Deployment Blog Part V
Kuwait Army Training
I got the opportunity to train with my counterparts in the Kuwait Army Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Corps. The Kuwaiti’s trained us on there area reconnaissance tactics and we trained them in our site characterization, exploitation, and mounted reconnaissance. We were able to facilitate this training with the use of translators. I was more comfortable than others with speaking through a translator with previous trainings in safety, except I was more used to English to Spanish, not English to Arabic.
Regardless of that, it was a great relationship building exercise and fostered a real sense of partnership. It was great to talk with the guys during the break, it really shows that wherever you go, people are generally the same. It will be an experience that I will not forget.
My most recent trip off Camp Arifjan was to the Kuwait Towers. The Kuwait Tower park is located in Kuwait City standing prominently into the Persian Gulf. The park consists of three towers with the largest tower standing at 614 feet and carries two spheres within the tower, which contains an observation post of the entire city and the Persian Gulf. These towers are actually water towers and there are 31 other towers spread throughout Kuwait, although they are not as large or prominent as the 3 Kuwait Towers. The city is just as lavish and modern as any other American city.
This past month my unit conducted cross level training. My platoon specializes in dismounted reconnaissance (in which we perform site characteristics to gather intelligence to send back to higher). The other two main focuses are mounted reconnaissance with Strykers and decontamination.
The mounted reconnaissance vehicle is the Stryker, which is essentially an armored personnel vehicle. The variation of the Stryker combat vehicle that we have is the M1135 Nuclear Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle (NBCRV). This variation of the Stryker has an on-board integrated NBC sensor suite. Driving the Stryker is actually very fun, the driver seat is low to the ground, it’s almost like driving a sports car, that cost several million dollars. The NBCRV has a complement of 4 soldiers (driver, surveyor, vehicle commander, and assistant). The NBCRV has a left handed glove port on the back of the vehicle. The surveyor has to lay on the floor, use the glove port, and attempt to look outside the window (which is a little bit smaller than a piece of paper) to collect samples. It is an extremely difficult task and takes lots of practice to get used to. You literally only have your left hand to work with.
The other cross level training we did was in decontamination principles. The decontamination platoon taught us about mass casualty decon, equipment decon, and terrain decon. The problem with the training is wearing the appropriate protection level and dealing with the heat. Other than that, it was good to learn these tasks as it will be the main task that we will be doing once we get back to Ohio.
Being from Ohio, I am used to a more humid summer weather. The heat here is more of a “dry heat,” but there is still a decent amount of humidity in the air. Just walking outside during the daytime makes me sweat. Even at 2100 the temperatures can be in the 90s. The “coolest” the daytime temperature in the next two weeks will be 96 degrees Fahrenheit, with most days being consistently over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. By 0500 the sun is up, and the temperatures can already be in the 80s.
The weather honestly feels like opening the door of an oven. It is very windy, and the wind just blows more hot air into your face. The crazy part, we haven’t even reached the hottest time of the year in July/August in which the temperatures will be between 110-120.
Jane is now almost 10 months old and was able to go in the pool for the first time this season. She is a water baby, and that should make her mother happy. I have well over 1,000 photos and videos on her on my phone.
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