21 August 2007

BOLCII Day 12: Zero range

0520 Formation for APFT. We do the p/u and s/u event in the PT field across the barracks, it is by squads with cadre from a different PLT grading us so there no issues. The p/u were graded to a very high standard. My grader had me stop after 10 and restart at the next iteration. –A number of other LTs in our squad had the same experience in our PLT. Situps were good to go and then we route stepped to the 1-mile track for the run. I actually like this track way better then going around 8 times on a ¼ mile! I ended up with a 14:26 which is one of my better 2-mile times. I hope everyone passed.

Back in the CO area it is off to draw weapons (leaving then in the day room w/weapons guards) change uniform then chow then grab all our gear (IBA w/SAPI plates, MOLLE vest, Kevlar, knee and elbow pads) and meet in the day room for our officer professional development mentioned in yesterdays post which resulted in some really good discussion about our roles and responsibilities as officers in 4th generation warfare.

We were just about to start giving our classes when we received word it was time to go out to the range. We baked in the heat for about 20 minutes while everything got untangled then cadre had us march down to the zero range (.75 mile) We were all soaked in sweat by the time we arrived. After a some confusion, the PLT set down in front of the porta-jons under a shade tree and commenced eating MREs and waiting for our turn at the range. The range is student lead, I believe it was 2nd PLT running it it. We were instructed we needed to fire at least (2) 3 shot groups with 5 inside to zero and that we would be going up in buddy teams, one firer and one coach/water/ammo LT.

It was extremely hot on the range, I don’t know the eact temp but it was above 100 and the shooting position have no shade. Nate when up first for firing. About 45 min into the firing a LT when down from the heat so they called a “pause-ex” and took everyone off the range for 30 minutes while the ambulance came and took the LT away. It tough to describe it was so incredibly hot, laying on the ground with a 35 lbs IBA vest it was like the ground was sucking the life right out of us.

This is also the slowest range I have ever been on, especially since they allowed albi shooters. I mean come on! Just save it and shoot in the next iteration instead of one LT holding up 50 lanes while the tower has take 10 minutes to go through the whole procedure so they can fire one shot! Its not like it is qualifying day.

Nate and I finally zeroed with about 20 shots each, The CCO (Close Combat Optic) sight definitely take some getting used to! I think part of it was we only had 2 sand bags and we really needed 3 to have a proper support position. My first shot would be off as my M4 seated it self and the next two shots would be right on.

The range closed at 1700, we were all total wore out. It was 4-man buddy teams back to the barracks. One LT was dehydrated and started walking all over the place on the way back. The carde sent a truck for him and we have to keep an eye on him tonight.

I run to Ranger Joe’s to pick up a few things with LT Holliman, take care of laundry and hit the rack about 2200 for my CQ shift 0400-0500

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