Recon by Fire

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 9 months ago

My coverage of rules of engagement has been sweeping and continues to get traffic, especially The NCOs Speak on Rules of Engagement, and Rules of Engagement and Pre-Theoretical Commitments. I have argued for more robust rules of engagement, but I have nowhere argued that the lack of robust ROE is felt throughout Iraq in every unit and in every engagement. In the comments section to the later article, I responded to Charlie B. of OpFor that:

… those individuals who have had good experiences with the ROE will tend to side with you, while those individuals who have been in specific circumstances where the ROE have let them down will tend to agree with my article (some to greater and some to lesser degrees).

Second, I still believe that our pre-theoretical commitments determine the outcome of our thought. For instance, suppose that we began the discussion by asking the question, “why does such a thing as ROE need to exist?

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University Update - Iraq - Recon by Fire

[…] House Link to Article iraq Recon by Fire » Posted at The Captain’s Journal on Saturday, June 30, […]

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Recon By Fire…

Herschel Smith of The Captain’s Journal has made several posts about the Rules of Engagement in Iraq. Some of his more notable posts were The NCOs Speak on Rules of Engagement, Rules of Engagement and Pre-Theoretical Commitments. Herschel and I……

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Recon By Fire…

Great post about tactics and the media by Slab at Op-For. Start there and follow his links to another great blog – Captain’s Journal….

bxp
Member

Reporter Brian Palmer here. I Reporter Brian Palmer here. I appreciate Herschel Smith’s comments here and Slab’s on Op For. My response follows.

First off, my life was in the collective hands of 1/2 Bravo Co. on that day and many other days. I wanted all of them to come home safely.

Regarding my use of the term “recon by fire” in the PBS “Now” piece I shot, wrote, and produced last year, I was quoting Marines. The action was pronounced “recon by fire” by men on the scene. All Marines, including the battalion XO, subsequently referred to it as such. Argue with them about the terminology.

The better to send a bullet “blindly” remark is my own, but it is a paraphrase of a direct quote from a Bravo Co. platoon sergeant. Here it is, verbatim:

“Basically there was a great tactic you can use — recon by fire. And it was better to send a bullet instead of a Marine goin’, especially when you know there’s enemy out there.”

Their rounds could have gone anywhere “down range,

CitSAR
Member
Below is a historical comment received after forwarding the above article to a retired SWA Tracker from the late 70s and early 80s. Their job was to HALO in behind and push terrorists back toward the SWA border for final disposition… They were equiped with hat, t-shirt, shorts, russian soled sneakers, AK-47 model of that time and minimal kit for only a few days. The average Op was a 3 day maission concisting of a 48 klick jog in the bush, 3-4 hrs on / 3-4 hrs off, until finally making it home. His longest longest mission was 28 days (dropped in wrong location…). Normal cycle; they were on various missions for 21 days followed by 7 days off duty for sleep. Rob, Yep, the Drake Shoot was well known, and was adapted for use by SWASPES during 1978/79 in Angola. Only problem was that they used it on us as well!! As I’ve said before, they’re quick learners, terrorists…….. It was especially useful when on the return run. Thick bush as you approached the SWA/Angolan border was always a cause for concern. Our job as Trackers was to flush terrs back towards the border. It was 90% certain that,… Read more »
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The Captain’s Journal » More on ROE in Afghanistan: Refusing the Chase

[…] the conclusion that the strategic interests were served with a less robust ROE.  I have detailed a more public instance of robust ROE before, and noted that lack of this approach might have led in the end to more Marine […]

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The Captain's Journal » More Rules of Engagement Examples from Afghanistan

[…] how successful each campaign has been.  For a reminder of how insurgents were engaged in Iraq, see Recon by Fire (or what some commenters called the “Drake […]

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The Captain's Journal » Why Marines in Afghanistan Want the Taliban to Open Fire

[…] More: Recon by Fire […]

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The Captain's Journal » Marine Dust-Off in Nimroz Province

[…] so in Iraq, and it certainly wasn’t so with the Marines in the Anbar Province.  Remember Recon by Fire?  And I won’t recount the experiences of a certain Marine I know.  And just to give a […]

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The Captain's Journal » Problems with the Applied Rules of Engagement

[…] campaign is not being conducted like Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Do you doubt this?  Consider again Recon by Fire.  Tell me about how cultural sensitivity won Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Go […]

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The Captain's Journal » The Pitiful Rolling Stone

[…] one hundred thousand other such engagements that occurred in Iraq from 2003 to 2008.  Remember Recon by Fire?  If I have no problems with that, I certainly have no problem with what the Rolling Stone video […]

wpDiscuz

You are currently reading "Recon by Fire", entry #532 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Rules of Engagement and was published June 30th, 2007 by Herschel Smith.

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