effective, killing fire from infantry weapons has very little to do with the weapons and cartridges used, it is almost entirely the result of the training and discipline the units bring to the fight.

The fault lies not in the stars, or in our cartridges, but in our doctrine, and tactics, and training and discipline. For what it’s worth.

Camouflage

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Camouflage is “the disguising of military personnel, equipment, and installations by painting or covering them to make them blend in with their surroundings,” from the French:

Camouflage Word Origin

late 19th century (in sense ‘disguise, concealment’): French, from camoufler ‘to disguise’ (originally thieves’ slang), from Italian camuffare ‘disguise, deceive,’ perhaps by association with French camouflet ‘whiff of smoke in the face.’ The military sense originated during World War I.

Camouflage Word Use Over Time

So, a camoufleur would camoufler something, and this camouflage would deceive the enemy.

Camouflage New French Word

If the word had been borrowed earlier, we might all be camoofling our equipment today.

Put the Marines Back in Submarines

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

David C. Fuquea argues that we should put the Marines back in submarines, where they haven’t trained since before Afghanistan and Iraq:

There have been opportunities to put marines back on subs, but they have been missed. The Navy and Marine Corps have recently reoriented back towards amphibious operations after the land-locked conflicts of the last 13 years. Gen. James Conway, during his tenure as commandant, advocated a “return to the amphibious roots of the Corps.” One manifestation of this advocacy was the return to large-scale training events on both the East and West Coasts. The “Bold Alligator” series of exercises on the East Coast began slowly in 2010 with staff-level discussions and culminated in 2012 with the largest peace-time exercise amphibious landings since Exercise Purple Star in 1996. In 2014, United States Navy and Marine forces, along with forces from several nations, executed a second large-scale Bold Alligator exercise off the coast of North Carolina. In 2011, I served as the lead planner within 2d Marine Expeditionary Force for Bold Alligator and recommended strongly that, given the A2/AD threat, a submarine be integrated into the exercise. My discussions with other planners involved with Bold Alligator 2014 indicated that a submarine was once again recommended for inclusion in the large-scale amphibious exercise. Yet, despite the notoriety and scale of these two exercises, not a single submarine was integrated into the amphibious planning for either. With these as the first large amphibious exercises since the late 1990s, and given the complicated nature of water-space management and amphibious operations, the Marine Corps has a generation of planners and senior leaders responsible for amphibious doctrine who have never even contemplated how submarines can execute ship-to-objective maneuver (STOM), ship-to-shore movement (STSM), and over-the-horizon (OTH) operations, and be employed as critical platforms to enable success in an A2/AD environment.

That the platform most capable of surviving the greatest threat facing Marine Corps amphibious operations in the 21st century is not being trained with or planned for means marines may die needlessly. The cornerstone document for how the Marine Corps will conduct modern amphibious operations, Expeditionary Force 21, is less than a year old. With “assuring littoral access” as “the main mission,” the document is rife with examples of the danger to mission accomplishment in the amphibious realm that Anti-Access/Area Denial poses. These A2/AD capabilities “threaten freedom of action at sea.” The document established that the Marine Corps must become proficient at using “alternative seabased platforms” and operating in smaller task-organized forces. The threat from widely proliferated A2/AD systems is so pervasive, Expeditionary Force 21 calls for amphibious forces to stand off from landing sites and objectives at least 65 nautical miles until threats are mitigated. Doctrine requires amphibious vehicles launch from at least 12 miles off shore, despite their anachronistically slow ship-to-shore movement speeds brought from World War II. Even the most modernized versions of the Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) still move to shore at the same speed of their predecessors from the assault on Tarawa in November 1943. The current planned replacement for the AAV will be a wheeled vehicle with even more limited capability to move autonomously from ship to shore. Unfortunately, submarines, the only platforms with the ability to stealthily penetrate the A2/AD screens to be faced, are not even mentioned as an “alternative platform” to be considered for this purpose within Expeditionary Force 21. This conceptual oversight must be addressed and remedied.

