There’s a lot going on in this short clip, but there are a few interesting take-aways. The things that most people will notice: one guy has a hard time with the PKM, and the other guy is pretty much just shooting into the air for the heck of it. But first, check out the guy in blue . . .
He’s an Iraqi Police officer, briefly seen a couple of times, right up front and then again later with the radio. He’s running a PKM through a spider hole that, judging from the pickaxe lying around, they created themselves. He’s behind the sights and sending rounds. He seems chill and generally competent. Good job, officer.
As the camera pans, notice both of the next shooters are wearing US Army OCP pants with what looks like Solomon or a similar style shoe. I’m willing to bet a lot that these guys are trained and equipped by an ODA [Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha. An “A” team. The basic Green Beret Unit.]
To further bolster that assessment, notice that the guy with a beard running the PKM is sitting on a a VHS-2 Bullpup carbine in 5.56, a rifle used by Iraqi Special Forces. He’s got the PKM running pretty slow. He’s not really looking down the sights at all. From his angle, maybe he can see the front sight, but I doubt it, and there’s just no way he sees the rear sight.
Then, yay, rocket attack! And everyone is happy. The clean-shaven guy wants to get in on the PKM action, but he has a little trouble with it.
The video’s description says he “fails at several attempts to make the machine gun fire.” Well, he does exactly what we are trained to do in that situation, which is charge and fire again.
He makes the mistake of doing that a couple of times instead of just once. But then we see him opening up the gun to access the feed tray as the camera pans to the bearded guy, who has now grabbed the VHS-2. And he fires it, generally over the wall, generally in the direction of the previous firing. But there is zero aiming of any kind.
As we hear the PKM pick back up, (guess clearing the tray and recharging worked like it should) we see the bearded dude just firing very high, with rounds likely landing a mile away.
At first, that looks like just horrible training, or a lack of training entirely. But, there is something else to see. It was not the clean-shaven dudes primary weapon. When he stopped firing with it the other guy filled in the gap in rounds out. The clean-shaven dude got it back up soon enough.
Firing doesn’t have to be accurate to be useful. After all, we see the Iraqi Police officer back on the radio, so maybe he is telling someone that the last rocket was a good hit, and to do that again, or maybe he is adjusting fire.
The rounds coming from this “fire team” may be purely harassing fire, meant to keep their targets in that building or general area so that the big stick of indirect fire can do its job.
If that’s the case, then these guys didn’t go great, but they did good enough.
I’m not betting these guys have been extensively trained, but they’ve got some of the basics down And kudos to them for being there and sending rounds down range. Plus, they are smiling and generally having a good time, which is a great attitude for combat, if you can get it.