This is part two of a weekly series, Stupid Shit of The Week™ and as usual, I nominate the most frustrating, backwards and pointless events of the past five days. The nominees:
Zeroing rifles for the fifth time
KD Range Support
Packing for cancelled layouts
And the winner is:
KD RANGE SUPPORT!
A known distance range is a range with lines 200 meters and 300 meters away from targets, so you know exactly how far you are from them. In today's superiorly modern army, we have ranges with computer regulated pop up targets that can give feedback on where the target is shot. If you happen to miss and the round is close enough, it can even show where the round passed by the target. Now, this is where army trademark inefficiency sets in. While that technology is available, we have something World War II-ish for KD ranges. The targets are on a chain pulley system under a dropoff, and you have to pull the bar up and down to raise and lower the paper targets. When an iteration is complete, you lower the target and put a white cardboard circle the size of a coaster into where they're shooting, so they know if they're doing well or not. It gets better, really. You then put little pieces of black tape over the holes so you can differentiate between iterations.
Now, this lunacy is compounded by people shouting constantly to hurry up, and people firing taking forever to actually shoot. I can tell you with no reservations that this kind of training is a waste of a clean gun and a sunny day. Not to mention the slave driving in the pit. We worked from 9am-5pm with no food and little water. When we were approaching the end of the day, it took a turn for the surreal. We got word we were doing a nightfire, which means using nightvision sights with infrared lasers on our guns to shoot the targets. To my knowledge this is the first time a nightfire was attempted on a KD range, given the feedback is a WHITE CIRCLE A FEW INCHES IN DIAMETER. How do you see a white circle at night 200-300 meters away with night vision, you ask? I joked about pouring glowstick juice on the circle so they can see it, but to my astonishment, someone else higher up had the same idea and told us to do it. At this point, everyone in the pit gave up on accurate feedback and stuck the circle any damn place. We made it off the range past midnight, so 15 hours straight of pulling up and down, up and down, down and up. But we did get small breaks in between groups of firers.