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NEWS USAF Fighter And Bomber Crews Get Modified M4 Rifles That Fit Under Ejection Seats

Griz882

Well-Known Member
pilot
The difference in Robert's training and a typical aviator is that he killed a lot more of the enemy, and lasted longer than a typical aviator would. How does that change anything? He wasn't going to be captured and used as a propaganda tool and then publicly beheaded. I think that is a motivation we can all share.

Again, how does the amount of ammo he had figure into my point? I understand he also used an enemy weapon that a typical aviator would not have known how to use. So what. The point is to use what you have to the best of your ability. Robert's training gave him the ability to resist more violently. But the motivation for his resistance in that situation should be no different than it is for anyone. They don't need to teach that at Coronado. If Robert's had just 120 rounds and a M4 you think he should have surrendered? I am pretty damned sure he would have used all 120 rounds and gone down fighting, because his motivation would not have changed, kill the enemy, avoid capture, torture and gruesome public execution. Again, why should any aviator have a different motivation?
I think we are talking past one another. Personally, I don’t care if a Tac-Air aviator carries a 105 howitzer in the cockpit. As a tax payer I am unconcerned if the USAF buys a bunch of rifles. What I am noting is this: a military aviators job is to fight from the air, not shoot and scoot in a ground fight. Robert’s job and training was to close with and kill the enemy on the ground and he was an expert, an aviators job is to escape and evade and get back in the cockpit where they are an expert and into the fight he or she is trained to do. There is a vast difference between having a rifle and using a rifle. Firing on a range once or twice a year is not like firing in combat. At the very least the Marines have had a bit of infantry training and the Army guys are used to working with ground pounders - the Air Force guys, they get driven to their airplanes. As I noted before, my concern is that some pilot is going to think his super-cool rifle and four mags will make him a one-man kill squad capable of holding off for hours in place when running and hiding are likely the thing to do.
 

Treetop Flyer

Well-Known Member
pilot
He’s right. We should probably just take away the pistol too. I wouldn’t want some pilot to think his 30 rounds of 9mm will make him a one man kill squad capable of holding off for hours in place when running away and hiding are likely the thing to do.
 
He’s right. We should probably just take away the pistol too. I wouldn’t want some pilot to think his 30 rounds of 9mm will make him a one man kill squad capable of holding off for hours in place when running away and hiding are likely the thing to do.
When they hand you an empty gun and a MAF bag with tape all over it containing two magazines and tell you to put it in your g-suit pocket and never load the pistol, that's essentially what they have done.
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Off. Former Recruiter.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I think we are talking past one another. Personally, I don’t care if a Tac-Air aviator carries a 105 howitzer in the cockpit. As a tax payer I am unconcerned if the USAF buys a bunch of rifles. What I am noting is this: a military aviators job is to fight from the air, not shoot and scoot in a ground fight. Robert’s job and training was to close with and kill the enemy on the ground and he was an expert, an aviators job is to escape and evade and get back in the cockpit where they are an expert and into the fight he or she is trained to do. There is a vast difference between having a rifle and using a rifle. Firing on a range once or twice a year is not like firing in combat. At the very least the Marines have had a bit of infantry training and the Army guys are used to working with ground pounders - the Air Force guys, they get driven to their airplanes. As I noted before, my concern is that some pilot is going to think his super-cool rifle and four mags will make him a one-man kill squad capable of holding off for hours in place when running and hiding are likely the thing to do.
Again, no one expects nor am I arguing a navy flyer to close with the enemy like Roberts. It is a straw man. We have always carried a handgun. For what purpose has it been issued if not to shoot in the direction of the enemy and facilitate evasion and escape. It only stands to reason a more capable weapon, if the situation dictates, then increases the chance of evasion and return to the cockpit. Getting captured means you are out of the fight for the duration.
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Off. Former Recruiter.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
When they hand you an empty gun and a MAF bag with tape all over it containing two magazines and tell you to put it in your g-suit pocket and never load the pistol, that's essentially what they have done.
Not all airwings operated that way. Does anyone know if the AF had similar idiotic procedures?
 

ChuckMK23

Former H-46 Driver
pilot
Not all airwings operated that way. Does anyone know if the AF had similar idiotic procedures?
AF squadrons maintain a bullet trap in the Aviation Life Support area where weapons are issued. Round is chambered with barrel inserted in bullet trap just prior to stepping to jet. I believe 2 full pistol mags are issued. Weapon turn in and unload are also done with barrel in bullet trap.
 
