It's been a long week. Anybody miss me?
One day of training in a classroom- weapons of mass destruction recognition and familiarity; new protective suits and masks. Still trying to get the hang of the electronic radiation detector. We had the class two years ago from FEMA. Now it's from the Department of Homeland Security... so we sat through much of the same stuff again. Some was new- the instructor this time was a veteran HAZMAT officer and he had experience, which leads to unique insight and good advice.
Then two days on the range. I felt out of practice, tired, hungry and like I hadn't slept well in weeks. Hot, glaring sun. It was the worst shooting I can remember doing... so to feel better I would walk over to the other range where instructors from across the state were getting a refresher course. Instructors. One look at their targets and my pathetic shooting didn't look so bad. The worst target on our team (and we were practicing from the draw, often moving and transitioning from long weapon to handgun) looked better than the best on the instructor's side...
It was still pathetic, though. To our standards at least- to my standards.
Walking and shooting on a boardwalk, changing magazines and firing while moving backwards on the balance beam (not a regulation gymnastics balance beam, wider so that our feet could stay at a good fighting width, and only a sudden eight inch drop if you slipped off).
Shooting silhouettes. Shooting one silhouette with a weapon painted on it that was surrounded by other 'innocent' silhouttes. Down officer drills- running in small teams while other members provided cover fire and perimeter protection to snatch up a limp officer. Deployments from vehicles.
Ended with mixed team entries: lethal and less-lethal weapons coming together through a door in a fast, tight team.
That went well. The first round I was third in the stack, which doesn't mean I entered third, the first three come through as a single body, clearing the door instantly. Entered and saw the 'bad' silhouette with 'hostages' in front and a gap of three inches between them at about five yards. The handgun snapped up, front sight right where it should be and two rounds pinged off the bad guy before the metal silhoutte could fall.
Shittiest shooting I can remember, but when it came to the complicated moving stuff, we were dialed.
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