Army Marksmahship Training Update
Since John is linking to me as a reference for what's going on in Army Basic Training
About two months ago, I wrote a post on changes in Army BRM training. For those who aren't familiar with what the changes are, you can read that post to find out all about it. My company finished our first go around with the new standards (which actually aren't technically official-we're the guinea pigs here at Ft Jackson.)
Long story short: my Drill Sergeants did a tremendous job training the troops and the troops did a tremendous job shooting. On the second pre-qualification day, 77% of the company shot a qualifying score on their first attempt. To illustrate how good that is, of my previous 5 training cycles, only two beat that score on the actual qualification day. And none of those groups were shooting in body armor. To say I'm proud of what they accomplished is an understatement. (And to make it even better, we outshot our sister company, which fired qualification 5 days previously, by a sizable margin.)
Practice, Practice, Practice: We emphasized concurrent training (which is training done by the soldiers who aren't on the firing line or on deck to shoot) more than previously. That my company is currently overstrength on drill sergeants, and the fact that we have a bunch of drill sergeant candidates attached to us helped with this a lot. (Whoever thought of the idea of putting drill sergeant candidates in BCT companies while the wait to go to Drill Sergeant school deserves an MSM.) Shadowbox drills (to work on consistent sight picture), drills to practice shifting from target to target, drills to practice scanning the lane for targets. None of the drills are new, but we worked them more than before. The fact that we had three positions to put the soldiers in, rather than just the one (prone unsupported-you need holes to traing the foxhole) that we could do previously also helped reduce the monotony of the drills.
Body armor is HOT: when it hits black flag, Heat Cat V between 10 am and noon every day, wearing the body armor isn't fun. ( I know, in Iraq, it's worse. The troops know that and don't complain about wearing it here.) The biggest problem was for troops wearing glasses. The combination of air heat, humidity, body heat, and sweat made the neck opening on the IBA like a steam vent, fogging up glasses. An ample supply of RainX, as well as added padding to get the glasses a bit further from the face were the solutions to this.
Size matters when it comes to IBA: the IBA needs to be the right size for the shooter. This caused us some problems, since, due to supply limitations, the mix of sizes we received wasn't exactly ideal. Out of 250 sets of IBA we had, 90 were size Extra Large, with only 3 Smalls. There aren't yet enough on post that we could exchange what we had for what we needed, so we ended up just parking the armor, one of each size at each lane, on the firing line.
One thing that made me wonder: I still see pictures of troops in theater wearing woodland pattern IBA, and yet all of those 90 XL sets we got were desert camo. So supply issues in this area haven't totally been worked out.
Notes on the course of fire: The nmber of targets at each of the various distances is still the same as with the old course of fire. In fact, the target set for the prone supported is the same as used previously in the foxhole supported. For the prone unsupported and kneeling, the gurus at Ft Benning simply re-arranged the target set from the old prone unsupported. Now, in the prone unsupported, all the targets are 150m or beyond. In the kneeling, all the targets are 150m and closer. While I think this is a realistic set of target distances for the kneeling position, I think the prone unsupported should include at least some closer in targets.
And there is at least one target exposure-the final one in the prone supported, a 50m and a 100m target- that, when you're shooting for score, turns previous conventional wisdom of proper target engagement sequence on its head. Normally, you would engage the closer target first, on the battlefield because it's the bigger threat, on the range because you can hit the closer one quicker and use the remaining exposure time for the further target. But with this one exposure, because of the range layout, it's better to hit the further (100m) target first, simply because the 100m target is closer to the centerline of the lane, where the rifle should be pointing when there are no targets up. This saves you about half a second or so from shifting from the rest point, to the 50m target, which is on one of the side limits of the lane, and then back to the 100m target. Instead, you make a very small movement to the 100m target, then the big movement to the 50m. When wearing the IBA, which makes the movement more difficult, making only one big movement instead of two can be the difference in getting both targets.
That's all I can think of now. I'll update this tomorrow if I think of anything more over Shiner Bock tonight.
First to 10,000...
Major League Baseball's first team has reached 10,000 wins in franchise history, and it's not the New York Yankees.
