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Thread: James Yeager goes OFF!

  1. #21
    XCR Guru Sean K.'s Avatar
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    Re: James Yeager goes OFF!

    Video tells a far different story than the write up did.

    First and foremost, I have no combat training or experience but from what I can see, Yeager fucked up by thinking the car was disabled and not simply in neutral. Beyond that, I don't see anything else he did wrong, but that likely turned out to be a major fuck up....but honestly, shit like that happens to the best trained guys.

    My limited understanding of an ambush, particularly in vehicles, is that you have to push through them. If you have a disabled vehicle (in this case, a mistakenly disabled one in front, a transmission out in the middle armored one and a dead driver who was killed in the first burst of fire in the third)....then you have to get to cover....which Yeager did. Now, had Yeager not made the mistake of leaving the car in neutral, it's hard to say if all 3 vehicles would have remained mobile b/c the attack happened so fast. Had Yeager sped off, would the second vehicle's transmission have been hit? I'm inclined to think no. Would the third driver been hit and killed? Probably not....he was hit about 3.5 seconds after the initial shot was fired, first through the leg, then the neck and head. So in theory, he was in the wrong spot at the wrong time and had they moved, he may not have been hit. My, again, limited understanding is: if one of your vehicles is trapped in the ambush zone, you can't just leave all the occupants there. So, once one vehicle was down, they were all going to have to see it through.

    Waiting on that road for 20 minutes after having jumped out to hose rounds off in the air and blowing your cover seems beyond stupid.

    I don't see anything that makes Yeager a coward, nor do I see anything that equates to 'baggage'. What I see is a chaotic ambush where mistakes were made by multiple people, Yeager being one of them.

    Here's Yeager's written version of events: http://www.defensereview.com/stories...04.20.2005.pdf
    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human liberty. It is the argument of tyrants; the creed of slaves."-William Pitt the Younger

  2. #22
    XCR Guru Bravo's Avatar
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    Re: James Yeager goes OFF!

    Yup!
    Here's the thing that I see, and I'm no 'apologist' of his.
    People learn by making mistakes. I know I've made several, and I try to learn from every one.
    Maybe he didn't do things perfectly, but things can go south when you're trying to figure out who to shoot.
    I can also see the concept of him being self-critical, admitting to himself that he needed to do things better in the future, and pursuing a course of learning and self-improvement to achieve that.
    Which makes him an instructor.
    Nobody learns from the people that didn't make it out of the gunfight. The people that make it out of the gunfight in one piece - often times by luck - have a belief that since they made it through the fire their actions were golden. Not necessarily the case.
    The guy that lives through it knowing that luck played a major role, he's more likely to improve.
    One of my favorite instructors was the 7th most prolific snipers in American history until the war in the sandbox got rolling hard. He'd say "don't do that the way you're doing it". OK. For me to learn though, I (this is just me) need to make sense of WHY I'm doing what I am, so I ask "why is this wrong?" and he'd say "because that'll get you killed".
    OK, good enough.
    Is Yaeger a coward? I don't see that personally.
    And I won't "armchair quarterback" how someone dealt with the situation, as long as the failures weren't blatant. Do what you can, with what you have, and drive on.
    Do you really think we want laws to be observed? We want them broken. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be crimes that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants law-abiding citizens? Pass the kind of laws that can’t be observed, enforced, or objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers.

  3. #23
    Carbineman stuckonpost's Avatar
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    Re: James Yeager goes OFF!

    Sean you are right. Multiple mistakes caused those men to lose their lives. My PSD training we broke down the video and I am not going into all of them. SAS and US Specops operaters train if you are traveling covertly then say in covert mode. None of this shoot in the air or at a close cars.

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  5. #24
    Carbineman stuckonpost's Avatar
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    Re: James Yeager goes OFF!

    Has any one trained with the man?

  6. #25
    XCR Guru MickeyC's Avatar
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    Re: James Yeager goes OFF!

    Wow, quicksand……..loads of mistakes.

    Piss poor command a control from the convoy commander and mad panic from many on the team, or just poor training consolidation. Hard to tell. The phone thing was just embarrasing.

    Where was the evidence of control, or immediate action drills on contact? Nowhere apparently. IA drills are just that, drills that have to be practiced over and over so you simply execute them without rethinking the process. In a particular scenario what do you do? Stationary, moving, car disabled etc..

    An example would be that if under contact and the vehicle in front of yours is disabled, do you stop and render aid, or go behind and push it out of the contact zone? Agree this beforehand and train accordingly.

    Sitting in or behind soft skinned vehicles does no good. It provides limited concealment and almost no protection against larger calibers let alone AP rounds. They'd have done better to drive them into the ditch and vacate to cover.

    On contact there were almost enamy location or identification command instructions from the team members. This shows a lack of team training, as a team. They are lucky the attacker moved off so quickly. If they'd had the nuts to stay and hose down all three cars it would have been much worse. I suspect the attackers fired off the belts attached and then disengaged.

