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LongLeftFlank

RAMADI (Iraq): Mother of All MOUT Maps

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Reading "Not a Good Day To Die" about Op Anaconda.  And it's more or less the same BS with major players like Rumsfeld on down.

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This was Lt Campbell's assessment in Joker 1 as to why things ignited in Ramadi in April.  I am not sure I agree 100%.  I expect there are additional variables but I also wasn't there. 

To date, nearly every unit in the battalion had been involved in at least one, if not several, enemy attacks, and 2/ 4 had responded with our own fire on fewer than five occasions. Our hesitance to engage our enemies spoke volumes about both their willingness to sacrifice civilians in pursuit of their aims and our willingness to sacrifice ourselves in pursuit of ours, but this powerful message had somehow been lost in translation. At the company and platoon level— the units actually on the street day in and day out— we had done almost no work with our Iraqi counterparts, the police and the national guard. Aside from George, there was no one to help us explain our seeming passivity in the face of repeated attacks to a population largely on the fence. Therefore, our kindness quickly became perceived as weakness by the insurgents and by most of Ramadi’s citizens, and by late March, 2/ 4 had earned itself the nickname awat, an Iraqi Arabic term for a soft, sugary cake that crumbles easily to the touch. We didn’t know it then, but the insurgents had decided to touch us, to crumble us just like the soft cake that had become our namesake. The battalion had extended the velvet glove, and it was about to get its hands severely bitten.

Campbell, Donovan. Joker One: A Marine Platoon's Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood (pp. 151-154). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Yup, as noted earlier in this lengthy thread there was a whole Tony Soprano stew of tribal subgroups, Baathists, Salafis, sects and community organizers (lol) at work here, and elsewhere in Anbar. To its  credit, the US command was in fact well up to speed on all of them. But awareness and ability to manage, much less control events, are two very different things. To the kids at risk out on the sharp end it all looked FUBAR, as always. 

Also, don't miss this article. The gist is that satellite mapping shows humanity to be vastly more urbanized (as in 6.4B out of 7B+!) than demographers previously thought.

http://www.thisisplace.org/i/?id=0150beca-e3f5-47e0-bc74-9ccc5ef1db8a

Takeaway for military minds: *learn* the lessons of Ramadi, Basra, Homs and Mosul! You'll be seeing this sh*te again. And again. No disrespect, but Kursk, Fulda and 73 Easting are history, about as relevant as Gaugamela.

Edited by LongLeftFlank

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Interesting turn of events.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/police-clash-protesters-basra-unrest-115111305.html

In Baghdad, hundreds of people poured into Tahrir Square and the eastern Shiite district of Sadr City. Some demonstrators break into the Badr Organization's office in Sadr City, prompting guards to open fire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/15/2018 at 8:46 AM, LongLeftFlank said:

Takeaway for military minds: *learn* the lessons of Ramadi, Basra, Homs and Mosul! You'll be seeing this sh*te again. And again. No disrespect, but Kursk, Fulda and 73 Easting are history, about as relevant as Gaugamela.

(been doing business in Beirut this week. Nice town, definitely safe downtown now and worth a visit, but more expensive than expected).

The lessons of Ramadi and Anbar are very well summarized in a number of recent papers. This one discusses what happened in the wake of occupation up to the Fallujah/Sadr City uprisings of April 2004.

http://calhoun.nps.edu/bitstream/handle/10945/2383/06Dec_Broemmel.pdf?sequence=1

The security force presence in Ramadi changed frequently during 2003, never reaching a 20-to-1000 troop-to-population ratio. The estimated population of Ramadi in 2003 was approximately 390,000. According to the recommended troop-to-population ratio, a population of this size would require a security force of 7,800 police and troops.... With such a frequent force rotation in Ramadi, units had difficulty becoming intimate with their area of operations. 

In Ramadi and Samarra, the unit headquarters responsible for each city had additional priorities that focused the unit’s attention away from these two cities... vast stretches of western Anbar Province and the Syrian border.... These conflicting priorities forced each headquarters to assign subordinate units that it could spare with economy of force missions to administer these two cities as effectively as possible. The negative results of this approach became apparent in the spring of 2004....  units were not able to reach enough of the local security force or population to make a difference.

