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Tools of Terror [1060, 1852, 2187, 2251, 2496, 3200, 3772, 3905, 4207, 4400, 4415, 4961, 5034,

5190, 5708, 5860, 6220, 6310 ] Why it is important to begin a war memoir describing the tools of terror used by insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq against the US, Afghan, Iraqi and Coalition military and security forces? To fully comprehend the words of war, I believe you first need to understand the tools of terror. Most war related books have a glossary of terms at the end of the book, which I feel is inconvenient and inadequate for the reader with a minimal military background. A 10 or 12 word sentence describing an IED or AK-47 is not enough and too sterile to truly understand the language used in war stories. I will explain the tools of terror as simply as I can and will avoid getting too technical. I will also put my personal take and experience when I can, in describing an enemy weapons system, its employment or its effects. The reader needs to know upfront what soldiers and civilians in a war zone face. The tools of terror in Iraq and Afghanistan are not that much different then in Viet Nam. The only upside to the Afghan and Iraq wars is the US and Coalition forces are not facing enemy air craft or artillery, adding more tools of terror to the mix. The single greatest and most lethal tool of terror is the insurgents themselves. Their collective combat experience, their ruthless application of violence against their enemies, their own willingness to travel from other countries to fight the Great Satan and die for a greater cause: Islamic Jihad and martyrdom, their creativity of making do with whatever limited resources available, their ability to live off the near barren land and mountainous regions with little more then rice, bread, tea, sandals, a woolen blanket and an AK-47, their ability to plan and execute combat operations with a technologically primitive and unsecured communications system, their grit and determination to keep on fighting no matter how many casualties sustained or how large of a force they face. I wonder why the Afghan and Iraqi army and police do not fight the insurgents with the same tenacity as the insurgents. The video camera is perhaps one of the most under appreciated and important lethal or non-lethal weapon systems on the modern battlefield used against US and Coalition forces during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. If you do not believe me, next time you are on the internet, Google IED attacks, Iraq and see how many video clips there are taken from the insurgent point of view, with Arabic music, Koranic verses and Arabic subtitles. The video clips are used for propaganda purposes showing the world how weak the US et al are. Televised on Al Jerzera and other pro-Islamic Jihad television stations as well as posted on the internet the video clips are a useful tool for recruiting Jihadist, showing their supporters that the Americans can be defeated and to display and recognize the Jihadist sacrifices and martyrdom. The insurgent video clips also serve as a warning to the American, Coalition, Afghan and Iraqi security forces of what awaits them while driving or patrolling on the roads, cities and towns of Afghanistan or Iraq- death or dismemberment, neither a great option. This does strike fear in the hearts of convoy personnel- drivers, gunners and convoy commanders.

Lesson learned here is if you are ground convoying or foot patrolling during a deployment and see an Iraqi or Afghan with a video camera, and there is no wedding party going by, you can expect to be ambushed. The effect of various attacks on military convoys on my first unit in Iraq, with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 167th Corps Support Group, a logistical management unit, was the its not my job attitude to go on a convoy as a vehicle crew man or passenger, adopted by some soldiers in my unit. Consequently, the unit split between the soldiers who went outside the wire on a routine basis, 15% of the unit and the rest of the unit who never went outside the wire, ever, never, ever. Even years later, this its not my job to go outside the wire attitude still irritates me; maybe I am just a war snob. To mitigate this attitude amongst the units staff officers, the commander, Colonel Mackenzie required all his staff officers to ride along on one of my Civil Affairs missions so they could get a taste of what the war on the roads was all about. I guess he trusted me enough to bring them back alive, which I did every time. First let me describe an explosion in general. All bombs, rockets, mortars, grenades and explosives, whether improvised explosive devices or factory made, have some sort of initiation device, which sets off the explosion- from a simple burning time fuse to pressure plates or a remote cell phone, connected to an electric blasting cap which is connected to the main explosive charge. When detonated, whether by the victim or enemy, explosions produce heat, overpressure [blast] and shrapnel: flying pieces of the bomb components and or debris, plus what ever else was added as shrapnel to increase the bombs lethality. This is