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View Full Version : New horsepower for war zones: Special Forces saddle up


BMT (RIP)
06-23-2014, 04:24
http://www.stripes.com/news/us/new-horsepower-for-war-zones-special-forces-saddle-up-1.290187

BMT

Brush Okie
06-23-2014, 08:43
Outstanding. I am glad to see this. Those mustangs are tough horses. My grandfather used to get them and "we" would break them. Mules are actually a better option than horses for the mountains, also they are not as hard on the butt ie you don't get as saddle sore like you do with a horse.

MtnGoat
06-23-2014, 08:50
Bridgeport Ca. Is a great training center for SFODAs. I think this place should be like HAVE ACE as a yearly training event. The can set up training based off their training cycle and your training requirments. Well worth to submit a training concept to go out here.

Pack animals
Cold Weather training
Sniper training with high angle and cross winds firing
Mountain Warfare planning, operations and training

Just to name a few

craigepo
06-23-2014, 10:11
Mules are actually a better option than horses for the mountains, also they are not as hard on the butt ie you don't get as saddle sore like you do with a horse.

There has never been a horse born that I trust. Mules, on the other hand, are a damn fine animal. Only problem is that they can be too smart. But a mule won't jump you off a cliff.

Golf1echo
06-23-2014, 13:43
For anyone interested, the history of the 10th Mountain Division offers up some interesting aspects of both Horses and Mules. They did the last Calvary charge in an Italian orchard back in 1944...did not work very well against the German MG type machine guns :(

The Muleskinners at Camp Hale recruited the best chefs they could in addition to the seasoned ranch hands, their rations were often not the standard fare ;)

The logistics and support of maintaining animal feed, specialty equipment, and transporting horses and mules was viewed as a challenge for the Big Army and was one of the reasons the 10th did not deploy to combat sooner than they did.

"Soldiers on Skis" is a good primer for anyone interested in that rich history.

That being said in the right venue, very efficient mobilization.

The Caribou is not to be overlooked in areas where they range and as said if it comes down to it...steaks.
Edit: Another form of animal transport...

DIYPatriot
06-23-2014, 14:08
There has never been a horse born that I trust.

I hear ya! I rode horses before I learned how to ride a bicycle. Being the lightest weight boy out of 17 grandchildren instantly designated me as the one who saddle broke most of my grandfathers horses. By the time I was 12 I could fall-break better than a Judo master. My worst experience was when my cousin's horse spooked at the sight of a rattlesnake and that caused my mare to pin her ears back and take off at a full sprint down the side of a mountain trail. I must've hit every branch and rock on the way down that hill.

Through it all, some of my best childhood memories were found on that farm. My grandfather could've asked me to ride tigers or grizzlies and I would've done it in a heartbeat so long as he was around. Good times. Miss the old man like crazy...but not the horses. :)

Brush Okie
06-23-2014, 15:08
There has never been a horse born that I trust. Mules, on the other hand, are a damn fine animal. Only problem is that they can be too smart. But a mule won't jump you off a cliff.

Damn aint that the truth. I was rounding up cattle on a horse that hadn't seen a saddle for a couple of years. Damn thing went to its knees on a narrow trail we almost went off a large cliff into the ocean.

On the flip side my grandfather trained a mule to pack out bear he killed. He was guiding some city folks once with high dollar papered horses and they were giving him a bunch of shit. He just picked a long steep skid road and took them straight up it. When they got to the top the mule had a little sweat between the ears while their high dollar horses were all lathered up a sucking wind hard. They STFU after that. And yes you could shoot off his horses. Well not the mustangs, I never trusted those damn things and he taught me that.

mark46th
06-23-2014, 16:58
"Bridgeport Ca. Is a great training center for SFODAs" Mtn Goat

And some really good trout fishing, too....

mojaveman
06-23-2014, 17:17
"Bridgeport Ca. Is a great training center for SFODAs" Mtn Goat

And some really good trout fishing, too....