Units made extraordinary efforts to train ISF (police and military) to alleviate the security situation in the city with varying degrees of success. Units reported that when accompanied by U.S. forces, ISF could accomplish small scale operations at the platoon and company level; however, they could not operate independently. At times, ISF check points were left unmanned. ISF leadership was frequently threatened by AIF personnel, causing some to resign or desert. One company reported an AWOL rate of over 70%. In some cases, insurgents who were detained were later discovered through interrogation to be ING or police personnel.... Insurgents penetrated some ISF units. As a result, Coalition Forces did not give them too great of a responsibility and did not give them information a long period of time in advance of an operation.  

In Ramadi during 2003, units operated mainly from two FOBs in north central and North West Ramadi. By the beginning of 2004, coalition units in Ramadi occupied combat outposts along the main supply route through the city. While security of the MSR was the main catalyst for this move, the result was beneficial to local security of the population. In all three cities, units that operated with squads in mutual support or with platoons in mutual support, often employed from neighborhood police stations, were best able to bring security to neighborhoods. In doing so, they were also able to reduce the IED threat faced when “commuting to war” from an FOB....  interpreters are essential to Iraqi and Coalition cooperation.

[CPT Nick Ayers B/1/34 AR]"I found that a lot of the deployment is a credibility game with the public and the insurgents. I felt the insurgents targeted units that they felt were weak. The public didn’t trust units that were not professional or couldn’t provide security or assistance (especially if they promised such assistance).... 

"The enemy is human and succumbs to patterns and routine. Because the insurgency operates in the local neighborhoods, the population holds the solution to gaining actionable intelligence. Actionable intelligence is verifiable information that can place a specific target at an exact location during a particular time... [It is] time sensitive, requiring units to have the flexibility to react quickly.... If a unit routinely receives its intelligence about its sector from higher level intelligence sources, this may indicate that the unit cannot effectively see and therefore cannot control its sector.

"The higher percentage of casualties caused by IEDs and indirect fire resulted from insurgent preferences that avoided direct fire confrontation with Coalition combat units.... units employed squads and platoons in the contested area in order to improve upon their information disadvantage.... Once established in city neighborhoods, insurgent groups were forced to take action against the Coalition encroachment into their area.... The willingness to establish small unit combat outposts in support of local security forces was a characteristic of units that effectively partnered and supported local Iraqi government.... Units must have the tactical, logistical and cultural skill to operate in platoon and company combat outposts."

Of course, maintaining (and supplying and defending) a foreign military presence in the heart of Ramadi was purely optional, and driven from Washington.  The Anbar governorate could just have easily conducted business from a fortified compound outside town. But ceding the city centres to Baathists and later masked jihadis didn't have look good on TV. They tried that in Fallujah from April to November and ended up having to assault a fortress. So Americans and Iraqis had to die to keep flags flying in increasingly shattered downtowns for 4 years.... 

That said, one cannot but be  impressed with the intelligence and creativity most US commanders brought to this difficult mission. Even though each rotating unit seemed to have to relearn the same lessons, with both them and the locals paying a price each time.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92750254

MAJ John NAGL (Ops officer, CENTURION 3)  September 24, 2003, through September 10, 2004

...by September, two of its three tank companies were conducting combat operations in the Sunni Triangle mounted on Humvees and dismounting to fight as dragoons, with just one company fighting from M1A1s...

The battalion staff had to change its entire approach to combat, shifting its focus from battle-tracking enemy tank platoons and infantry squads who fought in plain sight to identifying and locating an insurgent enemy who hid in plain sight.... a task more akin to breaking up a Mafia crime ring than dismantling a conventional enemy battalion or brigade. "Link diagrams" depicting who talked with whom became a daily chore for a small intelligence staff more used to analyzing the ranges of enemy artillery systems.

Edited by LongLeftFlank

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Posted (edited)

Interesting stuff @LongLeftFlank.  Thanks for sharing.  I hope someday that one book, Learning to eat soup with a knife is available on Kindle.  Currently only the first edition is on Kindle.  Lots of good information just in the referenced papers.  Makes me want to create a MOUT scenario :).   +1

Edited by MOS:96B2P

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It would be interesting if, depending on which buildings or approaches a player chose, entering certain buildings would act as triggers for uncon responses.  That would massively increase replayability value.

