Afghanistan-A-Go-Go

A Reservist's Tale Of A Tour

Starting to get to the change…

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I spent this part weekend in Gagetown on an exercise with my unit, the last full one I’m going to be on for a year. I’m not part of the Rifle Company anymore, but I offered to help them run some ranges they need to get done for their training year. It was a little bit of a disaster, but it was a learning experience like every time I go out. It perhaps contained some good learnings that will serve me well when I leave on tour.

We use a process to get just about everything called “the estimate” which can range in detail from a very quick “combat estimate” about how to carry our something as simple as a hasty attack, to extremely detailed concepts like the Operation Planning Process which is done at much higher levels to plan things like a deployment of a force to a place like Afghanistan or really anywhere.

I got involved in the planning for this particular exercise fairly late, but even at that I probably didn’t pay enough attention, and didn’t do my own really estimate on what had to happen for my part of the show. So, I got more than a little caught off guard when certain things didn’t go anywhere near according to plan, and things weren’t as efficient as they could have been. I was running some small arms ranges that should have been done around 1pm, but we wound up running three hours late. That threw everything else off.

I don’t think I could really have intervened enough to actually prevent the major cause of the problems, but regardless, there were things I probably could have done had I really thought things through and done some more thorough checking on the prep work.

The OIC – the boss of the exercise – took me aside after the day ranges and ran me through a fairly constructive exercise about what went wrong and why, and what could have been done etc. In his customary style, though, he tied it into what I might be expecting on my tour, and some of his own experiences in Afghanistan. His time there was intense, to say the least.

So as I get two weeks from go time, I’ve got lots of food for thought on how to do things better, which are best considered during training exercises rather than “over there”.

Written by Nick

October 23, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Posted in The Beginning

Tagged with , , ,

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