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Showing posts from April 28, 2009

Back from the Desert

We just returned from three days of convoy training. We learn to identify, avoid and react to IEDs, hostile fire and the other hazards of driving on Iraqi roads. We had a full week of the same training in Oklahoma and some of our guys had more convoy training in Pennsylvania before we left.

So the training itself was not new, but in the U.S. we had to pretend to be in the desert. Here the biggest training aid was miles of sand in every direction that occasionally blew up into a a sideways sandstorm, not to mention the clear, blue sky and the sun that here travels east to west near vertical. At noon here (actually 1pm because of Daylight Savings Time) my shadow is so small the fatter sand beetles can't get shade unless they crawl right next to my boot. With a mid-afternoon high temperature just over 100 and wearing full battle rattle we are hot. We wear a a 35-pound body armor vest, 4-pound helmet, uniform with long sleeves, heavy boots, a 9-pound rifle, and 15 pounds of amm…