27 August 2007


Up late last night packing… ‘Should have been a simple exercise but if anything it was to simple, by the time everybody figured out to add things like personal hygiene kit it was pushing 2300. We brought one “A” bag (duffle) full of personal gear plus all the goodies such as IBA, MOLLE, Kevlar

First formation was 0550 with all our gear in the Co area, loaded our rucks and duffles in an LMTV (thankfully 1, per platoon so there will be minimal confusion!) then we were told to report at 0745 for weapons draw.
No one had arranged to have the DEFAC open early for breakfast (not till 0700) so we had to decide to go back to bed and miss out on chow (the line would be to long) or just kill time in front of the line, since most of us would only see a hot meal once a day for awhile we decided to stick it out.

After chow I head back to the barracks for a quick 10 minute combat nap in Grams room (I had sprayed ant killer in my room just prior to leaving, a Ft Benning problem) and them it was time to load the buses for a 15 min ride out to our Forward Operating Base (FOB) destiny… we rolled thru a maze of barred wire barriers and debarked and took our gear to a company size semi-rigid tent, 3rd was first in so we got to chose our corner filled with grey metal bunk beds and one metal foot locker each. We are now officially “FOB-its”

NOTE: Electrical outlets a premium out here and power strips are not allowed so try a score a bunk with electrical.

SFC Kerr gave us an orientation then we had some time to stow our gear, rack out for a few minutes then it was time gear up and to head to US Weapons range. Well sort of that is, we get out that in full battle rattle just in time to see another PLT take our bus! well, a after a healthy MRE, a few more minutes of organizing stuff and it was finally our turn.

We had a brief familiarization with loading and clearing 249 SAW, 240B, M2 (50 cal) Mrk 19 and M203 then it was off to the firing line. For me since I am not an 11B, it was pretty cool to get behind and fire some of these crew served weapon systems that make the ground shake.

One of the LTs didn’t hold the M203 right and took a CCO right in the chin when he fired, so it was of with him and LT Grams for some stitches at the TMC.

It was clean up detail again because the PLT running the range did not properly plan enough help, we even haul their trash back for them in our bus, how pathetic is that!

Back at the FOB, SSG Butler spent some more time with Short Range Marksmanship (SRM) drill for reflexive fire tomorrow, he really is a great trainer! It sound like tomorrow will be a fun filled day.

I have spent the rest of the evening along with most of the PLT re-doing our paperwork for leave request for the upcoming Labor Day holiday. NOTE: If you are in leadership it would be a good thing to have a completed sample DA31 ahead of time for your PLT. Trying to re-do stuff at the FOB is painful at best

I debated weather to bring my laptop out here but at least tonight it has been a life saver as there are only 10 PCs in the DEFAC “tent” for 480 LTs to use after hours. I have full signal strength with Verizon.

A note on the FOB, there is a tent for everything, a tent for changing (yes, one for males and one for females!) a tent for showers, a tent to eat in, a tent for thr TOC, a tent for the cadre and a tents for briefing our upcoming missions. Porta-jons are the latrine of choice and there is a buffalo for a water point.

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