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Reply #207: A 23 yr. old soldier - [View All]

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monicab Donating Member (131 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #206
207. A 23 yr. old soldier -
"Trained or not trained"
I arrived at my unit during March when they were doing training in Korea. When they came back I was assigned an m16 rifle. When we went out training in the field for a few days or did marksmanship I had the m16. Then months later I was assigned the m249 squad automatic weapon (SAW). We went out to the field for a few days for a small training course with convoy live fires. This would be my first time using this weapon since the brief training I had with it way back in basic training. On this mission we were to learn to fire our weapons off the side of a moving and a stationery large moving tactical vehicle (LMTV). During the day fire on the stationery convoy, my weapon kept jamming. It was no surprise to me, the saw is known for how many times it jams up on the owner. The day fire was mostly learning about getting a casualty off the LMTV as quickly as possible, so there wasn't really too much firing going on. At the night run we had the Capton sitting behind us surveying our techniques. Once again my weapon jammed up over and over again. I knew how to do corrective measures but it didnt help. I did this until for some reason I could not fix the problem. The whole night mission I had the captain down my throat yelling every obscene gesture at me. He claimed I had no sufficient training on my weapon (not knowing that it was just assigned to me) and that because a round got stuck in the rear of the bolt of the weapon we were lucky that no one got hurt on that night run. The day mobile mission wasnt any better with the weapon. Half the time I was struggling with my weapon, the other half I was using someone elses m16. After this mission a few saws were taken from our unit to be repaired. Until then I was once again put on the m16. Being a lighter weapon and having more training on this weapon I was relieved. Months later my weapon was returned to me at the m249 saw volley fire range. I was relieved to get my weapon back and put some rounds down range, until I found out that it was only able to shoot one unlinked round at a time. This is supposed to be a machine gun but now it was more likely to be used as a large sniper rifle. I continued to use it to the best of my ability that day until a spring popped off the feeder tray while I was firing. The weapon was once again labeled as unusable. I came to that range not having my weapon and not leaving with it. So once again, I am put on the m16. By now most of our serious training is over. I had only the m16 on all the important missions or I didn't get a chance to train at all. So here we were two weeks prior to deploying with no missions to go on prior and I finally get a brand new saw. I had never fired this weapon, or used it in any kind of training pertaining to it. Not having the sufficient training with it but now I have to go to war with it.
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