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TacAI stupidity: Stryker infantry opens hatches to shoot and die instatly


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Infantry being transported by Stryker to an unloading point. If the infantry sees enemy it will open hatches to shoot and die instantly under heavy barrage of enemy fire. Haven't played CMSF for years but don't remember such stupidity and certainly haven't ever seen it in CMBS. Is it a norm for CMSF2?

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The Stryker vehicle and the infantry are two separate units. If you  inadvertently click on the infantry icon instead of the Stryker icon the infantry will unbutton and start firing. I recall there was some confusion while ago about how to target with the mg-armed Wolf truck, whether to select the vehicle and issue a fire command or to select the troops in the vehicle and issue a fire command.

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On 11/25/2019 at 2:38 AM, MikeyD said:

The Stryker vehicle and the infantry are two separate units. If you  inadvertently click on the infantry icon instead of the Stryker icon the infantry will unbutton and start firing. I recall there was some confusion while ago about how to target with the mg-armed Wolf truck, whether to select the vehicle and issue a fire command or to select the troops in the vehicle and issue a fire command.

Nope, it's not about targeting with a wrong icon. I was transporting an infantry squad in a Stryker from cover to cover through an area covered by enemy small arms. All of sudden my squad identified the enemy infantry and decided to open hatches and to start taking shots at the enemy. Surely half of my squad died in no time. I was transporting them by Stryker exactly to shield from small arms fire. I was amazed as I've never seen this kind of behavior in CMBS and I don't remember this kind of troubles in CMSF1 (though TBH it's been awhile since I played CMSF1). The problem solves itself by assigning "fake" target arcs but that's another little point in a long TacAI checklist.

Edited by IMHO
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I'm fairly new to SF2, and I've seen this once, I imagine mostly due to keeping the vehicles away from enemy infantry, and perhaps partly due to just not noticing other times it may have happened. It was during the airfield mission in Task Force Thunder. I had broken in to the complex through a wall near the barracks, and as my Strykers with mounts entered and encountered EI at close range, two grunts in the back popped up and let loose, killing the enemy, at which point they dropped back down and closed the hatches. It was all 'TacAI'. Not selecting the wrong icon. It was pretty cool as I didn't know it was possible until then. In this case the troops in the Stryker took no return fire, but they do appear quite vulnerable when standing in the back. A 'batten-down' sort of command could prevent these unnecessary casualties.

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I've just had the same situation in CMBS as I wrote here. An infantry squad riding a Stryker saw an enemy infantry. And just like I said - in CMBS they do not unbutton automatically and try to shoot at the enemy. Only if you orders them to do so. That seems to be more logical behavior - after all APC is a battle-taxi first not a platform to deliver the wrath of fire on enemy heads. It seems Engine 4 CMSF2 is not quite Engine 4 :( I tried to play CMSF1 these days and CMSF2 feels much closer if not equal to its predecessor than to "real" Engine 4 CMBS. With CMSF2 I feel like being taken a decade back in terms of TacAI clumsy logic and stupid decisions :(

Edited by IMHO
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In CMSF1 the issue was that infantry passengers automatically performed air guard through the rear hatches.  There was no way to force them to remain inside.  It was explained by BFC at the time as the tactical doctrine of Stryker brigades and wouldn't be changed.  I have lost hundreds of soldiers to MGs and snipers over the years in CMSF1.  Not sure about the behavior in CMSF2.

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CMSF2 is sort of 'alternate reality' 2007 where US hasn't transitioned to Iraq occupation practices. Its designed as a highly mobile offensive force in a front-line conflict. Stryker's basically a souped-up battle taxi. Driving them around fully loaded within LOF of an enemy with AT assets is... dangerous. Air guards are topside so they can fire on potential threats to the vehicle. Its certainly dangerous to do that within small arms range but then again its dangerous putting men into a Stryker sardine can that close to the enemy anyway.

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Anecdotally, even though the exercises we go on now are force-on-force and the Battlegroup deployment is to Latvia, pretty much everybody still has their habits from Afghanistan.

For example, my last exercise was a mechanized brigade opposed river crossing, which is about as conventional as you get. The mission and doctrine was thoroughly conventional. We fired illum and smoke missions to help the engineers build bridge sections and operate assault boats and ferries, missions we hardly, if ever shot in Afghanistan. We also fired full battalion missions which we haven't done in anger since Korea. We camouflaged the guns, dug gun pits, the artillery recce and OP dets used LAVs, and we took precautions against counterbattery fire - all things that did not happen in Afghanistan.

However, in practice anything that wasn't explicitly ordered defaulted to how things were done in Afghanistan. Our road and foot patrols were done how we did them there, the M72s and Carl-Gs stayed packed up in echelon, the battery GPMGs and GMGs were left in the trucks, our medical drills assumed easy medivac and casevac by helicopter instead of road ambulance to a casualty collection point, that sort of thing. Guys still wear shemaghs and don't put on campaint.

