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America Strikes Back: Weapons of Army Ranger

Aired November 6, 2001 - 11:33   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: The Army Rangers are known to work in larger groups, as we have mentioned before. They pack more firepower than their special ops colleagues and have expertise in seizing airfields. Once on the ground, the Rangers are equipped for a variety of warfare.

Joining us from Chicago is CNN military analyst Gen. David Grange.

General, hello to you.

GEN. DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Good morning, how are you?

PHILLIPS: We have an animation to let you talk over. We are going to bring this up. This is an animation of an Army Ranger. I want first to talk about the ALICE pack and what's in here and the advantages of this, sir.

GRANGE: The ALICE pack is for sustained operations. It's the combat load, not the fighting load. When a soldier goes into combat he carries his equipment that is going to sustain him for at least 72 hours. It's water; rations; ammunition; batteries for radios; pyrotechnics for signaling aircraft to start fire, to stop fire -- those type of survival gear. But when he goes into a fighting load, he drops his pack and fights with just what they call his load- carrying equipment. It's a harness with pistol belt that has ammunition pouches on it, hand grenades, etcetera, just to do the in- close fighting.

PHILLIPS: Another advantage is the ground laser target designator. Let's talk about this.

GRANGE: A target designator, it depends on the variety. Usually, they're good to about 10,000 meeters to determine the distance from the weapon system to the target that's going to be engaged. It gives that you that exact distance, usually day or night, so you can engage more effectively a first-round hit on target when you do engage it.

PHILLIPS: Then there's the night vision devices. These can amplify moon- or starlight by millions of times, right?

GRANGE: Well, natural ambient light, or also an internal light source, a power pack, that allows you to see if there is zero visibility, no moon-, no starlight. Those are again, usually, the handheld or closer-in -- 150 yards distance -- maybe a little bit further, tied into the weapons systems, or just to search rooms, caves, tunnels, those type of tunnel areas.

PHILLIPS: Of course, we have to have the firearms, primary weapons Beretta and M-4 combat rifle. There are other weapons, too, correct? The MP-5 submachine gun, M-24 sniper rifle, and the claymore mine. Let's talk a little more about the weapons system.

GRANGE: Pistols are not carried by every individual. The Beretta .09 millimeter is standard issued to all soldiers of the United States Army. Some special op soldiers will carry those. The M4 carbine is a standard weapon issued that can take attachments, to put on day- and nightscopes, aim points, different ways to engage the targets. But they also can be undermounted with a .40-millimeter grenade launcher.

The other weapons they can have would be a sniper rifle, maybe one per squad-size element, that gives you first-round, first-kill shots out to 700, 800 meters -- all very good.

PHILLIPS: The claymore mine: Talk about that, General.

The claymore mine is an old mine. What's nice about the claymore mine is it's very safe to employ. We have used them extensively in Vietnam. They are used in ambushes, to kick off an ambush, destroying the lead or the trail end of a moving element. And then you, of course, annihilate the middle section after that and use defensive positions to protect where you stay at night. It is an excellent mine, very safe to employ.

PHILLIPS: All of these weapons are very important for surviving the threat and surviving physically when in a position. But the mental weapon, you specifically, I know, can talk about this -- the intellectual warrior -- very important also to be in the proper mind- set.

GRANGE: That's the most powerful, most important capability of any soldier. And if you want it focus on the Rangers, his will to win, his brotherhood of arms, how he deals with his comrades -- the loyalty to their country, to their unit, and to each other is so powerful that there is no thought of failure. The Rangers go on there to complete the mission though they be the lone survivor. That's part of their motto, their battle cry,and it's very powerful.

PHILLIPS: Sure. I have seen them train. I know you have been there too. I know there is no option but to win.

Gen. David Grange, thank you so much.

GRANGE: Thank you.

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