• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Good ROF, bad drill

Petard

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
0
Points
360
Mikeg81 said:
My experience comes from being with E Bty during 3-06, including Op Medusa. The battery fired about 6800 rounds total of 155 and 81mm during the 6 mos we were there(with about 20 or so of 120mm mortar, but that is another story).


If the tray can't hold the 98 lb HE round on there with out the hydarulics taking a crap, how is it going to cope with a 120 lb MACS round there instead? It seems less of a drills problem and more of a gun problem. The rounds don't rattle around or jump when the gun is fired...

2: One man ram: When one guy is on sentry, one on the gate, two on leave, and two are on GD on the FOB, or out on a convoy, we make do with what manpower we have.

I saw/heard one(that's right, 1) fall back my whole tour, on another gun, in another troop. Non-problem from my experience.

No problem when a round drops short and detonates?
You're kidding right?
The previous roto's Bty commander told me that he had a drop short, and went to the gun postion just in time to see one man ramming. He gave a personal blast of shit to the No 1's and TSM for letting them do it; well deserved but it took that to make them stop.
As for the loading tray, rationalizing something will only get you so far. I'm not sure what round you're talking about that weighs 120lbs, MACS are the modular artillery charge system, none of which weighs that much. But that's beside the point. The system was not designed for it and it begins to break when people do use it that way; what kind of rate of fire do they have then?
I've seen your Bty's comments on AAR's, and other roto's about the trays slowing down and then failing so that they had to be manually pumped with the trunnion pump to lower and raise it, which is exactly what the BAE engineer at Hattiesburg said would start to happen if someone continuously fired with rds on the loading try. The compression and tension caused on the tray by that round he suspected would eventually result in the valves used to set the tray speed to loosen unevenly, causing the malfunction.
Sometime mikeg, I'll show you the high speed video of an M777 firing MAC 5, you'll immediately notice there is quite a bit of movement, and if there were a round on the tray it would be "rattling" quite a bit too. You would be surprised at how much flexing that gun goes through everytime it fires.
BAE is not going to redesign their system for the sake of perceived faster rate of fire when others are able to achieve similar sustained rates of fire without doing that

Here's another example how assumptions can get you in trouble. A certain Bty firing HE in support of a TIC called a SME in the Artillery School wanting to know why they were having so many duds with the new fuse (the guns could be heard firing in the background). Turns out some genius rationalized that the fuse sent for the new WP round should be good for the HE round as well. What this smart guy failed to notice is that unlike the old WP rd that functioned point detonating the new one is an expelling round, and does not use a disruptive fuse, which they should have noticed anyway because of the absence of a booster on the fuse; to wit they were told to stop using that fuse on bursting projectiles. The advice they got, at least in that case, was accepted.
 

Mikeg81

New Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
GunFire said:
Obviously, you lack experience  and knowledge, to justify that these should be acceptable operating procedures.

Thanks for coming down from above to bless me with your superior intellect.
 

Mikeg81

New Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Petard said:
No problem when a round drops short and detonates?
You're kidding right?
The previous roto's Bty commander told me that he had a drop short, and went to the gun postion just in time to see one man ramming. He gave a personal blast of crap to the No 1's and TSM for letting them do it; well deserved but it took that to make them stop.
As for the loading tray, rationalizing something will only get you so far. I'm not sure what round you're talking about that weighs 120lbs, MACS are the modular artillery charge system, none of which weighs that much. But that's beside the point. The system was not designed for it and it begins to break when people do use it that way; what kind of rate of fire do they have then?
I've seen your Bty's comments on AAR's, and other roto's about the trays slowing down and then failing so that they had to be manually pumped with the trunnion pump to lower and raise it, which is exactly what the BAE engineer at Hattiesburg said would start to happen if someone continuously fired with rds on the loading try. The compression and tension caused on the tray by that round he suspected would eventually result in the valves used to set the tray speed to loosen unevenly, causing the malfunction.
Sometime mikeg, I'll show you the high speed video of an M777 firing MAC 5, you'll immediately notice there is quite a bit of movement, and if there were a round on the tray it would be "rattling" quite a bit too. You would be surprised at how much flexing that gun goes through everytime it fires.
BAE is not going to redesign their system for the sake of perceived faster rate of fire when others are able to achieve similar sustained rates of fire without doing that

Here's another example how assumptions can get you in trouble. A certain Bty firing HE in support of a TIC called a SME in the Artillery School wanting to know why they were having so many duds with the new fuse (the guns could be heard firing in the background). Turns out some genius rationalized that the fuse sent for the new WP round should be good for the HE round as well. What this smart guy failed to notice is that unlike the old WP rd that functioned point detonating the new one is an expelling round, and does not use a disruptive fuse, which they should have noticed anyway because of the absence of a booster on the fuse; to wit they were told to stop using that fuse on bursting projectiles. The advice they got, at least in that case, was accepted.

All I am saying is what I experienced first hand.

