Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rappel Tower

Today we spent most of the day at Fort Sill's Treadwell Rappel Tower. For most soldiers it was not their first time to slide down a rappel rope, some even had air assault experience rappeling from a helicopter. I was one of about ten rookies who had never rappelled before. It was fun, but because the tower is set up for basic trainees, they use a figure-8 loop on the harness that makes the ride down very slow. I did get to swing out and drop about ten feet at the end, but nothing too fast.

In addition to the rappel ropes, the tower had four rope obstacles. Each of these was harder for me than the tower. We first climbed up a three-rope bridge, which wasn't too bad. Then we went down a single rope head first and face down (see photo) which hurt my chest a lot. Then we went back up a two-rope bridge, which is harder than three. Then up to the top of the tower and down a 40-foot cargo net. Several soldiers went again, some again and again, when everyone had a chance to go once. Between the harness (I thought it could make me a soprano) and an aching shoulder from the cargo net, I only went once.



Every Week in Cold War West Germany, Gas Mask Drills

Every week during my three years in Cold War West Germany,  the Tankers of 1-70th Armor had a MOPP drill. Gene Pierce, Abel Lopez and...