Problems of firepower training of a serviceman at the present stage and ways of solving them

Problems of firepower training of a serviceman at the present stage and ways of solving them
Problems of firepower training of a serviceman at the present stage and ways of solving them

I have been reading materials from the Voennoye Obozreniye site for a long time, and I have learned very sensible things for myself, including in the comments. I offer my own view of the problem. While writing the article, I used many of your comments, especially those left after the article from 2 parts "The submachine gunner can and must hit the head figure."


It so happened that after the Second World War, fire training, before that the basis of training a fighter, began to lose its former importance. It was assumed that in modern combat aircraft and artillery, as well as cannons, rockets, infantry fighting vehicles and tanks, would inflict the main defeat on the enemy. It was supposed to solve fire missions to destroy enemy manpower not so much due to accuracy as due to the high density of fire. It is not for nothing that the manual on AK indicates that the main type of fire for him is automatic. Such attitudes did not at all contribute to the education of well-aimed shooters. At the same time, the training of snipers practically ceased. According to the state, they were, like exercises in the shooting course, but in reality they were not in such a concept as during the war. In general, at a certain stage, in conditions when they were preparing mainly for a large-scale war, which was supposed to be waged by large conscript armies, no great importance was attached to shooting accuracy. It turned out that infantrymen, tankmen and artillerymen fired less than a hundred shots from a machine gun in two years of military service. And this is in the "stagnant" 1970-80 years. In special forces and intelligence units, the situation is usually better, but even there it is far from ideal. Moreover, this is typical not only for the Soviet Army, but also for the Western armies. This is clearly evidenced by the experience of hot spots.

American Colonel David Hackworth testifies: “In a sudden collision with the enemy, our soldiers, firing from M-16 rifles, overwhelmingly missed at a completely visible and stationary target. And it does not matter whether the shooting was fired on the move or from an ambush, the results were almost the same: six shots, five misses.

There are hundreds of such cases. The number of misses significantly exceeded the number of hits, despite the fact that usually the shooting was carried out from fifteen meters or less, and in some cases from less than three meters. The shot on the spot became a legend. As for the dependence of the effectiveness of fire on the range, there is not a single evidence in the analysis of six large and about 50 small operations when at least one partisan or soldier of the armed forces of North Vietnam was killed when firing M-16 rifles from a distance of more than 60 meters ".

The Vietnamese experience is fully confirmed by the Afghan experience. This is how a GRU special forces officer describes one clash in Afghanistan. On March 16, 1987, a group of nine militants was destroyed. They were fired on, it would seem, in ideal conditions - from top to bottom at an angle of 25-30 degrees from a distance of 50-60 meters. Success factors: moonlit night, the presence of night vision devices and extremely weak enemy opposition due to the suddenness of the actions of the special forces.Despite this, each of the scouts used up at least two or three magazines, that is, about nine hundred rounds of ammunition per group, which amounted to a hundred for each killed "Mujahid". Tellingly, the battle was fought not by recruits, but by well-trained soldiers, the group consisted of four officers. Let me emphasize that both experts spoke about trained fighters.

Nothing has changed since the Afghan war. The hostilities in the North Caucasus region also showed that the fire training of servicemen is not at the proper level. An officer, a participant in the events, tells. “During the second Chechen campaign, a special forces group was in an ambush. The militants, according to operational information, should have come to the head of the village administration at night. In conditions of poor visibility, two militants ambushed at a distance of twenty meters from each other. They were destroyed, but how! I thought the third world war had begun. Some of almost all the shops were shot. Then there was an analysis of the battle. I was stunned by the fact that some of them had served two or three contracts, but there were no firing skills. If there were a few more militants in the wings, the result could have been different."

