22 January 2011

The good old days...Combat Engineers

From the Soldier side:  I was going through a bunch of old film pictures today...trying to clean out clutter and crap.  I ran across some of my pictures from my Combat Engineer days. 
The first picture was when I was a Spec 4 (E4) in Combat Engineer School.  This was one of the days were were blowing shit up with TNT. 
The TNT that the National Guard got to use in 1989, was only left over from the Korean War...so we had to double the blasting caps to make sure it blew up.  The rust on the case etc made some of the other students worried, so there were only a few of us who kept volunteering to blow up charges all day.

"FIRE IN THE HOLE!!! a few pounds of TNT, 1950's vintage!

Then in the early 1990's, we used to go to Fort Ord, CA to use the weapons ranges.  This weekend we'd started out with getting all the ammo belts ready for the machine gun range.  That was the first time I was put in charge of a machine gun range.  I loved it! 
Yep, that is a 1911A1 .45 auto in the holster.

Each course of fire required a specific number of bullets on the belt.  They never show this part in the movies.


Coffeypot said...

You know how those REMF paper pushers are...each shell had a number and all the brass had to be policed and the numbers accounted for. In the Navy, the brass went over the side.

CI-Roller Dude said...

Oh, in state side training, we had to turn in the brass, the paper/ cardboard boxes, the cloth bags and every little thing that came out of the box. If we were short, we had to fill out all kinds of paper.

Signing out demo was even worse.

In Kuwait and Iraq, we just threw all the shit in the trash (dust bin)...but a few REMFS there tried to have us turn in brass one day at the practice range. I had to ask the REMF where they were going to turn it in at....He had no idea, but thought that was what was always done. I asked if he expected us to stop and pick up brass after a gun fight. He walked away and left us alone.

Paxford said...

30 year old TNT - gosh Uncle Sam's a frugal fellow!


Wrexie said...

Cool pictures, RD.

Hmmm..So do combat engineers start out blowing lots of stuff up as kids?
Just wondering.. we went to a wash today, near our shooting spot. We had a..ummm, really, uhhh, BIG 'firecracker' that just needed to blow a hole in the side of a dry wash. You know, just to see what would happen? (run gophers, run!)
But we forgot to say "Fire in the hole!"
Do-over, right?

Anonymous said...

1. Policed up pretty good in the war zone. The little b****ds could figure out how to turn just about anything into a weapon.
2. The Army was hell on policing brass. Saw a couple soldiers get courtmartialed for possessing a few cartridge cases.
3. The Marines were much slacker. They said the words, but didn't back them up.
4. Most Marines, deployed or stateside, had some ammunition squirreled away -just in case.
5. Remember a good one on Okinawa.
We were overnighting at a live fire range.
6. The Japanese communists were demonstrating outside the wire.(Pick your nose and they'd protest about that....)
7. Instructed the ammo guard myself.
8. Bn policy was to walk guard with a sheathed bayonet stuck on the rifle.
9. Told the guards, if they spotted anybody, to take the bayonet off the rifle. If there was any question of employing violence, they were to put the rifle down and engage by other means.
10. One of my brighter lights spots a creeper.
11. He takes the bayonet off his rifle. Puts the rifle down. Picks up a board from one of the ammo crates and smacks the creeper in the back of his head.
12. The creeper falls down, jumps up, and runs out into the impact area.
13. At this point, I am awakened and spend the next several hours waiting for a loud noise from the impact area.
14. The JCP was no threat to us. They were looking for Gotchas -mostly violations of the SOFA's that would help their efforts to remove us from the island.
15. Usual policy was to detain intruders and let the Japanese Police haul them away. They were always polite and followed instructions.
16. Private Bright Light was very emphatic and self righteous about having followed my instructions.
17. Heartily wished I'd said a few less words.
V/R JWest

Momma Fargo said...

Dangerous you playing with dynamite and fire like that. EEEK! Boys. lol

powdergirl said...

Well there's something I wouldn't try with an NG based stick of powder. TNT, we love the stability, no?

Hogdayafternoon said...

Anon's "1. Policed up pretty good in the war zone. The little b****ds could figure out how to turn just about anything into a weapon".

How very true. In my decades of having Irish Republican terrorism shaping my professional (and occasionally private) life, it was shocking to find out how powerful HOMEX really was. A good bomb maker could get to something like 85% effect of commercial. Amazing, scary shit.