U.S. Army Baits Ambushers With Own Troops


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Drizzt
July 10, 2003, 10:44 PM
Associated Press Online

July 9, 2003 Wednesday

SECTION: INTERNATIONAL NEWS

LENGTH: 494 words

HEADLINE: U.S. Army Baits Ambushers With Own Troops

BYLINE: BORZOU DARAGAHI; Associated Press Writer

DATELINE: NEAR BAQUBA, Iraq

BODY:
The sweat dripped from Lt. Kurt Chapman's face. The 4th Infantry Division platoon commander had just set a trap for a group of Iraqi ambushers - and he was the bait.

It was now a matter of watching and waiting.

"They want to shoot at us. We'll see if they have the guts," said Sgt. Samuel Bailey, of Cedar Falls, Iowa. "When they started aggressively attacking us, we decided to take the fight to them. We own the night."

When Chapman's men first ventured out of the base onto the road toward "RPG Alley," a strip of road 45 miles northeast of Baghdad where American forces have come under attacks by rocket-propelled grenades, the two-Humvee convoy kept its lights on - to lure in attackers.

Using slow-moving convoys to bait attacks on ambush-prone roads is a common U.S. tactic in Iraq, where hit-and-run fighters are impossible to discern until they open fire. Once they do, the U.S. forces, protected by their armor and aided by their night scopes, do their best to cut the irregulars down.

"Are you scared?" Chapman, of Portland, Maine, asked his driver.

"No, not scared," Pfc. Clayton Randall responded.

As the convoy rolled into RPG Alley, rebel sentries opened fire with flare guns and small arms. Chapman said the fire was meant to warn ambushers to take position.

Just to make sure everyone knew they were out and about, Chapman stopped by a local gas station and began aggressively questioning the men hanging out there.

"These shady characters are connected to the attackers somehow," Chapman said.

Confident the assailants were riled up, the Lieutenant faded back to a spot where he could spy on the ambush location. A sliver of moon hung above the Iraqi desert.

"The whole place is a little spooky," said Bailey, as he peered through the powerful night-vision scope mounted atop his armored Humvee. "There are usually people moving around. Tonight there's no one. It's like the freaking 'Twilight Zone."'

Just then two of the battalion's M-1 tanks drove past the ambush spot in an attempt to draw fire. Randall spotted two men carrying weapons suddenly standing up on a roof. They crouched down when they saw the American vehicles were near-impenetrable tanks.

The tanks moved into spots where they could observe the ambush site. One of the men reappeared.

"I saw a head pop up and look around," said Bailey, Chapman's gunner. "Whoa! Whoa! Someone's bursting off rounds there."

The commander at Chapman's 3rd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment headquarters radioed the final go-ahead.

"You have permission to engage," said Lt. Col. Mark Young.

One of the tanks opened fire with its 7.62mm gun. Orange tracer rounds disrupted the night.

By early morning, Chapman and his men raided two homes and a gas station suspected of being outposts for the militants, detaining three men who were later released after interrogation.

The suspected assailant on the roof was cut in half, Bailey said.

"He ain't there no more," he said.

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4v50 Gary
July 10, 2003, 11:54 PM
We need more snipers. They observe and wait and when a BG shows up for an ambush, oh well.

Tommy Gunn
July 11, 2003, 12:27 AM
We need more snipers. They observe and wait and when a BG shows up for an ambush, oh well.

Agreed.

I wonder if the US army has rechambered any of its M24 sniper rifles for the .300 Winchester Magnum round for duty in Afghanistan. There certainly are some extreme long range engagements. Certainly the .300 WinMag chambering will give them greater reach than the .308 (7.62mm) round.

bogie
July 11, 2003, 10:58 AM
.300 Winmag vs. .308?

Not that much of a difference - maybe an extra hundred yards or so.

.338 Lapua would be interesting.

moa
July 11, 2003, 11:12 AM
They are using Barrett semi-auto, .50 cal. rifles (M82?). Seen them deployed in the news.

I was wondering about presence and numbers of coalition snipers too. They are a good counter-weapon against guerilla type tactics.

Animal
July 11, 2003, 11:17 AM
Standard issue is still the .308 I believe, but a few snipers do have the .50s, either way it seems like the snipers should be employed better.

Carlos
July 11, 2003, 02:13 PM
Snipers good idea. An even better, and evil, idea is to line up 10 random Iraqis for every one of our boys... :evil:

Call it an incentive program to stop sniping our troops.

Navy joe
July 11, 2003, 02:18 PM
Snipers good idea. An even better, and evil, idea is to line up 10 random Iraqis for every one of our boys...


:rolleyes: :scrutiny: You're fired, you can go back to Germany 1943 now. Do you have any ideas about basic human decency? What if you were fighting in this country as an insurgent against some external power and they did this and the ten people involved your non-combatant family? Dumbest thing I've heard in a while.

rock jock
July 11, 2003, 02:27 PM
These guys have some real cahunas. They make me proud to be an American. :D

spacemanspiff
July 11, 2003, 02:36 PM
nice, carlos, good way to get this thread locked.
:rolleyes: :scrutiny:

they should just make a law that bans all firearms from being owned/possessed by civilians. it worked in DC and chicago, right?

Leatherneck
July 11, 2003, 02:37 PM
Navy JoeYou're fired, you can go back to Germany 1943 now. :D

TC
TFL Survivor

moa
July 11, 2003, 03:27 PM
Over reaction and draconian measures by coalition forces plays exactly into the hands of the Saddam supporters and others such as the Sunni and Shia religious fanatics, and foreign fighters.

It is a common practice for insurgent movements to terrorize certain elements of the population, as well as goad the governing forces into heavy-handed and brutal tactics. As an insurgent you want to spread the hate, fear and discontent as far and as deep as possible creating chaos and then hope to benefit from it.

Experts on these kinds of struggles are worried that the coalition will loose patience and start doing nasty things to the Iraqi people.

So far, the war has been pretty successful. No major coalition battle casualities, and no major humanitarian or refugee crisis. For the most part, it would appear that things are quite calm in in Iraq at the moment except for parts of Bagdad and the Sunni Muslim region of Iraq.

If some of our troops do have an attitude problem, it would appear in some cases it is a lack of situational awareness. Even the Iraqis wonder what our guys are thinking about when they expose themselves unnecessarily to danger. Example is the civil affairs officer shot while exiting a Bagdam university cafeteria. Bagdad university is considered a hotbed of Ba'athists among the staff and students.

MicroBalrog
July 11, 2003, 03:29 PM
.338 Lapua would be interesting.

IIRC the Russians were marketing an SVD re-chambered in that caliber.

Go IzhMash!:)

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