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wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Off. Former Recruiter.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
AF squadrons maintain a bullet trap in the Aviation Life Support area where weapons are issued. Round is chambered with barrel inserted in bullet trap just prior to stepping to jet. I believe 2 full pistol mags are issued. Weapon turn in and unload are also done with barrel in bullet trap.
Well there you have it. If that is AF SOP then it seems obvious to me that they take the whole personal weapon thing a whole lot more serious than the USN (who knew, Air Force). How can you expect Navy aircrew to take their personal defense in an evasion scenario serious when much of leadership sends a signal, through training and SOP, that none of this is worth their time, or they can't be trusted with a loaded weapon. I have been alluding to it for several posts. This is about an attitude. A mindset. It seems as though just maybe the AF (he says while weeping for Naval Aviation) insists their aircrew maintain the combat mindset you have going into the merge, even after you find yourself on the deck in an evasion/survival situation.

I get the funding priority debate. But how many rounds you'd have, boots over improved weapon, lack of infantry training, the enemy we face today vs the enemy we might face tomorrow, past experience in past wars in different times, concern over an aviator wasting his life trying to Rambo it just because he has a carbine, are arguments I just can't understand.
 

Griz882

Well-Known Member
pilot
I get the funding priority debate. But how many rounds you'd have, boots over improved weapon, lack of infantry training, the enemy we face today vs the enemy we might face tomorrow, past experience in past wars in different times, concern over an aviator wasting his life trying to Rambo it just because he has a carbine, are arguments I just can't understand.
Got it, we are still not communicating. I’ll try to clear it up.

1. A downed aviator has but one duty, evade and get back in the cockpit where they make marvelous killers.
2. Evasion is more difficult with a rifle because:
A. One M4 style rifle with 120 rounds adds an additional 10 plus pounds to your “escape weight.”
B. Using a PRQ7 while carrying a rifle, while evading, lowers either the effective use of the rifle or the users attention to a potentially
dangerous level.
C. Land navigation (critical component of E&E) is more difficult with a two-handed weapon.
D. Three 30 rounds magazines not effectively secured are shocking loud when you are moving.
E. Those same magazines stuffed for silence in your bag/flightsuit/pockets are now ineffective.
F. Firing at an “A” target twice a year is enough to get a cute ribbon for your uniform but hardly enough to prepare you in the
effective use of a rifle.
G. When you are trying to hide or fit in a small hiding place an extra 30” of inflexible steel is not a good thing.

Lastly, a pistol is designed for self-defense. A rifle is made for offensive operations. Armed with a rifle a pilot, who needs to evade, might feel compelled to stay put are try to fight it put. I have been on only one effort to help a downed Kiowa Warrior crew in Iraq (2006), and trust me, I wish they had been able to evade toward us rather than us maneuvering to them (they could not, they were both injured too badly).

All that said, I am not trying to change your mind, I am just offering a view point based on some hard earned experience on the ground.
 

Treetop Flyer

Well-Known Member
pilot
Got it, we are still not communicating. I’ll try to clear it up.

1. A downed aviator has but one duty, evade and get back in the cockpit where they make marvelous killers.
2. Evasion is more difficult with a rifle because:
A. One M4 style rifle with 120 rounds adds an additional 10 plus pounds to your “escape weight.”
B. Using a PRQ7 while carrying a rifle, while evading, lowers either the effective use of the rifle or the users attention to a potentially
dangerous level.
C. Land navigation (critical component of E&E) is more difficult with a two-handed weapon.
D. Three 30 rounds magazines not effectively secured are shocking loud when you are moving.
E. Those same magazines stuffed for silence in your bag/flightsuit/pockets are now ineffective.
F. Firing at an “A” target twice a year is enough to get a cute ribbon for your uniform but hardly enough to prepare you in the
effective use of a rifle.
G. When you are trying to hide or fit in a small hiding place an extra 30” of inflexible steel is not a good thing.

Lastly, a pistol is designed for self-defense. A rifle is made for offensive operations. Armed with a rifle a pilot, who needs to evade, might feel compelled to stay put are try to fight it put. I have been on only one effort to help a downed Kiowa Warrior crew in Iraq (2006), and trust me, I wish they had been able to evade toward us rather than us maneuvering to them (they could not, they were both injured too badly).

All that said, I am not trying to change your mind, I am just offering a view point based on some hard earned experience on the ground.
Good Lord.

10lbs extra means you’re carrying what, 30lbs?

Two hands are necessary for a radio at all times? Grow up.

Land nav is difficult with a rifle smaller than an M4? Grow up.

Every other reason is just as ridiculous. It’s an extra tool. It’s better to have than not have.
 
This conversation is all academic.

