60mm and 81mm Mortars in Afghanistan

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.

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2 Comments

Filed under Afghanistan, Pictures, Special Forces, Weapons and Tactics

2 responses to “60mm and 81mm Mortars in Afghanistan

  1. Nice pix and good info. Love that photo at the top–I can almost hear it.

    Totally unrelated, but I just read today that Somali pirates executed the 4 American hostages they captured in a sail boat. It will be interesting to see what consequences, if any, there will be.

  2. Probably none. Piracy has plagued America since our inception and our incompetent “leaders” are still struggling with how to handle the issue. On the other hand, I’m wondering why American tourist/boaters/whatever would be cruising off the coast of Somalia (without guns on board) given the situation there.

    I did read something funny about another incident down there. South Korean SEALs freed some of their people on SK ship being held by Somalian pirates. The mission was a complete success, a pretty be deal for the South Koreans who to my knowledge had never conducted an international hostage rescue like that before. Well, one of the sailors rescued is now dead, fell off his hotel room’s balcony in Kenya. The report said their was a girl in the room and they were having some kind of scuffle!

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