06 September 2008
Posted by Abby at 20:57
05 September 2008
Posted by Abby at 12:53
Time - now.
That's what we've got going on this afternoon, after we all successfully made it through the "live stick" portion of CLS. I'd never done it before, so I was mildly concerned about damaging one of my soldiers, but I hit a nice vein on the first try and all was well.
This evening promises to be a hoot, with another fascinating COIN (that's COunter INsurgency, for anyone who isn't aware) brief on the schedule. The Army has decided to renounce all its prior religions and affiliations, it seems, and offer our total devotion to the philosophy of General Petraeus. The Army has decided to wholeheartedly embrace COIN with an enthusiasm not seen since they embraced Velcro.
Which is fine, really. I mean, hey - it seems to be working better than whatever we called our prior strategy.
But really - the briefs. Now, remember, all our predeployment training is run by a specific organization that exists strictly to mobilize and demobilize soldiers. A lot of the folks who hang out in that specific organzation...well, they've been hanging out there for a while, and have no actual deployed experience. And there doesn't seem to be any...umm...any requirement as far as an area of expertise.
I would say that 80% of the Civil Affairs folks here have at least one deployment to either Iraq or Afghanistan. I'd venture to guess at least 50% have two.
So I'll stipulate that there is some population of deploying soldiers that really benefits from having a series of briefs wherein a random soldier with a random background reads verbatim from a set of slides boiling our national counterinsurgency philosophy down to a few easily digested phrases. I'm sure that helps some people. Really.
But...having stipulated that these briefs are very valuable in their own right, I would think that we could enhance their value to deploying civil affairs soldiers significantly. Since we're required to have several phases of COIN briefs, it would be vastly more useful if we had someone who had recently worked in CA, PSYOPS or SF in the theater of operations come down here and discuss how the Army change in philosophy is effecting the way we (CA) "support U. S. national objectives by assisting the government of a host or occupied area to meet its peoples’ needs and maintain a stable and democratic civil administration."
But that's just one gal talking. Since I doubt my proposed solution will be adopted in the next several hours, I'm going to cease and desist bitching. My immediate priorities include a nap and a little PT.
03 September 2008
The past 18 hours have pretty much revolved around people peering at my crotch. The day started with a 0445 pee test, continued into a CLS class in a hot building, and was broken up only by the mandatory pre-deployment PAP smear and GYN checkup.
I escaped that room as quickly as possible, and found my sergeant (who'd driven the truck over) racked out. Apparently, he adopted this particular napping posture to express his solidarity with his fearless leader.
The bright side is that I fully expect to be allowed - in fact, encouraged - to keep my trousers firmly pulled up and in place for the remainder of this mobilization.
Posted by Abby at 19:42
02 September 2008
I haven't had much for y'all the past couple of days. We were on the range with our trusty M4s and shiny new M68 CCOs over the weekend. Tell you what - only the Army could make new toys, free ammo, sunshine and range time suck.
Got my team qualified without any major drama, although one needed a couple of tries and the other one will have to return to the zero range once they get him a front sight post that's, like, you know, straight up and down.
We did something today, but it was such an irrelevent check-the-box evolution that I've already forgotten what it was. Something with a sign-in roster.
The fun part after that was the retrieval and dragging upstairs of our unit's Big Black Boxes.
That's the ever-popular Stanley Mobile Job Box. The trusty old-school wheeled Contico is also popular. These make a fabulous sound when you drag empty ones up three flights of barracks stairs. We did have to call the entire operation to a halt so we could rustle up the officers who'd packed theirs full of crap, as we are not dedicated enough to schlep field-grade officer knick-knackery any further than required.
I have no idea why anyone would have packed one of those full coming here, since we'll probably need the space to pack all the not-really-necessary crap out of the piles of gear they keep issuing.
Highlights of this week are anticipated to include Combat Lifesaver training, the issue of more crap, and plenty of last-minute changes. Hilarity may well follow.