29 April 2006

Fort Jackson, Day 6

The weekend arrives, finally! Well, almost. Saturday started late (0830 formation as oppposed to 05-something) so most of us got an extra hour or so of sleep. And based on the schedule, we knew it wouldn't be a full day.

The morning was spent doing heavy weapons familiarization. We were introduced to the Mk 19 40mm grenade launcher, the M240 Machine Gun, the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), and the M2 .50 Caliber machine gun. We praticed the clearing procedures and the loading and unloading procedures. The goal here was not to make us experts but to familiarize us enough with the weapons to be able to load, use, and unload them if the situation ever presented itself. On Tuesday, we'll get to fire them at the range!

After lunch we headed across the road to the 25 meter range for the M16 flex fire exercise. This consists of three sets of fires starting from the low ready position with two ten round magazines: 4 "double-taps" of aim-quick-kill shots (using 8 of 10 rounds) from 25 meters; 4 more from 15 meters (after the first two is a mandatory magazine change); and then 2 more from 10 meters firing from the hip ("reflexive fire"). There was no qual here, just practice. Hopefully we'll never need to engage anyone at such short distances!

We got back to Camp McCrady before 1600 so the day was over a few hours earlier than normal. Most guys were out of the door quick with cabs to Columbia and hotel rooms waiting since Sunday is a day off. I took the bus to the Fort Jackson PX for some much-needed supplies.

And I'm definitely looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow and resting up some very sore muscles.
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