Friday, February 11th

The Monday after our four night torture session we got news that we were being shipped off for some more training. It wasn't easy telling my wife that I would be leaving for two weeks; especially with only a one day notice. She wasn't okay with it, but knew I had to go. I don't like doing this to her. I put my paperwork in for a transfer to IS and was told that I didn't yet have enough combat experience. It took all I had in my power not to smack the clerk with my rifle. Not ENOUGH combat experience huh? Since when do you need combat experience to work in Information Security?

We got to the office early the next morning. Our flight was an early one so that we could avoid having to transport our unit during business hours. Our convoy could still have been attacked, but chances were less likely before the official work day. Our route took us by the building where I witnessed three men get reduced to bits by a Gatling gun manned by Geoff.

Our flight took us on a few hops before bringing us to a small town in the Midwest. Training took place in two phases. Phase I was 'Helicopter Exiting Techniques'. Phase II was 'Ground Target Skydiving'. Somehow I wasn't surprised to see the same two instructors from our previous class. Our training began with a question from one of them, "is anyone here afraid of heights?" Everyone was smart enough to keep their hands down regardless of their answer. The instructor smiled, "good!"

Phase I was great. We learned to repel for a helicopter ten different ways. My favorite dismount procedure was fast rope exit. The phase lasted a week and culminated with a series of mock assaults with simulated OPFOR. We successfully completed the course and received a training metal and certificate.

Phase II scared the hell out of me. I never really had a yearning to jump out of a plane; until I actually did it. A weird feeling stuck with me during the plane phase. It's hard to describe it. The only way I can put it is being so scared that you can hardly move, but when you do jump there isn't a more exhilarating feeling in the world. We did about ten jumps a day. By the last day we could HALO (High Altitude, Low Opening) jump onto a targeted rooftop. Well I say we, but a few on our team couldn't hit the roof consistently, but did well enough to pass.

We got back to the office right before the end of the business day. While we were gone HQ decided to invest in some toys for us! There is an official unit area for us now attached to HQ's building. It has a locker room with showers, break room, offices for our 'higher ups', and conference area. A garage houses our APC, 2 SUVs, and 2 new FAVs. We were also told that we have our own small plane at the local airport.

I'm going to enjoy all of the new things while I can because I know that we will be earning back all of the money spent on us soon enough. I also found out that I am only a few points away from being promoted to an E-3. When that happens I will be moved to the first RTL position that becomes available. Personally I don't care about that as much as getting the bump in pay!

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