Saturday, April 22, 2006

He keeps going... and going... and going...

There were the exercises, small 'e,' small effort. Then there were Exercises that involved multiple units and lots more complexity. These mid-sized exercises were actually the most fun apparently, because a. the toys were better, and b. for intel there were many more opportunities to mess with people you weren't going to have to work with for the next several months (don't irritate people who have opportunities to do nasty things to the filter in your MOP gear).

Kirk's company did signal intercept, so naturally they spent much of their time breaking into radio transmissions and making judicious changes to certain directions. They intercepted rations for half the participating units that way. They also got a large group of heavy vehicles detoured down an extremely narrow dead-end lane. I gather that complaints were made to the commanders eventually - the impression was the other group was going to pack up their stuff and go home if everyone was going to be so mean.

Then there was the MILES gear - basically the ultimate game of laser tag. Soldiers, vehicles - everything is fitted with a transmitter and receiver. A hit or a kill is registered, and the equipment bleeps loudly to let you know how badly maimed or thoroughly dead you are. Naturally one of our friends immediately removed the battery from his vest (which is considered not fair) and had a wonderful afternoon running around the woods and impressing everyone with his luck and skill. Well, until a bomber flew overhead and everyone in the area except him began bleeping like mad. He froze for a moment, then shouted triumphantly 'I am invincible!!'

One of Kirk's favorite moments was when an 'enemy' lieutenant came wandering up to his track staring intently at a compass. He blinked up at Kirk and asked how far South they were of a particular waypoint. Kirk told him, the Lt thanked him nicely, then wandered off in a totally different direction. Kirk raised his weapon and shot him in the back. The guy jumped as his vest went off, looked around and said 'oh MAN!' Kirk said he only did it out of compassion - he was afraid the guy would never get found. His compass was locked on North.

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