Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Elite Military Units and the AR Weapon Platform: G.R.O.M., Poland

In our previous blog post, we briefly highlighted the British S.A.S. and their use of the AR weapon platform.  In this post, we will continue to identify foreign, special operations military units that have selected the "AR" as one of the tools they use "to get the job done."

G.R.O.M. is an acronym for "Grupa Reagowania Operacyjno-Manewrowego, or Operational Maneuver Reconnaissance Group (in English). The Polish military has provided a great deal of assistance to U.S. forces in the Global War on Terror in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and their elite forces (including G.R.O.M.) are working under the same I.S.A.F. leadership as American special operations units even now. The unit was formed in the 1990's due to domestic threats from various Islamic terrorist groups.  These threats were made in response to the Polish government's involvement in helping Jews from the Soviet Union who desired to relocate to Israel.  Individuals from the British Ministry of Defense and U.S. Department of Defense provided assistance and direction to the Polish government for the unit's establishment.  G.R.O.M. has seen action in theaters like Haiti, the Balkans, and as mentioned earlier, the Middle East.

G.R.O.M. takes part in a variety of operations including personal security details as well as hostage rescue and other forms of "direct action."  It includes both male and female personnel.  Members are proficient in at least two foreign languages and the majority have extensive "tactical/emergency" medical training.  Like many elite/special operations units, members have some freedom in which weapon systems they prefer to employ in a mission.  Sub-machine guns such as the 9mm H&K MP5 and handguns like the Glock 19 and SIG P228 are typical weapons seen and known to be in use by the G.R.O.M.  In regard to assault/battle rifles, AK variants are used, but as displayed by the various images in this post, the members of this unit seem to be fond of the AR platform as well.

The unit's choice and use of the AR weapon platform for various applications is a definite credit to the design and dependability of the "American Black Rifle."

Thanks for reading our blog.  In upcoming posts, we will continue to highlight more elite military units that have selected to use the AR weapon platform in their operations.  If you have any questions about Del-Ton AR-15 rifles, or the AR-15 parts and accessories we offer at www.del-ton.com, please feel free to contact us.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Elite Military Units and the AR Weapon Platform: The SAS, Great Britain

British SAS soldier with a Colt Canada/Diemaco C8A1

The AR-15 weapon platform was "born" in the United States and has been employed by members of our military units for over 40 years now.  It has experienced a number of modifications/incarnations and the models currently in use look a good bit different than those originally carried by brave soldiers in Southeast Asia in the 1960's.  Older models like the 20" barreled M16A2 are still used by some reserve units and in basic training marksmanship qualifications. Newer models like the M4 and 10.3" barreled Mark 18 CQBR are more commonly seen in service now due to mission requirements. 

In recent years, the platform has been employed by many foreign military units and particularly those who have a "special operations" role to fulfill.  There has been an expansion of special operations units and a resulting increase in special operations missions in most modern and well funded militaries.  Special operations tactics (with highly trained and equipped personnel) typically have the best ability to address most of the current situations and applications in which military force is required in this present day.  In the next few blog posts, we will offer some general information about these units who have adopted "our" successful weapons system.  It is an interesting development that I believe offers some high praise for the dependability and usefulness of the AR weapon platform.

Great Britain has been a faithful ally of the United States for over a century and has given our country tremendous assistance in the Global War on Terror.  While many of England's special forces units such as the Royal Marines and Paras have trained and fought with AR platform weapons, it is the famous SAS (Special Air Service) and SBS (Special Boat Service) units that employ "our" weapon platform on a routine basis.

The SAS was formed in 1941 during World War 2. The regiment (actually a brigade at that time) gained extensive combat experience,especially in the North African theatre.  The unit was disbanded at the end of the conflict, but resurrected during the Korean War.  It has remained active, and since expanded into 3 regiments.

While special operations units tend to be secretive in nature, certain operations (successful and unsuccessful) often bring them unavoidable notoriety. In the Spring of 1980, terrorists captured the Iranian Embassy in London and held 26 people hostage.  The terrorist's demands were not being met and as a result, they executed a hostage.  Shortly after this, the SAS was tasked with infiltrating the embassy, freeing the hostages, and neutralizing the terrorists.  The operation took less than 20 minutes, and though there were casualties, it was considered a success. 

As in any special operations unit, there is a certain level of freedom in the selection of weapons and tactics to employ that "regular" military units rarely enjoy.  Focusing on standard issue assault/battle rifles, evidence has shown members of this unit using the Heckler and Koch G3, 417, and AR platform weapons produced both in the US (Colt and Lewis Machine and Tool) and Canada (Diemaco, now Colt Canada).  The H&K G3, 417, and the LMT L129A1 are 7.62X51 NATO caliber weapons, while the Colt and Diemaco AR platform weapons are chambered in 5.56X45 NATO.  All but the H&K G3 are at least in some sense AR platform-style weapons. The H&K 417 is a piston operating system, rather than direct gas impingement, but maintains the controls and ergonomics of the AR platform.

Use of the AR style weapon by the SAS and some other UKSF units has been most noticeable in the recent GWOT operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  While their AR platform weapons often have mounted optics like the Canadian ELCAN, noticeable in some of the pictures in this post are weapons with the U.S. military ACOG optic.  With the broad array of weapons systems available to an elite unit with an "elite budget" like the SAS, its choice to employ the AR platform weapon should give owners of similar, civilian models assurance of a quality, dependable rifle for the applications in which they use them.

Thanks for reading our blog. If you have any questions about the AR-15 rifles we manufacture at Del-Ton (DTI), or any of the AR-15 parts we offer at www.del-ton.com, please contact us.