So that last one was awfully long wasn’t it?! What can I say. Riding the new 700 at Crow’s Canyon was a really good time! And it was good learning experience. Anyway, that bring us to Part II. Since I don’t feel like typing so much this time I’m gonna try to keep it short. This post is going to cover Operation Irene V.
Operation Irene was an absolute blast this year. Last year was great, but several things made this year superb. For starters the weather couldn’t have been any better. No rain all weekend and low 70’s for highs made it the perfect weather for Airsoft. Second, we were all better prepared this year in the gear department. A dining fly along with a 6 foot table plus an electronic mag loader made gearing up so much faster and a lot less painful. Also, Colin and I had both picked up a set of ESS Turbofan Goggles so fogging was not an issue at all. It’s amazing how much more fun the game is when you can see! Finally, and most importantly, this event was superior over last year due to how much more action we got to see!
Last year we had a good squad and when given a task by our commander, we stuck together and got the job done. Problem was after the job was done the commanders didn’t give us any new tasks other than to remain in the building we were in and defend it. To make it worse, in each scenario we’d end up with this same task on the exact same building (damn embassy). This year that wasn’t the case. The commanders changed up squad’s objectives with each scenario and often mid scenario as building control changed hands a lot more this year. This allowed us all to get to experience a lot more of the field and really minimized the downtime. There was however, one little thing about this year that wasn’t better.
This year’s squad… kinda sucked. For Irene V, Mike, Colin and I got thrown into squad with a bunch of guys who seemed to be on a team together back from where they came from. We all had the friendly hellos and introductions at the start of the Op, but that was about it. Other than that they really didn’t try to make us part of their squad. Seems kind of foolish considering Colin was the squad’s medic.
At the start of the scenarios the squad leader gave us pretty simple instructions; just to stay on him. Easy enough when you’re walking around, but once the bb’s start flying it’s not so simple. The problem was we’d get into a firefight and we’d all be occupied with trying to suppress/kill the enemy then suddenly the squad leader, without notifying any of us, was gone. I’d try to contact him on the radio, but he either wasn’t paying attention or was not on the assigned frequency. Add in that we hadn’t been given a rally point, there was just no practical way to find him once he was gone. It kind of seemed like he and his team were trying to ditch us, but then again every time I did run into him on the field, his teammates weren’t with him so I’m not so sure that’s the case.
Doesn’t seem like he cared much for playing the squad leader roll. So much so that I saw him on the field playing the sniper roll which if I’m not mistaken is specifically a roll the squad leader is not allowed to play. I don’t think he cared much for the rules as I saw him arguing with a ref about whether or not he’d be hit. The ref said he was hit but he argued with him that he wasn’t until the ref dropped it. I saw the shot and it did hit him. Yes it was one of those tough to call scraper shots, but it was a hit. Whatever though… while this squad wasn’t very good and the squad leader was often never around, this was actually great for Colin, Mike and I as it let us go off to work as our own fire team, moving around to wherever we were needed most.
As our own unit we got to see so much more action this year. There was rarely if ever a moment we found ourselves sitting there waiting for an attack that just never came. I loved how much more I got to do this year. I got to climb up on to the roof of a building and assault the neighboring building through the second floor window, participate in a massive assault on the hotel with the biggest smoke screen in probably all of Airsoft history, act as personal guard for Col. McKnight, stop and search cars approaching the HQ, stop and frisk suspicious looking hajjis approaching the HQ, out wit the enemy and take him out in a hallway firefight in the hotel, gun down hordes of approaching enemies trying to cross in the open from the ZNN building, make multiple exhilarating runs under enemy fire without getting hit, and take out an entire squad worth of guys in fast an intense firefight with only Colin and Mike at my side (That’s 3 vs 9-12), just to name a few. Then, after all that, to make it even better I managed to escape the whole thing without getting suicide bombed!
This years Irene was great and I anxiously await the arrival of the DVD. Unfortunately next years Irene will not be at Fort Knox, but will be in Louisiana instead. The army, or the marines, whichever, has built a new M.O.U.T. facility down there that was actually named in memory of the soldiers that died in the real Irene back in 1993 in Somalia and have invited John Lu to host next year’s Irene there. If I remember correctly, this facility is suppose to be the biggest M.O.U.T. in the country. This sounds great and it should be an awesome time, but the problem is Louisiana isn’t exactly close. For practicality’s sake this is one we’d have to fly down for then rent a car which isn’t exactly cheap. Then there’s the hassle of getting the gear down there. I don’t think they’ll just let you get on a plane with what appears to be for all intensive purposes, a tactical assault kit in your checked luggage, but who knows. Maybe I’m wrong. It’s one we’ll have to definitely put more planning in to.
OK, a little longer than I was hoping for, but not too bad. I just really felt like I needed to get that little rant about the squad in there. Anyway, I got pics here.