Love the Sierras. Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, Lake Crowley, Owens River, etc. All nice.

TOMAHAWK9521
06-23-2014, 17:29
I remember working as a wrangler/guide for a successful and well-respected outfitter in the mid-late 90's and him asking why 5/19 didn't run mule packing training for mountain operations. Every time I submitted a CONOP to HQ/5/19 for running packing operations out here in the Colorado I got shut down. The S3 said it was a "stupid idea" and probably thought I was an idiot to think SF would ever consider deploying with livestock overseas, let alone to combat, .

Then we see the lads galloping in the scenic countryside of that magical land a couple years later. Hmmm.

It wasn't until 2005 that I was able to get the approval for a week long seminar up in the Medicine Bow across the WY border. It was pretty cool to finally see guys from the battalion using a pack train to move the camp and crew-served weapons around the mountains. Unfortunately, the battalion only repeated the training once and that was a disaster on the part of the concessionaire they hired. Since then, I haven' t heard of anyone trying to run that type of training again. Too bad.

MtnGoat
06-23-2014, 19:13
"Bridgeport Ca. Is a great training center for SFODAs" Mtn Goat

And some really good trout fishing, too....

Shhh you got to get them there for the training. :D

MtnGoat
06-23-2014, 19:18
I remember working as a wrangler/guide for a successful and well-respected outfitter in the mid-late 90's and him asking why 5/19 didn't run mule packing training for mountain operations. Every time I submitted a CONOP to HQ/5/19 for running packing operations out here in the Colorado I got shut down. The S3 said it was a "stupid idea" and probably thought I was an idiot to think SF would ever consider deploying with livestock overseas, let alone to combat, .

Then we see the lads galloping in the scenic countryside of that magical land a couple years later. Hmmm.

It wasn't until 2005 that I was able to get the approval for a week long seminar up in the Medicine Bow across the WY border. It was pretty cool to finally see guys from the battalion using a pack train to move the camp and crew-served weapons around the mountains. Unfortunately, the battalion only repeated the training once and that was a disaster on the part of the concessionaire they hired. Since then, I haven' t heard of anyone trying to run that type of training again. Too bad.
Awesome story and shows why we need the training.

When we went to Bliss we found a guy that did a week long basic Horsemanship day and night training. No pack animals, just horse management, riding, weapon platform firing and NVG Movement. Some of the best training I've received in a week. Up in the mountains of New Mexico, sleeping under the stars was awesome. Same thing with Bridgeport; awesome views and training.

mark46th
06-23-2014, 20:08
Mules carrying our kit? Beats the hell out of humping that effing generator...

MR2
06-23-2014, 20:12
Mules carrying our kit? Beats the hell out of humping that effing generator...

and mules can be a tad bit smarter then the traditional generator carrier too.

Richard
06-23-2014, 20:19
One of the Bundeswehr Mountain FA Bns had mules in Mittenwald - we had a 1 day orientation on their employment when going through mountain school. It was an interesting day and after it was over, I was convinced that not all mules had four legs. ;)

Richard

Peregrino
06-23-2014, 20:58
As usual, the media is a day late and a dollar short. Check with your S3s; we've been advertising this opportunity to the Regiment for years. The latest push started last November. Packing isn't the only thing the Marines want to/can teach us at Bridgeport either. And the trout fishing at Leavitt Lake is phenomenal. Not to mention the scenery: https://www.google.com/search?q=leavitt+lake+california&client=firefox-a&hs=JiH&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=sb&tbm=isch&imgil=hjoXpLTqqA2MeM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252F encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9 GcQ2JxOIchsYSlsOrc4HLqmlqD0Izl4Y1jKVQw60fxO3I5FQTf OU%253B500%253B333%253Bbvy6BycsQtOwBM%253Bhttp%252 53A%25252F%25252Fwww.worldofstock.com%25252Fstock-photos%25252Fleavitt-lake-toiyabe-national-forest-california-usa%25252FNAL1421&source=iu&usg=__8U5d-u1sYqnU94Vb-2uc1y5mQzQ%3D&sa=X&ei=oNqoU8rKDs62sAT9sYCgDQ&ved=0CCMQ9QEwAQ&biw=1280&bih=913&dpr=1#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=hjoXpLTqqA2MeM%253A%3Bbvy6BycsQtOwBM%3Bhttp% 253A%252F%252Fwww.worldofstock.com%252Fslides%252F NAL1421.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.worldofstock. com%252Fstock-photos%252Fleavitt-lake-toiyabe-national-forest-california-usa%252FNAL1421%3B500%3B333.