The San Francisco Giants, formerly the New York Giants, formerly the New York Gothams, became the first team to 10,000 wins Thursday night, beating the most loathsome team in all of sport, the LA, formerly Brooklyn, Dodgers, 4-3, in Los Angeles. The franchise record now stands at 10,000-8,511 since 1889.
"Those of us who believe in the two-party system regard voting for a third party as throwing away your vote. However, we could use two new parties to replace the Democrats and Republicans."
A Feminist on Self Defense
Foxnews.com's Wendy McElroy on the recent Castle Rock v. Gonzalez decision:
A third position cries out: Given the court's position that the police are not obliged to protect us, responsible adults need the ability to defend themselves. Thus, no law or policy should impede the access to gun ownership.
Responsible adults — both male and female — have both a right and a need to defend themselves and their families, with lethal force if necessary. If domestic violence advocates had focused on putting a gun in Jessica's hand and training her to use it, then the three Gonzales children might still be alive.
All people have the right to defend themselves and their family,
Therefore, all people have to right to possess the tools necessary to perform said task,
Therefore, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
At least there's one feminist and domestic violence advocate who understands this.
More Proof That the UN is Not Our Friend
UN plans for setting the conditions for genocide are apparently not going as well as they would like.
al Reuters- A 4-year-old crackdown on the illegal global trade in small arms has had little impact on the uncontrolled availability of pistols, rifles and machine guns in many parts of the world, a coalition of arms control groups reported on Tuesday.
While world governments have now had the time to meet the legal, procedural and program obligations set out in a 2001 U.N. action plan on small arms, "we are very disappointed by how little has been achieved," said Paul Eavis of London-based Safer World.
"In 2005 we are still saying very much that the glass is still 95 percent empty for most countries of the world," said Eavis, speaking on behalf of the International Action Network on Small Arms, a network of more than 600 organizations.
Personally, I don't see how the failure of a plan to disarm potential victims of genocide, or even lesser forms of government oppression, is a problem. Oh, I forgot, statist/socialists don't like it when the proles can shoot back.
While there has been significant progress in some regions since 2001, "hundreds of thousands more people have been killed by gunshot wounds and the scale of interventions to try to tackle the problem are nowhere near sufficient," he said.
In other words, (with a tip of the hat to Kevin) DO IT AGAIN, HARDER!!! And of course, there's no mention of how many of those killed by gunfire were killed by their governments, or by government approved thugs.
Governments attending the conference say it will take them a few more years to decide whether the plan needs rewriting or just better implementation.
Oh, OK, they're debating between trying something new, or doing the same things harder. Maybe they have at least one brain cell working.
Network representatives told a news conference at U.N. headquarters that the Americas and Europe were making the most progress in carrying out the 2001 plan.
There was also good progress in the Horn of Africa and central Africa's Great Lakes region, where states had joined together to attack the problem on a regional basis.
But there was "very little progress" in South Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, Eavis said.
No mention at all of locales like Zimbabwe and Sudan, where less arms control is needed so people can make the government stop killing them. And I'm sure to these people, North Korea and Red China are gun control success stories.
Since 2001, 36 states have destroyed at least some of their surplus small arms, and 65 have conducted some sort of disarmament program, whether in the form of voluntary weapons collection, forcible disarmament or amnesty, the report said.
Give up your guns to the One World Government, or we will take them from you.
Molon Labe, asswipes.
Carnivals, carnivals, everywhere...
RINO Sightings Inside Larry's Head
Carnival of Liberty #2 at Searchlight Crusade
And Carnival of Cordite #21 (does this mean it's old enough to buy ap pistol now?) returns to Resistance is Futile.
Am I Allowed to Feel Smug on This One?
Apparently some in the national media have started to catch on to the implications of Judge Wickham's ruling, led by this blog entry by Michelle Malkin.
I would like to point out that I beat Ms Malkin to this story by a week, first posting about it in this post, on July 2nd, with a follow up post on July 8th, after the Seattle Times editorialized against the ruling and in favor of the conservative radio hosts at KVI.
In Ms Malkin and the rest of the media's defense, Judge Wickham did his best to slip his ruling under the radar, releasing it on a Friday afternoon before the Independance Day weekend.
That's how liberty is lost: in small bites while you're not paying attention.