Friday, April 24, 2009

Home on the Range. . .or Not


Today Echo Company range a small arms range for several hundred soldiers. It was not the exhaustive marksmanship test we went through in Oklahoma, just a few rounds to make sure the weapons are working. Even so it takes a long time for that many soldiers to fire, so we were on the range for hours. I was one of ten range safety soldiers. We kept the people who were on the firing line in line and made sure everyone was keeping their weapons pointed down range.

In Oklahoma or Pennsylvania, this job would simply be boring. In Kuwait the high temp was 102 degrees (40 Celcius) under clear skies. We are at 29 degrees north latitude, about the same as Daytona Beach, so the is much closer to straight up in the sky than we ever see in the northern states.

It was hot and we were standing on hot sand. After two hours I was starting to melt. By the end of the day when the safeties fired, I was worn out. I know I will acclimate eventually, but while it is always good to be in shape, in a place like this it is better to be young and in shape.

Family Black Sheep Flies a MEDEVAC Blackhawk

Brooklyn-born Amira Talifi, (not her real name) is a helicopter pilot I served with in the Army National Guard. She is one of seven ch...