While Tom Ricks is away from his blog, he has selected a few of his favorite posts to re-run. We will be posting a few every day until he returns. This originally ran on December 28, 2009.
Here CWO2/Gunner Keith Marine analyzes different forms of incoming fire, and what to do about them:
Recognize small arms fire for what it is in accordance with the enemy's local TTPs. If it is just a few pop shots, more than likely the enemy is attempting to get a reaction from you and see what you do. They will shoot a couple shots at you, while using observers. You set up a base of fire and conduct an action left, then two days from now, they will conduct an identical SAF attack. If you go left this time, you will quickly locate an IED the wrong way. On the other hand, if the bad guys start shooting at you like they mean it, they are there to fight. You have to be immediate in your drill if you want to fix them and kill them. I hear all the time, how the bad guys get away. Well, don't fuck'n wait ten minutes for mortars or air. You kill enemy squads and fire teams with Marine infantry squads. Fucking assault them and utilize your weapon systems organic to the squad and superior marksmanship.
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.