Monday, August 19, 2013

Day 6 Week 2

My breakfast MRE of chicken fajitas.
Me in all my field gear.
Me in my field gear at the end of the day.
Well today we started our 2nd week of our BOLC training with a trip out to Camp Bullis. We loaded onto the bus at 0530 and got to our FOB (Forward Operating Base) at Camp Bullis right after 0615. When we got off the bus we got into a tent and they brought around MRE's (Meal Ready to Eat) and we each had to take 2 so we could have one for lunch and one for breakfast. After breakfast we went just out side the FOB to the 100 meter range and walked it at our normal pace a few times to find our pace at 100 meters. After we got that we went to an uneven 100 meter range and walked that to get our pace over 100 meters of uneven terrain. Finally, we averaged our even and uneven terrain pace counts to get our 100 meter pace count so that we would be able to count our steps and to know our distance traveled during our land navigation practice. After we got our pace count we headed over to a covered area which had a lot of posts with azimuths written on them and we checked to make sure our compass was accurate. After got our pace count we went back into the tent and were given 8 points that we had to plot on the grid/map and then get magnetic azimuths and distances between points and we were then ready to go out to the land navigation course! We were split up into 3 groups/squads and introduced to our cadre who we orient us to the map and are starting point. All of our points were fairly close together, they ranged from 150 meters to 600 meters. We started at our first point and shot a magnetic azimuth, lined it up with an object in the distance and then started off counting our paces as we moved toward the point we had marked. Once we got there we would shoot another magnetic azimuth, pick another point and count our paces. This was repeated until we made it to our point. At the point we would check our 8 digit grid point, the marker had a unique punch that we marked on our card and then we would right down alphanumeric code on the marker and we would be ready to head off to the next point once the rest of our squad got there. This continued as we crossed and climbed one of the hills in the area. The fourth point, which was a turn around point was up at the top of the hill. At that point we refilled our canteens our cadre pointed out some distinguishing points on the map that we could now see with our height advantage and then we started to head back to the last 4 points. One thing that was interesting was while we were out doing all this the class that is ahead of us was out in the feeling doing all of there live exercises. It was cool because we could hear gunfire in the distance as they came under enemy contact and we could see the Blackhawk medevac helicopter make continual rounds bringing people back and forth. When we were near the FOB the helicopter would land right outside the base and it was close enough that we would need to hold onto our caps and we would get covered in dust. I kept thinking that my boys would love to be that close to a helicopter and see it coming and going. Once we made it back to the FOB we ate our second MRE and then headed out to practice some dress and ceremony until our bus arrived to take us back to Fort Sam Houston. Overall it was a fun day and it was good to get out of the classroom and into the field to learn some new skills and put them to use. Tomorrow we get to do M16 training all day so that should be fun and then I think we will be back out at Camp Bullis.
This is the tent were we ate and met up.

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