Old Skills

CQB

Australian SOF
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Break out the sextant: Navy teaching celestial navigation again

The US Navy has continued to teach celestial nav & expanded the program. I had the argument (in the figurative sense) with a regular army guy here who said that learning land nav is obsolete as 'we have satellites.' With electronic warfare a potential treat, the Navy has sandbagged the issue.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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GPS break, batteries go dead, equipment can fail or be lost, etc.

Land Navigation is a must have skill and a perishable one if you don't practice. I still to this day go out to parks get out a map and compass, practice dead reckoning, triangulate my position, shoot a point, check pace count against map calculations, while checking azimuths to continue to triangulate my location/confirm, etc.

I wish I knew how to celestial navigate, out side of tracking the sun or moon, I'm pretty fucked off on looking up and having any idea where the fuck I am or going.
 

Devildoc

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The Navy did away with that about the time they got rid of SWO school. We see how well that worked out for them. Celestial navigation is one of those foundational skills that sailors need, so good on them for bringing it back.
 

MikeDelta

Military Police Soldier
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@Diamondback 2/2

Yep, calling for fire would be a bitch with no working GPS nowadays.

Knowing where you're at in an effen grid on a map and being solid with terrain features can at least get you a good bracket in place for a solid 'fire for effect' and 'repeat'. I think FDC guys still deal in grid squares as a redundancy measure, don't they?

And good on the Navy for bringing Celestial Nav back!
 

Diamondback 2/2

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IDK, I've only called in live mortar fire missions in training and it was all off grid and adjust from there. We didn't use any indirect fire in the cities in Iraq, collateral damage and all that.

When I went through a fots course (basically a forward observer short course) GPS wasn't really covered much, other then to confirm your position, if you had a GPS.

I couldn't say what happens on the gun bunny end of things. Outside of a little fam-fire with 60mm and packing rounds for the 120 guys, I really don't know much about indirect fires, well outside of what the fm's say.
 

Topkick

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Break out the sextant: Navy teaching celestial navigation again

The US Navy has continued to teach celestial nav & expanded the program. I had the argument (in the figurative sense) with a regular army guy here who said that learning land nav is obsolete as 'we have satellites.' With electronic warfare a potential treat, the Navy has sandbagged the issue.
I think manual land navigation skills provide a foundation. The first time I went to the middle east, the maps were basically a plain white sheet of paper, so the Plugger/ Slugger was the shiznit. But, understanding how to navigate without technology first enhances ones ability to navigate with technology. You see the big picture better. Also, its more rewarding and challenging. I always enjoyed the old school land nav courses cuz I would dominate. ;-):-)
 

MikeDelta

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IDK, I've only called in live mortar fire missions in training and it was all off grid and adjust from there. We didn't use any indirect fire in the cities in Iraq, collateral damage and all that.

When I went through a fots course (basically a forward observer short course) GPS wasn't really covered much, other then to confirm your position, if you had a GPS.

I couldn't say what happens on the gun bunny end of things. Outside of a little fam-fire with 60mm and packing rounds for the 120 guys, I really don't know much about indirect fires, well outside of what the fm's say.
Recently I was at the VA and a 105 and 155MM FA/FDC soldier and Vietnam vet said they were using small computers for the 155MM to account for rotation of the earth in addition to coordinates and deflection. Now, he said it’s all GPS...But that got me thinking because I know the Army is still teaching basic land nav to the 11B soldiers, so it would make sense to do the same with FDC and the gunbunnys...Hmmmm, I’m going to do some research and find out if our FA soldiers are using good ol’ grid coordinates anymore or not.
 

MikeDelta

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@Diamondback 2/2

Here is the scoop I dug up regarding gunbunnies using grid squares vs. GPS these days.

It’s both, depending on the equipment you’re given for the mission. If you’re using JCR it’s GPS if you’re with a JTAC it’s Grid coordinates typically.
 

Ocoka

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The battlespace will go dark. The ability to fall back on basic skills will be paramount.
 
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