Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Friday, 31 August 2012

Blue on Green




The recent killing of diggers by Afghanistan military personnel is tragic and disturbing.

Having someone open up with an automatic weapon at close range in a base situation is horrific, and inevitably results in multiple casualties.

I recall the procedures used in Vietnam to ensure weapon discipline, and wonder whether there is anything to be learned from them. It was a long time ago, and the situation was very different, but I still wonder.

My memory of the drills we used forty years ago –

All soldiers returning behind the wire cleared weapons and removed magazines.

This was closely supervised at section level.

Whilst behind the wire (unless on picquet) you carried your personal weapon with a loaded magazine in the thigh pocket of your greens.

Unless you were moving out of your sub unit lines you left your weapon in its stand in your tent.

These procedures were universal in my unit at the time I was there. They may not have held all the time and across all units, but that is what I remember.

A quick visual check of someone approaching was all you needed to see if the mag was on the weapon or pocketed. I can remember diggers being bawled out because they’d left a mag on.

Someone with hostile intent could conceivably be detected simply by the state of his weapon. An AK47 with a mag on looks very different from an AK47 with a mag missing.

Perhaps if a similar regime applied in base in Afghanistan the risk might be managed more effectively. Or perhaps these drills would be a complete anachronism in 2012.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Picture this Bob.....Thirty blokes who have followed the safety procedure you state was used in Vietnam sitting around the boozer having a quiet VB and stacking the empties on a table. Weapons are outside in the weapons rack, mags in pockets. Rogue gunman enters boozer with weapon loaded and ready for use....how many survivors do you think you would be treating after he emptied a thirty round mag into the crowd.
Or thirty men having followed your rules are walking back to their lines when a rogue steps out from behind the shitter with his weapon firing. How many would load their mags, cock the weapon they were obliged to carry everywhere and return fire before a number of them had been killed or wounded. Or picture six or eight blokes sitting around with a "friendly" having a chat, all members in possession of unload weapons. The "friendly" decides for reasons best known to himself stands, turns away, loads the mag and as he turns flips the safety to fire and lets loose thirty rounds in close proximity. No prior warning and no time to react, absolute surprise and shock would add seconds to any reaction time and the result is inevitable.
I in no way claim to know what happened and neither should you you.
Your dreamtime theorising is in line with your apparent dislike of all things military and in no way respects the fallen.

1735099 said...

neither should you you (sic)

Show me where I claimed to know what happened.

dreamtime theorising

What theory?

dislike of all things military

Really? Discharge was OK.

respects the fallen

How does remembering a successful protocol disrespect the fallen?
It’s interesting to compare the history of friendly on friendly casualities (for example fragging) in our military with that of the Americans in Vietnam.

In 1970 – 71 there were 716 fragging incidents in SVN in American units.

See - http://home.mweb.co.za/re/redcap/vietcrim.htm

As far as I know the extent of the problem in Australian units was one fragging incident in 1969, and two diggers killed on Christmas Day 1970 at Nui Dat.

Ever consider the possibility that the enormous difference in these figures (apart from the sheer numbers of GIs compared to diggers) may have had something to do with weapons discipline, which was notoriously poor in most US units?

BTW – If you continue to ignore blogging protocol (the use of a title other than the correct tag) offending posts will be deleted.

Anonymous said...

"Show me where I claimed to know what happened"
Begs the question.....what do you know about current weapons safety practices used by the Army in "safe" bases. Who are you to infer that 40 yr. old safety procedures were better if you are unaware of current pracices?
If all or any of the hypotheses that I put up occurred during your service the results would have been the same as the recent tragedy and had nothing to to do with weapons discipline of the troops involved. The safety procedures 40 yrs ago would have ensured the safety of the perpetrator and his probable escape.
You like numbers so here is a number that you may not like and I have mentioned before.... Australian successful "fragging" incidents per capita come in with a higher rate than the yanks...check it for yourself. From memory the figures I pulled up only mentioned one Australian incident, so if there were two that the numbers people did not know about the Australian figures were much worse, per capita.
Fragging incidents were intentional murders and attempts and had absolutely nothing to do with poor weapons discipline unless you are indicating that the yanks, having a lower rating than the Australians per capita, were less skilled in the use of explosives to eradicate their own.