 

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That should not just be possible but SOP.

As I take a closer peek at the few teaser screenshots released to date, I go "hot and cold" on the new building textures and what work may be required to bring the Ramadi master up to spec....

combat-mission-shock-force-2-0618-07.jpg

On the positive side, I do love me those lingering dust clouds! Very atmospheric,  far less sterile!

Source

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17 minutes ago, LongLeftFlank said:

That should not just be possible but SOP.

As I take a closer peek at the few teaser screenshots released to date, I go "hot and cold" on the new building textures and what work may be required to bring the Ramadi master up to spec....

combat-mission-shock-force-2-0618-07.jpg

On the positive side, I do love me those lingering dust clouds! Very atmospheric,  far less sterile!

Source

Kieme’s textures still work and there are quite a few new ideas based on new terrain options.  Think sewage mister civil works manager. 😁

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Oh yeah, mains ruptured by IEDs were definitely a pungent fact of life downtown in "Little Hiroshima" by mid 2005. Crapping in bags in COPs was SOP, with latrine discipline enforced by the Company Gunny. See "Street Fight in Iraq" by the Gunny of 2/5/F.

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7 hours ago, LongLeftFlank said:

Oh yeah, mains ruptured by IEDs were definitely a pungent fact of life downtown in "Little Hiroshima" by mid 2005. Crapping in bags in COPs was SOP, with latrine discipline enforced by the Company Gunny. See "Street Fight in Iraq" by the Gunny of 2/5/F.

Dang, not on kindle yet and it can be pretty pricey for paperback. 

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No offense to Gunny Tracy, it's a good service memoir, but not essential MilHist. His company (by chance) did not have the hardest tour in the Blackhearts battalion. His most interesting tactical tidbits (e.g. makeup of QRF "sleds") are in the compendium you have.

Tracy is a vintage Company Gunny in that every unit except his own is full of effing rogues and halfwits (and half the time he seems sure he's surrounded by numbnuts too). We have all had a Gunny T in our lives.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/19/2018 at 3:16 AM, sburke said:

Kieme’s textures still work and there are quite a few new ideas based on new terrain options.  Think sewage mister civil works manager. 😁

This screenie from @IanL indicates that not all that much is changed buildings wise since CMSF1, at least at this draw distance.

20180719142607-c6f31883.jpg

Edited by LongLeftFlank

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I will look at Kieme’s mod, and definitely also want to reboot my Shopfront mod. Did they recycle damage decals from the WWII games? Those will need modding for a world of cement and cinderblock.

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On ‎7‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 4:33 PM, Erwin said:

It would be interesting if, depending on which buildings or approaches a player chose, entering certain buildings would act as triggers for uncon responses.  That would massively increase replayability value.

Count on it.  :ph34r:

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On 7/22/2018 at 2:03 AM, LongLeftFlank said:

I will look at Kieme’s mod, and definitely also want to reboot my Shopfront mod. Did they recycle damage decals from the WWII games? Those will need modding for a world of cement and cinderblock.

Wow, this is a long thread.  I have not read or re-read all of it yet but I'm working on a scenario with this map.  This is an amazing map, very cool.  So my question, is your Shopfront mod available?  I didn't see it at CMMODs III.  

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Yeah, my sigline links are obsolete. Send me a pm with an email and I'll get the Shopfront 8 to you along with the Mosque collonade 9. That should make the map look as intended. 

Good luck with the scenarios!

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On 9/7/2018 at 11:36 PM, LongLeftFlank said:

Send me a pm with an email and I'll get the Shopfront 8 to you along with the Mosque collonade 9. 

PM sent. 

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2 hours ago, Devil 6 said:

Hello.  I would really enjoy discussing this entire sequence of events with you LongLeftFlank.  Great work. COL (Ret) Buck Connor

Welcome to the forum Devil 6!!! 

I'll tag @LongLeftFlank to draw his attention to this thread next time he is up on the C3 net :D.  

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