Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: In 2008 Afghanistan firefight, US weapons failed

  1. #1
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    13,468

    Default In 2008 Afghanistan firefight, US weapons failed

    In 2008 Afghanistan firefight, US weapons failed - Yahoo! News



    WASHINGTON It was chaos during the early morning assault last year on a remote U.S. outpost in Afghanistan and Staff Sgt. Erich Phillips' M4 carbine had quit firing as militant forces surrounded the base. The machine gun he grabbed after tossing the rifle aside didn't work either.
    When the battle in the small village of Wanat ended, nine U.S. soldiers lay dead and 27 more were wounded. A detailed study of the attack by a military historian found that weapons failed repeatedly at a "critical moment" during the firefight on July 13, 2008, putting the outnumbered American troops at risk of being overrun by nearly 200 insurgents.
    Which raises the question: Eight years into the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, do U.S. armed forces have the best guns money can buy?
    Despite the military's insistence that they do, a small but vocal number of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq has complained that the standard-issue M4 rifles need too much maintenance and jam at the worst possible times.
    A week ago, eight U.S. troops were killed at a base near Kamdesh, a town near Wanat. There's no immediate evidence of weapons failures at Kamdesh, but the circumstances were eerily similar to the Wanat battle: insurgents stormed an isolated stronghold manned by American forces stretched thin by the demands of war.
    Army Col. Wayne Shanks, a military spokesman in Afghanistan, said a review of the battle at Kamdesh is under way. "It is too early to make any assumptions regarding what did or didn't work correctly," he said.
    Complaints about the weapons the troops carry, especially the M4, aren't new. Army officials say that when properly cleaned and maintained, the M4 is a quality weapon that can pump out more than 3,000 rounds before any failures occur.
    The M4 is a shorter, lighter version of the M16, which made its debut during the Vietnam war. Roughly 500,000 M4s are in service, making it the rifle troops on the front lines trust with their lives.
    Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a leading critic of the M4, said Thursday the Army needs to move quickly to acquire a combat rifle suited for the extreme conditions U.S. troops are fighting in.
    U.S. special operations forces, with their own acquisition budget and the latitude to buy gear the other military branches can't, already are replacing their M4s with a new rifle.
    "The M4 has served us well but it's not as good as it needs to be," Coburn said.
    Battlefield surveys show that nearly 90 percent of soldiers are satisfied with their M4s, according to Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller, head of the Army office that buys soldier gear. Still, the rifle is continually being improved to make it even more reliable and lethal.
    Fuller said he's received no official reports of flawed weapons performance at Wanat. "Until it showed up in the news, I was surprised to hear about all this," he said.
    The study by Douglas Cubbison of the Army Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., hasn't been publicly released. Copies of the study have been leaked to news organizations and are circulating on the Internet.
    Cubbison's study is based on an earlier Army investigation and interviews with soldiers who survived the attack at Wanat. He describes a well-coordinated attack by a highly skilled enemy that unleashed a withering barrage with AK-47 automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.
    The soldiers said their weapons were meticulously cared for and routinely inspected by commanders. But still the weapons had breakdowns, especially when the rifles were on full automatic, which allows hundreds of bullets to be fired a minute.
    The platoon-sized unit of U.S. soldiers and about two dozen Afghan troops was shooting back with such intensity the barrels on their weapons turned white hot. The high rate of fire appears to have put a number of weapons out of commission, even though the guns are tested and built to operate in extreme conditions.
    Cpl. Jonathan Ayers and Spc. Chris McKaig were firing their M4s from a position the soldiers called the "Crow's Nest." The pair would pop up together from cover, fire half a dozen rounds and then drop back down.
    On one of these trips up, Ayers was killed instantly by an enemy round. McKaig soon had problems with his M4, which carries a 30-round magazine.
    "My weapon was overheating," McKaig said, according to Cubbison's report. "I had shot about 12 magazines by this point already and it had only been about a half hour or so into the fight. I couldn't charge my weapon and put another round in because it was too hot, so I got mad and threw my weapon down."
    The soldiers also had trouble with their M249 machine guns, a larger weapon than the M4 that can shoot up to 750 rounds per minute.
    Cpl. Jason Bogar fired approximately 600 rounds from his M-249 before the weapon overheated and jammed the weapon.
    Bogar was killed during the firefight, but no one saw how he died, according to the report.

