January Drill: Recon operations, live fire & range time.

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As I promised you guys, here’s a blog about what exactly happens during my drill weekends. This drill weekend was a MUTA 8 drill. MUTA’s is how we get paid for our weekend drills. One MUTA represents a half of day, so MUTA 8 would be a four day drill.

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*”Hurry up and wait” Army’s truest motto.

This is really my first post about what I do in the Army National Guard, so let me give you guys a little bit of my background. My MOS is 74D: CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and nuclear) Specialist. I’ve been with my new unit for about 4 months now and I love it. My previous unit I was the only CBRN soldier and my mission was to assist the commander in the event of an CBRN attack. There’s not really a threat and definitely being in the guard I didn’t get to really do my job at all. On occasions they would let me to teach a class to keep everybody else in out battalion up to date. When I moved to Austin, Tx a headquarters company had it’s own CBRN reconnaissance platoon. I was really lucky to be able to get slotted into this unit. I just made my E5 and I didn’t think they would have an E5 CBRN slot open, but they did! Now I’m working with 30 other soldiers that have the same MOS. Our platoon purpose is to work in small groups and be the eyes and ears for our battalion

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*CBRN Stryker Reconnaissance Vehicle

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*Remote Weapon System interface

This drill weather conditions were less than favorable. Most of the time, the temperature was in the 40s-50s degrees Fahrenheit with light rain all through out the day. The purpose for us to drill four days instead of two was to give us more time to conduct actual recon training in the field without having to try to compress and rush trying to do it in two days. 0500 Thursday morning we packed our stuff up and left to be in the field for 3 nights. Thursday we arrived at a mock FOB and we would set up shop. Pretty much during out the day we trained on dismount operations, reacting to contact, ambushes, and did a dry run for a live fire exercise that we would do Saturday evening. Friday was pretty much the same except this time we added CBRN elements into the mix. Friday night we would do familiarization training using the M2 browning 50cal machine gun with our remote weapon station. The RWS allows us to engage the enemy without having having to man the weapon manually. Saturday we did our live fire exercise. I wished I could have recorded that event, but for obvious reasons I can’t. Sunday we went to the range and shot all the ammo we had left over the weekend.

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Our commander was really impress with the efficiency and our work rate during the drill. It really makes it easier when you trained with motivated men and women in our platoon. There’s was little to no whiny about the weather. Overall, a great drill in the books. Can’t wait till next month’s drill weekend!

PS: I work for the greatest boss ever, Dr. Bennett!

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-JiNX
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