Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dog Days

I have not had a day off for over three weeks now with each morning starting before 6:00 AM. The work has been very demanding but equally rewarding. I have already given some indication about some of the training and will now take some time to elaborate further. Much of the training has been on activities I have performed a number of times in both Afghanistan and the Philippines. The advantage of this course was the additional time to update my knowledge to the latest combat proven tactics and techniques and become familiar with more of the fine details that define the difference between the amateurs and the professionals.

Driving was probably the highlight of the course. We started out in the back seat with a couple of demo laps by an instructor on a track with much more that just four left turns then quickly found ourselves in the driver's seat of a Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. We drove on a skid pad, on the fast dry track (until a downpour began), and even at night (a different, dryer night).

Now for my bragging questions: Who here has done some Tokyo drifting? …in a Suburban? …in a Suburban weighing 10,000 pounds due to level VII armor? My hand is still up and the grin is still on my face a week later.

The course climaxed with two and a half days of practical exercises with realistic scenarios taken from actual events in Afghanistan and Iraq. We used simmunition guns and had mannequins in the shoot house for the first half day. On the last two days we took our sim guns against live roll players with paintball guns; the maximum effective range of a sim gun is much less that the effective range of a paintball gun. Our weapons disadvantage required us to ensure our tactics were sound and applied properly.

My training is over now with only a half dozen paintball sized bruises and I'll be flying home in the morning with a delightful grin and fond memories.

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