"How does remembering a successful protocol disrespect the fallen?"
Where did I say that your comments disrespect the fallen?
Your unsolicited criticism of what you perceive as the failing of the Army to follow protocols that ensure the safety of soldiers, in light of recent events, and lacking the knowledge of current procedures merely displays ignorance, not an intentional disrespect of the diggers involved. You use the incidents to extol your limited memories of military experience in a fashion that indicates that you believe that things were better in the old days. That may not actually be the case.

Anonymous said...

BTW.....deleted posts on this site is not a surprise for me. Offending posts amount to posts that you disagree with or do not wish to reply to. As previously stated.....you are a source of interactive entertainment. At my age, playing your little games is merely one step behind crosswords to keep dimentia at bay.

1735099 said...

Begs the question No it doesn’t. Your statement I in no way claim to know what happened and neither should you you
(sic)
clearly says I did. You should withdraw that statement and apologise.
Who are you to infer
I Inferred nothing. I recalled previous protocols and asked a question.
and had nothing to to (sic) do with weapons discipline of the troops involved
On the one hand, you claim to know nothing about what happened, and on the other are ruling out a possible clause. I hope you’ve never practiced law.
The safety procedures 40 yrs ago would have ensured the safety of the perpetrator and his probable escape
Now you’re into speculative fantasy.
the figures I pulled up
What figures? If you have figures, you should cite them or link to them. Every first year Uni student knows that.
check it for yourself Nothing cited, so nothing to check.
You use the incidents to extol your limited memories of military experience in a fashion that indicates that you believe that things were better in the old days.
Again, you’re fantasising, unless of course, you claim psychic powers. Given the other statements made above, it wouldn't surprise.

1735099 said...

Offending posts amount to posts that you disagree with or do not wish to reply to.
Offending posts are those which breach blogging protocols. In your case (although I can't be certain, because you don't identify with a tag) the breach includes posting my family's personal details. That is offensive and cowardly. You also used a name which wasn't my tag - minor matter, but still a breach.
Any post which contains such material will not appear.
Apart from that, everyone gets a run.

Anonymous said...

"my family's personal details"
Can anything open to scrutiny on the web be considered personal details? Nothing published in a telephone book or electoral roll or nominal roll is either private or pesonal. You may consider it so but all clues to the details I mentioned came from your blog, posts on other sites, or educated guesses leading to to other publications available on line. You have little or no idea what information you publish that allows educated guesses.....in line with similar breaches by social network users on Faceless, Twitusers etc. Even family networks and photos that identify non users become public information. I hope the teacher can learn something.

1735099 said...

Can anything open to scrutiny on the web be considered personal details?
There's a difference between personal details being open to scrutiny and maliciously publishing them.
You have little or no idea what information you publish that allows educated guesses.
I am completely aware of what information is available. As to "educated guesses", it occurs to me that anyone who would harvest this information is either obsessional or paranoid.

Anonymous said...

"maliciously publishing them"

The details weren't published.I would not publish the information although you have made it easy for someone to do so. When I fed it back to you I was fully aware of your ability to edit or refuse to publish.

"either obsessional or paranoid."

Neither fits the bill. Paranoid would indicate that I must be in fear, (of what??).....hardly the case.
I did the homework to bring to your attention that you put a lot out there that makes it simple to learn about you.

I was merely pointing out your paranoia over the use of your "tag" as indicated by your 01/09/2012 post.

Your nom de plume does not conceal information that you publish. In fact the nom de plume you use, along with the your photo is merely the starting point.
Any 15 yr old could find the information I gave you, including addresses and phone numbers.






1735099 said...

The details weren't published
Interesting use of the passive voice. I didn't post them - that's why they weren't published.
My blog, my tag. my problem.Now get back on topic, or pull your head in......

Anonymous said...

"I didn't post them - that's why they weren't published"
My point exactly.
Now what was the topic???

1735099 said...

My point exactly.
You have as many points as a well-inflated balloon, and your arguments hold about as much substance.....and I don't think you're having much luck with dementia.

Anonymous said...

Argumentum ad hominum Bob - I thought you were above that !!!

The Silver Fox

1735099 said...

Your dreamtime theorising
merely displays ignorance
you are a source of interactive entertainment
I hope the teacher can learn something
Any 15 yr old could find the information
Now what was that about ad hominum?

Anonymous said...

Now you are confused.

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