why most explosive devices are a lethal trifecta. The effects of the heat are obvious: the searing heat will burn flesh, melt metal and start vehicle fuel fires. The over pressure damage is less visible, but none the less lethal: traumatic brain injury, blown out lungs, ruptured ear drums and damage to most internal organs. Shrapnel damage is also very obvious, pieces of flying metal will easily cut thru uniforms and the flesh and bone beneath it. Sergeant [SGT] Anderson, a mobilized college sophomore and the only causality from my unit [167th CSG, Headquarters Company], was a gunner in the cargo section of a HUMMV. While on a convoy in early November 2004, the convoy was ambushed by an Improvised Explosive Device attack. SGT Anderson was hit by two pieces of shrapnelone the size of a six inch ruler, sliced his forearm to the bone just below the elbow. The second piece was the base of the artillery round used in the IED, the size of a soda can bottom, struck him in the lower left rib cage area. Even though he was wearing his body armor, his spleen was ruptured and had to be removed. SGT Anderson survived the golden hour and made a full recovery. If he was not wearing his body armor, no doubt SGT Anderson would have been killed. All weapon systems and explosives have their own sound signature. A Rocket Propelled Grenade [RPG] explosion sounds nothing like a car bomb and nothing sounds like a car bomb except a car bomb. The longer you are in a combat zone, the more sound signatures you learn. So do not be too surprised when a combat veteran acts startled and flinches during a fire works display; just some bad memories coming to the surface. While most fire works explosions will not remind them of combat, some explosions and noises will.

The Improvised Explosive Device [IED] is one of the most common and deadly weapon used by Afghan and Iraqi insurgents against the US, Afghan, Iraqi and coalition security forces. For insurgents, cost is minimal and for the Coalition the results are usually catastrophic- vehicle badly damaged or destroyed, personnel as a minimum wounded, usually one killed- most likely either the driver or gunner. My general observation from the destroyed vehicles I have seen and Situation Reports I have read, regardless what side of the vehicle the IED blows up, the gunner always gets it. During my first two tours to Iraq, I ground convoyed on a routine basis and never experienced an IED attack. I cannot say from personal experience how bad an IED attack is- but I do flinch when watching a video clip or even a movie of a HUMMV or army truck exploding. Consequently, I do not watch that sort of video or movie any more. During predeployment training, the US military trains convoys for IED attacks. Hopefully, during an IED attack, muscle memory and combat battle drills take over- the soldiers will not have to think about what to do, they will just do it, and the soldiers do not become paralyzed by fear, in order to remove the all occupants, living or dead from a destroyed vehicle and then escape the kill zone. In order to survive, there is lot to do and not too much time to do it in. In various vehicle bone-yards and maintenance areas, I saw many military vehicles that were destroyed by different types of IEDs, resulting in numerous US Army casualties, reinforced that I never wanted to be part of an IED attack. I am not sure if I ever saw an IED. I know I never saw an IED explosion. I usually rode in the lead vehicle, front passenger seat, so I had a great view. Did I drive past unexploded munitions? You bet. I know I saw and handled a lot of unexploded munitions that were literally just lying around the Iraqi villages I visited. Did I drive past IEDs hidden in a mound of trash along the highways or behind a lamp post outside of Tikrit? Maybe, but I do not know for sure. I know while driving south on Route Tampa, I did drive over a pot hole, which I saw later during the return trip[driving north], had a one foot diameter, green plastic looking shaped disk in it, which I assume was a land mine, since the road was blocked and an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team was getting ready to blow it in place. As we drove past, my driver SGT Hernandez and I started laughing, knowing that we just barely escaped death. Better to be lucky then good. While on the topic of landmines, and before I talk about IEDs, simply put there are two main types, anti-personnel and anti-vehicle. Land mines are very effective, but are not a discriminate killer. They kill or maim anyone who sets them off. During an insurgency war, winning the hearts and minds of the local population is the goal of both the insurgents and pro-government security forces. Land mines cannot tell the difference between progovernmental forces and local population. Not a good choice to use by insurgents, since killing the local population reduces their support for the insurgency. Most of the major roads in Iraq are modern and paved, making landmine emplacement difficult, but not impossible. In Viet Nam, where most of the roads were packed dirt, land mines were effectively used against US forces and the locals were warned by the Viet Cong to stay off the main roads.

