This week we primarily did urban movement drills, which consisted of taking fire in a street (think Black Hawk Down/Mogadishu Mile) and taking cover, evacuating from the ambush and securing the entire team. We used simrounds, which are small rounds that look like 9mm except that the tips are collapsible plastic filled with paint. They travel faster than paintballs and leave pretty big welts. They don’t always break or show a lot of paint so you can’t tell where you hit someone always, but they’re more accurate and better for training.
The main thing I learned from the training was that it’s fucking difficult to exit a vehicle and take cover, then coordinate moving large squads through buildings quickly and efficiently. Against a coordinated, intelligent enemy, we would take massive casualties. I guess my point is that we take a lot of things for granted in war these days. We don’t have to worry about overhead attack, enemy reinforcements (save for swarming of angry locals), heavy armor or concentrated artillery. Under directed, sustained firepower, we would lose a lot more people. All we really get hit by is what you can’t really completely defend against: surprise IEDs. And given the higher difficulty we’ve given that type of attack to the insurgents, they’ve moved on to the softer targets: Iraqi police and off-duty locals who consort with us.
Unless you’ve had constant practice and drilling with the same group of people under a variety of conditions, if shit goes down then it’s going to be mass confusion and a lot of opportunities for friendly fatalities. It’s worrying. But it also shows that if we DO regain the momentum, then our enemy will be severely ill-prepared for dealing with it. We have vastly superior individual and small team training.
Today we got to familiarize ourselves with foreign and non-standard American weapons. We fired AK-47s and AK-74s, collapsible stocks and not. Wildly inaccurate and hard to load mags and change the selector to semi or auto. The selector goes from safe to auto (multiple rounds at once), and then to semi. Seems kind of weird to me. It’s hard to line the sights up for double taps.
We used a few variants of the H&K’s weapons, including the MP5: the small one you see in movies that has a little forward pussy grip to hold onto (MP5KA4), a 5.56 variant (HK53), and a suppressed version (MP5SD2). The small one is hard to shoot because you fire it away from your body. The suppressed version was my favorite weapon of the day. It has a small profile and is light. The suppressor on the barrel removes a lot of the noise and kick, so you can fire quickly without losing sight picture. It’s also quiet, which makes it feel efficient. It really doesn’t even sound lethal.
The shotguns were fun. We fired a Bennelli Super M3 90 and a short shotty. They had less kick than I thought they would. They’re super easy to load. I’m not sure I want to see what these would do to someone up close, or be around one when used to destroy a door lock.
We also got to fire the M2 .50 cal, which is the big gun you see on top of HMMWVs from footage from Iraq. It shoots nice and slow but its rounds will bust shit up quickly. Its rounds are about as big as a couple of your fingers. You’d definitely keep your head down (and try to keep it on) if fired upon by one. You get a kick out of firing these.
Lastly, we got to play with, but not fire, a PKM, the infamous machine gun from Battlefield 2 that people use as a sniper rifle while dropping to the ground and killing you in one shot somehow!
I paid $39 to fill up my gas tank the other night. I think businesses are already making decisions to curb the effect of gas prices on their business, by purchasing alternative energy credits and cutting energy consumption. I think gas prices are elastic enough for consumers like you and me though until gas goes up another two dollars or more. I mean, people still need to get to work. They’ll have to cut it out of other purchases instead. That’s the effect of energy on inflation.
The Dems cheered when Scott McClelland resigned. Oh, but look, he’s being replaced by a FOXNews radio host! The Dems win again! SURPRISE, LOL! SUCKERZ!
Meanwhile, Hillary is criticizing the Republicans for a proposal cutting war spending in order to finance border security. The Republicans think she’s being stupid because obviously that money won’t come out of buying equipment for troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Without researching deeply, do we know this for sure? What about payoffs to lucrative relationships between politicians and defense contracting executives?
I was thinking that congressmen really need to start using the web to disseminate their views on the different things they vote on. They can get some intern to do it. Voting records for congressmen are very misleading, for example, because they don’t say why someone voted yea or nay for something. It could have been they were voting against one clause in it, or against the pork barrel amendments to the proposal, or whatever. A congressman’s web site could make that distinction.
Finally, I’d just like to say something to you, Julie: you’re fucking hot.