02 May 2006

Fort Jackson, Day 9

Day Nine began as usual, with PT. There was no running today, but it didn't make the PT any easier. We did quite a lot of pushups, situps, and all sorts of other things to exhaust the muscles (and everyone seems a bit sore all day because of it).

The morning was dedicated to the classroom portion of the Convoy class. This particular lesson covered the basics of convoys, including their mission, makeup, spacing, speeds, etc. We also covered what to do when encountering an IED, small arms fire, ambushes, etc. This classroom session will be put into reality on Thursday when we man up a convoy and attempt to employ the tactics against an ambush and "enemy" insurgents.

As expected, we spent the afternoon at the range ("Bastogne") firing the heavy weapons we learned about on Saturday: the M240B, M249 (Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW), M19 Grenade Launcher, and M2 (.50 cal machine gun). My vote for coolest weapon goes to the M19. The muzzle velocity of the grenade rounds is low enough so that you can follow them to the target, and adjust your fire to lob them in the appropriate direction.

A mid-afternoon finish was a nice end to the day, as we had plenty of time to ride the bus to the exchange and out the gate to get something to eat. However, the computer labs are now much fuller as we approach the middle of the week. Those that haven't already completed the required NKO courses (not a small amount) are feverlishly working to finish them. Fortunately, I started a while back and finished over the weekend. Another check in the block!

Tomorrow will be entry control point procedures, urban operations, and more. Wednesday and Thursday will be the last two days of training so we're getting into the more advanced training in the last few days. No more weapons to qualify on, so while physically demanding, it should be a lot of fun.
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