Normally in the Guard we get to fire a bare minimum of live rounds every year. Many years it has been 12 rounds to zero your rifle and 40 rounds to qualify with your rifle. Ironically, only if your are a bad shot do you get to shoot more. This year, however, was different.
Most guys fired 400-800 rounds on just one reflexive fire range. Then came the SAW gunners (M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, a light machine gun) who fired another 500-800 rounds each.
All of this was overseen by my commanding officer and executive officer, CO and XO respectively, and you can see their edge of the seat excitement-
Well OK not really. But 7 hours of live fire in full body armor in the humid Minnesota summer heat does tend to bring out the sleep monster.
Two days later came the shoot house, a simulated house/office building where we can fire live bullets. The walls are steel, covered with 2 inches of recycled tires. Basically, the bullets go through the tire layer, hit the steel, and then the fragments are caught coming back out by the layer of shredded tires. Pretty cool.
Here is SPC Travis Quinlan, (our very own Tom Cruise look alike) leading his team into the house.
And last is PVT Smith, living every soldier's dream by putting two in Bin Laden's head.