Saturday, September 16, 2006

No more training days left

One more week to go! The FOB was alright - I actually got more sleep than I expected but like everything else here, a lot of the so-called training seemed useless or inefficient. In many cases, it seems like the only people that really get anything out of the training are the ones that are in leadership at the time while the rest of us miss out.
We left Monday morning for the FOB, and my platoon was in charge of FOB security that first day which basically translates into guarding towers and tracking where all the other platoons were. It was mostly uneventful except for when the OPFOR scaled the walls and took over the TOC (one of our cadre was pretty mad because he felt like it took away from our actual learning experience - the TOC was overrun by the OPFOR just about every day we were out there but it's definitely not a common occurence in real life). On Tuesday, we rotated and became the Quick Reaction Force. Normally, one squad is ready to go and the rest of us are sleeping, waiting to be called up as a necessary. However, since we have a certain mentor, he took the one squad out for five hours so the next squad in line had to take their place. The point of the QRF is to go out around the FOB and investigate disturbances, or help out and then come back. A five hour mission is much more like a patrol. A two-star general also stopped by that day so in order to impress him with our high speed training, the acting QRF squad was loaded on a truck ready to go, and so was my squad, the on-call squad while a third squad was waiting in the classroom. Everyone was complaining about the training but as soon as the general asked if we were getting high-speed training, a few of them replied with "Hooah, sir." I just bit my tongue as usual.
The third day was nice since we were OPFOR for the patrolling platoon. They needed the whole squad for one mission and only half of us for the next one, so I spent most of the day in the barracks reading and sleeping. They even took us out for showers that evening (only the women though - Bravo Company, on the other hand, took in everyone for showers on a daily basis).
I didn't enjoy patrolling that much. We had one night mission - assaulting Liberty City. I am so sick of attacking that place in the dark - I don't like using the NODs when attempting to walk stairs (yes, I finally had a pair that worked). Our afternoon mission was ridiculously long and involved us lying in a field for two to three hours waiting for the imaginary CID force to complete its investigation (in other words, we were waiting for our captain to decide we'd "learned" enough). Of course, our ten mile road march took eight and a half hours, so I have to give the man credit for being able to drag things out. I hate road marching, and was a bit worried about this one because I've never road-marched that far. I was grateful for the first stop because I needed to readjust my ruck due to some shoulder pain. After that, all the stops and missions just drove me crazy. We stopped way too many times, and at each stop we had to take our rucks off to get into the prone - every time it was sitting comfortably, we'd stop. I would have preferred a straight road march to one with a lot of missions - I hate road marching so making it incredibly long doesn't make it better. Oh well, at least it's done and over with. Now all I have to do I clean my rifle to standard, and outprocess.
In other news, I got my car back today so I will actually be able to leave next Friday.

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