Well, we just recently finished our train up. In my last post I mentioned that we were going to start training on convoy operations. Convoy operations’ training was a definite eye opener.

The first day we used blank ammo and the second day we used live ammo. We basically drove down this road with mock up villages and we simulated a combat patrol. We experienced everything from IED attacks, ambushes, and disabled humvee’s. The O/C’s (observer controllers) looked at how we sent up our reports, how well we communicated with each other, whether we used sound tactics, how we reacted to stress, and whether we made a decision or not. It was pretty cool engaging targets in a relatively free environment as compared to a traditional range. Hopefully I won’t have to use those skills when I arrive in country.

I want to be on record as saying that this is the best deployment training I have ever had (I deployed to the Balkans a couple of years ago). Practically every one of our instructors served in Iraq and Afghanistan and has also served in the Balkans. The training followed a logical progression. It kinda sucked having to practice reacting to contact (both squad and sniper), low crawling, and 3-5 second rushes with body armor and on foot. However, if you have to un-ass your vehicle and get on foot you are then a basic infantryman and require those skills that are so painful to practice, especially if you are a thirty six year old desk jockey and humping fifty pounds of gear.

I also want to brag on my outfit. The cadre that trained us told us that we are the best National Guard unit they have ever trained. They told us we were proactive on getting things done, we had a great attitude, and when we were going through the ranges we showed a warrior spirit (we weren’t reticent about expending our ammunition and demonstrating “violence of action”).

I recently was able to come home and see my family. It was great getting home but it hurt having to leave again. I hope that when the boys get older, they will understand and appreciate what me and my fellow soldiers will do this coming year.

Now we are on hold for transport downrange. I do not know when we are shipping out. We are going to lose our Internet connection pretty soon (we have to turn in the keys to the building that has the Internet connection) so I will not be able to post for a while. I will post when I can.

CPT NightHawk


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