I’ve been absent from this blog for a while, but I assure you, it was for a good reason. The last week was 4am mornings in full battle rattle, rolling in wet sand and mud to get a good shooter position, to qualify with the M4. I had already earned the navy’s sharpshooter qualification when I was active, but it feels very different I full gear, aiming at targets popping up at different distances. My best score was a 28 out of 40, enough to qual but not much more. I found it a challenge to find a pocket to place the butt of the stock in my shoulder with the heavy gear on. There was a whole 40 rounds where I took the charging handle right to the face because I couldn’t find that pocket. After each shot I had to mentally try to not anticipate the next recoil, keeping the trigger from pulling to the left, knowing I was going to get a face full of steel.
After the days of live fire the focus of training moved to convoy operations. We were introduced to our vehicles, our heavy crew service weapon systems, radio protocols. It all came together yesterday for the big live convoy exercise. Loaded up with blanks we went through a convoy course that included dropping off humanitarian aid to a village. Along the way we would have to deal with attacks, IEDs, and casualties. The training environment made these normally stressful operations seem lighthearted. Despite this we managed to get fantastic training from our drill instructors.
I just finished cleaning my loaner M9 for turn in and scrubbed the carbon out of the M4 I’m taking with me. Trading is done.
Let’s go. Todd.