Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day on the Range - (Korea) Day 157

A view of the range from the bleachers. You can see the zeroing targets up. In the
distance behind each of the mounds are where the qualification silhouettes pop up.

Work call this morning for me was 0530. Uggg, it sucks having to show up so early. We had to walk over to the armory and check out our rifles. Me, our sergeant, and Special K are heading to the range today to qualify. While we were at the armory our sergeant was talking to another sergeant that I think he likes and asked if she wanted to ride with us. We took our office car, but those that didn't have any alternative had to ride the bus to the range.

We ended up leaving and stopping at the McDonalds in Itaewon where our sergeant bought us all breakfast. Today is a holiday in Korea…"Children's Day". All the ROK soldiers and KATUSAs have the day off today. I guess a lot of people went out and partied because there was still quite a few folks walking around drunk in Itaewon at 0600 in the morning! I guess I'm just old, I can't imagine staying up all night drinking like that.

Special K was driving and the rest of us fell asleep during the drive to the range. The range is located up north towards the border with North Korea. We arrived around 0730 and were the second car load to arrive. We headed to the bleachers after stretching our legs and using the facilities. Once everyone arrived including the busload of folks, the master sergeant in charge gave us all a safety briefing. We then started heading out to the lanes around 0945 to zero our rifles. In order to zero on this range we had to hit 6 shots in the center mass of a paper target that is located 25 meters out on the range. This is a little different than basic, where we just had to group a certain amount in a given area. It took me 12 shots to get my rifle zeroed. We shot 3 at a time and then checked our targets, when we saw where our shots were landing we would adjust our rifles and then shoot 3 more times. This is also a little different from basic as the drill sergeants did all the adjusting. By the time I finished zeroing my rifle is was a little after noon.

I was getting a little hungry, so I grabbed an MRE and ate the snacks out of it, then about 15 minutes later my sergeant and the girl sergeant took me and Special K to the snack bar located on the range. The girl sergeant bought us all lunch, I had chicken ramen which was pretty tasty. We then headed back to the bleachers and waited for everyone to finish zeroing. I took a nap.

We finally ended up getting to try and qualify around 1745, they still had a couple lanes reserved for people that were having trouble zeroing…the rest were open for qualifying. The paper targets were removed and we were going to shoot at pop-up targets similar to what I shot at in basic. A pop up silhouette comes up from behind a mound at distances of 50, 100, 150, 200, 250 & 300 meters. The silhouettes stay up longer the farther they are away from you. We shoot 20 rounds from the "prone supported position" which is laying down with the rifle supported by sand bags. We then shoot 10 rounds from the "prone unsupported position" which is laying down with no sand bags, just your elbows as support. Last we shoot 10 rounds in the kneeling position which is as it sounds, one one knee with your elbow on the other to support the rifle. During this last position only the closer targets come up, you don't see any 300 or 250 meter targets. If I'm not mistaken, you don't see any 200 either…but I'm not sure about that one.

For some reason when I started shooting I was aiming a bit high and missing my targets. It took me about five or six shots to adjust, so I didn't score as high as I was hoping. I still managed to get 32 which is still "sharpshooter", so I'm not complaining. Our sergeant scored a 31 and Special K shot a 38 which is expert! Our sergeant said he would buy us lunch since we both beat him…lol. I heard that some people out there were shooting 17 or 18 which is pretty bad! It's tough to do great without having any practice, but that is just horrible. (You need at least 23 to qualify)

When we finished we all were able to leave early. We also picked up another sergeant who used to work in our office. She got lucky getting a ride with us, because I think we were probably able to leave at least an hour before everyone else on the bus. We hit the road around 1830 and after a very long drive where parts of my body went numb and my bladder seemed about to burst we arrived back to the post around 2030. We went to the armory and returned our rifles, then I went to the office and went pee. It was one of those pees that just felt incredible because I had been holding it for so long.

I got back to my room and took a shower. By 2100 I was finally able to start my schoolwork. I have to mention now that I always put in the same music when I do my schoolwork. It mellows me out and helps me concentrate. I first heard this guy while on my honeymoon in Hawaii. He's a hawaiian artist that I've just grown to love. He always gets my head in the right mood and it's just good music. The guy's name is Kepa Kruse and we first heard the song "Coconut Wireless" over and over while staying on the island of Kauai. We heard the song so much I had to look him up when I got back home. So check him out if you're interested....

I'm hoping tomorrow is back to normal. I am hoping it is slower than normal, I need to relax now. Today was a long and tiring day. Days on the range are always long and slow going.

the wife

"I heard about you, through the coconut wireless"... :) I'm glad that you got this out of the way, now it's time to focus on PT. Love you!

Friday, May 6, 2011 - 10:35 AM

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