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April 18, 2006

My how things change...

Staff Sgt. Chris Ruth (left), a resident of Albuquerque, N.M., and a convoy commander with the 812th QM, helps 2nd Lt. Lee Blumenfeld, a platoon leader with the 58th Quartermaster Company, familiarize with the M 203 grenade launcher. In the background, a Reservist fires the M.K. 19 .40 millimeter grenade launcher. While leaving from a similar exercise in February, members of the 812th caught anti-Iraqi forces digging out a weapons cache just a few miles from the Coalition’s Logistical Support Area Adder. Photo by Staff Sgt. Engels Tejeda.

Staff Sgt. Chris Ruth (left), a resident of Albuquerque, N.M., and a convoy commander with the 812th QM, helps 2nd Lt. Lee Blumenfeld, a platoon leader with the 58th Quartermaster Company, familiarize with the M 203 grenade launcher. In the background, a Reservist fires the M.K. 19 .40 millimeter grenade launcher. While leaving from a similar exercise in February, members of the 812th caught anti-Iraqi forces digging out a weapons cache just a few miles from the Coalition’s Logistical Support Area Adder. Photo by Staff Sgt. Engels Tejeda.

Any of you auld soldiers out there remember how hard it was to get *ring mounts* for your trucks, much less *armor*? Leave aside *weapons*? Despite being famous for preparing to fight the last war... where we reinvented the Gun Truck for convoy defense?

Anybody with some brigade and division staff experience remember how hard it was to get the Combat Service Support units to find the time to shoot their weapons, much less shoot their entire (minimal) allocation of same? I know when I was commanding they were a ready source of ammo if I wanted to shoot *more* than my allocation... I also remember the struggle to get Range Control to allow me to shoot my .50s from the ringmounts - on the move. We ended up building 'elevation blocks' that bolted to the mount to prevent the barrel from being elevated beyond a certain point (which is fair, I wouldn't have wanted to conduct an indirect fire attack on the poor residents of of small town Kansas if the truck hit a bump while going down the table...)

Anybody here share my pessimism that a year or five after we finally depart from Iraq and Afghanistan that it will hard to get those units training like this again?

Or do ya think it will be better?

[Boq - while the timing for the picture isn't right... mebbe something like this was the source of the "bullet" in that picture you sent me.]