It's the opposite of how when we first went to Afghanistan, everybody was doing drills from Bosnia or West Germany. 

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On 12/1/2019 at 4:18 PM, MikeyD said:

CMSF2 is sort of 'alternate reality' 2007 where US hasn't transitioned to Iraq occupation practices. Its designed as a highly mobile offensive force in a front-line conflict. Stryker's basically a souped-up battle taxi. Driving them around fully loaded within LOF of an enemy with AT assets is... dangerous. Air guards are topside so they can fire on potential threats to the vehicle. Its certainly dangerous to do that within small arms range but then again its dangerous putting men into a Stryker sardine can that close to the enemy anyway.

That's exactly how the infantry rolled in 04. They took no casualties during my year despite exposure during several fights.

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On 12/2/2019 at 2:18 AM, MikeyD said:

CMSF2 is sort of 'alternate reality' 2007 where US hasn't transitioned to Iraq occupation practices.

I tried to find something about OPs regarding air guards but I wasn't able nothing more than a couple of casual mentions. Yet two things I saw again and again:

  • Air guards are used outside of built-up areas but not in high threat urban environment
  • Air guards when used are armed with M240s, they are not left with mere M4s

@MikeyD, @DougPhresh@Attilaforfun are these points valid?

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I wonder if there is some confusion between the book definition/application of an air guard and the practical application (position in the vehicle). 

The book/doctrine for an air guard that is actually on the look out for air threats maybe what @IMHO is referring to.  Then there is the practical application of war fighters like @Attilaforfun where the position/stance in the vehicle is referred to as "air guard".  so maybe in Mosul the Sgt. yells for Jones and miller to get their @sses in the air guard position.  He has no intention for the two troops to be on the lookout for OpFor air threats but wants them in the "air guard" position (location in the vehicle) to shoot dudes aiming RPGs etc. at the vehicle.       

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Hind helicopter was first fielded in 1972 so an 'air guard' keeping an eye peeled for marauding helos seemed like a reasonable NATO doctrine. I'd imagine that sort of air guard would apply to vehicles away from the front while in transit, not within shooting distance of the enemy. The US hasn't fought a conflict since early WWII with a credible air threat so air guard morphed into anti-ambush lookout. Bradley does come with a bulls-eye site on the roof for high-angle anti-helo work, though I understand crews don't train in its use. Maybe the coming drone war will turn 'air guard' back into air guard again.

bradley sight.jpg

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You guys are taking this SOP stuff very seriously. When the Stryker Bdes first stood up there was lots and lots of making it up as you go along. Very few of the their NCOs were former mech. None of their officers were. Let me tell you how hot a metal box gets in 125 degree sunlight. Now add boots, clothes and armor...and for the crewmen the extremely tight CVC helmet. It's fricken hot. Dangerously hot. There's no AC on the standard Stryker. I can't describe how hot. The air guards were more about getting air (while also allowing air to flow inside the stinky filthy infantry Stryker) than providing air guard. The excuse would be more eyes on the environment. They were mostly light infantry and were never comfy with vehicles. I'm not exaggerating.  (I was a 19K...M1 armor crewman...but they broke up our armor Bns and sent us to the inf. We were supposed to man the MGS systems but they weren't ready so the tankers manned the Strykers of 4th platoon of each company...ATGMs.)

Edited by Attilaforfun
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34 minutes ago, Attilaforfun said:

I was a 19K...M1 armor crewman...but they broke up our armor Bns and sent us to the inf. We were supposed to man the MGS systems but they weren't ready so the tankers manned the Strykers of 4th platoon of each company...ATGMs.

+1.  Thank you for your service. 

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Called top cover sentry in the UK when you're looking for the Queen's enemies armed with AKs and other assorted ground unpleasantness - air sentry being what it says on the tin.  I remember doing that for a whole day in a 4-tonner with an SLR in Gulf War 1 and had the shock of my life as an Apache pulled alongside unseen and unheard from my six o'clock to the three o'clock position at a height of about 50 feet and a range of two hundred metres.  It was one of those many moments in my military career where I felt that I had been given a somewhat unachievable task and a lack of suitable resources to do it with.

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On 12/14/2019 at 7:38 PM, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Still not seen this happen. 

My case is a squad in a Stryker and the latter does some short runs from cover to cover near buldings with enemy troops in non-Hidden position at 1st-3rd floors. The idea was to make the runs too short for enemy RPG to acquire the target.

I repeated this few times and if an infantry squad sees the enemy it opens up. But I guess seeing enemy through a vision block must be too rare in itself. Plus it seems to be purely CMSF2 issue. I tested CMBS and the infantry does not open up. And I don't remember such a problem in CMSF1 though I'm too lazy to install it for a test by now :(

Edited by IMHO
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