In 2004, landmines were rarely used in Iraq. However, one 167th CSG subordinate unit lost a soldier when the truck he was driving hit an anti-vehicle mine emplaced on the soft dirt shoulder just off the road. Drivers had been warned about the land mine threat, and told not to pull off the road too far. The mine exploded up thru the front left front wheel killing the driver. The assistant driver was lucky and only ejected thru the front windshield suffering minor physical wounds. I do not know about his psychological wounds such as survivors guilt, which I am sure that will take a long time to heal. The primary value of land mines to the Iraq war insurgents was the plastic explosives used in the land mine. My team and I found two landmine caches in an abandoned Republican Guard Army base just 10 miles north of Tikrit. The caches contained over 500 assorted Italian and Soviet style land mines. The vast majority were anti-vehicle landmines. The Italian land mines were the diameter of a pie plate and made of plastic, once buried, making them hard to find. The Soviet style mines were typical Soviet era construction, made of heavy metal the size of a small suit case. Some of the mines discovered were empty- the plastic explosive filler were removed. I believe that the plastic explosives were used in the manufacturing of IEDssorry, how the plastic explosive is used is a detail that I will leave out. Basic IED configuration and initiation devices. Needless to say, I will not give out the exact details for making an IED, so if there is information missing, it is clearly intentional. Assembling IEDs is unfortunately an easy process for anyone who has basic electronic training and insurgents do not need any more help. I lost a few friends to a very complicated IED[Iranian factory made IED called an explosively formed projectile or EFP, which can penetrate up to a few inches of armor] using multiple explosively formed projectiles, designed to blow up simultaneously, striking the HUMMV in four spots, killing SFC Crabtree and an Arabic translator known as Adam. Insurgents and terrorist in general are good enough at their murderous craft and they do not need my help; I just want the reader to understand the basics. IEDs generally consist of several common components. There is the main explosive charge, usually what ever munitions is most plentiful usually artillery or mortar rounds, but also it could be plastic explosives, TNT or in some cases a tub or pail of home made explosives[also know as HME] of varying quality- no I will not be giving out the recipe for this either. Mortar and artillery rounds were buried in caches all over Iraq by Saddams army with the foresight to be used later. There was almost no shortage of mortar or artillery rounds in Iraq to be used as the IEDs main explosive charge. The explosives can then be connected with an electrical blasting cap, and then connected to the electrical initiation device and power source. The limiting factors in building IEDs are component availability and the IED builders abilities and imagination. Unfortunately, some IED builders are very good. However, each IED builder has their own distinctive IED features or signature, which can be traced back to them. IED builders are high value targets who usually end up with a 2 AM wake up call and bullet or two to the head. Methods of employment and detonation: remote or victim detonated. Employment means how and where the IED is used. The IED builder does not always employ the device himself, but rather hands it off [or sells it] to the end users: insurgent

cell or just a criminal. IEDs were set up literally everywhere along highways and roads: buried on the shoulder of the roads, inside drainage culverts, behind guard rails, under bridges, even suspended in trees. If well camouflaged, an IED can be hidden in plain site, like the one found out side Camp Delta, by the bus stop, Spring of 2006. The explosive portion had been hidden in a stone shaped hard foam container and painted to look like a slab of stone. It had been found by a concerned Iraqi citizen who noticed that there were too many supports for the bench. IEDs have also been emplaced along known footpaths and foot patrol routes. Once you leave the wire, you are in IED country, so watch your step. IEDs of all types can be remotely detonated, also known as command detonated or victim detonated. Remote detonation devices range from simple to complex- a wire and battery set up to remote garage door opener to cell phones wired to the blasting cap. The further the distance away from the IED explosion, the greater the chances the insurgents can escape. For the IED team, longer range is better. Remote detonation is not an exact science and usually involves a marking point. When a vehicle crossed the marking point, the insurgent detonates the IED. Since the vehicle is moving, it does not always get hit when the IED explodes or where the IED team wanted it to strike. Still, even with a near miss, the vehicle crews will get shaken up and need time to decompress after the convoy arrives at its destination. Victim detonated IEDs are all