Original article posted by chamblin:

During the last four days we did urban combat and, thanks to many hours of playing CounterStrike, I understood immediately most of the concepts that they taught.

During the four days we ran through many exercised. Our platoon rotated between building search, inner cordon, and negotiation/prisoner search. I will explain these in some detail.

The first thing that happens is called an inner cordon. What we do is roll up to a place in all of our big, armored vehicles and surround it. This is pretty easy. If anyone shoots, we shoot back. Very simple.

The next step is negotiation. A team gets sent in to ask nicely for whatever it is what we want. If we don’t get it, they leave quickly.

The last part is room to room search. This is where all the action is. When we did this one at night I ws th first man in for the whole platoon. It was very exciting. I can’t give you a lot of details, but if you’ve ever played CounterStrike on a team that really knew what it was doing you may understand. I missed the day building search because I was at a class on medevac with a chopper.

The next day we had one exercise. The instructors called it “Vietnam Day.” They took everything they could think of and threw it at us. This includes a live medevac from a hot LZ. My team put a bunch of people on litters and loaded them on a chopper. I got to ride on the Huey also. It was really cool.

Today I got my weapons switched. I was carrying the standard M-16. Now I have the M-249 SAW. Again, I must give a CounterStrike analogy. Those of you who play are no doubt familiar with the machine gun that’s so expensive and powerful it has its own category. Yeah. Those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s like taking a garden hose to a water fight where everyone has squirt guns. It’s mine now. I asked to have it and all my buddies said I wa crazy. Mostly because its really heavy. I told them that: #1. I know I’m crazy, and #2. Everything the Army “gives” us is heavy. If I’m going to a water fight, I want a garden hose. I don’t know what these guys are thinking.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Remember, the slow knife penetrates the shield. That’s about the best piece of advice I have to give right now. Think about it. It’s done wonders for me.

Your soldier of… Something,

Blaine.

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