Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day 34-35

This is a picture from the top of Mount
Blanc. It was one of the hills that we
had to cross over on the land
navigation course.
Day Thursday started out bright and early with combatives. I didn't mention this earlier but we actually started combatives on Monday morning. This was a lot of fun and a good workout at the same time. It is definitely something that I would enjoy continuing to learn and get better at it. Anyways after combatives we headed out to the field for our land navigation practice time prior to our test which would be Friday morning. Our land navigation practice basically consisted of us getting about 4-5 points plotting them on our map and then getting the magnetic azimuth and distance and going out to walk the base and see how we did. That took about the whole morning me and my partner were pretty much right on for all of our points and felt fairly confident going into our test. In the afternoon we headed back to the FOB for lunch and then we had training for our Role 2 and Role 3 training of next week. Friday morning had us waking up for land navigation at 0200 They were blaring Eye of the Tiger over the FOB speaker system as we got dressed and loaded our duffel bags in prep for heading back home after land navigation. Land navigation

This was on the way back to the our
last point on our way to the FOB. You
can see the little ledge of rocks that we
had to climb down.
This was our last point with
our score sheet next to it. You
had to write the number down
and punch the paper at each
point and then they checked
it to a master list when we got
  consisted of us being given 8 points and 5 hours to plot and then find 5 of the 8 points. We were told to that if you felt confident with your land navigation to team up with someone in your squad that was not as strong so that everyone could have a chance of passing. So once my partner got and I got our points and the time started we plotted the points on our map and decided on the route that we wanted to take. Our plan was to go in a full circle and to start out with short distances between points (since it was going to be dark) and to start on the part of the course that we had been on the day earlier because we knew the land a little better. We started out and we had a little bit of difficulty finding the first point because we had not gone quite far enough and it was hidden behind some bigger bushes. After that first point though we seemed to hit our stride and ended up finding 7 of the 8 points before the sun even came up. We planned it so that our last point was heading back to the base and it was a long hike (just over 1500 meters) but it was daylight and actually right on the panic azimuth to get us back to the FOB so it worked out really well. We actually make it back to the FOB with just over 2 hours to spare so we had plenty of time to sit around and wait for everyone else to make it back in. After we made it back we waited around and once the time was up and everyone was back we took a class picture and then packed everything up and headed back to Fort Sam Houston. This next week should be interesting with the government budget cuts and possible shut down I don't know how it will affect our training but the plan is to be actually going through battle drills and convoy operations as well as practicing in our Role 1-2-3 jobs. We will be given a lot of blank ammo and will be going through reacting to contact drills and other evacuation scenarios. Hopefully everything will go well and I will post more pictures as I can.
This was a old black hawk that they
had out in the field which was one of the
start points for the land navigation test.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck cleaning your M16 after firing blanks. Those BFA's on the end of the barrel let the gas build up so as to operate the action of the rifle but it also traps all the crud and carbon as well, it can take hours to get them clean enough to pass the armory inspection.