mark46th
06-23-2014, 21:56
Hey! I resemble that remark!!!

Beef
06-24-2014, 20:15
and mules can be a tad bit smarter then the traditional generator carrier too.

Yep, tap your left hoof twice for A, right hoof three times for B... If we could just get them to break 30 groups/minute!:D

Brush Okie
06-24-2014, 22:11
"Bridgeport Ca. Is a great training center for SFODAs" Mtn Goat

And some really good trout fishing, too....

Its not fishing . It is SURVIVAL TRAINING ,SERE refresher etc. You need to use the correct terminology for your training plan. ;)

mark46th
06-24-2014, 22:51
Be careful, the Calif DFW frowns on the use of DuPont lures...

JJ_BPK
06-25-2014, 05:06
I'm curious as to how the USMC became the go to horse trainers? Does anyone have the back-side story?

I don't remember ever hearing MARSOC attacking the beach mounted?

I would have thought the 1st Cav would be more appropriate.

Beef
06-25-2014, 06:48
I'm curious as to how the USMC became to go to horse trainers? Does anyone have the back-side story?

I don't remember ever hearing MARSOC attacking the beach mounted?

I would have thought the 1st Cav would be more appropriate.

JJ, I have no idea how that happened either. I've never been to Bridgeport, but have known lots of guys who have. It's officially the "Mountain Warfare Training Center" and they like to claim they do all things mountain related. And I do know that the 1920s Marine Corps "Small Wars Manual," the U.S. military's first COIN manual, has a chapter dealing with pack animals.

JJ_BPK
06-25-2014, 07:29
And I do know that the 1920s Marine Corps "Small Wars Manual," the U.S. military's first COIN manual, has a chapter dealing with pack animals.

They probably borrowed from Pershing's AAR, circa 1911..

I'm told Black Jack did some UW harts-n-minds with some guy named Villa, down in the Ciudad Juárez - El Paso area?? I also heard Black Jack was not considered good at UW but did well on a horse..

Gary Owens..

Golf1echo
06-25-2014, 10:01
I'm curious as to how the USMC became the go to horse trainers? Does anyone have the back-side story?

I don't remember ever hearing MARSOC attacking the beach mounted?

I would have thought the 1st Cav would be more appropriate.

Having been a fly on the wall, it was interesting to me how the various mountain schools both compete and cooperate. The NWTC has an Army version:
http://vimeo.com/27587139

Others here could better explain the slots, classifications, and doctrine behind the programs. MWTC facility has a good reputation for training and working with the private sector in development, as do the other schools, it's location in the lower 48 has to be a plus.
Now if they could just combine it with " Inland Waterways". ;)

Brush Okie
06-25-2014, 10:08
Be careful, the Calif DFW frowns on the use of DuPont lures...

Thats the E&E portion of the program.

Beef
06-25-2014, 12:15
They probably borrowed from Pershing's AAR, circa 1911..

I'm told Black Jack did some UW harts-n-minds with some guy named Villa, down in the Ciudad Juárez - El Paso area?? I also heard Black Jack was not considered good at UW but did well on a horse..

Gary Owens..

Blackjack did well enough with the Moros, if what I've read is correct. Not so well with Pancho, but we're still trying to secure the borders exactly 100 years later.

