Friday, March 31, 2006


When dealing with ambushes, I've read that standard theory says that if in vehicles you get out of the kill zone by driving through it. Staying put just keeps you in a bad position longer since the enemy selected that spot to kill you.

On the other hand, if on foot, you aren't getting out of the kill zone with your Mark II feet fast enough. Nor is going to ground going to do much good--again, you are planting yourself in the kill zone to be shot at by an enemy that has sighted weapons on that spot. So when on foot, the best thing to do is to immediately counter-attack into the ambush.

In basic training, I tried desperately to get other troops to get up and counter-attack the machine gun that opened up on us on the march to our FTX. I was right under the MG and figured I was in no position to realistically charge. Others could have gotten up and hit the post from the flank. But we were only trainees and the company just went to ground. We would have been waxed by a lone machine gun had it been real.

So I was impressed to read that our rear echelon types in convoys will now halt and fight ambushers (via Stand-To!):

In a change to Army tactics, U.S. soldiers will stand and fight instead of shooting and pressing on when their convoys are attacked on Iraqi roads, according to Harvey Perritt, spokesman for the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Va.

“In the first two years of Iraq, convoys (under attack) just fired and kept rolling,” said Maj. Roger Gaines, the battalion’s operations officer said Thursday. “That gave bad guys the perception that Americans run away. Now, convoys will stop and engage the enemy.”

We've been so effective in repelling attacks on convoys that the military apparently figures we might as well prolong the contact events to maintain our advantage--turning the whole ambush concept on its head. With drones and armed helicopters and precise fire support on call, we can increase the losses the enemy takes.

And as our troops hand off offensive operations to Iraqis more and more, convoy operations will be the main opportunity for contact with the enemy by American troops.

Plus, stopping and destroying the attacking enemy does convey a certain confidence, eh?

I'm impressed.

Oh, and Stand-To! is really the Instapundit of the Army. A great site. The Davids of the Army?