Not one round in my troop fell back out of the thousands we fired(M109's had hyd rammers and had fall backs, were the 109's bad guns? What if we had to use those guns on ops?). The one fall back I did see was at a high elevation. Yes, a fall back landing short is an issue, I'm saying the one man ram isn't. It's not a rate of fire thing, it's what we did being short bodies. Afghanistan is not Gagetown.

As for the tray, I'll ceede that point. It was never passed on in training, and my gun didn't have a problem, so I can only go by what I know and experienced in the field. We did what worked for us to get the rounds down range to save lives. Incedentally, why wasn't that told to us if it was common knowledge at a high level, as high as where the gun was made? Lots of footage of my tour made it back while we were there. So why the lack of passage of information?

As for your final point on that WP fuze, that is a bad comparison to the above. Someone who can't tell apart an igniferous or disruptive fuze is a moron, and myself or my det and battery were not morons, and I resent the implication.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

Army.ca Myth
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Reaction score
509
Points
1,040
GunFire said:
Obviously, you lack experience  and knowledge, to justify that these should be acceptable operating procedures.

I knew nothing about the gun drill on this gun but I do know that everyone in this thread should take a deep breath......

Bruce




 

Petard

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
0
Points
360
Mikeg81 said:
All I am saying is what I experienced first hand.
......
Not one round in my troop fell back out of the thousands we fired... The one fall back I did see was at a high elevation. Yes, a fall back landing short is an issue, I'm saying the one man ram isn't.

As for the tray, I'll ceede that point. It was never passed on in training, and my gun didn't have a problem, so I can only go by what I know and experienced in the field. We did what worked for us to get the rounds down range to save lives. Incedentally, why wasn't that told to us if it was common knowledge at a high level, as high as where the gun was made? Lots of footage of my tour made it back while we were there. So why the lack of passage of information?

As for your final point on that WP fuze, that is a bad comparison to the above. Someone who can't tell apart an igniferous or disruptive fuze is a moron, and myself or my det and battery were not morons, and I resent the implication.

Incidentally, it was your Bty that made the mistake with the fuse, about late Oct 2006.

As for the information about the tray, this came out of the users incorrect drill, it was not taught that way (I was involved with development of the drill and instructing it). This problem was not anticipated at the "high level" because it was not expected for the users to operate the gun incorrectly. In any event, after it became known, I personally emphasized it when I was involved with training units to use Excalibur in 2007 and then again in 2008. Then, as know it seems, people wanted to challenge me on the veracity of what I was telling them; some old habits, even bad ones, die slowly

As for the one guy ramming, or other shortcuts, I suppose it will continue, but you only have to have it go really bad once for you to regret it terribly.
 

Mikeg81

New Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Due to a private message, I am out of this one.

Good talking to you Petard.
 

Petard

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
0
Points
360
I think the WP fuse thing needs to be seen in context with how it happened, otherwise it does seem like a low blow.

In fall 2006, E Bty was contending with rates of fire not seen certainly in the life time of anyone serving at the time there, and there were certainly problems with supply.
In the middle of that non stop tempo a new type of ammo, that had not been seen during any of their training, got dropped off, the M825A1 WP rd, used for its incendiary effect and to make smoke in very dry conditions. It also came with a new fuse.
Later, as ammo supply got worrisome, and in the heat of the moment, someone made a bad call to use that fuse on HE rounds. I can kind of see their logic, since any WP rd fired in Canada would use a PD fuse and that fuse could work on an HE rd as well as the WP. But as I said in the earlier post, this WP rd works differently.

I don't think they were very sure about it before they did it though, and the point is they should have made sure before hand. But they learned. For example when the 120 mortars got dropped off, they made damned sure they had as much tech support as could be had before launching any.


Incidentally, for those who think its incredible a Det Cmdr would load a non disruptive fuse on an HE rd, I recall in the 90's a whole 6A course (before it became the common DP3) fired a couple of M1 HE rds with M577 fuses on them before it got caught. Their excuse was that it was dark. Hmm.

In another incident I recall an ammo NCO, (MikeG, I'm pretty sure it was Sgt L, your No 1 on tour) who came up to me while we were setting up for a rolling DP, and he was swinging a couple of ammo fuse cans, and he said "now Sir, don't get mad, and I know you're gonna, and I tried to tell the ammo tech this isn't right, but this is what they gave me for the plug HE". He opened a can and sure enough they were M577's. Even then it took awhile to convince the ammo techs they had made a mistake.

I can well imagine Sgt L's expression (probably same one he had at that DP) when he received the order to load those HE rds fitted with that "new" fuse in Afghanistan, he's a good man, and he probably suspected it wasn't right, but this was kind of one of those things when a lot of shit is happening in a hurry and new stuff is constantly being pushed on you out of the blue. So I have to take a step back, and admit, at least for that one, I can kind of understand why it happened.

When things are looking dodgy, or someone is saying "hey should you really be using the kit that way?", it at least deserves some sober second thought. That was my goal in starting this post anyway.
 