Not only conscript and contract soldiers cannot shoot, but graduates of military educational institutions who study for five years, when checked at military training in regional commands, show consistently low results in shooting. Slightly better when shooting from a machine gun and an order of magnitude worse when shooting from a pistol. So, at the gathering of lieutenants in regional commands (military districts), about 10% of graduates receive unsatisfactory marks when firing a pistol. In modern conditions, when a trained professional soldier, officer or contract soldier comes to the fore, and combat operations for 20 years have presupposed short-term fire contacts by small groups of rivals, such a situation seems abnormal and intolerable.

The question arises: what to do? Let's try to figure it out. Fire training is based on three pillars - firing courses, organizational and methodological instructions from law enforcement agencies and a drill regulations. There are other orders and instructions, but their significance is not great. As a result, we have a situation when a soldier, having barely learned the combination of "flat front sight and smooth descent", goes to the line and from the provisions of the combat regulations "Weapons on the belt" and others, takes ready for shooting, performs training and test firing exercises. All of the above applies to almost all units, with the exception of special forces units, where there is "creativity", as well as units that participated in hostilities, and at their tactical level came to the understanding that it is impossible to prepare for battle like this. I propose to assess the situation from the standpoint of today's knowledge, experience and technology. I do not seek to denigrate the work of many honored and worthy officers and men, on the contrary, many did more than they could, and than they allowed us, but it is worth admitting: we did not know and could not, and were not allowed a lot.

Over the past 20 years, there have been a number of events related to each other and influencing the development of firepower training. The main ones, of course, were the first and second Chechen campaigns, the "Georgian-Ossetian" conflict, and the hostilities in the Donbass. The special and counter-terrorist operations carried out in various parts of Russia and abroad also have a great influence on the shooting business. In addition, in connection with the reform of the army and other power structures, the very approach to combat training in general and to fire training in particular has changed. That there is only a reduction in the terms of service of conscripts from two years to one year. The greatest development of fire training received among those who had the opportunity to use weapons and train, so to speak, at work - among the employees of the FSO, groups "A", "B" and some other special forces.Along with the above, it is worth noting that, in general, fire training in almost all departments has not become more systematic, technological and meeting the requirements of the time. Of course, there are shifts, there is a desire and there are actions, but there is no system. There are individual attempts to change something that do not lead to any improvement, and often do harm.

For example, after the 1st Chechen campaign, the firing course for the internal troops was replenished with a new exercise for the submachine gunner. Under the terms of the exercise, if the shooter has not fired at one of the three targets, he will be given an unsatisfactory mark. The idea is good, but in practice it has led to the fact that when the student does not hit the target, he lies and waits for the figure to fall and another one rises. Instead of striving to hit all the targets, they began to "fire" them. In the new 2013 shooting course, the Makarov pistol shooting exercise has changed. If earlier the time for shooting was not limited, now it is necessary to hit the target with 3 shots in 15 seconds. It seems that the exercise has become more complicated, but at the same time it is a no brainer that if a soldier hits the target, he will hit it. And if you didn't? A new drill for a submachine gunner involves hitting targets on the go. And how to achieve this is not entirely clear. It is possible to discuss the conditions of the exercises for a long time, but I propose to approach them taking into account the basic principles of training and combat experience.

The basic teaching principles tell us that:

1. Learning should be systematic, consistent and comprehensive, going from simple to complex.

2. Pass at a high level of difficulty.

3. Teach what is needed in the follow-up.

If we look from these positions, we will immediately see the shortcomings of a modern firepower training course.

Firstly, all exercises are divorced from real life, the specifics of combat operations are not taken into account. We are preparing a soldier for a classic combined arms battle between two opposing armies. For shooting from an assault rifle from targets, there are chest and height figures at ranges of 150-300 meters. But there are no chest figures on the battlefield! As the experience of performing service and combat missions shows, in battle, servicemen are faced either with a running enemy or with head figures firing from behind cover. Firing at distances of 70-150 meters, at the head figure in the forest and in the conditions of a settlement, the most common case in modern conditions, is not considered in the course of firing at all. Distances over 300 meters also do not appear in the shooting course among the exercises for the submachine gunner. Although all modern armies are preparing for fire contacts at ranges of 500-600 meters and even preparing special shooters for this - Marksmen (in Western terminology, a high-precision fire support shooter armed with an automatic rifle with an optical sight, a replaceable barrel to defeat the enemy in various conditions on distances up to 800-900 meters).

