1. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    Pmc

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Shinn, Sep 3, 2010.

    Hey y'all.

    Okay, for the PMC side of things for Crimson Ribbon, what type of weaponry would they use besides the standard guns and vehicles? Would Special Forces weapons be considered accurate equipment?
     
  2. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    First let me bounce a few questions off of you.

    1. Have you ever served in the military?

    2. Have you done a lot of research on the military and Special Ops specifically?

    3. What is your idea of "Special Forces Weapons"?

    My point in asking these questions to get an idea where your question is coming from.

    If you are a veteran with notebooks of research on special ops, and the only thing you are looking for is the finer points on Private Contractors, I can give you that.

    If you have never served in uniform, have no frame of reference for what military service is really like and you are just now starting your research by talking to me, I can give you that too...I'll just have to start at the beginning and give you the long story.

    If you are somewhere in the middle, I'd like to know how much of the basic stuff I can just toss out and give you what you really need.

    To address your question I'd have to say that weapons and equipment are highly mission specific. Armories and equipment lockers are packed with all manner of gear and firepower. What gets issued/used really does depend on mission objectives/targets/locations etc.

    It is hard to give a more detailed response without knowing more info. My answer to an average guy on the street would be different and more expansive than it would be to an ex marine (To whom I'd just bottom line it and he'd know what I meant).
     
  3. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    1 - No I have not.

    2 - I've done plenty of research regarding the SAS, SBS, U.S. Army Rangers, Green Berets, Airborne, Marine Force Recon and so on.

    3 - And I my view of SF weapons is a modified version of the standard stuff.
     
  4. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    Okay, so not having "been there, done that", I take it that you'd appreciate some anecdotes on the nuances of how professionals conduct themselves in the field, how they act, what habits many of them have and some descriptive details on operational procedures that would help a writer create a more detailed and convincing story, am I correct?

    So you are up to date on the military aspects and are specifically looking for how the private military contractors and mercenary units differ from the military, correct?

    The military special forces armory has ALL of the toys in it. No sensible government would deny ANY available weaponry to its most elite branch, considering the job they expect them to do.

    Their equipment list also includes communications equipment, weapons optics and other specialized gear that have been developed under national secrecy laws that aren't even acknowledged to exist. The point of the secrecy is to prevent the other side from finding ways to protect against it. So, don't expect to find any websites discussing it, any veterans willing to risk prison time for talking about it or corporations advertising the fact that they manufacture it under government license.

    The good thing about this is that as a writer, you can just invent stuff that falls into that category and nobody is in a position to contradict you :)

    Just use the letter "M" with a dash "-" add two or three numbers and possible another number or letter at the end and it will "look" legit.

    Example: The M-93 laser optic or the M-44A2 Satellite Com Link, just describe it as the latest state-of-the-art or the "new experimental model". Since you're writing fiction, it won't matter and nobody can dispute it.

    But enough about classified Special ops gear, you asked about private military contractors.

    Real contractors in Afghanistan select their weaponry based on mission objectives, just like the military special ops, however they are restrained by laws and legal concerns that do not apply to the military. All of their operations are clearly defined and constrained by the terms of their contracts and likewise all weapons must be legal (with permits and licenses issued by the local and national government authorities).

    Explosive ordinance, such as grenades and rocket launchers are almost always illegal for security forces to possess and legal consequences usually prevents as much as half of them (perhaps a little more) from doing it anyway (Especially when their contracts are in some third world hell hole where grenades, RPGs and machine guns are readily available on the local black market). Yes, some of them do end up getting arrested for possessing illegal arms. There is no "FREE PASS" just because they are contractors.



    Private contractors working executive bodyguard details go low profile. No uniforms or tactical body armor (Tactical Body Armor meaning the helmet, torso armor with trauma plates, elbow and knee guards etc.) opting instead for wearing a business suit and protective vest only.

    Weapons for bodyguard details are handguns (concealed under suits) for the guards closest to the mark ("closest" meaning the men who walk directly next to the mark). Weapons for the entourage guards (those who walk further out from the mark and closer to the crowd) include handguns concealed under the suit and/or a brief case fitted with foam inserts (with the cut out shape to secure the weapon) of whatever sub-machine gun they prefer, typically one of the variants of the Heckler & Koch MP-5 or Uzi. Suppressors aren't required for bodyguard operations because frankly if the roar of a burst of full auto fire draws the attention of any aggressors away from your mark and towards the guard, your mark will be safer.

    Executive bodyguards are easily spotted by an experienced eye...they are the chaps with the wire going to an ear piece and constantly talking into their sleeve.


    Weaponry for private contractors on convoy security details include assault rifles and/or sub-machine guns. The types and models of rifles tend to be tailored to individual tastes (since security contractors have to get them licensed individually, unlike the military who bulk buy from the lowest bidder). One of the most commonly seen rifles in current use is the M-4 carbine (with various accessories), but some carry standard M-16A3s or any of the AK variants commonly available. All of them carry pistols (Various models of Glocks, Barettas and even a few of the age old Government model M-1911A1 .45 Automatics have seen service). All of them wear full body armor because convoys tend to get ambushed by IEDs, RPGs and automatic weapons fire. All of them wear security uniforms (usually SWAT Black BDU uniforms with their security company's shoulder patch "Blackwater" or what have you, clearly displayed so they do not get mistaken for terrorists by NATO or Afghani forces). Convoy tactical teams typically use head-set radios for individual communications (And constantly bitch about not being able to hear a damn thing after they discharge their weapons the first time and their ears are still ringing).