Mikeg81

New Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Yep, he was my No 1.

I remember the WP coming with that special fuze...M762 was it? It's a pretty neat piece of kit, I remember it had the digital display on it, and you could set it with the electronic fuze setter too. Had to watch or the battery would die on it, and then it was PD only. I don't recall it finding it's way on an HE round, on my gun any way, we all had a good look at them, and they were not disruptive. That much I can recall, as that fuze was so different from what we had ever seen/used.

But, I'll take your word for it.
 

Old Sweat

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
47
Points
480
And for a little more context, in his memoirs General Hillier writes on page 413

  That we needed additional ammo was truly a surprise to us, and it became a big issue, as we were getting into lengthy firefights more frequently. At one point during Operation Medusa in September and October 2006, the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Omar Lavoie, was at the point of the spear for the major offensive against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The fight was so intense that we ran perilously close to being out of 155 mm artillery and some other types of ammunition. Those guns, which we were fortunate enough to have purchased earlier that year, were firing more than 200 rounds each per day. Lavoie said they were his key weapons system.

I have discussed the ammunition situation face-to-face or by email with the BC and BSM of E Bty, CO NSE of the previous tour and Col Lavoie. It was a pretty hairy situation and I am prepared to accept that crap happens. And Mikeg81, I also discussed your tour with you.

Now, as far as the one man ram is concerned, it should be avoided like a certain lady of dimunitive height in the Wainwright watering holes. At least that's my opinion
 

Craig B

Jr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Petard said:
In another incident I recall an ammo NCO, (MikeG, I'm pretty sure it was Sgt L, your No 1 on tour) who came up to me while we were setting up for a rolling DP, and he was swinging a couple of ammo fuse cans, and he said "now Sir, don't get mad, and I know you're gonna, and I tried to tell the ammo tech this isn't right, but this is what they gave me for the plug HE". He opened a can and sure enough they were M577's. Even then it took awhile to convince the ammo techs they had made a mistake.

Its still happening. The ammo dump in Valcartier tried to pass off some 577A1 to us last year.
 

Petard

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
0
Points
360
I wonder if they got the same response I did when we returned ours

I drove back to the ammo compound with the ammo NCO, and thought I explained the problem clear enough, we had plug HE, no smoke or illum, we needed time fuses for the HE.
The on duty ammo tech said to me in a real condescending tone: "nah, you got what you asked for. See what it says on the fuse body here, M-T-S-Q (tracing the letters with his finger), know what that means? You can use it for time, or even point detonating"
Me: "yeah, mechanical time super quick, so what, it has a common fuse body, (me turning fuse over in ammo techs hand so he was looking at the bottom) see a booster on there? No, that's right, no booster, no big boom. Give thog fuse that go ba-da-boom after clock done, k?"

But hey, nothing against the ammo folks, probability says you're bound to get a dud now and then
 

Old Sweat

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
47
Points
480
The complete opposite happened on my IG course in Shilo. We were doing 155 mm illumination with the old towed guns. The M109s were still a few months in the future. Anyway the system delivered M485 rounds with M501 (or have I got that wrong? The one without the booster.)  fuzes and when the gun detachments went to mate first fuze to rounds, clunk - the fuze dropped into the cavity.

Anyway, after much scurrying about and our IG getting madder and madder, we finally got some M577 fuzes. Next problem - the firing tables for illuminating were for the M118 (again I think that was the number; it was in 1968 after all.), so the night saw less than stellar shooting.
 

SeanNewman

Banned
Banned
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Another reason to join the Infantry.  Gun drills:

Prep mag / belt;
Put mag / belt in gun;
Cock / ready*;
Aim;
Pull trigger; and
Maintenance.

*Occasional forward assist / safety.
 

Petard

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
0
Points
360
I've noticed some of the recent comments below the youtube video appear to be from Cdn gunners, justifying their bad drill. Some comments from American gunners seem to show they don't think much of the Cdn shortcuts.

This one guy ramming thing; ok, manning limitations might force you to do it, sometimes, but keep somebody with some "pipes" on him (or her) on the J rod, and for cripes sake if a bad ram happens unload the frggin' thing don't fire it, better that than the round dropping short.

Other than that, what can I say that I haven't already; ignore drills at your own peril?

 

Old Sweat

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
47
Points
480
Perhaps it needs an application of old-fashioned discipline of the bite you in the pocket book variety. When the M109 was introduced in the army in 1968, there was a bunch of problems with hydraulic leaks in the turret. Investigation revealed this was from gun detachment members grabbing the hydraulic lines that ran across the top of the turret for support. Hand straps were added, along with very clear instructions that any instance of a gun number caught grabbing the lines for support would lead to the court martial of him and the gun detachment commander. Problem went away.
 

tango22a

Full Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
By the way, Gunners, I saw what looked to be a mint M109 on a flatbed just on the outskirts of Bothwell ON this AM. Looks like it is destined to be a Gate Guard or Memorial some where.


Cheers,


tango22a
 
Top