Thursday, May 21, 2009

70 Pounds of Gear and 85 Degrees = Body slime

Today was the first real day of training on the warrior instinct. Prior to today it's been classes on first aid, what to expect in theater, weapons issue and a bunch of other boring and dry stuff which is why I haven't posted. The days have been long but uninteresting at best.

Today however, we did some simulations. First, after gearing up at 530 this morning in body armor (flack jacket, chest plates, side plates, neck covers, knee pads, elbow pads, gloves, helmet and ballistic eyewear we fired M16s.. Granted, these were simulators but still pretty cool. Same weapon but it is in a computer simulator. It still gives a kickback and you still aim in the same way. So that was pretty cool.

Then we went into a HMMWV mock up. This is to simulate rolling over. So we all load up in full gear into the HMMVW. There are 4 people in the vehicle that is then sent on several angles and finally flipped over. THe idea is to get out as fast as possible. That is easier said than done since you are hanging upside down in a completely cramped vehicle with 3 other guys all trying to get out. And, you are secured in by your seat belts. It was a bit nerve racking. I've done the helicopter dunker which is similar under water but this was a bit harder. We did it and then simulated doing it in water. The second time my boot got stuck under the seat but I managed to get out OK.

FInally, we test drove some HMMVWs. A completely asinine vehicle for the streets and I hate the assholes that drive them but I can say they are fun to tool around the woods of South Carolina. I drove one off road for about 15 minutes and the vehicle is very stable (thank God since I don't want to get out of one when it's tipped over). I also sat as turret gunner and cranked around the turret as we were mounting sand dunes at 40 MPH.

All in all some interesting shit. However, 9 hours in 70 pounds of body armor as well as 2 weapons and a full camel back pretty much means I smelled like funk. The sweat was really a slime. I guess that is getting me ready for the real thing where 85 degrees will feel chilly.

One week almost over and I am sooo looking forward to the weekend (more to follow on that...)

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