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Combat Zone Firearms Policy - Its time for a change

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by THEZACHARIAS, Apr 29, 2011.

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  1. THEZACHARIAS

    THEZACHARIAS Member

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    http://www.kgun9.com/story/14537138/...anistan-attack

    Note the second picture on the left. This is how a majority of staff and support personnel in country carry their M9s; in shoulder holsters. Typically with either no round in the chamber, or in this case no magazine in the firearm at all.

    Its high time DoD and CENTCOM addressed this issue. I understand that local commanders want to avoid negligent discharges, but they need to remember that they are in a war zone; making it harder to fire a negligent round also makes it harder to fire that same round in self defense.

    The thoughts and prayers of the AF Weather community go out to the family of our fellow SWO, as well as those of our other fallen Airmen.
     
  2. happygeek

    happygeek Member

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  3. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    I agree 100% with a change to the policy. I've been in combat zones for much of my career and shake my head at the stupidity of the rules that directly lead to the vulnerability of service members. There have been several shooting incidents similar to this (both here in the US [Fort Hood] and in combat zones) where unarmed Soldiers are mowed down. I think that heads should roll for these disgraceful policies. Men at the top need to be court martialed for this!!!
     
  4. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I agree - what yutz thought a man trained and trusted to fight for his country is too stupid and irresponable to be trusted with a loaded firearm in a place where danger lurks at every turn? Didin't we learn this lesson in a jungle country war so many years ago, be armed everywhere you go?
     
  5. lima_w

    lima_w Member

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    I honestly felt that being required to wear a reflective belt was more dangerous than not being issued a weapon/ammo. So not only are you not armed, but you're visible from a mile away :scrutiny:
     
  6. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    Gees, come on folks, it changes by the damn week, yeah, in base they have rules like that, but it's because of stupid privates playing 'cowboys and indians' with blanks, except for the guy who just came off security duty with a live belt in his SAW...

    Or stupid luetenants who think they are better than 'damn safety regs' who pull their M9 and say 'it's not loaded' and put two rounds into the chowhall and some poor SGT just trying to eat his cheese burger.

    Yes I Have seen those two, not the shooting, just the mostly cleaned pools of blood.
    it comes down to the INDIVIDUAL unit, like mine, who went out of the wire every day, but was under an Aviation unit, lets just say we went to the gym cause we didn't feel like running the 4 mi loop with our M-4, which per 1SG orders had a loaded mag in a goggles pouch on the butstock.

    Civilians sending letters, will not be greeted kindly. It's a sad legacy of Vietnam, and all the stupid political meddling.
     
  7. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    Hate to break it to you, but this is generally also how 11b's and 11v's carry their rifles too. No round in the chamber, and no mag in the weapon. But, every time I have been deployed, everybody with a weapon had to have a loaded mag with them. Even in Kosovo.
     
  8. okiewita40

    okiewita40 Member

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    I just got back from a contracting job in Kuwait. I was doing base security. And we had to follow the army's rules. When we did our daily upload on the weapons we had to let the bolt/slide go home, place the weapon on safety, and finally insert a loaded mag.

    Seems stupid to me as in order to get the security job you had to have either a minimum of 4 years military or L.E. experience. It just didn't seem right as I personally had 8 1/2 years in the military and have 11 as an LEO.
     
  9. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

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    Depends on the threat level. When we patrolled the Korean DMZ we did not chamber a round until we moved into an ambush site. My first patrol I was shadowing a patrol from the unit leaving and we were taking over from to get certified to lead patrols and before leaving I thought it was a stupid rule. About 30 minutes into a night patrol I stepped on a pheasant. When in daylight a pheasant can be startling, keyed up about being in the DMZ, dark of night the thing sounded like a B52 taking off. Not saying I would have fired a round but people were always kicking those things up and sooner rather than later someone would have. I have no doubt about this.

    During Desert Shield everyone had to have a magazine on them and their weapon no magazine inserted. Again I was not happy about this. No one was shot. There were no accidental shootings in months in country. The Marines who were lock and loading had several accidental shootings. I concede I was wrong.

    The military never allowed 1911s to be chambered.

    If there is very low chance of an attack the rule makes sense. The more troops there are the more likely there is to be an accident.
     