Secondly, the principle of learning from simple to complex is not traced. There are no distance gradations for pistol shooting during the day, although the shooting technique is different, depending on the distance. So, for example, for pistol shooting, there are exercises with several variations: 3 shots at a distance of 25 meters (at 10 meters at night). This is how the serviceman performs his entire service. That of a lieutenant with 1 year of service, that of a colonel with 30 years of service. Nothing changes. And, as experience shows, the number of points knocked out does not change much either. He knocked out 22 points, after 5 years of service he began to knock out 24. Is this good or bad? If good, how much? And if it's bad? And all preparation is based on getting as close to the center of the target as possible. There are no detailed statistics on losses among law enforcement officers in Russia.But in the United States, a bulletin is published annually analyzing clashes between police officers and criminals, once citing the following data on the number of casualties per year at different combat distances: 367 dead at distances up to 1.5 meters, 127 - at distances up to 3.5 meters, 77 - up to 6, 5 meters and 79 - at the rest of the distance. These and many other interesting statistical data in our countries coincide or are very close. It turns out that our preparation is one-sided and prepares only for 10% of firing contacts made at long distances. Someone may argue that if he hits 25 meters, he will hit 7. But this is not entirely true. The statistics of the use of weapons by the US FBI in clashes with criminals is very indicative. The fight lasts on average 2, 8 s. Its participants spend on average, until one of the sides is hit, 2, 8 rounds. At small distances, it is necessary to quickly prepare for shooting and make several shots faster than the enemy, and at large distances it is more accurate to aim and hit the target with a large number of shots with the fastest transfer of fire at numerous targets. In the US Army, pistol shooting is taught at a distance of 7, 15, and 25 meters. In the British Army, shooting training also takes place in stages. First, they learn to shoot at short distances, bringing their skills to perfection, then they increase the distance and continue to work at the maximum possible pace. Starting with exercises while standing on a stationary target, then in motion along a stationary target, and perfection comes when a soldier, while running, shoots a moving target in the head. For practical training of special shooting exercises, each trainee is allocated, only at the first stage, 1,500 rounds. The principle of pedagogy "from simple to complex" is visible to the naked eye.

Third, fire training is divorced from tactical training. The pinnacle of training is combat shooting of a squad, platoon in a classic defensive or offensive battle. But how many of these shootings are being carried out? Are military personnel gaining the necessary sustainable skills to defeat targets on the battlefield? Not to mention the fact that outside of training, actions remain when you get into an ambush, carry out a sweep, carry out service at a checkpoint, etc. And here is a sample training program for an employee of a private military company. The Shooting Course takes five days. Includes shooting training, shooting and movement, combat in urban environments, power entry (knocking out doors), close combat. Upon completion of the training, the trainees will have the skills of detecting, tracking and hitting group moving targets with fire. Each of them in five days will fire 3,500 shots from 9-mm weapons (pistol), 1,500 shots from 5, 56-mm (automatic rifle).

