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Second Life For An Old Friend

Last time I saw footage of an 106mm Recoiless Rifle being employed by our forces, was in Beirut 1983.  As I understand, the M40A2/A4 was taken out of service shortly thereafter, and tucked into to bed in places like Anniston Army Depot.  Well, after a Rip Van Winkle like slumber of 25-years, our old trusted friend has been tapped for a wakey-wakey in our efforts in Afghanistan.

The clip below is purportedly from FOB Naray, and it shows Spec. Ops. Operators having some trigger-time with the beastie.

NOTE: Mildly Salty language is employed in this clip, and not appropriate to play in button-down environments.

The old trusty 106mm, will certainly be an asset in providing direct fire perimeter protection to the FOB. Besides, I am certain that Crane, holds in its vast climate-controlled system of bunkers, plenty of HEAT-T and APERS-T rounds to go around for many years to come.

Could any readers out there, provide input on how we are using the "Reckless" now a days?



Can't say anything about "now a days" but at least now the uninitiated can see why it was such a hoot to send shower-shoes out to bug the supply guys into giving up a sling for the 106 recoilless RIFLE. Those stingy supply guys always said there was no such thing. But everyone knows that rifles come with slings.

Also, now folk can see why those cans of backblast were so important and why the supply guys also liked to hoard those without ever sharing.

My air cavalry platoon in the ground troop had been converted to long range reconaissance.  But, we still had our 2 106mm RR from the AT section.  We had two occasions to use them .  The first was when they reduced the perimeter at Camp Holloway, Pleiku, and  shortened the bunker line.  The active had to be left unfortified, so we placed the 106's on each side to fire across the open space.  A couple of guys crawled around to investigate the new defenses and got nailed to an old bunker with a flechette round.  During the attacks on Firebase 5 and 6 in the spring of 1971, the NVA started shooting at the Dak To FARP with a 57mm RR.  We flew a 106 up at night on a Chinook and put it in position.  Next day the score was 106 RR 1, 57mm RR 0.
A former platoon sergeant of mine had an Article 15 in his jacket for having used excessive force to suppress a sniper during the Detroit riots.  The sniper was suppressed by firing a 106mm HEAT-T through the wall immediately below the window from which the sniper was firing.  Although "suppressed" might not be an entirely accurate term:  "scattered" would probab;y have been more appropriate.

Based on personal conversation with a few nameless Army SF types, I basically have no comment.

However it might be a way for them to adjust for the fact that the ROE are so restrictive, they are evaluating ways to acquire an immediate asset to defend themselves without waiting for a note from the top of the food chain for Air Support / Fire Support.


jim b:

Is it really getting that bad?
What I think is based on conversations and my own intuition. They all want a "backup" when support is denied or not available. Different groups come up with different solutions.

I have never served as a SF type. I have however been a company commander (much larger group of friends). I developed a real affection for the company commander's "hip pocket" artillery (60MM mortar).

Operations they typically execute involve missions where you take 11 of your best friends and do (fill in the blank). You are your own immediate response team.

The 106 reckless rifle may work in an outpost type thing, I doubt it is even a consideration for fast moving actions. Carl Gustav 84mm recoilless rifle is a more portable option, and there are others.

What I am simply saying is that when danger is only seconds away, you don't want help to be minutes away .... or more.
And speaking of the'stan' comes this:
 'When we understand that slide, we'll have won the war:' US generals given baffling PowerPoint presentation to try to explain Afghanistan mess
By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 5:38 PM on 28th April 2010

Its coloured charts, graphs and bullet-points are supposed to make the most incomprehensible data crystal clear.

But even the sharpest military minds in American were left baffled by this PowerPoint slide, a mind-boggling attempt to explain the situation in Afghanistan.

'When we understand that slide, we'll have won the war,' General Stanley McChrystal, the US and NATO force commander, remarked wryly when confronted by the sprawling spaghetti diagram in a briefing

Once again "Death by Powerpoint"  Where is that young soldier who did this?

1)  We had a 90mm reckless for a while.  Those flechette rounds, in spite of their sissyfied name, were a thing of infantry beauty.  Paraphrasing, "Say hello to all my little friends.

2)  My favorite Platoon Sergeant used to say, "First we get the capability, then we work on the redundancy."  One is good, two is better, and three is "oh my".
"First we get the capability, then we work on the redundancy."

From the Canonical Murphy's Laws of Combat:

"Just because the bastid fell down when you shot at him doesn't mean you killed him. In fact, he may have just tripped, and you missed completely."

"When in doubt, empty the mag."


I thought it went:

If at first, your fire dont hit, fire, fire again.
 something with a backblast like that cannot be outdated.

LT Sam Nuxoll, who made the comment, has been promoted and is still in the military.

Cpt Crispin Burke, who wrote an essay about PowerPoint on the Web site Small Wars Journal that cited Lieutenant Nuxoll’s comment, is also still on active duty .

I actually commented on that article yesterday on my blog.

... this just in concerning the 106. There is a good posibility that those guys are doing a fam fire with that thing, so as to be more proficient in training the locals who are armed with some.
well ya know alla them folk that made their bones concocting QTB slides had to be somewhere. The fighting will end sometime and you don't want to lose all that 'talent' for when QTB's are actually career en(ding)hancing.
In 1976 the California National Guard still had 106s, complete with those weak little spotting .50 cal pop guns mounted on top.  Yeah, if you hit the T-72 with the spotting round your 106 was on target, but they never could convince me I wanted to be anywhere near a situation where I'd get to prove that.
I thought that a lot of 106 RRs (and older models of the 105mm Howitzers) had been sent out for avalance control use.  {Mountain people understand what this is, flatlanders and southerners might not...]

My understanding was that they only got the 105 Hows after most of the still serviceable Recoilless ammo has been used up/scrapped.

One of our local avalanche folks apparently did not realize he was supposed to pull some of the charge increments from one of the 105 H rounds before loading it.  He ended up putting it over the mountain top and into someone's back yard, fortunately without any casualties or serious damage.
The show "Ice road" has a short clip of a 106mm RR being used for avalanche control.