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January 06, 2005

Public Service Announcements

PSA1. In a discussion of new/updated/modified equipment, CAPT H mentioned he'd start paying attention to "new and improved" when the discussion included the new 6.8mm rifle cartridge. Strategy Page today has a pretty good update on that - available here. Aside from bringing it to your attention, I bring it up because I essentially accused CAPT H of not caring so much about the new round (or it's competitor, the 6.5mm Grendel) but just wanting to watch the bureaucratic infighting when the NATO standardization committees tried to hash out a caliber change. The Strategy Page article shines a little window into what that will be like - using the controversy the whole caliber thing is causing in the US service.

SOCOM has been using the 6.8mm round in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the users like it. But there is resistance from senior (non-SOCOM) generals to any consideration for replacing the 5.56mm round with the 6.8mm. To further complicate matters, there’s a new 6.5mm “Grendel” round being tested as well, and some troops prefer it to the 6.8mm SPC. This is because the 6.5mm round is more accurate than the 6.8mm one at ranges beyond 500 meters. At the moment, no decision has been made about any replacement for the 5.56mm round.

SOCOM is out doing what the Army Materiel Command and Ordnance would take decades to do. Anyone remember the saga of the M14, M16, Military Ball powder, Improved Military Rifle powder, and getting the 5.56 round developed? Not that I think the current PM Small Arms has the pathologies of Springfield Armory and the Ordnance bubbas who ran it... but one reason McNamara shut down the Arsenal was to kill the culture.

Speaking of the XM8, there is a thread at Strategy Page full of people that swim in the same pool that you sceptics of the program drink from. I recognize some comments and commenters.

PSA2. I generally try, though I'm not always successful, to spell out acronyms the first time or, when posting things like the Marine Tank Company Commander's Fallujah AAR, I'll insert the meanings. The field campaign phases of the GWOT (heh, Global War On Terror) have produced a whole new slew of them, that some of you non-military or retired/been away from it guys may not know. I recently had to put together a dictionary for my father, who served 27 years - but has now been retired 30.

I find there's a virtually identical list at Strategy Page too, which I'm reproducing here (any linkage should also credit SP, please). I'm putting this list up here because there are some funny ones in it - like SIDPERS - and I'd like to solicit other funny ones, from any war or era, you guys remember or know. (The real meaning of SIDPERS is Standard Installation Division PERsonnel System)

AIF- anti-Iraqi forces. Angels- KIAs that die in a military hospital while undergoing care. AO- Area of Operations AOR- Area of Responsibility ASR- Alternate Supply Route BIAP- Baghdad International Airport CASH- combat support hospital. CPA- Coalition Provisional Authority CPIC- Combined Press Information Center. EPW- Enemy prisoner of war FRE- Former Regime Extremists HVT- high value target IDP- Internally Displaced Person (like Fallujah refugees) IED- improvised explosive device, usually a roadside bomb. IIG-Iraqi Interim Government, which took over from CPA ING- Iraqi National Guard IP- Iraqi Police KIA- killed in action. LSA- Life Support Area METL- Mission Essential Task List MNF- multinational forces (coalition troops). MSR- Mail Supply Route ORMP- Off-Duty Risk Magnification (what personnel -- both officer and enlisted -- often indulge in when not on duty; stuff like drinking 17 beers and then trying to drive home, etc.) PBIED- person-borne improvised explosive devices POW-prisoner of war (American) RCIED- Remote Controlled Improvised Explosive Device RTD- returned to duty. SAF- Small Arms Fire SIDPERS- Silly Idiots Desperately Pretending Everything's Running Smoothly, or SIDetrack PERSonnel (maybe they'll go away)… SORT- Senior Officer Rest Time TAL- Transitional Administrative Law, interim constitution, to be created by the TNA TF- Task Force TNA- Transitional National Assembly, to be elected this month VBIED- vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices WIA- wounded in action WMD- weapons of mass destruction

I'm talking anything funny or interesting (we can skip SNAFU and FUBAR) and remember to 'modify' any that have Net-Nanny sensitive words in 'em (don't want to get on those services 'autoblock' lists! Things like LBRB and RBRB, Little-Bitty Rubber Boats, Really Big Rubber Boats, for example. Let's see what you have! Not limited to military, either. Anything funny or clever is cool too.

PSA3. Speaking of new/updated/modified gear, here's installment three of the update brief. This part covers mostly weapon sights - and the reinvention of a Vietnam-era magazine clip (as in clipping two mags together for easy access) it'self a reinvention of a WWII clip for M1/M2/M3 carbine magazines...

Download Part 3

You can get Part 1 here and Part 2 here.