The introduction to the fleet of the “guided missile” class of submarines is the perfect tool for amphibious operations in the 21st century, yet is being ignored by the Marine Corps. In 1999, the U.S. Congress funded the conversion of four Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines into guided missile submarines, or SSGNs. At 560 feet long and over 18,000 tons (submerged) in displacement, these “boats” are like their predecessor the Argonaut with far greater capability. The SSGNs have long-term billeting for 66 personnel and, with “hot-racking,” have managed 100 or more embarked personnel for short-term transits. Missile tubes that previously protected our nation through nuclear deterrence now hold a mixture of Tomahawk long-range cruise missiles (TLAMS) and gear for amphibious operations. Two of the former missile tubes have sprinkler systems to afford considerable space for ammunition storage. Remaining storage areas can hold up to 39 inflatable boats (CRRCs), enough for over 200 marines to move from ship-to-shore by this World War II-era conveyance. The SSGNs also have an operations center for embarked troops that rivals those aboard any of the amphibious ships currently at sea in any navy, giving an embarked commander the ability to command and control forces ashore effectively. “Through-deck” connectors allow access while submerged to two Dry-Deck Shelters (DDS) mounted to the exterior deck of the SSGN behind the “sail.”

The two shelters of an SSGN provide over 3000 cubic feet of dry storage for ship-to-shore movement systems for marines. The inflatable CRRC, the most prominent conveyance when marines last conducted submarine training, is an antiquated, anachronistic World War II system — not to mention highly vulnerable in a firefight — and needs to be discarded. While not the vehicle deck of a landing platform dock, the purchase of current off-the-shelf technology can give marines legitimate over-the-horizon delivery capability at high speeds across water, and then transition to a land vehicle with equally impressive performance from the DDS. Mr. David March, who works through Fountain Valley Bodyworks based in Fountain Valley, California, designed and builds the fast amphibian known as the “Panther.” The Panther looks like a jeep but combines a V6 engine with a conventional water-jet to give highway-speeds on land and over 40 miles per hour on water. On a single tank of fuel, builders of the Panther have documented ranges of 60 or more miles on water, followed by equal ranges on shore. A second off-the-shelf platform for use — equally innovative and viable — is the Gibbs Quadski. This vehicle resembles a standard 4-wheeled all-terrain vehicle (ATV). The Quadski, however, can transition from land to water mode in approximately five seconds. Capable of 45 miles per hour on land and water, the Quadski is designed for one passenger but can accommodate two and sells for approximately $40,000. Marines launching from an SSGN with these types of vehicles would have speed and range to get to the shore from OTH, mobility once they arrive, and fire power inherent in being able to carry crew-served weapons on a vehicle. Employing the critical technique of “maneuver warfare” and landing where the enemy is not, small-mobile-fast Marine units with substantial firepower would have legitimate combat capability to a scale and scope exceeding the size of the unit by an order of magnitude. Additionally, the ability to drive out of a DDS directly into the water equates to much greater safety for the submarine, as compared to marines toiling on the deck inflating CRRCs while the sub waits to submerge again. The DDS would provide space for at least two, perhaps four, “Panthers,” allowing the insertion of up to 16 marines simultaneously. Unfortunately, this type of innovative thinking is not being considered in the operational Marine Corps.

He seems most concerned that various special operations forces are taking over this role.

The Real Reason for the “Tactical” Reload

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Gun-nut Tim explains the real reason for the “tactical” reload:

Dropping magazines, especially partially loaded ones, on the ground is often very hard on the magazine. Apart from dirt, mud, and other detritus that gets inside the magazine, baseplates and feed lips will sometimes crack, and tubes will sometimes bend or dent. This fact is, believe it or not, where the so called “tactical reload” came from.

I actually discussed this with Tom Givens in his Intensive Pistol Skills class a few weeks ago. In the early days of Gunsite the gun that 99.99% of people showed up with was a 1911. In those days there was no Wilson/Rogers 47D magazine and folks didn’t show up to classes with massive piles of magazines for training. Everyone was using GI or factory Colt magazines in their guns. Dropping these magazines on the crushed granite of the range ended up destroying them to the point of students almost put out of commission because they didn’t have any functional magazines left.

If the magazines never hit the granite, then you never have that problem, right? Voilà!! The “tactical reload” as we know it was born. Just think: All that arguing about reloads you see on the internet dates back to a practice adopted to get around the fact that 1911 magazines circa 1977 sucked out loud.

Alone

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

Arnold Kling sums up William Manchester’s view of the 1932-1940 period in British history in two paragraphs:

The British ruling class was rotten. The British Prime Ministers of that era were dull-witted and feckless. Traumatized by the first World War and frightened of Bolshevism, they came up with an endless list of excuses not to confront Hitler. The role played by the media during this period was dreadful — covering for Hitler and suppressing the views of Churchill until very late in the game.