    It could be argued that Yeager screwed up initially by taking the car out of drive and putting the handbrake on, but only if their SOP was to not do that. As he wasn't the only one to remain mostly static I suspect it was not an SOP action. My own training was to leave it in drive clutch down and with sufficient manual throttle applied to ensure the vehicle won't stall if you dump the clutch to move forward. i.e. get out of the kill zone and if the driver is hit and pulls his foot, the car doesn’t stall. But then ours was also to not go stationary in soft vehicles.

    On contact Yeager exited the vehicle, returned fire and then changed position. That matches my own training. A little more order, i.e. fire and maneuver support would have been good with the team, but not bad. He then threw smoke to obsuure them as a target with still no command instructions regarding enemy location etc.. and later moved to provide cover for the rear vehicle. Certaintly no cowardice to be seen. Individual skills and demneor looked good but team cohesiveness sucked.

    Whether his move to the side was within SOP depends on what the 'team' training was. As an individual skill, fire and maneuver is a basic tenent of dismounted small unit tactics.

    Frankly it looks like there were precious few team drills as everyone seemed to act independently rather than as a cohesive unit, with cover being sought behind soft vehicles that simply don’t provide it.

    Essentially though the lesson learned should be:

    Develop and follow a set of SOPs which only the commander can change while on the ground (combat is not a democracy, ther is no time to vote under fire)
    Establish and train 'team' IA drills as a team
    Commanders should command, yes it's dangerous but get used to it.
    CSWs should be maintained and returned to the firefight, and be appropriate for expected contact situations.
    Soft skinned vehicles are not suitable for defending against large caliber attacks, vacate and consolidate, plan and react accordingly.
    Decision to stay and fight, or run should be iddediate and not something that evolves with the situation.
    Semper in excremento sum, solum profunditas mutat. 'Always in the shit, only the depth varies'

    The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.... Margaret Thatcher,

    Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.
    Mahatma Gandhi

  7. #26
    XCR Guru Sean K.'s Avatar
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    Re: James Yeager goes OFF!

    Thanks for your input Mick. Much appreciated and respected.

    One additional detail. Yeager states in his written AAR that he put the car in neutral b/c his calf was cramping from having held the clutch down for so long....I'm assuming he's referring to the 20 or so minutes they sat and waited. I watched the full 40 some odd minute video.....pretty stupid.
    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human liberty. It is the argument of tyrants; the creed of slaves."-William Pitt the Younger

  8. #27
    XCR Guru MickeyC's Avatar
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    Re: James Yeager goes OFF!

    Agree, soft vehicles should not go static for more than a few seconds. It makes too tempting a target for snipers, i.e. hit the driver and then take time on the occupants. a .223/7.62x39 will easily pass though a regular BMW, toyota etc sedan. They provide no protective cover.

    IMO, the core issue was poor comand and control and the debacle of searching for a phone rather than watching the respective AORs. then the 'pregnant pause" on initial contact was enough for the whole thing to collapse.

    Another good topic is vehicle and crew choices. Sedans aren't the best vehicles to use CSWs from. Three individuals in a vehicle makes for poor area cover, (Front, Right, Left, Rear) assuming up is not an issue, particularly on a route where an attack is highly likely.

    If it were me, the SOP would have been to roll slowly in line and if need be , reverse and re route. four in vehicle 1, four in vehicle 3, Vechicle three being the courrier/pickup wagon with a driver and shotgun rider. That gives you a driver and three AOR zones fornt and rear. Effectivley one lookout front, two per side and one rear. Also I'd have used SUVs not sedans as unarmored sedans are basically wheeled coffins unless they are chase cars. On contact, IA would have bene to attempt to drive through and get out of the killing zone. In the front of each vehicle the shotgun passenger should have pre tped smoke grenades ready for rapid deployment. We usually zip tied the pins the the door handle.

    What hapened in the video is a cascade failure. Poor planing, poor preparation, poor command and a bunch of guys with different training doctrines all trying to react as no one was calling the play.
    Semper in excremento sum, solum profunditas mutat. 'Always in the shit, only the depth varies'

    The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.... Margaret Thatcher,

    Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.
    Mahatma Gandhi

  9. #28
    XCR Guru gr8santini's Avatar
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    Re: James Yeager goes OFF!

    They needed a 1996 Ford Bronco with glass packs and a Holley carbeurator!

  10. #29
    XCR Guru TexasChris's Avatar
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    Re: James Yeager goes OFF!

    ....anyone else realize that "ian harris" is top shot ian harris?

    *edited*
    Do what you've always done, get what you've always got. ----- Have gun. Will travel.

  11. #30
    XCR Guru Merlin's Avatar
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    Re: James Yeager goes OFF!

    Quote Originally Posted by TexasChris View Post
    ....anyone else realize that "ian harrison" is top shot ian harrison?
    Chris, Harris or Harrison?

    Ian does a show on Outdoor that the co-host looks a lot like Yeager. I just see the guns and not the hosts so no idea as to co-host identity.

    "Be Vigilant and Safe!!"
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