    Weaponry for private contractors on fixed position security details (guarding office buildings, industrial complexes, etc.) are similar to military security details. Assault rifles and possibly tripod mounted, belt fed machine guns for the guards outside. Handguns and possibly sub-machine guns for guards stationed inside of the building (the idea being that since handguns and sub-machine guns both fire pistol cartridges, there is less over-penetration in the walls of offices than you'd have with rifle cartridges [thus less danger to the employees] but honestly, drywall and paneling ain't gonna stop much either way).

    Outside guards wear full body armor and have gear for inspecting inbound vehicles. Outside guards usually are posted in "Guard Stations" constructed of reinforced concrete walls with narrow window slots for observation. Those stations dealing with outside world have no window glass (where a truck bomb's concussion would turn it into glass shrapnel). Guard stations inside the perimeter walls often have one or double layers of bullet resistant glass.

    Security details for fixed sites tend to favor hand held "police style" radios, that clip on to their web gear (the head sets tend to get a bit uncomfortable after a while).

    Weapon accessories really tend to be whatever the individual user prefers. Everything from muzzle compensator attachments, match grade triggers, laser sights, custom grips etc. Everybody wants the latest toys to sate their ego, but honestly, it doesn't really make all that much difference in the real world application.

    Well, that is all that comes to mind at the moment, regarding private contract security force weapons and gear in the afghan (and Iraq) theater. If you have any specific questions, let me know. :)
     
  5. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    Thanks again Lothgar :D

    You sure do know your stuff. And the Private Military Contractors in my script do convoys escorts, protection for high-ranking dignitaries and the like.
     
  6. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    *Raises an eyebrow*

    Really? I write fantasy and science fiction...what makes you think I actually know anything about the real world? :D

    Seriously though, I'm an old geezer now, but in my younger, fitter days I served in Law Enforcement, the Military and Private Contract Security.

    What I know about present day operations in the middle east are due to my past experience giving me a frame of reference to put things in the proper context and the fact that I have friends serving there now. Things have changed some since my service days, but the differences aren't all that much.

    There is a big difference between the military and private contractors that should be kept in mind. Military operations generally tend to be about identifying the enemy, isolating the enemy, surrounding the enemy and blowing him away...unless he is willing to surrender before all your assets get into place.

    Private security contractors aren't there to attack or destroy anything. There objective is to keep their executive employer alive by literally knocking him out of harm's way in the event of an ambush and whisking him away from danger as quickly as possible. The guards closest to the mark are tasked with removing him from danger as quickly as possible, while the entourage guards run interference by shooting any assassins or terrorists who are attempting to kidnap the mark (See the section above about executive bodyguard details).

    Likewise Contractor Security details for private convoys aren't there to engage and destroy terrorists who set highway ambushes either. Their job is to get the convoy and its cargo to its destination as quickly and safely as possible. Convoy security is overt and in plain sight, with the hopes that letting everyone know they are heavily armed will deter the bad guys into seeking "softer" targets and leaving your convoy alone. Convoy drivers drive their trucks at full speed to make targeting them more difficult. In the event of an ambush no attempt is made to engage and destroy the enemy, rather the guards unleash as much lead as possible into the ambushers (to keep their heads down and buy time) while the drivers leave as quickly as possible. The ONLY time a vehicle would stop would be recover survivors and wounded from a convoy vehicle that had been disabled by a RPG or an IED. While their employers would like for them to attempt recovery of the cargo, lets be honest here. Where you'd risk your life to save your teammates is one thing, but who is going to risk his life to recover a cargo of construction materials? Especially when its insured. Besides, you risk losing more convoy vehicles by stopping to recover the disabled ones.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you have a problem with the real world, construct a different one. ;)
     
  8. ToxicWaste
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    Perhaps I can suggest some reading. The book "Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army" is a very interesting look into the creation and operations of one specific PMC. If books aren't your thing, which would be surprising, then watch the movie "Shadow Company" 2006, a documentary on PMCs.

    Secondly you seem to be making the dangerous assumption that all PMCs are American and staffed only by Americans and allies of America. Blackwater (now known as Xe Services) employs a large number of Chilean nationals. Secondly, a large number of PMCs operating in A'stan are based there and staffed by A'stan nationals. They do things like guard NGO buildings and transport government officials. These PMC may not all use American equipment or armaments.

    Also, there have been instances of PMCs bribing local insurgency groups not to attack their convoys and operations. So some PMCs can be focused on the short term to the detriment of the long term.

    Fourthly, the UCMJ was recently modified so that it applies to all American soldiers and PMC hired by the American government. PMC's are no longer in the legal blackhole of zero accountability.
     

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