Radio, this is radio, over


It’s hot here in New Jersey. I realized that when I woke up at 2 a.m. soaked in sweat. Get this, the Army put in air conditioners in each room, but the cords don’t reach the plugs. They are these special plugs and they don’t expect to fix it anytime soon. Go figure. Anyway, there’s worse things to complain about, so let’s press on.

Today we had SINGARs and MRAP training. First off, SINGARs means single channel ground and air radio, or something close to that. Basically, it’s the radio used by ground troops in combat or training missions. We learned how to add frequencies, create a “Secure” channel and broadcast on various NET channel IDs. Kind of technical, but very well taught.

From there, we broke for lunch and then went to MRAP training — Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle. Talk about a crazy vehicle. This is what every military member driving in Iraq or Afghanistan needs to be in. It was suprising to find out that the design and concept of this vehicle originated in South Africa. The MRAP can withstand up to 500lb bombs and still be left intact. Since the Marines began using it less than a year ago, the vehicles have been hit by more than 300 Improvised Explosive devices and no one was killed. The key to the vehicle is it’s V-shaped hull and additional armor. After two hours of death by powerpoint, we got to actually climb into the vehicle and see this beast. A beast weighing in at 52,000 pounds, five miles to the gallon, and is over 14 feet tall. If I had my choice, I’d live my whole deployment in one of these mobile lifesavers.

Tomorrow, we begin a four-day long HUMVEE training class to include using Night Vision Goggles at night to traverse a course. Pretty cool. Hopefully the heat lets up, but in a way, this helps me get acclimated to the desert heat I’ll be subjected to throughout the summer.

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