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Army to release report on PFC Lynch

Military Army PFC Jessica Lynch

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#1 Rov Judicata

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 03:58 PM



The Army will release a report tomorrow on the ambush of the 507th Maintenance Company in Iraq that will show Pfc. Jessica Lynch and another female soldier suffered extensive injuries in a vehicle accident, but not from Iraqi fighters.
    The deadly March 23 battle in Nasiriyah, in central Iraq, has emerged as perhaps the most famous incident in the war — both for what happened and for what was reported to have happened, but did not.


Pfc. Lynch also was pulled from the wreckage and taken to the same hospital. "Lynch survived principally because of the medical attention she received from the Iraqis," one source said.

I'm hoping the report itself also discusses the rescue itself.

*looks forward to it being released*
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#2 AnneZo

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 04:01 PM

^ I doubt if it will, but maybe they'll surprise me.

For the record, I think things were ahem exaggerated for effect when the story first came out, but I haven't ruled out the possibility that a lot of the exaggeration was done by the media.

#3 MuseZack


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Posted 10 July 2003 - 04:13 PM

The part of the report I was most shocked by was the description of the soldiers' M16s jamming from desert conditions and improper maintenance.  

The unit's 18-vehicle convoy had broken into three clusters as the unit retraced its route. "Most soldiers" in the first group reported that their M-16s malfunctioned as they tried to "return fire while moving," the report said.


When Cpl. Damien Luten, sitting in the passenger seat of a 5-ton tractor trailer in the second group, attempted to fire the unit's only .50-caliber machine gun, it failed, the report said. Luten was wounded in the leg while reaching for his M-16. Spec. James Grubb, in the passenger seat of a 5-ton fuel truck, "returned fire with his M-16 until wounded in both arms, despite reported jamming of his weapon," it said.

The third group of vehicles, which included the Humvee in which Lynch was riding, also had weapons problems.

After Lynch's Humvee crashed, Sgt. James Riley ran with two other soldiers to see if the vehicle's occupants could be saved. His weapon jammed. Riley reached for 1st Sgt. Robert Dowdy's M-16 to use instead. Dowdy had been killed instantly in the crash. Riley ordered the two soldiers with him to take cover and then tried to use each of their M-16s against the Iraqis. "But both jammed," the report said.
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#4 tennyson

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 04:24 PM

wow, you'd think we were in the bad old days of the M16 in Vietnam back before they solved most of its issues, do you think it was just inattention to maintenance on thier part brought on by complancency? The environment is bad but that's beyond suprising.

Edited by tennyson, 10 July 2003 - 04:26 PM.

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#5 Uncle Sid

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 07:34 PM

Eek, that does sound pretty darn sad.  Of course, desert conditions make for hard going for most equipment, but to have a whole company have it's weapons fail so frequently in a combat situation is rather strange.  The reports that I read indicated that the M16 was actually a reliable weapon overall in this war, so I wonder if there wasn't an issue with the company itself.
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Posted 10 July 2003 - 09:23 PM

Uncle Sid, on Jul 10 2003, 08:30 AM, said:

The reports that I read indicated that the M16 was actually a reliable weapon overall in this war, so I wonder if there wasn't an issue with the company itself.
I’d say it might have been complacency on the part of a supply unit and lack of understanding of just how much the environment will affect the weapons.  The main problem I heard about is the takedown pins were failing and the lower receivers were falling off of the rifles.  Not exactly a great thing to have happen when someone is trying to kill you. “Time out! I need my duct tape.”  That is a very different situation than the mass jams that are being reported here.  I still lean toward the idea that these support units need something other than a M16 for their weapons.  

If any weapons seemed to have a lot of issues in Iraq it was the M9 that I heard the most complaints about.
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#7 Broph

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 10:58 PM

I've heard a lot of things back and forth on this. The Iraquis said that they tried to return Jessica to American troops, but were fired upon when they approached the soldiers. However, A&E just showed a 1 hour special about the rescue including, if I understood correctly, actual footage from the rescue team (the video looked about right for the conditions). Lynch had been hidden away in the back part of the emergency area and was only found because someone from the hospital had reached American troops telling them exactly where she was. They also found a mass grave with 9 (IIRC) other people from Lynch's patrol group.

So while I'm sure that the hospital gave her medical care, I don't believe that the Iraqis in general were all that helpful, considering that they were firing on the rescue squad.

#8 AnneZo

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 01:34 AM

^ As I understand it, the issue isn't so much the "rescue" as caught on tape, it's to what extent the "rescue" was stage-managed for those same cameras.*

There are allegations flying from both sides and I suspect we may never know the truth.

* I'm wondering if those "embedded" reporters
were such a good idea, okay?

#9 Enmar


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Posted 11 July 2003 - 04:38 AM

RE: M-16 :eek:

The report says the battle was on March 23. Was it during the big sand storm? IIRC the storm hit on the first few days and that incident happened later, but I'm not sure.

I find it hard to believe that they wouldn't know that they better clean their weapons well after the sand storm, even if they haven't used them. M-16s are used by the IDF under desert conditions regularly and they don't jam often, at least not in a way you can't fix immediately. So I have to wonder:

1. Did they have proper training? I mean, did they learn how to unjam simple problems?
2. Did anyone check the ammunition they were using? Sounds a lot more reasonable that the ammu series was flawed than that so many soldeirs will have problems.
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