Churchill was, in many ways, more out of touch with the twentieth century than were other members of the ruling class. However, he had the strength and intelligence that the leading politicians lacked. And unlike most others of his class, he saw Hitler with clarity.

Between the time he wrote that and posted it, an Islamist terrorist attacked and killed multiple American service members in Tennessee:

A casual reader of the Washington Post could be forgiven for blaming the attack on conservatives and the National Rifle Association. The lead Post story said that this was “the latest eruption of gun violence in the United States.” The print newspaper also provides a second front-page story, headlined “Shooter grew up in conservative family.” [The online version says “middle-class Muslim family.”]

I read every word of the second story, looking for the basis for terming the family “conservative.” Did they have a Romney bumper sticker on their car? A subscription to National Review? Perhaps they flew a Confederate flag? Were active in the Tea Party?

[...]

I would love to know how the Post determined on the basis of the content of the story that the best adjective to describe the family was “conservative.” Getting back to the 1930s comparisons, I do not want to equate Muslim radicals with Nazis, because I think that there are important differences. What I am getting at here are the similarities between the British media in the 1930s and what we find in the U.S. today.

As for the American educated in class in general, consider Harry Painter’s analysis of summer reading lists for college students.

Upon browsing the list, one might conclude that all of humanity’s best books are about minorities fighting and ultimately overcoming the oppressive constrictions of Western, male-dominated society.

Selection, Assessment & Training: the IJN Way

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Weapons Man recommends a series of living history interviews by Dan King — a former diplomat who, rare among Americans, speaks and understands spoken Japanese well — if you want to understand selection, assessment & training: the IJN way — namely A Tomb Called Iwo Jima and The Last Zero Fighter:

Japanese combat leadership was experienced, NCO/PO leadership. Unlike officer-heavy armies of the US, Russia, or the Third World, the Japanese had very few, and very elite, officers. By “elite,” we mean that they were selected for being in the top tail of the ability distribution (cognitively and physically), and they were trained in an extremely demanding academy. But the percentage of officers was always low, and first- and second-line leaders were invariably NCOs, promoted into leadership positions (and trained for those positions) based on ability and proven performance. Mutual respect between the academy officers and the up-from-the-ranks NCOs was the vital glue that produced the remarkable combat cohesion of Japanese units.

An Aviator in the IJN, usually of enlisted rank and even younger than his Allied counterpart, was one of three technical specialties: pilot, navigator/observer (who in multi-crew aircraft, much like in the Luftwaffe, was more likely to be the aircraft commander than the senior pilot was), and radio operator/gunner. This technical division was much like other air arms. But Japan was unique in the degree to which it made its pilots from a raw material of unformed, almost uneducated but able youth — children, by today’s measures.

King reduces it to an aphorism:

While Western powers trained officers to be pilots, Japan primarily turned teenage boys into pilots.

Naval Special Warfare Center Physical Training Guidelines

Monday, July 13th, 2015

The Naval Special Warfare Center presents its Physical Training Guidelines, based on these key points:

  • Keep it simple
  • Use proper technique (get coaching from qualified sources if necessary)
  • Develop the whole body, especially the parts known to be vulnerable to injury

So, what are those parts known to be vulnerable to injury?

Rotator cuff, mid/lower traps, rhomboids, posterior & medial glutes, hamstrings, tibialis anterior, torso rotators

You might consider doing more than just reading the whole thing.

Propertiless Humanity of the Lowest Order

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

In the Old West there was a clear demarcation between Dodge and Indian Country, James LaFond says, but there’s no such line in modern Baltimore:

For instance, on the bus I am in Dodge, a policed coach with government recording devices abundant and in plain sight. And, in most cases, as soon as I get off the bus I am in Indian Country, surrounded by propertiless humanity of the lowest order.

The absence of ownership, of being tied to a house, a vehicle, a law suit-friendly portfolio, or a garnish-ready wage, all makes a person more belligerent than they would otherwise be. The liberal slave masters have made of their urban slaves a ready force of aggressors. For they have tasted of abundance beyond the dreams of most working class people for two weeks of every month, and have also been deprived of a regular income, with monthly income distributions insuring times of want through the very lack of disciplined self-sufficiency denied the slave on the dole. Since a person raised on the welfare plantation is put in a position that weakens impulse control, inculcates a sense of entitlement only rivaled by medieval nobility, and at the same time denies property, he is uniquely prone to violent action of both the predatory and social variety.

