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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 18:58 pm
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Location: Menen, België
Real Name: Vincent
Our latest Photoproject that we did. Many thanks to Kim Guilliams for the Photo's and the Text.

Members of a mortar crew.

The mortar crew consists of 5 members:
- Squad leader
- Gunner
- Assistant gunner
- 2 ammo bearers

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The squad leader:

The squad leader is responsible for the team and gives the order to deploy. He decides on the direction of fire and gives the order to fire. With him he carries several items that are necessary for the correct operating of the mortar. Besides his personal weapon and gear he has the following items: the base plate in the M4 base plate bag, spare parts, the M4 sight in a leather case, an M3 binocular in an M17 case, a lensatic compass, a cleaning rod and cleaning brush. All of this is carried in an M1 ammunition bag.
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The gunner:

The gunner is responsible for the correct deployment of the mortar and operates the aiming system of the mortar. He carries the assembled mortar with bipod and aiming stakes. Most of his personal gear is divided amongst the rest of the team.
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The assistant gunner:

The assistant gunner is the direct aid of the gunner and is responsible for prepping and firing the mortar rounds. Besides his personal gear and weapon (M1 carbine), he carries an M2 ammunition vest which holds 12 rounds.
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The 2 ammo bearers:

The ammo bearers are standard riflemen and carry their usual gear with the addition of the M2 ammunition vest with 12 rounds each. After handing over the ammunition, they are responsible for covering the rest of the crew.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:16 am 
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Location: Menen, België
Real Name: Vincent
Deploying the mortar.

When the squad leader gives the “action” order, the mortar is deployed. At this point he moves forward and places the base plate where the mortar is to be readied.
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After doing so he moves on and places the case with the sight at the primary firing position. The cleaning rod is placed beside the case, pointing in the general direction of fire.
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In the meantime the gunner moves to the base plate and assembles the mortar.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:17 am 
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Location: Menen, België
Real Name: Vincent
After assembly, he moves to the indicated primary firing position. Here he takes the sight out of the case and places it into the allotted slot on the mortar.
At the same time, the assistant gunner is placing the aiming stakes per directions of the squad leader.

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After completing this, he rejoins the gunner and starts prepping the rounds. The squad leader moves up to a forward position from which he can spot the target and correct the fire.

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The gunner has completed the deployment by now and places the mortar in a neutral position. This is done by turning the horizontal wheel about 7 times, and the elevation wheel for about 15 times.

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The elevation on the sight is set at 65 degrees and the deflection at 0. He adjusts the sight to level with the left side of the aiming stake. The bubbles are centered (both the horizontal and vertical) by manipulating the weapon’s legs. Once this is completed, the weapon is ready to be fired.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:19 am 
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Location: Menen, België
Real Name: Vincent
After readying the weapon, the ammo bearers arrive to drop their ammunition vests and return to their covering positions.

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The squad leader determines the distance to be fired. Because it is the first shot, the deflection is set at 0.The gunner converts the given distance into degrees by means of a firing chart. He adjusts the elevation on the sight to the desired position. Now the weapon is readjusted by centering the bubbles. The order for one round is given by the squad leader to determine the deflection to the target. The assistant gunner removes the safety pin from the round and lets the round slide into the mortar.

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The squad leader observes the impact of the grenade through his binoculars and determines the deflection of both range and direction.

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The binoculars are fitted with grades, known as the Mills-indication. This allows him to pass correct and precise adjustments to the gunner. For example: If the grenade hits 30 mills to the right of the target, the sight needs to be adjusted 30 mills to the left (the sight has a reversed turning direction). The same goes for adjusting the range. By realigning the sight with the aiming stake, the weapon should be on target. If not, a following round will be used for further adjustment. Only one round is fired to conserve ammunition. Note that for each of the first three shots, the sight is to be removed from the weapon to avoid damage from the recoil.

Should the gunner and assistant gunner require more cover or concealment, a sight extender can be used. This allows both men to lie on the ground while operating the weapon as it brings the sight to a lower position.

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The barrel needs to be lubricated after every 8 to 10 round by use of the cleaning rod.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:20 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 18:58 pm
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Location: Menen, België
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Miss fire.

A miss fire occurs when the round does not clear the weapon.
Multiple causes can lead to a misfire. These are some of the most common:

Malfunctioning primer
Malfunctioning detonator
Malfunctioning, damaged or lose firing cap
Dirty or jammed firing pin caused by residue of previous rounds
Dirty or obstructed barrel
Too much grease in the barrel

The first thing that needs to be done in case of a miss fire is NOTHING. It is important to wait, should a delayed detonation occur. The round may still leave the barrel. After a minute, the gunner removes the sight from the weapon and safely stores it in the case. After that, he hits the base of the barrel with a non-metal object.

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Should this not clear the round from the barrel, the mortar is to be detached from the base plate.

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He holds the bipod with one hand and uses his other hand to grasps the base cap. This should allow him to gently tilt the barrel. In the meantime, the assistant gunner forms a cup with his hands to catch the grenade when it leaves the barrel. He needs to be very careful not to touch the point detonating fuse.

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After safely catching the round, the assistant gunner places the safety pin back into the round and passes it on to one of the ammo bearers who will then inspect the round to determine the cause of the miss fire.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 18:58 pm
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Location: Menen, België
Real Name: Vincent
One man firing position

There are three ways for a mortar to be fired by one man. The weapon is to be desassembled and only the barrel is carried with the sling.

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The first way is from a sitting position. The barrel is clinched between the legs and both hands are free to manipulate the round.

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The second way is form a prone position with support from the knee. There are several ways to determine the distance. An aiming block can be used. This is a wooden block that has been cut a certain angles. Depending on the range, a different angle is to be placed against the barrel. The top of the block should be in a horizontal position. This is to be determined on sight. A second way of determining the distance is by attaching a rope to the top of the barrel. At regular intervals a knot has been tied in the rope that corresponds with a certain number of yards. A third way of determining the distance is by using ones intuition.

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After the angle and range have been determined, one hand is used to hold the barrel and the other to manipulate the round.

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The third way is a prone position. One hand is used to hold the barrel and the other to manipulate the round. After 2 or 3 rounds the barrel is firmly lodged into the soil and both hands are free to be used.

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Text and Photo's: Kim Guilliams
Translation: Joeri Op de Beeck


Mvg Vincent

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