about making the electrical connection and completing the circuit. They will explode exactly when you want them to. No guess work, no markers or advanced math to worry about. When the vehicle rolls on the pressure plate, hits the trip wire or breaks the electric eye- the IED explodes; that simple, that deadly. Vehicle borne improvised explosive devices [VBIED] This is a rather long name for what most people know as a car bomb. There are two basic types, stationary and suicide. Stationary VBIEDs are built similar to a regular IED, except instead of digging a hole and burying it; the IED is built into a vehicle, which is then driven or placed where ever the insurgents want to attack. This method can be used against a vehicle convoy or a stationary target such as a market place or government building. There are several advantages of a VBIED: minimal site preparation required, no hole has to be dug, just drive up and walk away; more explosives can be used by filling the back seat and trunk; the IED is protected from the weather, no need to worry that electrical components will fail if it rains; and the explosives can be better concealed. After the first few convoy VBIED attacks, convoy procedures changed to mitigate the threat. The lead vehicle in a convoy would report parked or abandoned vehicles along the supply routes and remaining convoy vehicles would move over to the other side of the road, trying to maximize distance between themselves and a potential VBIED. Distance from an explosion means survival, closer then 5 meters, even in an armored vehicle, is near certain death. An obvious sign that a vehicle is a VBIED is a sagging rear end, due to the weight of the explosives packed in the trunk and back seat. To this day, I still get a little concerned whenever I see a car parked or driving, with a sagging rear end. Hopefully someday, a sagging rear end will no longer concern me; hopefully.

The first time I heard a VBIED explode was as my team and I were preparing for a late morning convoy to Tikrit, during the summer of 2004, while at Camp Speicher, Iraq. My initial thought was what was that explosion? I knew it was not a rocket or mortar explosion or even a controlled blast- which was almost a daily event, as explosive ordnance technicians were destroying Saddams munitions cached by Camp Speicher. It was something different. About a half hour later, it was announced that a car bomb exploded on Route Tampa about 200 yards from the access road to Camp Speicher. The target was a US logistics convoy leaving Camp Speicher heading south, the same direction my team and I had were heading. Once Camp Speichers force protection cell reopened the front gates, our convoy to Tikrit could leave. As my convoy turned right at the end of the access road on to Route Tamps and headed south and passed detonation the site, there was just about nothing left of the VBIED vehicle, except tiny shards of unidentifiable twisted metal and the engine block located about 50 meters away form the blast area. Fortunately, no US personnel or Iraqis were injured nor any vehicles damaged. That convoy was lucky. Suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device [SVBIED], is similar to the VBIED and is also a very effective weapon system; as long as the driver does not decide that living is better then the promise of paradise. Even that has been thought out- the drivers are some times handcuffed or their hands duct taped to the steering wheel and there is a remote electronic initiation device as the only initiation device, just in case the driver does not want to take the trip to paradise. Like it or not, the driver is on a one way mission. In all fairness, some SVBIED drivers do not have a choice- the insurgents gave them the we will kill your family, if you do not do this speech. What choice does the driver have? SVBIEDs are built similar to regular VBIED- explosives attached to a remote command initiation device[very reliable] or have a command detonation device used by the driver[not so reliable, see above]. The SVBIED is the poor mans smart bomb- the SVBIED can be driven exactly when and where it needs to be, no guess work. The insurgents have used the SVBIEDs in numerous murderous ways: driving into a convoy at a particular vehicle, at highway security check points, beside an important building or into a military highway check point or police base entry control point. The sagging rear end is also a tell tale sign on the SVBIED. Making killing personal: the suicide bomber. Suicide bombers are another poor mans smart bomb, blowing up at the desired location and time. Usually concealed in a vest, jacket, man dress or overcoat, the bomb consists of the usual explosives and some sort of metal used for fragmentation, increasing the lethal range. The metal used can be nuts, screws, nails or ball bearings. Without a doubt, ball bearings are the worst, with its round shape and hardened steel construction, ball bearings will travel further and penetrate deeper. I saw one of the 167 th CSGs subordinate units HUMMV that was destroyed by a ball bearing filled road side IED: the bearings shredded the HUMMVs Kevlar doors and metal frame like it was not even there, killing the driver and of course the gunner. When I saw the destroyed HUMMV, blood stains included, I