  10. THEZACHARIAS

    THEZACHARIAS Member

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    Thats the problem though, it IS an iminnent and everyday threat. This kind of garbage happens every other week to some poor guy who happens to be working with the wrong little group of Haadjis; this is just the most extreme example to be publicized by the media.

    If its not a soldier getting popped by a new ANP officer in the back of a Hummvee, its an airman getting paralyzed by an ANA commander, or a seabee getting attacked by a local national behind the chow hall. Just because it isn't making fox news or cnn doesnt mean its not an every day threat. And every time, division and group commanders say "well, it was just that one guy. we can't impede the nation building process for one idiot with a gun". No one takes responsibility, no one seems to want to do anything about it.

    There where 6 DUIs throughout my Wing in the last two months, and the wing commander is going absolutely Ape sxxx over it threatening to article 15 and discharge the next moron who drives intoxicated. But everyone who works for ISAF just writes KIAs off as Taliban or Al Qaeda and never bother with the root causes of haadjis getting the upper hand on Americans. When is it going to end?
     
  11. THE DARK KNIGHT

    THE DARK KNIGHT Member

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    If we don't send soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan they'd be a lot less likely to need to fire their guns in self defense. IMO we should just take our soldiers out of pointless wars instead of spending more money on holsters. That'd be a novel idea.
     
  12. THEZACHARIAS

    THEZACHARIAS Member

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    No argument. At the end of the day, I'm just an NCO; my job is to find lots of little solutions to minimize the damage from leaderships bigger badder muck ups.
     
  13. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I told my commander, there have been times I had to walk inside the wire at oh-dark-thirty by myself, and I put a magazine in the weapon. He said he would too. I had the cal to prayer in stereo and jackals yipping very closeby.

    I deployed with people I don't trust to carry loaded at all. And yes, some of them didn't last the whole trip. (We took his guns away in Kuwait after he said one of those 'key phrases' to the chaplain.) This is the weakest link problem. Even with ridiculous, childish rules, we STILL had NDs on post. It's a tough sell to tell commanders that it's a good idea to carry weapons hot when soldiers are already dropping the ball with the rules as-is.
     
  14. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    The US military has self-emasculated itself to a startling extent, at least on the conventional side of the house. I once had a very junior lieutenant full of terrified indignation lose his mind because he noted that my M9 was decocked and not on safe . . . as I was about to start shooting a stage of the pistol qual course. Lt McMoron had so little competence in weapons handling that he assumed you would carry an M9 at the low ready on safe, a la the M4. After not choking him out, I took the liberty of just ignoring him and reflecting that time spent in USASOC basically ruins you for the Big Army . . .
     
  15. bomb dropper

    bomb dropper Member

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    im in afghanistan right now, so here is my take-

    1) shoulder holster where ISSUED by units. now everytime i stand in a line or walk down the road i have a barrel pointed at me. heaven forbid some pfc or lcpl "flag" someone while eating chow with a 20" ar but its ok for half the base to have a 1970's holster?

    2) its ok for pmo to have weapons in condition 1 but the rest of us are condition 4 (sometimes 3, depends on the base) because a pfc in pmo is so much more mature then the rest of us.

    2.5) ND/AD's happen I have a LCpl from NYC who has never driven a car, do i trust him with a rifle? a few months ago someone came back from patrol where they were condition 1. once the enter the wire they go to condition 4. well 3 days latter they had a ND in a building through the wall and into a base-x no one was hurt but here is the kicker, everywhere you go there is a clearing barrel so 3 days x 3 chows thats means he should have cleared his rifle 9 times. you just cant fix stupid

    i'm going to stop there before i go way overboard on how the cost of gas is $400 a gallon and TCN's use them to drive to work and back (about a mile) or how we pay $16 meal to feed them i could go on but thats a different story /rant
     
  16. PlateStacker

    PlateStacker Member

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    If you are on duty, this is not the way anyone I know carries their firearms. I carried my M4 at all times, and my M9 in a leg drop holster or chest rig. Both loaded and ready to bark at a moments notice.

    Now some guys that only carry at certain times when the threat level is very high, like some sort of support/non infantry personall... they might have to carry with no mag in or something. Especially when they are not on duty.
     
