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A moment of Gunner Zen

highlander-brigade-04-2011.jpg[Click the pic to embiggenate per Heartless' whinage] 
 
Gunners in the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division training at the Army's National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California, in preparation for an upcoming deployment.  What I find interesting in this picture is that back in the day, when I was going to the NTC either as a player or when I spent three years there as an Observer/Controller, you rarely saw artillery units with blank adaptors mounted on their .50 caliber machine guns.  Most batterys didn't put out very good security, either - preferring to rely on "situational awareness" and displace and run like hell (prudent, when your major threat is tanks, BMPs and BRDMs with ATGM's) rather than stand and fight.

I don't remember .50 cal blanks even being an option for issue to artillery units, but my memory of 20+ years ago is a little fuzzy on that detail.  In the current operating environment - I'm guessing these guys get to do a little position defense now and again.

3 Comments

Do you have an embiggenment?  The pintle may be blocking it, but it looks like the near track doesn't have an ammo box mounted with their M2.

And if they were play COIN, I'd think the guns would be set up inside a FOB.  I don't think our guys have set up many firing positions off-FOB since maybe Fallujah II.

And is that picture really 3x posting cool?
 
No, the Gremlins are freaking buttheads today.
 
Methinks you are correct, HL.