Sorry I got sidetracked with the Denali Prep Course updates. I’ve been in a training class at work all week and working a day shift schedule. This week also happened to be Craft Beer Week here in Boise with events taking place every night at different pubs and brewpubs around town. So I’ve been in class during the day and out drinking (sampling) every night. Hence, no prep course updates. Sorry, priorities.
Wednesday night we went to The Ram to sample some craft beers the brewer there made up and had a tour of their facility. Being a budding home brewer, I got to ask a lot of questions and get some tips to help my brews turn out better. Here’s a picture that ran in the Idaho Statesman on Friday. I’m in the blue shirt (not hat) and Shelley is in the bottom right hand corner. We are listening to the brewer talk about their boil kettle and sparge tank. Cool stuff.
Thursday was a brewer’s dinner at Sockeye and Friday night was another craft beer selection at Table Rock. Fun week to be working a day shift schedule!
My training class was actually a blast (pun intended). I obtained a new tool for my patrol work. A brand new (and not just new to me, but brand new) M4 rifle. This past week myself, along with 15 others who just had rifles issued to them, have been going through the qualification and certification course so we can carry and deploy the rifle on patrol. It was a lot of fun.
Having been in the Army I’m familiar with the M4. It’s basically a civilian version of the M16A2 the Military uses. However, it has been 20 years since I’ve had any formal instruction in it, so even though some of the class was familiar, there was a lot of new stuff. Plus, I was a little rusty on my marksmanship. But like riding a bike, it came back pretty fast.
I know a lot of you miss my weekly updates, so I thought I’d throw this out there as a substitute. There isn’t anything in this post that could be a violation of our new policy. I took along my video camera on Friday’s shoot and had a friend run some video of the different training stations we went through. The first few days were pretty slow, but Friday was a lot of shooting. This is just a sample of what one small section of our range looked like after a course of fire. This photo was taken after seven of us went through the “Multiple Target Engagement” course. There were two shooting positions for that course and this photo was from just one position. Yeah, we went through a lot of ammunition. I can’t believe I get paid to do this.
Here’s a short video of me going through the Multiple Target Engagement course. You can hear the other firing position as well as the other half of the class at the other end of the range doing their thing in the background. The set up here is we have three targets in front of us and the instructor calls out which target to engage. Sometimes he calls out multiple targets and we have to engage both. Two rounds into each target. We are shooting from the 15 yard line. We each went through the course four times and none of the seven of us missed. That’s right, not a single shot in the white of the targets.
Another course of fire incorporated movement. The instructors set up six targets in a row and we had to walk along and engage each target with two rounds. We did this twice. Once walking left to right (that would be on my strong side) and once right to left (on my weak side). The entire class did this at the same time. I think there was only six misses during this course of fire. During this video you see the guy in front of me have a malfunction and the instructor stops the line. That’s why an instructor walks with you as you’re shooting. You tend to focus on the targets and your technique so the instructor is behind you to keep an eye on safety issues like the shooter in front of you stopping. The video kept running, but I spliced it out.
We also did some shooting around a barricade and other obstacles. Here we have a 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood cut to represent various obstacles we would encounter on the street. Position 1 is a notch to shot over and around, position 2 is through a chain link fence, position three is a whole or window, position 4 is under a vehicle and position 5 is around a solid wall. As the instructor calls out the number, we move to that position and engage the target. We are shooting from the 25 yard line. This video is from my second time through the course.
Finally, the last course was just kind of for fun and bragging rights. The instructors set up five targets and some cones in a square (or box). You start at the 15 yard line and walk up to the first target and engage it with three rounds. Two to the body and one to the head. You have to engage this target with all three rounds before getting to the 5 yard line. At the five yard line you turn and walk parallel with targets two, three and four and engage each with two body shots each. After you finish target four, you run back to the 15 yard line and engage target five with a single head shot. This was pretty fun. Especially with it being timed and everyone rooting each other on. The catch was you could not miss any shots for the time to count. This video is my first run through and I finished with 17.67ish seconds and no misses. So, I held the fastest time for about eight shooters. Then I got smoked by officer JS who posted a 12.85 with no misses. The fastest I got my time down to was 12.52, but I missed one body shot………….argh! I did another round of 13.09, but again, dropped one round. Oh well. It was a lot of fun. The fastest time was 11.82 with one miss. So Ofc JS held on to his bragging rights. Oh, the guy you hear at the end saying, “Hernon’s moving out,” that’s Ofc JS.