thought that could have been me and my driver, Sergeant Hernandez. I cannot imagine the lethal effects of a suicide vest on an unprotected human. However, I did see pictures of ball bearings the lethal effects on unprotected humans, before such types of pictures were prohibited, of a 2005 suicide bomber attack at the Baghdad Police Academy. The insurgents knew the Police Academys response to an indirect fire attack: everyone goes to the concrete bunks for protection. Two suicide bombers were used; you know how this attack was going to go down. The first bomber detonated himself in open area killing and wounding numerous Iraqi police cadets. When the remaining police cadets heard the explosion, thinking it was an indirect fire attack, they rushed into the concrete bunkers as they had been trained to do, where the second suicide bomber awaited their arrival. At some point, with the bunker full, he also detonated himself, killing more cadets for a total of around 60 dead with nearly a hundred wounded. The Police Academy Instructor, a Viet Nam veteran and retired law enforcement officer, who took these shocking and graphic pictures, was sent to my base, Camp Delta [20052006] to decompress. Based on my observation of his behavior, this event will have a long lasting psychological impact in him. The suicide bomber explosive vest has a command detonation device, but as with SVBIEDs, the human is the least reliable component, and there is usually a remote command detonation device as back up. Often the main targets of suicide bombers were Iraqi Police Cadets and applicants lined up awaiting admittance into the Police Station. For some reason, suicide bomber attacks against Iraqi Army Cadets or applicants were a rare event. During my first tour to Iraq[2004], one of the few times I got mad at my Iraqi translator, Abu Ali, was when we were on mission to convoy to the Tikrit Police station to visit the Regional Police General. As our convoy approached the Police Complex I saw hundreds of Iraqi men lined up, waiting outside the Tikrit Police Headquarters front gate. Abu Ali knew it was hiring day and did not tell me- had I known I would have changed the mission, there was always Iraqi villages to visit and distribute humanitarian aide to. The fear factor, also know in the military circles as the pucker factor went up quite a bit. I was not scared, but was very concerned. I did not want to lead my team into an ambush, which could have been avoided. As our convoy approached the complex, the Iraqi Police were happy to see me and more importantly my convoy of four gun trucks. They were all smiles and waves, letting us right in. Upon entering the police station compound, I helped the Iraqi police by positioning two of my gun trucks at the front gate area, to beef up front gate security while the other two gun trucks stayed with me during my visit with Iraqi Police General Mazur. Of course during the meeting, an explosion was heard, echoing thru the city of Tikrit, which added to the excitement. All conversation stopped for a few seconds, everyone looking around the room, eyeballing each other, smiling a nervous smile, while trying not to show too much surprise or fear. Even the Police General looked concerned. After a few more minutes of conversation, to show that we were not too scared, we wrapped the meeting, said our good byes to General Mazur and departed the police complex without incident. About six months after my unit left Iraq, the Tikrit police station was attacked with a large SVBIED, I do not have the attacks details, but imagine there was a large loss of life. I wondered if General Mazur survived. Another favorite suicide bomber target is market places, to show the Iraqi people that the government cannot

protect them. You can just imagine the carnage a SVBIED will create in an open area, with unprotect, unsuspecting civilians. Not all suicide bombers are willing looking forward to the trip to paradise, they sometimes got the we will kill your family speech. Again, what can anyone do in that lose-lose situation. Insurgent Small Arms. The AK-47 is the main weapon of the Iraqi and Afghan insurgents, Iraqi and Afghan Army and Police, as well as the former Soviet Union, China, Former Soviet block European countries, plus any other army or police force who wants a reliable, simple to use, inexpensive individual weapon system. The AK 47 fires a 7.62mm x 39[length] round, using typically a 30 round detachable magazine. I shot the AK-47 quite a lot while at Camp Delta [2005-2006], Iraq and can personally attest the weapon is easy to use and very reliable. The AK-47 has a different sound signature then the US M-16/M-4. The AK 47 is much louder and deeper then the US M-16/M-4. The AK-47 range is some what short, about 200 meters and not very accurate compared to the US M-16 or M-4 variants. Of course, if you have a new or at least well maintained AK-47, the range and accuracy will increase. I have never been shot