Sunday, November 22, 2009

Attention on the FOB, Attention on the FOB: The field is over!

First off, yes I did get weekends off these past 3 weeks but I was so glad to be out of the field and went on many adventures that I didn't get the opportunity to update. So this will be a mass overview of my time in the field.

We sleep in heated tents with cots. There was a huge fiasco the very first night over tent assignments that took over 3 hours to figure out but really they are pretty good.
We get hot chow twice a day breakfast and dinner which is amazing. MREs only for lunch and there is a Gut truck! mama snacks comes around almost everyday and you can buy junk food, soda, burgers, dogs, tacos etc. So most people hardly ever have to eat MREs. Personally I only bought mama snacks once.
The gas chamber sucks. I had only a slightly better experience with it than at camp but I still had the most dramatic escape.
We only had one "ruck" march and it was 3.5 miles with our assault packs. It was very slow and we only had to have a minimum of 5lbs in the assault was a joke! And people still fell out.
The first week was very tedious, lots of round robins on basic field stuff. We also went to the range and zeroed with the M16 we also went 2 days later to qualify but they ran out of ammo so we only got 30 rounds each which meant you couldn't qualify for real.
We did convoy Ops week 2 along with the gas chamber. Convoy Ops was decently interesting prolly because I hadn't done too much of it yet. We did a simulator where we could drive and had weapons with a gunner etc. and then the real lanes cadre drove the trucks.
Week 3 we did AMEDD stuff which was probably the most fun. We ran a Level 1 and Level 2 field hospitals and I carried innumerable litters. All I wanted was to die and get a litter ride but I never did! They of course killed off the biggest people :/ It was still fun though. We also tested out on all the things we learned. Taking apart and putting together the M16 and M9 timed, the radio, giving a 9 line. No one failed and they reviewed before each one. The last day we went to the M9 range but it was POURING rain. I also got stuck that afternoon on the gas mask cleaning detail so cleaned 500 gas masks.
Land Nav: Day land nav was the first week and we got partners and 4 hours to find 3 out of 4 points. The course is self correcting but the roads on the map aren't very accurate so you mostly have to dead reckon. Night Land Nav was the the third week which was annoying seperating them so much. It was supposed to be 3 points but the weather wasn't cooperating so we only had to get 2 points in 3 hours. Many people only came in with 1 point because it started lightening.
Combatives: This was a lot more fun than I anticipated. I really enjoyed learning all the techniques and the warm up exercises are really hard! However, once we started sparring I didn't enjoy it quite as much. I have many bruises as a result of this. We switched partners alot and when I got the huge guys it was a joke I couldn't move at all!
Overall I got plenty of sleep. We would be done for the day around 1900 and there was nothing to do so you just went to sleep. Wake up was usually 0445 but some people would wake up really early.
Overall after camp I found the whole field experience a bit of a joke but many people really struggled and complaining got pretty extreme by the end of each week. There are no showers but some girls washed their hair at the sink. My hair was fine though without washing. We had to have our M16s on us at all times and our gasmasks on our waists which was probably the most annoying. We were allowed to bring our cellphones and each night they would announce when we could dress down and use our cell phones. Unfortunately too many people got caught with their phones during the day so the last week we weren't allowed to use them at all but we could bring them for landnav. So most people just used them in their sleeping bags at night.

Sorry this is such an unorganized post. If I remember more I'll add it to future points.

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