Monday, August 02, 2004

Training Like Crazy

Our training level seems to only be increasing. We just got back from a 2 day excursion in the field. The whole point of it was, to train for CQB (Close Quater Battle). From 11am in the morning till 10pm at night, we were training in empty building complexes and other urban environments. Of course, we got a little break in between to chow down on an MRE and relax for alittle bit, but then, we were right back in it. To be honest, I had alot of fun. Even though we were sweating profusely from all the running around and all that stuff you do in training. I think the CO has got the entire company doing so much CQB now, that everyone is starting to move like clock work. Really fast, and really aggressive and very fluid like a well greased engine. All this training will be vital to having a successful deployment in Iraq that will be coming up in some months to come and in an effort to bring everyone back home alive. However, since I have been in Iraq already, I think we also need to train the cherries (new guys) on the heavy weapon systems. Like, the Mark-19 automatic grenade launcher, and M2 .50 caliber machine gun. We used these alot on mounted patrols, and these heavy weapons have saved alot of American lives in a tough spot in Iraq. Someone could get hit, and they may have to pick up and take over the gun, and they will need to know how to operate it and correct malfunctions and be really effective with it.

After the really fun, but really exhausting training. We got to prepare for a 16 mile road march. We all think it is going to be slow, because people are carrying their M249 SAW, M240 Bravo, or heavy AG gear (assistant gunner gear for the m240 bravo which is really heavy) because of the fact that they would have a hard time keeping up in a fast fast road march, especially at that distance. Instead, our CO has us take off almost at EIB (Expert Infantryman's Badge) pace, which would be complete a 12 mile road march in 3 hours with just a 45 pound rucksack and an m4. That gear is pretty light, an M4 feels like nothing, but a machine gun can break you down after awhile. Surprisingly, only one guy fell out of the road march, and he was really sucking, he has a deep blister on the entire bottom of his two feet. We reached about 14 miles and our CO stopped us and just had us get picked up by LMTVs (big trucks for hauling troops and equipment). Even though we all for the most part made it, the CO pretty much broke everyone off on this road march, everyone was sucking on the road march. However, after all that training we did earlier, I'm surprised we didn't have more fall outs. I'd of thought the CQB training we did all day would have exhausted us all to where alot of people would fall out at that pace. One thing this teaches me, just like you talk to guys who went to Ranger school, your body is capable of a whole lot more than you think it is.