17 July 2007

AT07-Day 3


I had the great idea of using my copious downtime between missions to write my posts instead of trying to do it when I’m dead tired and
ought to be sleeping. And it was a great idea…except for the fact that I can now barely remember what happened yesterday.

Let’s see…my co-driver (Bakos) and I got tasked to support Delta company of the battalion we’re supporting, along with two other trucks with drivers. This involved a lot of sitting around in our trucks, their office, or their barracks waiting for missions, getting a mission, doing it, then coming back and waiting some more. Apparently, this is what we’ll be doing for the rest of AT. This leaves a lot of time for reading, resting or blogging.

Most of the missions are to take the Cavalry (who the Forward Support Battalion we are attached to is supporting) out to ranges: M16, .50 cal (that’s what’s in the picture), MK19 (an automatic genade launcher I would love to see fire), SAW (the smaller successor to the M60 “pig”). The main thing we did yesterday was to pick up some dunnage from the range and keep it in the truck (a 5-ton M923A2) overnight to deliver it to the ASP this morning. There’s another team that falls in on our trucks at night; apparently they want to be able to send missions out at a moment's notice.

The rest of the company (well, platoon, really; we’ve only got a platoon's amount of people) is doing similar missions, but out of our own area and possibly at a faster pace.

The current word is that we (the 1344th element) won’t be moving out to the field, partially because we didn’t bring any tents. Everybody’s pretty happy about this, myself included. Of course, nobody really likes going out to the field, but I don’t mind it if we’re going to really play the game and do some serious field training. But going to the field for the sake of the experience of staying in tents and running missions from there instead of the barracks—which has happened before and what this would almost certainly be—is just silly, and I’m glad that we’re (hopefully) not doing it.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not running down good field training. What we did in 2005, running real combat style missions out of a FOB, was great, and I wish we could do it again (minus all the heat casualties, of course). But this would not be like that.

The rest of the day was uneventful; I was pretty tired (I live a fairly sedentary life out of uniform), so I went to sleep early only to be woken up for a meeting (of course). I still got a decent amount of sleep.

I’ve got a little time (I’ve been writing on this as time permitted all day), so I’ll write a couple of things that have been rattling around my head.

First, an important admin note: if you are subscribed to this blog via Changedetection, I strongly recommend unsubscribing from that and resubscribing using one of the methods on the right. It’s a lot better.

Second, on cell phones, particularly mine: I didn’t bring my laptop this time, and mostly haven’t missed it. I can do nearly everything I need from my Trēo: check email, send email, check the Web, check manuals, take notes, play games, listen to music. I can’t watch movies or play really cool games, but that’s a fairly small sacrifice for not risking damaging my PowerBook.

The only problem—especially the first night—is that the network gets slammed by all the soldiers doing exactly what I'm doing (making phone calls and using the Internet), making it nearly impossible to make calls and the Internet extremely slow.

Well, that’s enough for one day; more tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Aha! You have to click on the post counter to leave a post. It would make more sense if the "post comment" command were mentioned somewhere in there. But perhaps that's too much functionality to ask of the great intertubes.

Jim: we love and miss you too. Glad to see this blog is still running; I was disappointed when you had to cut it off during the Katrina mission. Keep this one going as long as they let you. I'll be following whenever I can.