Saturday, October 02, 2004

Busy Times

I haven't been able to write much because of the intense training we have been up too. We just got back from a mission where we had to do an assault on a compound filled with buildings. I got to be one of the machine gunners who would shoot at the buildings while the other guys assaulted it. From 600 yards away, me and my buddy who was a m240 gunner, we put down extremely accurate fire onto the targets. Our tracers were showing our bullets were going right through windows no better than 3 feet by 2 feet. Our machine guns alot killed alot of the occupants inside, making it easier for the people assaulting the buildings to take the buildings down quickly. We got commended for having such accurate fire at that distance by the First Sergeant, which he said was really really good shit at that range. Out of 2 companies, our Platoon, 2nd Platoon, out of 8 other Platoons did the absolute best. One of the OC's, which are guys that observe the whole assault and then give a AAR (after action review) and tell us everything we did wrong and right said we were the best he'd ever seen, we were extremely fast and it was extremely well done. After that, we did a 12 mile road march will all our equipment. It's not easy to carry a machine gun on a long road march like that, but I was able to do pretty well and had to encourage other guys to keep going and not to stop. We all completed it without a single fall out. After that we did a mass formation of both companies and a Lt Colonel, told us how damn impressed he was with everyone and that he has absolutely no doubt that when we get deployed to Iraq soon, again, that there will be nothing we can't handle. He also said how extremely proud he was of each and everyone of us. Our platoon was the only platoon that did a night assault on the objective, we only got 1 1 /2 hours of sleep before we had to step and conduct the road march. So, we were all pretty tired, but we all still made it. When we got back to the Company area, they commended us on that too. 2nd Platoon has always been known as the best Platoon in the whole company. We are starting to get ALOT of cherries (new guys, FNGs) now though, so we are training them up to go. It gets repetitive and anoyying to keep having to train guys. Alot of the Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans we had are all gone, there is maybe 1/3rd left of all the guys that went to Iraq during the war. The rest had only showed up to Iraq a few months before being deployed back to the USA. Due to past problems of having undisciplined soldiers, because we probably weren't tough enough on them. We have decided to get tougher on them because we can't afford to lose guys and we don't want to goto combat with a untrained and undisciplined soldier. Basic training doesn't teach people what they will need to know and how to fight in a urban environment, that is something only the units that they goto can provide and we cannot fail ourselves by not being tough on them and teaching them how to fight effectively in that environment. We have a whole week of fixing any equipment we messed up during the live fires and then we go back out to the field again to train for another week.

Surprisingly, to me anyway, it seems Bush lost the debate in favor of Kerry. I didn't get to see the debate since we were training in the field. Which kinda pissed me off, but I had alot of fun in the field anyway. But I always though people said that Bush was such a good debater. I guess I'll have to watch the next debate.

US troops fighting in Samarra to take back swaths that were taken by the "insurgents." I was watching some of the combat footage, and those US troops seemed to be on their P's and Q's. They looked like they were seasoned fighters, that impressed me. Other times I've seen soldiers making some mistakes in the footage, but this looked like they were all squared away. over 100 insurgents killed, of course you're gonna have anti-war people complain about there probably being a bunch of civilians killed. When you're fighting an armed enemy, you're not going to shoot food and water at them. The only way to keep someone from killing you, is to kill them or wound them in that situation. It's almost like people forget that there are civilian casualties in every war, and it sad as it may be, it is a fact of life. I remember numbers in other wars where there were like 50,000 civilians killed in city fighting in just a few days. Give me a break people.