Thursday, September 09, 2004

A Day at the Range

Today we were supposed to do a half day of training and go to the range tomorrow. We were surprised to get a call just after we got back from lunch saying there were available lanes at the range and if we hurried we could qualify. Since this was the only thing standing between us and getting out of here we said yes. This range had about 50 firing position and we "piggy backed" with a basic training unit. We got about 16 holes (firing positions) and qualified pretty quickly. When you qualify you fire a few different ways. First you fire three round at a time to try to get a shot group about the size of a quarter. You aim for center mass but it doesn't matter where on the target you are hitting as long as it is consistent. Once you get a tight shot group you zero your rifle to bring that shot group to the center of the little silhouette on the target. For some fortunate reason my rifle was zeroed from the first shot I fired. Out of the first six I fired I landed five within the size of a dime center mass (right in the silhouettes chest) this is unusual because you usually have to make multiple adjustments before you are zeroed. Next you fire a total of 40 rounds at 10 different sized silhouettes on the paper target. These are supposed to simulate targets at different distances from 50 meters to 300 meters. I hit 38 out of the 40 rounds to qualify in the expert category. That is the best I have ever done. If little unarmed paper men ever try to attack me I know I'll get about 38 out of 40 of them. Maybe I'll save the bayonet for the two that get through. But, in my experience, the best way to take care of tiny paper enemy soldiers is to fold them into those little triangular footballs and flick them back to where they came from.

After firing there's a lot of waiting while everyone else finishes qualifying. Then back to turn in our weapons. We found out that we're going to do some Urban assault training in the morning after breakfast. I've never done any of this but it sounds sort of fun. We will go to one of those little fake cities and clear rooms and cool swat team sounding stuff like that. The good news is that after lunch we will be on our way to beautiful Goodfellow Air Force Base for our refresher course on our jobs. There are two other guys that have the same job as I do and we will travel together. This works out perfectly because my reservation at the Hotel runs out tomorrow morning.

I know we are in for 545 days but I have a theory on what we will do for that time. We found out today that the initial training before deployment has a possible window of 120 days. It should only take about 45 days. I think the rationale of the 545 days is to get you inprocessed, do one rotation in Iraq and then outprocess. My theory is the faster I can get to Iraq and do my rotation the faster I can get back and maybe not do the total 545 days. This may be wishful thinking but I'm going to try to get there as fast as possible. As if I have much control over how fast I get there.

It is sort of fun that the Army will pay me to shoot stuff up. Now, if only they would let me blow stuff up.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey I really miss you and so does alot of others in youth we just found out about this site to night and I'm glad that we did so we know how your doing. Well this is short because I have to get ready for bed so I can go to school.

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the picture. It is hard to imagine my brother with a gun that shoots real bullets. But I know you have good aim...I remember the rubberbands!

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I know who to call if I am ever attacked by paper men. Would the same hold true for paper deer targets?


1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok...I'm a little late at responding to this posting but I had to tell you that the idea of you flicking tiny football enemies who attacked had me in tears with laughter. When you get back, we want to have you over for homemade pizza and cookies and games. You're in our prayers.

Old friends from HAG

9:36 PM  

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