at by an AK-47, at least to my knowledge, so I cannot tell you what that experience is like. While at Camp Delta, my friend Iraqi Army Major Ahmed, who worked with me training the Iraqi Army, was ambushed driving his pick up truck on his way from his home to the base by insurgents using AK-47s. MAJ Ahmed was visibly shaken up, but down played the danger and survived the attack unscratched. I am sure he was happy that the AK-47 is not very accurate. After seeing the holes the AK-47s made in Major Ahmeds pick up truck, I seriously doubt it was a pleasant experience. While at Camp Delta, My team had a difficult time getting ammunition for our M-4 rifles, so most of my team and I carried an AK-47 as our back up rifle, just in case. For my team and I, there was not shortage of AK-47 ammunition. The RPK is the light machine gun version of the AK 47. The RPK is similar in caliber and design, looking like a slightly larger version of its AK 47 cousin, except with a longer, heavier barrel and stock with an attached bi-pod. A longer barrel gives the weapon a slightly longer range and more accuracy. The RPK can use the 30 or 40 round detachable magazine. Like most light machine guns, the RPK is best fired from a solid base, such as on the ground using its bipod, a wall or window sill. The weapon is a little too heavy to be shoulder fired with any accuracy, though insurgent video clips will show insurgents firing the RPK Rambo style from the hip or shoulder. Several of my team at Camp Delta had RPKs as their back up weapon system; the RPKs were the only light machine guns we had. RPG-7, also called RPG for short or rocket propelled grenade for long, is the main antiamour/ anti-aircraft rocket weapon carried by insurgents. The RPG is another Soviet designed weapon system. The RPG does not fire a grenade per se, but rather a conical shaped armor penetrating shape charge, giving it the ability to penetrate several inches of armor or a brick/stone/mud walls. RPGs have a 200 yard range and the accuracy is iffy at best beyond that range. Insurgents used RPGs against all types of vehicles and helicopters. From personal experience I can tell you that when an RPG is shot at you, its launching does

not sound like a bottle rocket fizzing like the movie Blackhawk Down portrayed, but rather a loud explosion; nearly as loud as the impact explosion. Something you will not want to experience more then once to get the point that the RPG can be loud and potentially deadly. Fortunately, the inaccuracy of the RPG allowed me to write this essay critiquing inaccuracy of the RPG. How ironic? Complex attacks. Not to state the obvious, but complex attacks are more complicated then an IED or small arms attack, usually involving a combination of IED, VBIED, RPG and finally small arms fire. The complex attack requires better leadership, more planning, more insurgents, greater communications and coordination. This is type of attack is conducted by a trained force who is not afraid to stand and fight. Complex attacks usually commenced with an IED or RPG attack on a convoy or foot patrol, disabling a vehicle or killing members of a foot patrol. The insurgents then followed up with small arms fire and more RPGs or even IEDs on the survivors or rescue personnel. Favorite Targets. For Afghan and Iraqi insurgents a favorite target was the fuel tanker truck. These 5,000 or 7,500 gallon monsters are large, slow and not very maneuverable; a perfect target to attack and once on fire, even better to video. Few targets film better then a burning fuel tanker: the flames and black smoke can be seen for what seems like forever; in both time and distence. Since there is limited fire fighting capability in convoys under normal circumstances let alone in Afghanistan or Iraq, the tanker truck will burn for hours and the black smoke can be seen for up to 10 miles away. However, as spectacular as these attacks are, and I can say from first hand experience, a burning tanker is quite a sight; they have minimal tactical effect on the war effort. In Iraq, the daily shipment of fuel was close to three million gallons, with around 10 days of supply on hand. So a 7,500 gallon fuel loss was a proverbial drop in the bucket. However, for propaganda purposes, a burning tanker was a great success. Indirect Fire: Mortars and Rockets Indirect fire attacks were usually conducted against fixed positions: Military bases, road intersections, police stations and government building complexes. Over all these attacks were very successful in terrorizing the occupants, even killing or wounding some, but usually not a decisive factor whether or not to relocate or close a major base. The US logistics base in Balad, one of the largest US bases in Iraq, about 50 kilometers north of Baghdad, known as Logistics Support Area Anaconda or Balad Air Field, was attacked by mortars and rockets so many times from late 2003 to 2005, it was nicknamed Mortarritaville- ripping off Jimmy Buffets song Margaretville. For me, while at Camp Speicher, Camp Delta, Anaconda in 2007-2008 or Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan 2009, indirect fire attacks were not too bad, at most several attacks in week. None of the impacting rounds were close enough for me to really worry about. Windows rattled and dust fell off the lights, but no direct hits. The biggest attack I experienced was just before I went home on leave in August 2004; while I was at the Mosul Airfield [also know as Forward Operating Base Diamondback] and 11 mortar rounds [yes 11, I counted the