Therefore, unlike the savage Indian who had excellent impulse control, the savage urbanite is likely to engage in escalated anger-based combat due to perceived insults to his entitled status, making him a dueling or brawling risk on the order of a medieval knight. At the same time, his condition of moral want and social isolation make him a predatory threat due to his purposeful alienation at the hands of his duplicitous slave master. In one person the hoodrat represents the risk of being hunted by an aboriginal savage in his native habitat, and of running afoul of the belligerent medieval dimwit on the road to his drawbridge.

The Hoodrat Hatchery

Friday, July 10th, 2015

James LaFond offers his own colorful explanation for why yuppies are protesting the new Super Wal-Mart in the Baltimore suburbs:

[I]n light of the unwillingness of the Baltimore City government and police to lift a single finger to protect citizens from rampaging hoodrats and prowling gangbangers during our recent urban unpleasantness in Harm City, the suburban appetite to homestead in a hipster city enclave is suddenly on the wane just as the impetus to urban flight is on the rise among decent urban poor. Unfortunately these decent folks are the hosts for the social parasites that will ride them like ticks on a dear’s back out into Harford County. And the government has designed society so that the children of these decent fleeing urban folks will become that which they fled from!

First off, you must understand that this suburban blight drive is directed by the superrich who live in rural and urban enclaves. Suburbia is the slave quarters of the postmodern plantation, where most of the people that create wealth live. The liberal elite, and the criminal class that serve the superrich reside in the urban centers draining suburbia dry like a vampire coven hanging on the necks of a bovine herd.

You will notice In Baltimore, that the wealthy have enclaves and that vast stretches of vacant housing are left to ruin, to be snapped up later by developers, as the hoodrat hordes are lured out into suburbia along expanded bus lines, to virgin areas serviced by mega retailers which pay wages so low that the only people who will work there are the poor who want to get out of the urban drug war zone.

Of those 300 jobs provided by a super Wal-Mart one will be in the low six figures, and four will pay enough to permit that assistant manager to rent an apartment or go in together with a spouse in the purchase of a house. The other 295 employees will work at or below the poverty line under poor conditions with no benefits, and will require subsidized housing, home sharing, apartment crowding, food stamps, and, most ominously for you, public transportation which will permit youths to transport drugs and violence as low risk mules and insurgent pioneers into your area. As Wal-Mart gets the lion’s share of food stamp transfers [EBT cash and food] than this operation amounts to a 19th century Appalachian coal mine with its own company store, with over half of the employees spending most — or even more than — their salary at the Wal-Mart register, literally a captive market and labor force in one.

These employees will bring their families to the area. There will also be an influx of welfare families fleeing the city ahead of the drug gangs and predatory police along the bus lines set up at tax payer expense so that you can save 25 cents on a dozen eggs, which requires some schlep to stock them in that upright cooler on a wage that cannot support an automobile. These families — by law — may not have a father. Therefore, 15 years from that Wal-Mart going up, you will have a full generation of violent, rootless, fatherless youth grown up with no sense of community, responsibility, or decency, who will instead be infused with a sense of entitlement, righteous oppression, and slave class envy for you, the guy buying the house down the street as its value plummets.

The F-35 Can’t Dogfight

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

It comes as no surprise that the F-35 can’t dogfight, according to a recent test pilot’s report.

Dull Minds and Criminal Acts

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Dull minds and criminal acts go together, Finnish researchers have confirmed:

Finland is the sort of place where they do things thoroughly, things like testing the intelligence of a total population cohort of Finnish males born in 1987 and following up the results. Gold dust.

Joseph A. Schwartz, Jukka Savolainen, Mikko Aaltonen, Marko Merikukka, Reija Paananen, Mika Gisslerd. Intelligence and criminal behavior in a total birth cohort: An examination of functional form, dimensions of intelligence, and the nature of offending. Intelligence, Vol 51, July–August 2015, Pages 109–118.

