Sunday, March 28, 2010

A week of Action

Since I last was let out of the army 3 weeks have passed, and I can say some of the most influencial weeks of my army career to date. A week and a half ago we had our Infantry level 05 certification test. 05 certification means we are a basically trained Infatry man, with a basic level of combat fitness and a basic grasp of the weapons systems, as well as how to treat wounded, operate a radio, and react to a NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) attack.

The Test opens with the Bochan Maslul, a grueling obstacle course run in full combat uniform, helmet on the head, and a full infantry vest and rifle. The Course opens with a 600 meter run, and as one finishes the run you get to the obstacles themselves. The first obstacle is the wall, and after that there are parallel bars, monkey bars, a rope, crawling, balance beams, and more. The obstacle finish with a 10 meter crawl an then you have a 500 meter dash to the finish. The last 200 meters or so are also up hill. Total the course is 1500 meters and no easy feat. To pass it for a rating of 05 one needs to run it in under 11:00, for 07 rating (which we will have after advanced training) we will need to run a 10:30, for the unit requirements and to move on the the SF basic training we must run under a 9:30. In practices till this point I had run at best a 9:20, but on that morning I opened up with a hard sprint and put my guts into it and finished with a solid 8:29. I can honestly say at West Point we had the IOCT, and I would rather run the IOCT any day then the Bochan Maslul. From there we went to the testing on Infatry skills, and weapons systems. At each station here I received a 100%. Last wasthe shooting test. The test opens witha 200 meter sprint then one turns around, crawls 10 meters, runs 190 meters back to the rnage and enters the range. In the range one removes the empty magazine in his weapon, places in one with 6 round and then shoots at a target 40 meters away. One shoots 3 in the kneeling position, and 3 in the prone position. I do not know the results on this test yet but I know the 3 I shot prone all hit and to pass is 4/6 so I am not to worried.

From this point on in my post I must inform you due to security concerns I am going to have to leave out or alter information.

After taking our certification tests the entire Plugah (Company) packed up and went to the Yehudah and Shomron (Judea and Samaria) to guard settelments. The group of soldiers I was placed with was assigned to guard a string of small hilltop settlements just above and south of Shchem (Nablus). We arrived Thursday afternoon and we were familiarized with the area. We had to static guard positions. One we will call A5 and the Second A8. We also conducted a night time patrol in one of the settlements and this we will call Patrol A. My first guard duty was on Patrol A from 2000 to 0100. I had the radio in my vest, which sucks because the radio weighs 20 pounds, and over the radio 10 minutes into my guard shift I hear one of the tazpitot (girls who watch the cameras placed in the area and report movement or activity) report in she has two terrorists en route to the settlements. A vehicular patrol responded ASAP, and the terrorists saw we were ready and got clean away.

Then Friday while guarding for 2 hours at A5 I once again had one of the tazpitot gets on the radio and tells me two Arabs just entered the Wadi right below me and are heading up towards me. She also sends in a patrol and before the Arabs can get to me they are headed off, and driven off by the patrol. The rest of the guard shift passes in peace but that evening a meter and a half long pipe bomb is found and disposed of at the main junction outside the settlements. Then at 2000 on friday night we had an attempted attack on one of the settlements. While a different group of soldiers, also from my tzevet, were on patrol at the very last settlement they spotted 2 men in the kneeling position 25 meters from the last house. So they began the process of engaging an unknown and suspicious person. Frist they called out to him and then they charged their weapons, and then they shot in the air. By this point the men had not responded and it was obvious their intentions were less than noble so we opened up on them aiming fr the legs first. We missed and they began to flee as fast as possible. The army sent out patrols to find them but to no avail.

Sunday, a new week and what we hoped would be a quite one. At about 1130 with only a half hour left on my guard tour at A5 I hear a big commotion on the radio. At a junction 2k from my position 2 terrorists attacked a soldier from the Plugah stationed permanently in the area. One threw a Molotov Cocktail, and the other broke a bottle and attempted to stab the soldier. He shot both dead, and good for him. After this the army raised our alert level from A, meaning unspecific intelligence about a possible terror attack, to B meaning specific intelligence an attack will occur. We were in this status till Monday night. Monday night one of our guys starts his guard shift at A8 with the sun setting. With him mounted on his weapon is a night vision piece which goes directly behind his preexisting scope and lets him aim accurately at night. However, when he had gone to start his guard shift he had fialed to check if there was a battery and there was not. So when the sun set 15 minutes in to his guard shift he began to fiddle with the piece trying to get it to work, not realizing he had no battery. then all of a sudden he hears a noise in the bushes. He screams out "Mi zeh!" ("Who is it?") the noise persists so he screams it again and charges his weapon. The noise is a mere 10 meters from him, and 10 meters from the first house. So my friend immediately fires in the air and gets on the radio and starts to scream, "Hakpatzah A8! Hakpatzah A8!" meaning "alert at A8!" He then fires another round into the air and still no response, so my friend gets on the radio again and calls in the situation again. But while on the radio he still has his weapon aimed at the area of the sound and since the night vision piece is blocking his sight, and the night vision piece does not work he shoots from the hip into the bush. Out pops the terrorist and he begins to run like a mad man in the other direction. 10 seconds later the army starts to show up and begins to chase after him, they begin to launch light grenades into the air and begin search patterns. Unfortunatly he got away.

Finally we got to Wednesday night, our last night of guard duty and I have A5 from 2200 to 0200. Other than it being chilly all is well at first, but then at about 0000 in rolls some fog, and then more, and then more, and then more. Soon the whole valley is blocked out, and soon we cant see more than a meter. Even with our night vision scopes we can only see about 5 meters. I was really scared now, 300 meters below me is a village from which 42 suicide bombers have come, and their population is not even 2000 people. They hold the record in Israel for the most suicide bombers from one place. This is below me, we are in alert level B still and I cant see 5 meters. The next 2 hours were the quietest and msot tense of all my guard shifts. I spent most of my time in the kneeling position straining my ears to try and hear what my eyes could not see.

In the end of the day this week taught me an enormous amount. For one if any one ever tells you "oh who needs to be combat anyways?" tell them you do because with out combat soldiers standing guard at night we would have had 3 terror attacks in just our area alone. After the week we went through not one person in our tzevet had a single doubt on why were where we are or why we need to be there. I also must note the amount of action we had in our week was not normal, it was the most action they have had in the area in 3 years. The reason we had a lot of this action I can honestly say is because of Obama. Today Obama has succeed in destroying the peace process. While before he became president the Palestinians would sit at the table with us, today they wont even sit at the smae table with us. The fact they are acting like children aside, Obama has essentially given them reason to think if they too pressure us they can get more out of us. Sorry Charley it does not work that way. Obama may be stupid, but Israelis are not. Obama will be gone soon and if next President ,hopefully, will see his friends lie in democratic states like Israel not terrorist regimes like Syria. But hey I was not the moron who elected him, I am just the one who has to deal with him incompetence. Thank you left wing Jews, especially Emanuel. As a side note he attempted to do his sons bar mitzvah in Israel but was boycotted by the Israeli venues, take that traitor. Sorry for the politics here, but it is a part of the reality connected to my work, a reality I am not sure Obama realizes. Maybe I should get him to read my blog?

1 comment:

  1. I'm reading and supporting you and the great country of Israel. I only hope our leaders wake up and realize the importance of America supporting Israel before it's too late! If America does not support Israel, America will fall. Any country against Israel cannot survive! That's a fact!