explosions] dropped in near the air field in about three minutes, all were far away from me and were more annoying then scary. Mortars Mortars are an indirect fire weapon system. The range depends on the rounds diameter size: 60mm is about 3 kilometers, 82 MM is about 4.5 kilometers and 120mm is 7-10 kilometers. By indirect I mean that you might be able to see the target, but the weapon is not fired directly at it like a rifle or tank cannon, but rather the munitions are fired into the air, at a high angle which will allow the round to impact near the intended target. Mortar weapon system consists of a tube, legs and base plate. Accuracy depends on condition of the weapon system and ammunition, crew experience and how well the weapon is set up, the firmer the base the more accurate the fire. The 60 mm mortar can be carried by one man, the 82 mm requires a team to carry the three main components and the 120 mm usually needs a vehicle. The 60 mm mortar can be fired by one person, and there are numerous insurgent video clips that show this method. The others mortars need a crew of at least two or three. Mortars can be fired from the ground, a roof top or in some cases they have been fired off the back of a truck, for quick a get-away, which increases insurgent survivability. He who shoots and runs away, lives to shoot another day. Insurgency warfare is about wearing out the enemys will to continue to fight, expending blood and money. Rockets Afghan and Iraqi insurgents used rockets and not missiles to attack their targets. Many people, even in the military, confuse rockets and missiles. Rockets are a directional weapon system, basically point in a direction and fire. Distence and location is determined by the rockets angle of launch and direction. Once fired, there is no controlling where a rocket goes, so you have to get it right the first time. Missiles, on the other hand, are more complex and much more accurate then rockets. They have internal or external directional controls which can guide them to the intended target after launch. That being said, in 2008, several US Air Force personnel were killed when their moving vehicle was hit by a 122mm rocket launched 10 miles away near the southern Iraqi city of Nassariyha, truly a million to one shot. Sometimes it is better to be lucky then good. During several of my civil affairs mission I found unexploded rockets sticking out of the ground, buried nose in. On one occasion, my team received information from a local shepherd that three rocket rounds were stuck in the ground, in line, sticking out about three feet, looking like lethal parking meters. We called the discovery into my unit and after a while an explosive ordnance team arrived to blow up the rockets. My team and I thanked the shepherd and gave him a case of water for this information. The Iraqi Shepherd did not have to like all American soldiers, just me and my team. Acts of kindness can go a long way during an insurgent a war. The second time I saw unexploded rockets was a few weeks later, during a visit to a local village, while speaking with a farmer. As we walked thru his recently harvested wheat field and he showed me a rocket buried all the way in the earth, the only part visible was the rocket motor. The farmer did not seem scared but was concerned that his tractor would hit the rocket causing it to explode. I had one of my sergeants take a few pictures and using a GPS, recorded the grid coordinates. When we

returned to Camp Speicher, the information was given to the Force Protection cell that would coordinate with EOD to dispose of the rocket. Rockets vary in size from 57mm to 122 mm[diameter] and the range is up to 10 miles. Accuracy is marginal at best and worsens at the rockets longer ranges. For the most part, the rockets are used a terror weapons rather then a precise weapon system. Rockets use electric initiation system and can be launched with a simple wire and battery set up, use remote control initiation system or even mechanical or electronic timers. This reduces the chance of the insurgents getting caught by the counter battery mortars or the bases quick reaction force. In order to improve accuracy, insurgents use metal tubes or troughs as a launch rails. During a war, the tools of terror are numerous, deadly and limited only by insurgent creativity. As the US and its allies upgrade equipment; modify pre-deployment training, enhance electronic counter measures; improve body armor and change tactics, techniques and procedures to increase survivability, the insurgents figure out a way to defeat the upgrades; usually by adding more explosives to the IEDs. As we use to say insurgents have to get lucky only once, we have to get lucky every time.