This mission was incredible. Our platoon's mission was to retrieve a High Value Target from a hostile town. My squad was tasked with providing support by fire - translation; we setup a LOT of machine guns and put so much simulated lead through the windows and alley's of the hostile avenues of approach that they can't move to attack our snatch and grab team. We had several M249's and two 240B's. The 240B is our bigger weapon with lots of range and punch. I was the 240 gunner for the far left side - you can see me lighting up the enemy in the 2nd and 3rd videos.
The first video shows the PL with the assaulting element in the village after they have entered the building where the HVT is believed to be located.
This second video shows the sergeant approaching the position where my machine gun is set up. If you pay attention, you can hear the machine guns "talking". In order to keep a steady rate of fire without burning out a barrel or running out of ammo, the machine gunners will fire a burst and then let another gun "talk", and another, etc... before firing again. Even using this method our barrels were blistering hot.
This third video shows me scanning my sector and putting simulated lead (laser transmissions) in various windows and alleyways. You'll notice that I'm am brushing the dirt under me with one hand. That is because I have fired over 400 rounds of blank 7.62 ammo at that point and that brass is HOT! I tried to get most of it out from under my elbows, but I just had to suck it up and keep firing. :-)
Please excuse the language of the NCO taking the video about the time that the Artillery sims are going off...
We got major props on this mission - the cadre observers stated that this is best run mission that they have seen in the last 6 classes! :-)
As much fun as this was, I'm glad to be done and headed on to the next phase now - Armor OBC at Fort Knox, Kentucky. BOLC II has been an "appetizer" compared to what I can see of BOLC III/Armor OBC from the schedule they have posted online. There's going to be a LOT of gunnery.
It has been an interesting experience hanging out with LT's who are on average 4-7 years younger than me. I have a LOT more patience now that I'm a little bit older and hopefully a little wiser than I used to be. I am VERY impressed with my "peers", I think that many of them are extremely mature for their age - much more mature when I was in my early twenties. That said, I am not surprised to see a good share of "that guy" types that find an excuse to get "buzzed" every night, including the night before we do a battalion run or a PT test.
Most importantly, I'll be picking up Becca and Eli this Friday at the Louisville Airport. I can't tell you how excited I am to be with them again! I graduate this Thursday and then I will drive with my buddy LT Genin up to spend the night with the Farr family in Brentwood, TN. From there, it's a short 3.5 hour drive to Ft. Knox, to check in with housing, and then a 30 minute drive to pick up my babies at the airport!