Fourthly, combat firing is "smeared" evenly throughout the entire training period. For example, cadets of the military institutes of the National Guard (internal troops) go to the shooting range about 60 times in five years. Such classes do not allow the formation of a sustainable skill. Psychologists say that in order to turn an action into a motor skill, it must be performed 4000-8000 times. Let's take a look at our likely friends. The United States Marine Corps command believes that the results of fire training will be much better if the Marine shoots off the annual standard of ammunition in a few days. These intense firing sessions tend to reinforce the skills more firmly than doing one or two exercises each month. This principle became part of the practice of initial combat training of the marines. Fire training in the training battalion is carried out in the field continuously for three weeks. For the first week, cadets study the material part of small arms. Then they master the techniques of aiming, preparing for battle, and choosing a position on simulators.The second week is devoted to shooting practice (250 rounds), which ends with a qualifying exercise from the M16A2 rifle. Shooting is carried out at distances of 200, 300 and 500 m from three positions with single shots. At the final stage, cadets take offsets in shooting from an M16A2 rifle in a gas mask, in the dark without a night sight and in bursts, as well as from seven positions: from the roof, from the window of the house, through an embrasure, a break in the wall, from behind a tree, on top of a log out of the trench. Each of them is given 35 rounds to perform these firing. At the same time, attention is paid to the development of a confident skill of setting the weapon on the safety catch when changing a position, the ability to secretly take it and hit all targets. Mastery exercise in pistol shooting at rotating targets (40 rounds, distances of 25, 15 and 7 m). From the M249 light machine gun, the cadet must shoot 100 rounds at six targets and change the barrel after 50 shots, as well as master the skills of firing vertically and horizontally, changing the position of the elbows and torso. The last test exercise in shooting in motion with the M16A2 rifle at targets located at different distances is performed by the cadet in full combat gear, helmet and body armor, having received 90 rounds in four stages. First, firing is carried out from a defensive position (at a distance of up to 300 m), then movement on patrol with shooting (at 150-200 m), rapprochement with the enemy in defense (150-200 m), and shooting "point-blank" (50-75 m) with single shots at targets that appear every 5-8 s. The test standard is 50 percent. hits.

Fifthly, we learn to shoot only with automatic fire, and at the same time with a burst of two rounds. Although in this case one bullet hits the target, and when firing a burst of three rounds - two bullets. The difference in accuracy is 30%, which is quite significant. In the AK-74, the second bullet of the burst always goes to the right and above the aiming point, the third - again approximately to the aiming point, and the subsequent bullets of the burst scatter chaotically. This is indicated in the manual for the AK-74. Thus, when firing at a chest target at a distance of 100 m, the second bullet of the burst always falls over the left shoulder of the target, and the third - again at the target. Therefore, the most effective burst is 3 rounds (2/3 hits), not 2 rounds (1/2 hits).

In addition, practitioners, including those from special forces, have long been firing single fire from the automatic position of the fire translator, adjusting each subsequent shot. And we do not teach this.

The classic question "what to do": what does a modern soldier need? What is needed is a flexible, comprehensive fire training system, which would be built on several levels of training, constantly improving training methods, an institute of fire training instructors and a soldier assessment system, both individually and as part of a subunit. To improve pistol shooting, exercises are needed that simulate real combat fights: starting from a distance of 5-7 m and up to 50 m with firing at several targets, dispersed along the front and in depth. New weapons are being adopted, for example, the Yarygin pistol (PYa) with a bullet speed of 570 m / s and the ability to pierce a bulletproof vest at a distance of 50 meters. Accordingly, it is necessary to teach shooting from a pistol at 50 meters. It is necessary to teach how to use all the capabilities of the weapon. For firing from a machine gun, it is also necessary to significantly expand the range of distances: from 50-70 m, simulating actions when ambushed in various conditions, up to 100-150 m (firing in urban conditions and in the forest) and up to 500-600 m (at open area). It is necessary to add a head target for firing from a machine gun. To bring all actions of a soldier to automatism, to teach shooting in a group and in conjunction with tactical training classes.

I believe that there are many problems in firepower training, and they need to be urgently resolved.There should be an understanding that it is necessary to train a soldier not just shooting, but his readiness to act during active fire contact in various conditions. Just as in the system of higher professional education, pedagogical technologies are introduced and competencies are developed, so in the system of firepower training there should come an understanding that firepower training is a technology that is based on certain laws and principles, and also changes with a change in the nature of combat action and technical progress. The time has come to change the fire training system.

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