  17. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    bomb dropper-

    It's ok to carry horizontally in a shoulder holster. No one is flagging you. The four rules are safe HANDLING rules. They apply when you are HOLDING the gun. Not when it is holstered.
     
  18. mrbro

    mrbro Member

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    1000 years ago, when I wore a uniform, I remember seeing Marines at the gates with no mags in their .45s.
     
  19. Powderman

    Powderman Member

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    The key was--and is--training and NOT treating your Soldiers like a bunch of babies.

    These are personnel in an active war zone. They should be carrying cocked and locked; in the rear areas, "cruiser ready" (loaded mag, empty chamber) should be OK. But ALL weapons need to be LOADED--all the time!

    I was a career Soldier, and I too remember stupidity...like being sent to guard duty on a tac site in Germany. Baader-Meinhof and other terrorist groups were out and about--we had an attack on one of our sites with a fire extinguisher loaded with explosives.

    Still, we walked the perimeter fence with our M16's--AND NO AMMUNITION!!!!

    I remember guard detail at the ASP while stateside. I carried a 12 gauge shotgun. When I was issued the shotgun, I got six rounds of 12 gauge 00 buck--taped together with duct tape. I was told that if the tape was broken I would get an Article 15. Needless to say, the tape was left intact.

    I'm a cop now. When I load out for my shift, I holster a cocked and locked 1911 pistol. I load and chamber a round in my back-up--a G27. Both of those are on my person at all times. The other guns in the vehicle--an LE6920 and a .308 rifle--are carried "cruiser ready". I--and every other cop I come in contact with--treat our firearms with respect. We don't draw them, twiddle them, twirl them or play with them. They stay in the holster until needed.

    Some of the ladies and fellas come in early for the shift and head to the cleaning area. They'll unholster at the clearing stand, clear the sidearm and secure the ammunition. A quick check for serviceability and a patch down the bore; then reload and call in service. I do the same on a weekly basis.

    We treat our guns with respect because we KNOW that they're ALL loaded, ALL THE TIME. Maybe we should start treating our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines like combat troops--and not like babies.
     
  20. onfloat

    onfloat Member

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    On Oct 23, 1983 there were two young Marines standing gaurd outside of a barracks in Lebanon. Because of the rules of engagement they had condition 4 weapons, no magazine inserted, no round in the chamber. I had hoped that lesson had been learned.
     
  21. crazysccrmd

    crazysccrmd Member

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    I'm overseas now - on our smaller patrol bases we carry our weapons 'amber' (mag in, not chambered) unless on guard. On the larger FOBs with higher ranking officers (MAJ and up) the rules get retarded and you carry on 'green' (no mag inserted). I'm perfectly ok with that. There are plenty of people in the Army who aren't trained enough to safely handle their weapons (support personnel) which is why they stay on the FOBs and carry empty weapons. If they have to chamber a round and fight they're already in some deep crap cause all the soldiers who do the real work are dead. Once you leave the ECP every weapon system is 'red' (chambered/rounds on feed tray and on safe) and stays that way until you return to base. I've never seen a M9 in a shoulder holster outside the wire, either a chest rig or a drop leg depending on personal preference.

    The military is all about mitigating risk. The fact is that more soldiers lives would be endangered from negligent discharges and careless handling of loaded firearms than from the rare attacks that occur on a secure base.
     
  22. bomb dropper

    bomb dropper Member

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    MLJ i understand that those are safe "handling" rules, but sit down to eat lunch and look up to see a muzzle pointed at your face then tell me about it. also the shoulder holsters are all cross draw so you do flag 180 degrees when you draw.
     
  23. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Doesn't say much for our military of 'trained professionals' if the most basic of skills (weapon safety) can't be relied upon.

    A weapon with an empty chamber and a mage in the well is both completely safe AND easy to immediately bring into service. However, digging for a mag in your pocket takes valuable time - and as we repeatedly see US servicemembers die as a result. The enemies already know our tactics...
     
  24. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I do it every single day. If you carry with a shoulder holster, you need to train to draw from one correctly.
     
  25. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    leadcounsel,
    if you have a mag in, some idiot officer... some non-commissioned included
    won't feel warm and fuzzy, it would be scary to live in a world where you need a gun...
    sad that our military has come to that.
     
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