EVERY 0331 that goes through AMGC does high angle fire. Slow news day?
– Joe R Heft
A variety of gunnery skills are taught during USMC Advanced Machine Gunner Course but most Army personnel remain oblivious to gunnery with machine guns and are rarely competent with them beyond loading and minimal marksmanship on easy and well-defined point targets.
In fact, most Army personnel have been conducting machine gun qualification incorrectly and failing to achieve published standards. Consider this from the new small arms training manual:
Table IV-B requires gunners to practice trigger control and requires the firer to fire one five to seven round burst at each specified point target or series of targets in the area target sequences. Gunners are authorized to fire only one five to seven round burst at each paster. [Emphasis added]
The authors explicitly spell this out due to recognizing most Army personnel have failed to perform at this standard but it is NOT a new/different standard. This is not a change to doctrine or a new qualification, this is the way the qual was always supposed to be run. Simple arithmetic of the number of rounds issued during qualification, the number of rounds per burst to be fired, and the number of target areas engaged confirms this. The explicit instruction was forced in due to a large number of Army personnel that don’t math good.
Lack of skill with this equipment is, unfortunately, common.
Operation Cold Steel has been less than stellar…
Such “expertise” is rampant:
Marines practice rarely trained machine gun tactic that could take out Russian vehicles
The Marine Corps is in Bulgaria practicing high-angle fire with a 40 mm grenade launching machine gun known as the Mk-19… The tactic could be beneficial in striking down infantry troops behind walls or protection, or taking out advancing Russian armor and light-skinned vehicles.
With seamless communications and competent forward observers, high-angle Mk-19 fire could also be used to rapidly and easily walk rounds onto an enemy target, according to several machine gunners.
It’s a skill set learned at the Marine Corps’ six-week Advanced Machine Gunner Course.