In this picture our mortar section is conducting some cross training with the rest of the Task Force. This was a pretty good introduction to mortar systems before I went to the Special Forces Weapons Sergeant course years later…I was never that great running the Fire Direction Center (FDC) but running mechanical mortars and hanging some rounds is always a great time. Here is myself a second after dropping a 60mm HE round down the tube.
Here is a cool picture where I am firing the 60mm hand held, also called shooting from the hip. Using your left hand you aim the tube with your thumb. Looking down, you use the level above the trigger mechanism to cant the tube at the proper angle for the desired range. With that done, you squeeze the trigger and a firing pin fires the round. Watching Red Phosphorous burn at night is cool as hell! We also fired some “shake and bake” fire missions which consists of a couple HE rounds followed by a RP round.
Here is the real deal. A couple guys from our mortar section set up this mortar pit out in Indian Country to provide fire support for our maneuver element. This one is actually a 81mm mortar system, giving the gun team some much needed range for call for fire missions. Also, note the 81mm rounds on standby next to the gun. The Phosphorous rounds are stored nose up, otherwise the jelly inside sticks to one side, drastically altering the trajectory of the round.