Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Love the Smell of Cordite in the Morning

I'm not regular reader of The Guardian, but a friend of mine in DC alerted me to this video report on their website from last Thursday. It covers over a month that the reporter spent embedded with USAF and US Marines in Helmand Province.

Note that a significant portion of the video shows US Marines on a combat patrol, so don't expect polite language. They are Marines, after all; they're not hired for their decorum.

The one flaw is that the reporter, Sean Smith, keeps incorrectly referring to the USAF Pararescue Jumpers (aka PJs) as "Prepared Jumpers." I'm sure they are "prepared" but that's not what the "P" stands for. Hey Sean, perhaps a quick Google search would be in order before you do your next voice-over.

Best line in the video (at the 5:30 mark):

Call over the radio to the Marine patrol leader:
"We don't know if it's your position or not, but there is a possible imminent attack"
"Hey, you're using a double negative, dickhead. 'Possible' and 'imminent' are two different words. Which is it going to be?"

One can imagine how the distinction between 'possible' and 'imminent' might be important to the guys in the field.


runner guy said...

At the end of the video Sean Smith tells about a rescue chopper that gets shot down by a rocket propelled grenade. I thought we were told they didn't have those? Or am I thinking about a different rocket propelled explosive?

Keep up the good work man. I've been reading your posts and appreciate your work.

Scott said...

Rocket Propelled Grenade's are an extremely common and readily available weapon that the enemy uses.

Also, I don't believe he was saying 'Prepared Jumpers' he was saying
'Para Jumpers'. Sean Smith is a hell of a Journalist, be it he may work for a liberal rag. However he was embedded with my company in the Iraq war (See his work Inside The Surge) with the Marine Corps. Brave guy, he stuck with us for about 3 weeks.

dmouse said...

while you may know this,Danger room has a good item up "Taliban winning the harts an mines." good read.just saying.

PaladinSix said...

Runner guy-

Scott is correct. RPGs (Rocket-propelled grenades) are very common here. They're cheap, effective and relatively easy to use. That said, Blackhawk Down notwithstanding, shooting down a helicopter with an RPG is a neat trick. Either extremely lucky or extremely talented.

I believe what you're thinking of are MANPADs (Man Portable Air Defense weapons), better known as SAMs. There are a few Russian SA-7s kicking around here, and probably a couple of Stingers left over from the 80s, but I've yet to see convincing evidence the the Taliban have used them successfully.