  2. #2
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    In WhoreLand fucking your MOM
    Posts
    55,372

    Default

    the M16 wasn't a very good weapon to begin with.. overly complicated, it jammed all the time.. you couldnt get it wet, or couldn't get any dust in it.. in contrast, the AK47 could be run over with a truck, dunked in water, tossed in mud and still worked perfectly.

    Simplicity wins.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  3. #3
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    10 miles from Pootie Tang
    Posts
    21,909

    Default

    Another reason to get the hell out of Afghanistan if the weapons don't work.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,616

    Default

    U.S. special operations forces, with their own acquisition budget and the latitude to buy gear the other military branches can't, already are replacing their M4s with a new rifle.
    Hmmm, wonder what the special ops are switching to...
    "Oh! I've been looking for a red suede pump!"
    - Marie (Carrie Fisher), When Harry Met Sally

  5. #5
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    13,468

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Wombat View Post
    Hmmm, wonder what the special ops are switching to...
    The USA’s M4 Carbine Controversy

    SOCOM appears to agree as well. While US Special Operations Command is moving ahead on their own SCAR rifle program with FN Herstal, they’re also significant users of the M4 Carbine’s SOPMOD version. By the time Capt. Self was fighting of al-Qaeda/Taliban enemies in Afghanistan with a broken weapon, Dellta Force had already turned to Heckler & Koch for a fix that would preserve the M4 but remove its problems. One of which is heat build-up and gas from its operating mechanism that dries out some lubricants, and helps open the way for sand damage.

    In response, H&K replaced Colt’s “gas-tube” system with a short-stroke piston system that eliminates carbon blow-back into the chamber, and also reduces the heat problem created by the super-hot gases used to cycle the M4. Other changes were made to the magazine, barrel, et. al. The final product was an M4 with a new upper receiver and magazine, plus H&K’s 4-rail system of standard “Picatinny Rails” on the top, bottom, and both sides for easy addition of anything a Special Operator might require.

    In exhaustive tests with the help of Delta Force, the upgraded weapon was subjected to mud and dust without maintenance, and fired day after day. Despite this treatment, the rifle showed problems in only 1 of 15,000 rounds – fully 3 times the reliability shown by the M4 in US Army studies. The H&K 416 was declared ready in 2004.

    A rifle with everything they loved about the M4, and the fire-no-matter-what toughness of the Kalashnikov, was exactly what the Deltas ordered. SOCOM bought the first 500 weapons right off the assembly line, and its units have been using the weapon in combat ever since.

    (This is the H&K 416 probably used by Delta Force operators):
    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGwkHktkTxU[/youtube]

    (This is the FN SCAR discussed in article above, think Special Forces and Rangers are using those):
    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbGydFbgNkA[/youtube]

  6. #6
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,616

    Default

    ^ Thanks!
    "Oh! I've been looking for a red suede pump!"
    - Marie (Carrie Fisher), When Harry Met Sally

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Obama Administration is gun-shy on automatic weapons ban
    By Cali in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: April 12th, 2009, 12:09 PM
  2. Thousands of US weapons astray in Afghanistan: auditors
    By MrsMarsters in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: February 12th, 2009, 04:54 PM
  3. 2008 already deadliest year for US troops in Afghanistan
    By lurkur in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: September 11th, 2008, 05:27 PM
  4. Weapons furniture
    By Morticia in forum Home and Garden
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: April 14th, 2008, 06:51 PM
  5. Pentagon eyeing weapons in space
    By Grimmlok in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: March 14th, 2006, 11:41 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •