previous post next post  

'Bout that live-fire stuff from yesterday...

You guys saw what we saw - an apparent mix of MILES and Live Fire - more importantly, a mix of live and blank, which for soldiers of my day is a serious no-no. So, we went looking for more. And it got curiouser and curiouser.

Paratroopers from 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), fire M249 Squad Automatic Weapons during a platoon-level live fire exercise at the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Feb. 4. 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Visual Information Specialist Gertrud Zach/released)

But click the pic and  take a look - he's firing blanks.


U.S. Army Europe paratroopers from 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) dismount a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle during a platoon-level live fire exercise at the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Feb. 4. 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Visual Information Specialist Gertrud Zach/released)

This is supposed to be the same event - and these guys are coming out from behind the HMMWV that is clearly live-firing ball ammo in yesterday's pic - and right now the SAW gunner has... live ammo.  But...


U.S. Army Europe paratroopers from 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) dismount a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle during a platoon-level live fire exercise at the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Feb. 4. 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Visual Information Specialist Gertrud Zach/released)

 

Same event - same location (where those HMMWVs are live-fring and the SAW gunner has a belt of ball ammo - this troop sprints across the road... with a blank firing attachment.   We're confused.  Even if some of this was staged for the photographer - mixing live and blank ammo in the same event used to be (and I rather expect still is) a serious faux-pas because of the obvious dangers.

Dunno.   Poking at it (with only the DVIDS data to work with) just made it worse, not better.  I'm hoping there is a lot more time-distance separation than the pictures and captions suggest.

11 Comments

 A bad mix. A very bad mix that is just asking for trouble and the ending of careers.
 
Very troubling. Anything to do with the mixing of live ammuntion with blank ammunition in any form or fashion is a receipe for disaster. Transition from live fire to force on force with blank ammo and MILES has to be a very deliberate event. The two modes have to be separated by time, space, and a series of positive checks by leaders to ensure that their can be no comingling of ammuntion. Failure to do this means that someone can die.

Even if this was nothing but a public affairs staged photo shoot, it sends shivers up my spine.
 
This just scares the shit out of me.
The mixing of "live fire" and "Miles" looks like a really good way for troops to get killed!
WTF are they hoping to accomplish by this?
I have no idea what they were hoping to accomplish there but, it SUCKS!

 
Our company went to the field, out of state. We had a rifle range to start off with, then the blank ammunition was issued. Sure enough, we had two live rounds turned into supply after we had issued blanks. I seem recall my sergeant was not happy about the situation.
 
OK, what in the top picture tells you that the weapon is firing blank ammunition?
 
 The expended blanks laying on the ground.
 
Well, shoot!
 
 Cutting corners gets people killed.  

A friend was in power system maintenance for TVA and told one situation where a transformer was connected to the secondary circuit before it should have been. The secondary turned out to be energized and not having the primary connected somehow caused the oil to boil, causing the transformer to explode killing 5 electricians with a total of 130 years experience, some by electocution when two of them fell against energized lines carrying 30 Kv. 

If you remember a Phillips Plastics plant in Pasadena, TX exploding, my uncle ran the plant next door to that and my uncle told me about it after my father's funeral. Some operator cut a corner and 36 men died as well as doing significant damage to my uncle's plant next door. The only reason no one died in my uncle's plant was they left one plant operator in the control room, an interior windowless room, while everyone else went to the funeral of one of the former workers. 


Cutting corners is often an act of abysmal stupidity.



 
 
Any possibility of a blank-to-live transition? Some sort of moving exercise capped with a live shoot?
 
Once upon a time, a live round even being in the possession of a unit on a MILES zero course was cause to be thrown off the range, and vice versa.  No blanks/BFAs on live fire ranges.  And if the RSO didn't throw them off, he was going to see the man. 

No idea what they are trying to do here.  Any exercise schedule that proposes someone be maneuvering with ball ammo and MILES gear on would have the old man beating the S-3 to death with a sock full of marbles. 
 

 Sure, David.  One that involves an complete stand-down, turn-in, inspection, and re-issue.  But not one that has a guy with a BFA running around on a hot live-fire range.

Not in my Army, anyway.  And apparently not in URR's Corps, either.