Monday, October 29, 2012

UPDATED WITH DOC'S TAKE: Painting the Targets in the Real War

UPDATED BELOW:
The sub head of this blog is "Painting the Targets in the Culture War" TM. It is a reference to illuminating a target so that friendlies will support you and start shooting or eliminate the threat.

Today I heard from a medic who had been deployed during a certain mission to Somalia in 1993 who wanted to enhance my discussion of the Benghazi debacle.

He told me this: If you paint a target you expect someone to hit it. NOW. 

If you're painting a target, though the laser may be only visible with night vision you are put in harm's way. 

Oregon born, former Navy SEAL, Ty Woods was lighting up a bad guy firing mortars at the CIA Annex in Benghazi.

He expected someone to shoot the target. If he had no back up, why paint the target? 

Reports suggest there was an AC130 gunship and drone--armed?--nearby. 

Conclusion? The order was given not to give cover and shoot the target.
Ty Woods and former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty were killed by the mortar.

As we understand it, Ty Woods, though wounded, continued manning his 50mm machine gun. His blood was caked on the weapon. He gave his last full measure.

 The President did not give him help.

That is all. 

(These new photographs of Ty Woods are from this blog. )

UPDATE:

Hello this is Doc.  Most of you know I am a regular caller into the Victoria Taft show. Victoria asked me to explain a little about calling for fire from a Aircraft. I'll try to explain with out giving away to any trade secrets or being to technical.

 There are multiple ways to call for fire, Starting with old school. 1 You can talk in fire. How you do that is  give the Aircraft a vector of approach and a direction and distance from a know visual point now days we also use a know GPS  position. You then adjust off of last drop.  2 You can mark either your position or the enemies position with smoke or a strobe this give to the Pilot, WISO/ROE, or The Bombardier a visual clue as to where you are or the enemy are located. You've seen both of this commonly done in Vietnam movies. Now days the most accurate way to call for fire is to use a laser designator to mark the target, this is commonly referred to as either illuminating  or painting the target. This put a Laser signal on the target that the Aircraft can lock on to and the the bomb/missile can use to guide its self to the Target. It allows you to put the bomb where you want it accurately  and avoid as much collateral damage as you can. It also can allow you to hit weak points on a harden target like a window or door on a building.  To do this does expose you to a some danger in that you have to have line of sight to the target and the rule always is if you can see them they might be able to see you. also thought the laser is not visible to the naked eye it can be seen by different optic devices such as night vision goggles etc. 

 Now as to how this relates to TY Woods and the Benghazi debacle. Though this is all speculation and we will possibly never know the whole story even if we hear the tapes of the coms or see the videos from the drones, sources like  Retired Army Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer and others have said  TY Woods painted a mortar sight during the fire fight.  Now other reports have Woods being killed in a Ma Deuce position. If that's so either he had painted the target prior to moving to the .50 cal when he got no response to the call for fire or the reports of him painting the target are wrong cause if he was behinda .50 and could see the mortar crew he'd have taken them out. Now as i said when i called in if he did paint  the mortar position he would have done so only if he new he had the assets in the air to respond to the call other wise its a total waste of time and a unnecessary and dangerous risk that a SEAL would not do.  



Doc

Rangers Lead The Way

2 comments:

  1. Hi Victoria,

    Hopefully, the facts of this struggle will become clear in the future. Infantry combat has so many variables that can effect the outcome. The relative numbers on each side, what kinds of weapons they had, how much ammunition, the terrain, body armor and night vision devices, the kind of protection from weapons effects buildings and temporary fortifications may have afforded them.

    The question of laser designation is an interesting one. Mortars are indirect fire weapons, meaning they don't need a direct line of sight to their target. This allows them to fire from behind protective cover or low spots in the ground, safe from observation direct fire weapons. Their arcing trajectory means they can fire over intervening objects like buildings to hit their targets. They do require a forward observer to spot the fall of their rpounds and relay the necessary range and deflection corrections back to the firing site.

    A laser designator at ground level needs line of sight to it's target. If Woods could lase the mortars, he could have engaged them with his .50 caliber machine gun immediately.

    Without more facts, all this is speculation of course and should not detract from the courage of these men.

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    Replies
    1. Of course it's speculation, you're right.
      It still is a good question to ask: Why laze a target if you knew you didn't have someone to shoot it?

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