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ORDNANCE NOTES

by Bob Stoner GMCM(SW) Ret.

While with MST-Two Det Charlie at Sea Float/Solid Anchor (May 1970-Nov 1970), I had the occasion to work on or shoot some interesting hardware, including boat ordnance and personal weapons. Not all MST/SEAL units had all of these weapons. Some (especially the personal weapons) were picked up through trades, from weapons caches, and other means. With the exception of the Mk18 and Mk20 40mm GL, the MST dets at SEA FLOAT/SOLID ANCHOR had use of all the weapons shown. The SEAL weapons include those used by our platoons plus other SEAL platoons elsewhere.

MST Weapons - Boats

The manner of arming the boats varied from detachment to detachment and from crew to crew, but our detachment armed our boats as follows:

LSSC (Light SEAL Support Craft)
Two M-60 mid-ships and .50 BMG aft.  Sometimes the crews would swap the M-60s to the forward mounts.  The ammo was fed from the 7.62mm ammo cans found on the helo gunships.  The .50 BMG was from the standard 100-round box and tray arrangement.

MSSC (Medium SEAL Support Craft)
We mounted two M-60s per side (total of four).  One pair was even with the coox'n flat (so as not to interfere with the SEALS going past.  The other pair was mounted aft of the .50 BMGs.  The .50 BMGs were mid-ships.  The after mount had the .50 BMG, then Mk 19, then .50 BMG, and then the Mini-gun.

HSSC (Heavy SEAL Support Craft)
Starting at the bow: to the rear of the bow ramp was the Mk 2 Mod 1 .50/81mm mount with its ammo box on the port side.  The to its immediate rear, the well deck had been covered with a helo pad.  At the front of the helo pad was a gun tub for the Mini-gun.  There was an M40A1 106mm RCL in the middle of the helo pad.  Below the helo pad were a pair of .50 BMG on each side with a built-in tray for 950 rounds of continuous linked .50 cal per gun. We usually put up a pair of M-60s on each side between the .50s and ran about 1,200 rds/per gun.  There was a .50 BMG "stinger" at the rear of the armored cox'n flat.

MST Weapons - Personal

SEAL Weapons - Personal

Some readers may be asking why sometimes SEALs used foreign weapons instead of American. There are several reasons, but those that come immediately to mind are deception and plausible deniability. Weapons of foreign origin were used to disguise the users because they would not immediately brand the unit as American. Weapons of foreign origin also have a distinctive sound signature when they fire. The foreign weapon may not be recognized, or the sound signature may be a familiar one that the bad guys know but do not associate with Americans. Last, if the weapon was lost through combat or other reasons, its foreign origin precluded it being traced back to the United States.

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