||[Mar. 19th, 2005|10:36 am]
|||||Signs - Justin Timberlake and Snoop Dogg||]|
Wow. Well, I went on a 9 day field excercise the week before this one or possibly the one before that, that blew balls with such a great amount of force that I haven't talked about it until now. I'm not going to tell you all about it because when I'm in the field I'm lacking on food and sleep and energy so field time just blends together. I will just tell some of it. It was called CERTEX. It stands for certification excercise. This was our certification excercise for Afghanistan. It was actually kind of cool how they set it up. We went over to Pope Air Force Base (Right down the road, it's where we jump from and where I'll leave and come back to on deployment) and they had an actual FOB set up. A FOB being a fire observation base, basically the fucking tents and shits we stay in, roger? Each company had their own tent and since this was a battallion sized thing, all 4 companies were there with us. I cannot even begin to express the frustration of trying to explain all this and have any of my civilian friends or even the love of my life Tracy make any sense of it, I'm trying to so bear with me...
So for the first 3 days we were doing what's called continual operations. Basically, if anything out there happened, any of the OPFOR (Opposition Force, the other soldiers out in the field playing the parts of the bad guys) started trouble and a mission was planned around it, we would go out. What happens when you go to the field here at Ft. Bragg is one of the most magical things ever. The day before we left, it was 80 degrees. By the first night we were out there it was around freezing and we were soaking wet. By the time we decided to bed down, there was no point to getting your sleeping bag out because even though it's got a gortex cover attached onto the sleeping bag, the sheer amount of rain would have just soaked through and if it was dry the next day, well, your fucking bag would still be wet. So I basically layed down in the mud, took out my rain poncho, got under it and proceeded to violently shiver and shake all night, my body's pathetic attempt to warm me.
The next few days we went out, looked around some buildings, never found any OPFOR, because there weren't any out there, it was too cold and rainy for them... At one point we searched this town and they had two "real Hadji's" playing the part of "two real Hadji's" and we had a translator with us. We basically talked to them for 45 minutes while I had to sit there and watch the door because there were more inside so it was my job to pop any of them that came out and tried to attack us if they had a weapon or anything. They told us absolutely nothing, and so this stupid CERTEX went onward.
The night after the soaking wet night they called a Tactical Pause, with means we can take stay inside buildings and stuff and that while we have to still pull guard and shit, we're not really going to get attacked or anything. So Sgt. Stewart, my platoon Sgt. had us go into this huge barn and sleep inside, it wasn't the best, it was kinda cramped, and I had an hour of guard in the middle of the night, but it was dry and covered, and that's all that mattered.
The next night was pretty crappy though. We were off our 'tactical pause' and we ended up going all around that day, finding nothing, and coming back to the barn, only to stay about 200 meters away from it. It was so crappy. I didn't get much sleep because I was told I was going on a recon mission with just my squad and Lt. Cain. Lt. Cain is an awesome motherfucker, I'm sure I'll post more about that guy later. Anyway, I just sat there shivering and it felt like it was like 2 in the morning I was so tired but I couldn't sleep, in reality it was like 8pm. God that sucked, I finally was smart enough to say screw it and got out my sleeping bag, I finally fell asleep and woke up to Moser waking me to get ready for the patrol.
This would have actually have been a fun mission if I wasn't still all spastic and cold. We got onto the truck and it took us close to Losatt (The town we had cleared and found nothing before, but not the ones with the Hadji's we talked to, although this one did have some, I never dealt with them, I was way off towards the woodline pulling security) Anyways, we got off the trucks and walked towards Losatt and sat in this woodline just off the road and it was our mission to just see if anyone was still there and based on that either go back and get a mission together or go back and go to sleep. Well, obviously these civillian Hadjis weren't there, and in fact I believe they work no later than 8 o clock at night so why we were checking this out I have no idea.
The whole mission was really cool and video game/movie-esque though and I would have really had fun sneaking around if it wasn't balls cold out. Finally after 6 days out after we were really only supposed to be out 3, we went back to the FOB. I got put on KP duty because our cooks were out there and had their own little cooking station set up. Yeah, KP blows. I wasn't peeling potatos like the movies and stuff though but I did have to wash a bunch of dishes and what they did with the excess food was just gross.
Ok, they dug a huge trench, filled it with some water and just threw any excess food into it. At breakfeast I'd get an ice cream scooper full of eggs, and 2 or 3 pieces of bacon, but yet I'm throwing entire tubs of food into this open stanktrench. What the fuck, man. It sucked because the trench was outside and after a meal I'd have to keep going from the warm tent to the cold outside and I'm not sure but I think I remember my mom telling me that's a good way to get sick is to keep moving from hot to cold, thanks Army!
Jesus Christ that was a bad time. Waking up and theres frost on your sleeping bag and on your armor that you left outside, the padding in your helmet all frosted and stiff, and then you have to put that shit back on. Man, no wonder I didn't want to talk about it. I haven't even gotten to being in the field this last week. I guess I'll end this for now though. I'm so glad it's the weekend. I wish people were online to talk to though.