View Full Version : New CROWS II systems keeping soldiers safe

08-06-2009, 12:14 PM
NewCROWS Keeping Soldiers Safe
August 06, 2009
Army News Service|by Pfc. Cody A. Thompson

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - The next generation of 'Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station,' or CROWS, offers an updated version with more options to potentially protect servicemembers and defeat insurgents across Afghanistan.

Located on top of mine resistant ambush protected vehicles the CROWS II allows for safer travels by enabling the gunner to sit inside the vehicle, which prevents potential casualties in vehicle rollovers.

"Fact is we won't have as many people killed in rollover," said Capt. Timothy Ashcraft, a Corpus Christi, Texas, native, and the chief of Training with the Combined Joint Task Force-82.

The implementation of the CROWS II system doesn't change the need for basic Soldier safety, which includes buckling your seatbelt.

"With the CROWS II if everyone inside wears their seatbelts we could reduce the amount of casualties caused in vehicle rollovers by a lot," said Michael Hudock, an Athens, Ga. native, and mine resistant ambush protected vehicle instructor with Navistar Defense.

For Staff Sgt. Robert Martuszewski, the division master gunner, with Combined Task Force-82, gunner safety is a personal issue.

"I had a buddy die when he was thrown from the turret when his vehicle hit an IED (improvised explosive device)," recalls the Baltimore, Md., native. "Now if the vehicle rolls over, he (the gunner) won't get crushed or thrown from the vehicle.

With the gunner protected from vehicle rollovers the gunner can concentrate his focus on eliminating enemy targets.

Once a gunner locates a target he can utilize the laser range function of the CROW II to track the enemy and accurately engage the target.

CROWS II are feathered with an assortment of weapons capabilities including an M-2 .50-caliber machine gun, M-240 machine gun, MK-19 automatic grenade launcher and the M-249 squad automatic weapon.

The next generation of CROWS includes updates that will assist in the overall operation of the station.

"The new generation of CROWS includes advanced optics, a more user friendly control interface, which allows you to do more inside the vehicle," said Martuszewski.

The system has body heat locators that can find insurgents day or night.

"The system has night and day thermals, and with 90 percent ballistics accuracy, the gunner system is truly amazing," said Sgt. 1st Class Andre Jones, a Jacksonville, Vt., native, and field service representative with crew served weapons.

CROWS II are not entirely dependent upon an electronic source for control, which gives servicemembers more options in emergencies.

"In case you lose electronic capabilities the gunner can undo the lock clutches and manually operate the gun," said Jones.


08-06-2009, 02:10 PM
Our unit, 124th Cav, 36th ID, TXANG was one of the first to receive and test the Crow System in Iraq, 2004. It is a worthy system, yet, my only reservation is for those in the vehicle lose much of their peripheral vision with the gunner down.

We took it to the Second Battle for Fallujah in support of the Marines in clearing the streets. Following is a list of the participants in that Second Battle. Following the list is a picture of one of the Crows (hope it can be attached).

"For the bigger and more famous Second Battle of Fallujah

U.S. forces
Regimental Combat Team 1 (RCT-1) built around the 1st Marine Regiment:

3rd Battalion 1st Marines (Infantry)
3rd Battalion 5th Marines (Infantry)
Company D, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion (Armored)
3rd Platoon, Company E, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion Armored
3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (Mechanized)(Armored)
4th Battalion 14th Marines— Battery "M" (Artillery)
2nd Battalion 7th Cavalry (US Army) (Mechanized)
Company C, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, (Armored)
2nd Platoon, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry (Light)
2nd Tank Battalion — Co C
TOW Platoon (-), 23rd Marines
Scout Platoon, Headquarters & Service Company, 4th Tank Battalion
Company A, MP Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, 2nd Marine Division
Company B, (reinforced), 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division
Detachment 4, 4th Civil Affairs Group
Combat Logistics Company 115, Combat Logistics Battalion 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group
Shock Trauma Platoon, 1st Marine Logistics Group
Company B, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines
Company B, 1st Battalion, 23rd Marines
Evac Platoon, Company C, 181 SPT Battalion, 81 HBCT
Regimental Combat Team 7 (RCT-7) built around the 7th Marine Regiment:

1st Battalion 3rd Marines (Infantry)
1st Battalion 8th Marines (Infantry)
1st Battalion 12th Marines — Battery "C" (Artillery)
F Troop 4th Cavalry 3rd Brigade Reconnaissance Troop 1st Infantry Division (US Army Cavalry)
2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment (US Army) (Mechanized)
2nd Tank Battalion — Co A (Armored)
Company C, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion
44th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
Company C, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion (Armored)
Company B, MP Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group
3rd Platoon, Combat Engineer Company, Combat Assault Battalion, 3rd Marine Division
2nd Force Recon Company
2nd Platoon, Company C, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion
1st Platoon, Engineer Company C, 6th Engineer Support Battalion
Company C, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion
Company A, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion
MEU Service Support Group 31, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit
2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division

1st Battalion 5th Infantry (US Army) (Stryker)
A Troop 2nd Squadron 14th Cavalry (US Army) (Stryker)
3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment
759th Composite MP Battalion
2nd Reconnaissance Battalion
15th Forward Support Battalion
3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division

F Troop, [4th Cavalry] (Brigade Reconnaissance Troop)
2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry

1/124 CAV, 36th Infantry Division (Texas Army National Guard)
CROWS Team One
US Army Special Operations Command(embedded)

Iraqi Forces
1st Specialized Special Forces Battalion (Iraqi National Guard), Companies D and B
Iraqi 36th Commando Battalion
Iraqi Counterterrorism Force
Emergency Response Unit (Iraqi-Ministry of Interior)
1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, Iraqi Intervention Force (ICDC)
2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, Iraqi Intervention Force (ICDC)
4th Battalion, 1st Brigade, Iraqi Intervention Force (ICDC)
5th Battalion, 3rd Brigade, Iraqi Intervention Force (ICDC)"

08-06-2009, 02:15 PM
Thanks for the list and your insight.