Sunday, May 11, 2008

BOLC II - Week 5 - Day 3-5

Yep, fell behind. That's the thing that happens when you get busy.
A five mile platoon sized run. At a little less than 9 minute mile pace. Not too bad and definitely had its effect on me. Classes for another couple of hours as we went over what we would be doing at the FOB (Forward Operating Base) next week during our culmination exercise (things like inspecting vehicle, manning the towers, etc).
Then it was off for convoy operations. We distributed 30 members of the platoon between 4 HMMV's and 2 HMET (big trucks, replacements for the 2 1/2 ton and 5 ton trucks) while peeling off the remainder to act as OPFOR (Opposing Force). Then, while civilian drivers went down the road we performed a convoy, dismounting at certain points to handle incidents. It took a while and was hot, and of course I was a simulated kill the first iteration (the second was too horrific to talk about). Pretty good training.
More Crossfit. This time it was moving tires (basically squats), medicine ball sit-ups, stretcher lunges and this weird move with a sandbag that appears to be derived from kettle balls. Then we headed out for Land Navigation training. We were paired up, given a map and 6 points and given 4 hours to complete the task. Wow it was hot out there. We found our points after a bit of wandering around and eventually got back in time for lunch.
Now for the kicker. Woke up at 0250 (yes, a time that normally I consider a late bedtime, not a time to wake up). Apparently they really like waking us up early on Fridays. Formation and then off to the land nav course for the test. The standard is that you are provided 8 points, spread over a 2x4 km grid, and must find 5 of those points (I always shoot for 6, to make sure that I am covered if I pick the wrong one) in 5 hours and then return to the designated end point. All you have is a compass, water, a map, protractor and whatever light you need, since this event starts at 0500 in the morning. I mishot my first one, but luckily I found it in short order. Then I realized I misplotted another one (luckily I didn't waster time looking for it, I was reviewing it as I was walking and of course started cursing.... I never did find that point). But luckily 4 of my points were right off roads or at intersections. In the end I found my 6 points that wanted and was trying to find my 7th when my clock finally showed 1 hour left, so like a smart guy (6 in hand and I was not wasting my chance to finish this event I immediately shot straight north or west (any angle in between was acceptable since it brought me closer to the end). I ran into some of the worst terrain in that final run, like a huge muck filled area that ran for 200 meters, then running in to a stream that was surrounded by really intense underbrush (and then I still had to get over the stream). I must have left a swath of destruction that even I could track as I had pretty much reached the point where I was using my knife to slash at offending vines and was breaking or destroying anything in between me and getting out of the forest (can you figure that I was in a foul mood from being woken up so early and then forced to wander the forrest).

Did I mention that it rained the night before? At first I was wet from from all the wet underbrush and then it was my own sweat. I was dripping, sopping wet by the time I got the F out of the GD Forrest. But I was back with 40 minutes to go. I got there, went over to the bleachers and laid out my gear in the sun (including my top), sat down, removed my completely soaked boots and socks (which only completely dried out by sunday) and watched the other people come in. 7 of our platoon didn't make it in time and will have to retest on Monday.Some of them came so achingly close too, missing the time by just minutes. Scarily, someone managed to do 8 points in 2:30. So tired.Then it was back to the barracks for the standard things, cleaning and whatnot until we were released at 1400.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

The thought of a 02:50 wakeup makes me a little queasy and I'd have an easy day after that. It's kind of amazing what you do every day.