This was January or February as I recall. It was pretty hot during the day but once that sun went down it was absolutely freezing. I took these pictures during the course of a five day reconnaissance patrol through a area not frequented by coalition troops.
I was an attachment to this unit for the patrol. As a Special Forces adviser I had five Iraqi soldiers with me who were there to help out with local engagements, meet and greets, and so forth. I have a lot of respect for these units who spent most of their deployment out in the desert like this. It isn’t easy living out of humvee day in and day out.
Meeting with the local elders. They are always very welcoming but we knew all sorts of shady stuff was going on the second we left. We found a pretty massive weapons cache just outside this village.
Here are a few pictures from Gryphon Group, one of the vender training courses we went to before deployment. The emphasis at this course was mobility training so we spent a lot of time driving through obstacle courses, driving and shooting, react to contact drills, learning PIT maneuvers, and more.
One this range we did some pistol drills before training to shoot targets while seated inside vehicles. Next up was driving around the range (slowly) while firing from the vehicle. This time you are the moving target shooting at a stationary target.
Here you can see a couple of our guys shooting through the windshield. We practiced shooting through various types of glass you would find in a vehicle, mostly as a demonstration to show you the effect it would have on external ballistics. At pistol range it didn’t.
We had a pretty good time down at Gryphon Group but I’m still trying to figure out why our unit made it mandatory that we qualify on the X26 Taser and OC spray while we were at the course. And, yes, getting qualified means being tazed and getting hosed in the face with pepper spray.
A somewhat embarrassing and/or funny picture from a training mission in 2007. We had to ghetto rig these Humvees (GMV’s) with plywood and 550 parachute chord to be able to mount antennas and put a gunner in the turret, in this case a SAW since we didn’t have any heavy guns for training. The guy’s are wearing paintball masks because we were using sim barrels which fire small 9mm paint pellets. I have several hilarious stories about this training mission best left for another time. Suffice to say that one young soldier thought he was Lt. Calley and decided to “do the whole vill”!