Bone Dry in the Mojave Desert
While serving as a reconnaissance squad leader in the infantry, my unit
deployed to the National Training Center (NTC) in the Mojave Desert in
California. We went to supplement the Opposing Forces (OPFOR) while they
helped to prepare the Georgia National Guard for a mission over in Iraq
during the Gulf War. My squad had the mission of infiltrating on foot
to set up an Observation Post (OP) and call for artillery against the
"enemy" during the next day's battle. We started our trek early
in the evening and worked our way from one terrain feature to the next
in hopes of avoiding the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles' infrared
sights. Unfortunately the "enemy" found the same terrain features
quite desirable too. They already had an OP set up on the hills we had
selected to mask our movement. They opened up on us with a .50 cal. and
we beat feet back where we came from. Now we had to wait for them to pull
out before we could pass - there just wasn't any other way around.
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