20 September 2008

Camping (again)

Sorry for the relative silence - this time we ended up in the ghetto block of the Big Army Campsite, and we don't get wireless. Our MRX (I actually have no idea what that stands for, although I'd guess Mission Readiness Exercise) has kept us quite busy the past several days, and so this is the first evening I've had time (or energy) to walk around with an open laptop and a hopeful expression.

I guess I got lucky in that I didn't have to be out here running missions on the first day of the MRX. The downside? That was because I was attending UPL training.

My Army folks out there just started laughing. See, the UPL is the Unit Prevention Leader. Basically, the Urinalysis Czar. The job is nice in that it means I won't have to be an observer for a pee test for another year. Bad because it means I'll have to handle warm and slightly damp plastic jars of warm piss.

You win some, you lose some.

After that wonderful day (yes, we did conduct a training urinalysis. Yes, I did have to handle pee. Yes, it was warm), it was all high-quality training, all the time.

No, seriously. It was, of course, an organization not part of the yahoos mobilizing us that provided said training.

Lots of good civilian role players, lots of pyro (devices that make smoke and noise and fire), etc etc. I got whacked once and injured once. Yesterday's injury was a testament to how difficult it is to move a 140-pound woman (me) wearing combat gear. My "body" only needed to go about 75 feet, and between the armor, helmet, and my "dead" status, it didn't even have to be gentle. It's not very hard to drag someone six or eight feet to cover, but sclepping someone who's dead weight, while packing a lot of extra gear yourself...well, it'll kick the ass of pretty much anyone.

Today's wound resulted in a field IV for SSG Abby. The specialist sticking me hit the vein on the first try, and although there was blood, there was no real pain.

(I swear, by the time the real Big Trip starts, I'll have possesion of the normal digital camera so you all aren't subjected to cell phone photos anymore)

Alas, the same cannot be said for the gentleman I had to stick on the following iteration. I got the IV going, but it was more of an adventure than my poor "casualty" probably would have liked.

And, a final note to any female NCOs who may read here. I think - by which I mean I suspect but am not certain - that my male soldiers lie to me more because I am a woman. So, gals, if your boys ever nod and tell you they know how to work an M240B, that they've done it a million times, that they are damn proficient to nth degree...well, have them demonstrate. Or you will find yourself on the hood of the truck during a test fire explaining the concepts of "open-bolt weapon" and "brass to the grass." Using a lot of four-letter words.

15 September 2008

Highly efficient

yep - that's us.

We actually had a down day yesterday. Now, since we've all volunteered to be here, we obviously deserve to be treated rather like especially dull privates. Thus, we are not permittd to leave the post, to consume alcohol, or to wear civilian attire. Nonetheless, we embraced our day off, jumped through a few hoops, and went fishing.

We even caught a few.

I caught a lot of fish, but that one is about average. Oh well - it beat doing anything for which there are sign-in rosters.

And now it's back to regular grind, which started with more shots in the hours before sunrise, and now seems to be set on "do nothing" until a class which - I kid you not - is scheduled to run from 2200 to 0600.

And no - it's not a class that involves doing anything in the dark.

That's obviously pretty high on the stupid scale, and our Leadership is out driving around asking (for the third and fourth time), if that block of time is typo or simply a really dumb idea. But forcing logic on the mobilization process is like trying to teach Sparky to land the space shuttle.

Yeah. I'm thinking it's going to be a long night.

On the positive side, we have a crack team of guys who've made it their mission in life to ensure we've always got a five-gallon coffee jug at these training evolutions. We might have to write those guys up for Distinguished Service Crosses after this.