I'm pretty sure the service that clearly wishes they didn't "have" to issue a combat pistol to aviators and doesn't trust us with a gun isn't going to issue us an M4, even if it's "secured" in the seat pan.
 

Griz882

Well-Known Member
pilot
Good Lord.

10lbs extra means you’re carrying what, 30lbs?

Two hands are necessary for a radio at all times? Grow up.

Land nav is difficult with a rifle smaller than an M4? Grow up.

Every other reason is just as ridiculous. It’s an extra tool. It’s better to have than not have.
I just love all you tough air-conditioned cockpit warriors. What a dumbass. Here, I’ll make it like a cartoon so you can get it.

WOSH! Capt. @Treetop Flyer has ejected. Tumbling through the sky our steely-eyed, TBS trained warrior is already planning his next action before...SNAP...his chute opens. Drifting to the ground he takes mental notes of his survival gear, but luckily he has his ready-to-assemble assault rifle! WHAM! On hitting the ground our hero disengages from his canopy and pulls his seat pan toward him.

“Durka durka...Allah kabob durka.” “Damn,” says @Treetop Flyer, the bad guys are closer than I thought.” Instead of moving away from the enemy as fast as possible, our hero assembles his rifle as the enemy closes in. SCHLICK...the sound of the magazine sliding into the receiver is fucking loud. “Durka? Cassba Allah hummus durka.” Our hero can hear the enemy is close...too close. SQUELCH...”Treetop Five this is rescue one, over...” The captain takes his best Rambo pose, rifle in the crook of his arm and answers his survival radio, “Hey guys, the enemy is close.” “Treetop Five, we need you to move out of the village and south toward the open field. The captain fumbles for his compass when he hears a noise. Squeezing the trigger...nothing...”Shit, in all the confusion of the ejection I forgot to chamber a round!” Dropping the compass he readies his weapon. CLICK...CLICK...BLAM-BLAM, our hero squeezes off two rounds at the approaching enemy, hitting nothing. Realizing he needs to aim, he now drops his radio, missing the next transmission as he takes deadly aim. POW...a miss? “What the fuck! I had him dead in my sights.” Then @Treetop Flyer realizes that he may, or may not have, zeroed this particular rifle in the last three months. Looking over the edge of his hiding place he sees the enemy splitting up, preparing to either flank or envelope him.

A series of loud cracks are heard as @Treetop Flyer fires three, maybe four or five rounds in the direction of the men on his left and right. He can’t tell if he hit anyone but the sudden explosion of dirt and rock along the front of his hole tell him there are still some alive. Ready to fight the captain fires a few quick bursts...BLAM, BLAM, BLAM...BLAM, BLAM, BLAM...BLAM, BLAM, BLAM. “Durka mufti camel khaki durka!” shouts an enemy soldier. @Treetop Flyer can only fire in angry response. He can hear the CSAR helo calling, asking him to move, but he is stuck and still has...uh...ummm...about 90 or 100 rounds. As he continues to shoot he feels that sickening lack of recoil indicating an empty weapon. He drops the empty mag and reaches to his seat pan ammo purse and struggles to extract a magazine. “Shit!” He can smell the fucked up Russian cigarettes and greasy lamb stench of a nearby enemy fighter. Gathering his courage he makes a quick break...dashing for a nearby alley, his ammo purse bouncing between his hip and wall. Rounding a corner he realizes he doesn’t know what direction south is! Finally extracting a magazine he slips in in just in time to see the enemy round the corner. He aims and squeezes the trigger...nothing! In all the excitement he forgot to chamber a round (hey, he only fires the fucker twice a year and never on float). Slamming the bolt forward he fires again...nothing! He suddenly realizes he inserted the magazine upside down. As he turns to run, the last thing he feels is the butt of the enemy rifle crashing into his skull.

Hovering over the empty field, Rescue One wonders why @Treetop Flyer never responded to their calls. They are forced to depart.

Two nights later all the news channels in the US feature the tragic story of a US military flyer captured by the enemy. His fate is sealed. Looking angerly at the camera all the world knows this man’s head is about to be sliced off. No one notices the enemy fighter with the fancy American carbine standing guard.

Stick to airplanes @Treetop Flyer, I am certain you are a fantastic aviator. Stick to what you learned in SERE, it will serve you well. Leave the long arm fighting to the guys who know what their doing. Oh, and grow up.
 

Griz882

Well-Known Member
pilot
This conversation is all academic.

I'm pretty sure the service that clearly wishes they didn't "have" to issue a combat pistol to aviators and doesn't trust us with a gun isn't going to issue us an M4, even if it's "secured" in the seat pan.
The academic part is certainly true. But it can’t hurt asking.
 
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