Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Iraq lessons learned

I caught this great post via the Mudville Gazette. If (when?) I get sent to Iraq I am going to make all my soldiers read it.

The Enemy:

The enemy is ANYTHING that prevents us from coming home on our own power and intact.
IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) are the #1 killer of troops.

IEDs are not "incidents", but the primary means of contact. It is an "ambush", and whether a "far ambush" (blow it from a distance and run) or a "near ambush" (blow the shot and have small arms fire with close-quarters marksmanship needed), regardless, it is not a random event. The enemy is patient, plans their attack, goes through all the recon and planning we do, and then targets who they hit.

The #2 killer is TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS!!! Everyone must keep this in mind. The up-armored HUMVEES turn and brake way differently, and are prone to tipping. "COMBAT DRIVING" means know your vehicle, use it as a weapons platform AND a weapon as needed, and be able move and communicate at all times... it does NOT mean "drive like the Dukes of Hazzard". As the CSM of the Army said, "Drive like NASCAR"... know you vehicle, keep the distances and speeds YOU need to be safe, and if needed, get under the opposition and put them into the wall. NOTE TO ALL: It is a * bad* idea to put your most junior people in as drivers and gunners, at least to do it all the time. Train them. We all need to be proficient with driving AND being a gunner AND using all the comms available AND navigating using * MAPS* and GPS

The #3 Killer: Failure to execute proper and FAST first responder duties. The difference between life and death is measured in seconds if someone is bleeding out. As just one example, if you get a tourniquet on someone in time, they live. If not, they die. Again, EVERYONE has to know this... .the designated "combat life saver" may be the one hit. It used to be they barred officers from CLS courses as "if the officer is busy doing this, they aren't doing their primary job". That has changed. Standardize where the vehicle response bag is. Have recovery drills, mounted and dismounted. Have MEDEVAC plans, to include if you have to lay people flat. The time to figure out how to change a tire, how to open a vehicle and clear the people AND sensitive items, how to cross load people is NOT while RPG are criss-crossing your area.

Read on here