04 September 2007

BOLCII Day 22: Land Nav and back at the FOB

Note: Day 21 was Labor day. C Co got a 3 day weekend.

0345 formation (yawn) we had packed our rucks, duffels for the FOB the night before s well as an assault pack for the land nav course. Loaded the bus and eat MREs on the way. I brought some nutribars to snack on as I knew I would not be hungry enough to eat the main course that early. Also Gatorade in the camel-bak. We were all nervous given the problems we all had on the practice course.

We did our land nav on Yakee South (practice was on Yakee North) in total about (12) 1000m grid squares.

It took a little long to get rolling this time, you could recheck your pace count and double check your compass. The company formed up and the cadre issued maps (color and 100% better then the B&W photo copies we received for practice!) Each LT was issued a score card with their name on it with different point and in different order to prevent cheating. No talking allowed but red lights OK (remember your head lamp LED!) Each PLT received a different start time and we immediate spread out on the ground in front of the cadre shack to take advantage of the utility lighting. I was one on the last in PLT to finish plotting at about 25 mins. I plotted everything and then rechecked everything. As I did not had a warm fuzzy from last time. Based on my point I chose to angle of attack verses dead reckoning. I plotted pace count from major intersection and trails and distance in for the first (6) and decided I would adjust fire on my last two based on METTC. I struck out at a fast range walk passing most of the LTs on the road. I could already see a number of them stopped on the road re-plotting –don’t do this! Take the extra time at the start point. I had some trouble finding my first one which is never a good sign but finally after double checking the map I went back on the trail to the main road and re paced counted and still… nothing! My frustration level was rising, I looked up and on a small hill there and it was! (these point are not reflective) Off to the next one, My pace count did not match the map or the trails, I rechecked everything, found what I thought was the trail and aging… nothing in the area! I looked to the right and 100m I could just make a point out. The course is not self correcting (no stamped grids) but others have “written” grids on them. The grid written on this one said it was about 200m South of the one I needed, so I headed off North, I then ran into a major terrain feature that did not match up but did tell me the point was the one I wanted regards less of what some one had written –Lessoned learned here and through out the course, trust your skills and equipment, not what people have written on the posts or you will fail.

I am now at the FOB and need to hit the rack for live fire ops tomorrow. I will fill in the rest and catch up on a couple of days later. Long story short I managed to get 8 of 8 points correct with 10 minutes to spare. We had about 8 fail from the PLT who will need to pass as it is a graduation requirement.

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