The "Small Wars Manual" was an accumulation of the lessons learned and experiences gained by the Jarheads in their very successful COIN ops in Haiti and Nicaragua. Of course both of those fell apart 70-80 years later, as many on here can attest first hand.

BTW, you can google "Small Wars Manual" and download it free in PDF. It has chapters on various pack animals.

Debo
06-25-2014, 12:48
You can't ride em but when the terrain gets really crazy, get some goats. :lifter

When we were at the UW training at Camp Williams a couple of years ago we got a pack animal class from a local outfit there in Wyoming. Only catch is, the animals were goats, not horses or mules. A goat is a fantastic tactical animal we found out. 1 handful of food per day as they graze as they walk. They can carry 1/4 of their body weight to places you can't even imagine (and these were 200# goats so they could carry 50#ish each). When they get scared or nervous they don't run off, they get closer to you and more quiet. You don't have to lead them, they just hang out with you while you walk so you can keep your hands on your weapon. They are quiet and when you stop, they lay down and wait. Plus, your friendly neighborhood 18D has some experience treating them.

It was a cool class and we briefed that we were contracting with this local guy for our infil. He was retired Utah Air National Guard and already had a security clearance. Plan was for us to airborne infil and nav to a link up point where he would meet us with the animals and then we would split our rucks and infil up the mountain to the G-base returning the animals the following day. We worked the plan into our budget and then were going to kick in around $20 per ODA member to make the ends meet. Would have been a great learning experience in the implementation but the plan got shot down by higher and we walked up the mountain. Guess we were being too unconventional. :p

Photo is from the class. We didn't have all the goats loaded up, just had some with the yokes and the rest walking with us.



D.

mark46th
06-25-2014, 13:51
I'm sure goats would be popular in A-stan. If you get hungry, you can eat them, if you get horny, you can have sex with them...

mojaveman
06-25-2014, 14:27
I'm sure goats would be popular in A-stan. If you get hungry, you can eat them, if you get horny, you can have sex with them...

But in Afghanistan you have to consider the morale of your indigenous forces also.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Beef
06-25-2014, 15:30
I'm sure goats would be popular in A-stan. If you get hungry, you can eat them, if you get horny, you can have sex with them...

Ah, the holistic approach.....

TOMAHAWK9521
06-26-2014, 11:03
You can't ride em but when the terrain gets really crazy, get some goats. :lifter

When we were at the UW training at Camp Williams a couple of years ago we got a pack animal class from a local outfit there in Wyoming. Only catch is, the animals were goats, not horses or mules. A goat is a fantastic tactical animal we found out. 1 handful of food per day as they graze as they walk. They can carry 1/4 of their body weight to places you can't even imagine (and these were 200# goats so they could carry 50#ish each). When they get scared or nervous they don't run off, they get closer to you and more quiet. You don't have to lead them, they just hang out with you while you walk so you can keep your hands on your weapon. They are quiet and when you stop, they lay down and wait. Plus, your friendly neighborhood 18D has some experience treating them.

It was a cool class and we briefed that we were contracting with this local guy for our infil. He was retired Utah Air National Guard and already had a security clearance. Plan was for us to airborne infil and nav to a link up point where he would meet us with the animals and then we would split our rucks and infil up the mountain to the G-base returning the animals the following day. We worked the plan into our budget and then were going to kick in around $20 per ODA member to make the ends meet. Would have been a great learning experience in the implementation but the plan got shot down by higher and we walked up the mountain. Guess we were being too unconventional. :p

Photo is from the class. We didn't have all the goats loaded up, just had some with the yokes and the rest walking with us.



D.

Your plan sounds almost exactly like the one my boss and I put together, except we were going to use mules. However, our plan was to maintain the livestock the entire time in the field so as to move the camp every few days as we moved throughout the area. The camp sites were to be conveniently located near gold medal brook and cutthroat trout spots. :D Still breaks my heart that we never got the green light for it.