November 12, 2009

so this past week was our “short” week with only four days out in the field.  it was the most physically draining,  however, it was busy and alot of fun.  on tuesday we did a seventeen task obstacle course in the morning and a litter carry obstacle course in the afternoon.  in the litter obstacle course we had a team of four carring a litter stretcher over a waist high wall, over a head-high wall, through narrow passages, over a bridge with water underneath (one group had to walk through the water cause the “bridge” was out), and we had to crawl under wire while transporting our manican casualty all the while wearing our gas masks cause the instructors called GAS GAS GAS on us.  needless to say, my ACUs no longer look clean, they are filthy and we were covered head to toe with sand, even days later i was finding it in my kevlar and weapon.  wednesday we did the gas chamber all day.  we first had to sit through 2 1/2 hours of briefings on decontamination, how to test the suspected Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical substance, and how to report the hazardous area, etc. im not going to say the gas chamber was easy, however the cadre didn’t have enough capsules to really make it a full-blown gas chamber so it was alot lighter than what they normally would do; yet, i was still gasping for breath and had the burning eyes.  they tell you in the briefing to WALK out of the chamber and flap your arms like a bird so you get the powdered crystals off of you and open up your eyes, dont rub your eyes and to walk towards the voices.  i came out of the chamber and could not open my eyes up for the life of me, but des kept telling me to follow her voice and to continue walking.  everyone tells me that your sinus’ get cleared out and that you feel amazing after, however this was not the case for me.  i didn’t experience the running nose that most people get however i did experience the burning of the eyes….. or as our optomotrists said, “MY CORNEAS ARE ON FIRE”!!!!   the burning lasted about 10 minutes however as i continued opening my eyes it decreased. tears were rolling down my face and im sure there are some not so good pictures to prove that, im still waiting for them to pop up somewhere to show you haha. thursday was a long, busy, yet awesome day that was full of convoy ops. our first task of the day was to do a small convoy operation that involved us locating an IED and receiving small arms fire from the brush.  we then went to the VCCT (vehicle combat convoy training) simulator, which is a 360 degree simulation of a convoy out in the desert.  there are four teams, each team in a truck with weapons that shoot and we went out on a convoy in the middle of the desert.  we came across an IED hidden in a carcass, we shot insurgents and found a bomb in a truck which was blown up.  we made it out of the situation with no casualties 🙂 woo hoo!  after the simulator we did HEAT simulation, which basically means we experienced how it would feel to rollover in a HMMWV.  we were strapped in so they turned us completely over and then made us get out, thereby releasing the seatbelt and catching yourself before you plummet to the hard top.  LT Stiebler almost landed in the gunner hole…. as you are rolling over your supposed to be saying ROLLOVER ROLLOVER ROLLOVER, however us three girls couldn’t get anything out cause we were laughing sooo hard. definetly was a fun way to end our day!

pictures to follow in the next blog    🙂

p.s. only one more week of field training left then only 3 1/2 weeks left of classroom work after that. its getting close   🙂


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