They found that lower levels of intelligence are associated with greater levels of offending, that the IQ-offending association is mostly linear, with some curvilinear aspects at highest and lowest levels, and that the pattern is consistent across multiple measures of intelligence and offending. In some ways this is exactly as predicted and already observed, since the available literature shows that individuals with lower IQ are more likely to engage in criminal behaviour.  Criminal offending was measured with nine different indicators from official records and intelligence was measured using three subscales (verbal, mathematical, and spatial reasoning) as well as a composite measure. The results show consistent evidence of mostly linear patterns, with some indication of curvilinear associations at the very lowest and the very highest ranges of intellectual ability.

However, the advantage of these data is that they deal with an entire birth cohort, so there are no distorting effects caused by the loss of a few miscreants who might account for lots of crimes. The population is restricted to males n = 21,513 because only males in Finland do military service and sit the intelligence tests. Offending is judged from real documentary data, not from fallible self report, even more fallible when painful memories are involved. Lastly, they have verbal, mathematic and spatial IQ measures, so can investigate whether verbal intelligence has a particular effect, as some have argued.

Crimes vs. Intelligence

Note that violent crime is an order of magnitude higher in the bottom 20% of the population by ability than the top 20% of population by ability.

Race and Discipline

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

Black students in Seattle cause four times more trouble than their white classmates, based on their suspension rates — and that’s simply inconceivable:

More than 800 black students were sent home last year, many missing weeks of instruction for comparatively low-level offenses like “disruptive conduct” or “disobedience” or “rule-breaking.” At some schools such as Seattle’s Washington Middle — where, despite comparable populations, 94 African-American kids were disciplined and just seven whites — the data is so lopsided that confrontation with uncomfortable questions becomes difficult to avoid.

As striking as the racial split is the age at which it begins: kindergarten.

Statewide, more than 8,716 students younger than sixth grade were suspended or expelled in 2012-13, and patterns in Seattle suggest that a disproportionate number were children of color. (The state has not released breakdowns by race in students that young.)

The reason given for these sanctions speaks to the enormous role that individual judgment plays in disciplining kids. While there were only 119 suspensions for clear-cut violations like alcohol, tobacco or drugs, schools logged a whopping 7,479 incidents for “other behavior.”

The meaning of this data confounds African-American parents, who wonder whether white teachers are targeting their children and has made educators increasingly uncomfortable.

Steve Sailer dubs this the racist nice white lady menace.

Victims and Offenders

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

Lawrence Auster contributed to FrontPage Magazine until 2007, when he shared some rather shocking statistics in its pages:

To see the real truth of the matter, let us take a look at the Department of Justice document Criminal Victimization in the United States, 2005. (Go to the linked document, and under “Victims and Offenders” download the pdf file for 2005.)

In Table 42, entitled “Personal crimes of violence, 2005, percent distribution of single-offender victimizations, based on race of victims, by type of crime and perceived race of offender,” we learn that there were 111,590 white victims and 36,620 black victims of rape or sexual assault in 2005.

(The number of rapes is not distinguished from those of sexual assaults; it is maddening that sexual assault, an ill-defined category that covers various types of criminal acts ranging from penetration to inappropriate touching, is conflated with the more specific crime of rape.)

In the 111,590 cases in which the victim of rape or sexual assault was white, 44.5 percent of the offenders were white, and 33.6 percent of the offenders were black. In the 36,620 cases in which the victim of rape or sexual assault was black, 100 percent of the offenders were black, and 0.0 percent of the offenders were white. The table explains that 0.0 percent means that there were under 10 incidents nationally.

Shooter Ready

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Shooter Ready, a 1987 instructional video starring IPSC champion Rob Leatham, is totally ’80s — but fundamentally sound:

Rangerettes are Back At It

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

The Rangerettes are back at it. Here’s how the process works:

And just like clockwork, here’s Phase II of the entirely predictable campaign to lower standards for women until they can compete, without regard to the consequences of such a policy.

Phase I, of course, is to admit women to the competition under the express condition that standards will in no way be lowered even if every female candidate fails. Phase II is, when all of the female candidates fail, immediately start pressuring everyone concerned to say that obviously the women failed because of discrimination. Phase III will be to create a loophole or different scoring system so women who fail the course are deemed to have passed anyway.

Phase IV will be sending soldiers home in body bags because members of their unit couldn’t hack it but were included anyway out of political correctness, but we never talk about Phase IV. I mean, even less than we never talk about the first three phases.