Wednesday, December 23, 2009

NArmy Training is done... enjoying a little time at home!

The last week or so of N-Army training at McCrady really flew by, it was over before we knew it, and all the whining and complaining (much of it was absolutely well-deserved) came to an end in a flurry of uniforms and equipment crammed into over-stuffed seabags... (I have some pics of all the packing the last night there, but they don't do it justice!)
In a nutshell I'd describe the 3 weeks at McCrady as some really good/valuable training wrapped up in a "hot mess" that is poorly managed by two competing organizations.  The overall experience for the training audience could be much better.  I tried to give some constructive feedback/critique, and I'll do more of that through the NOSC.

But for now... I'm at home!  Woo-hooo!  I get to be home for the holidays, before I fly out to Iraq.  I'm really lucky to have this schedule, and really feel for everyone else in my NIACT class that had to get on a plane for the desert the day after our last training day.  Good luck to everyone! 

I have a bunch of photos/videos to post, I'll upload a few at a time.
Merry Christmas!!

That's McCrady Training Center in my rear view mirror as I leave the base (and a bus full of guys going to the airport right behind me).

Friday, December 11, 2009

the end (of the first step) is in sight...

whew!  that was a fast few days!  It's Thursday night, tomorrow morning we get up at about 3:30am, to start the day with some low light M9 shooting before dawn, then a full day of shooting/training on M16 and other larger weapons.  The last few days have been mostly M-16 firing/qualifications, with a little humvee driving and training, and a few classroom lectures thrown in.  We should be done the middle of next week, and it certainly feels like we're close to the end. The time really has gone by fast - hopefully my time in Iraq will go by even faster and I'll be home before I know it! 
I haven't taken nearly as many pictures as I had hoped to take, but I'll make an effort to really get some pics the rest of the time.
A couple of pics, firing (not me) on the LOMAH range, and me at the range:

Well, really slow internet connection here, and I couldn't get a second photo to load...
Yikes, the helos are flying really low overhead tonight... shaking the barracks pretty good.
Stay tuned for more

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A little "white space"

Quick nap waiting for next medical screen...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, December 6, 2009

We're gonna fire a lot of rounds while here...

We spent a few days this week qualifying on the M-16 and 9mm pistol.  It's a pain to wear all the gear, but pretty good training.  (I really feel for, and have a LOT of respect for, the kids that actually go to battle in all this gear.) 
We'll spend a lot of time on the ranges over the next two weeks, and will have some classroom instruction too on various topics. 
I usually don't have much time each day to jump on the computer, but if you use Skype, try to give me a ring sometime - "Bultar2020".  And once I get over to Iraq, I'd really appreciate an occasional call.  We do have a little time off this weekend, so I get to relax a bit.
Stay tuned for more!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

some training here...

practicing putting on Chem-Bio Defense gear...

and firing the M-16... 

and cleaning the M-16!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

did I say bored??

That didn't last very long!  Sunday night was a rough night of not much sleep with so many loud snorers in the room (about 40 guys in here), and up at 0500 for 0530 formation.  First day was some check in processing, and issue of a couple more bags of gear.  Last night (my 2nd night) I slept a little better, only because I had my iPod cranked up loud enough in earphones to drown out the snoring.  I'm starting with that plan right away tonight, before the snoring even starts (I'd better hurry, one of the loud guys is already going to sleep).
Another early start tomorrow, and I need some sleep, so that's all for now... stay tuned!

At least I was able to swap out my boots yesterday for some that fit!!

Crap, the snoring already started...

Oh, and to answer one question... yes, as many may know, it's common for O-5's (and junior) to have private "rooms" in Iraq, I should have one of those when I get there.  But as a few of us were discussing over dinner tonight, I believe that a lot of the "hardship" here is purposefully exaggerated, to put you through a stressful situation (in a controlled environment) to prepare you for whatever possible stressful situation awaits you in theater.  That might be one reason they call it immersion training. 

Sunrise this morning: