Sunday, May 17, 2009
Training and More Training
Had internet challenges the last couple of days, so am playing catch-up here. We had our long-awaited Humvee rollover simulator training two nights ago. It was like being inside of an armor-plated chicken on a rotisserie. Nobody barfed or was injured, so it was a good night. Helmet and knee/elbow pads made it only moderately painful. Yesterday we zeroed and qualified with our rifles, using real ammo. Started at 6 a.m., finished at 11:30 p.m. Having learned my lesson about eyewear, I zeroed while wearing my civilian glasses, and no drama there. Different story when we moved to the qualification range. I was forced to wear my protective eyewear with the bifocal inserts, and could barely see out of my riflescope. I barely qualified on the regular course. Next came disaster. My special gas mask prescription inserts went missing, so I tried duct-taping another set of inserts into the mask. Great idea in theory, but my mask fogged up, and the inserts fell off. Out of 20 targets, I hit 0. I was sincerely hacked off by this, so returned to where my unit had camped out, and tried other jury-rigged solutions. Finally hit upon just sticking my regular glasses inside the mask, and that did the trick. On the requalification attempt, I nailed 18 out of 20 targets. Next up, night fire. Of course, that required darkness, so we sat around eating delicious MRE's (Meal, Ready to Eat...or more popularly called "Meals Rejected by Everyone") and killing time until nightfall. Under cover of darkness, I ditched the useless Army eyewear once again, and hit 18 of 20 targets. Hmmmm...guess who's going to shoot from now on while wearing my regular specs? Today's "Fun Menu" consisted of drivers training on the armored Humvee (you could theoretically play "Chicken" with a rhino and come out on top), followed by the hand-to-hand combat class. I thought that I couldn't be any more sore from 17 hours of wearing 45 lbs of body armor and helmet, but 4 hours of being tossed like a salad and subjected to punches, kicks, and choke holds left bruises on top of my battle scars from yesterday. Wahhhh! Tomorrow is all classroom training, so I should recover in time for the next shooting range and infantry gymnastics.