Sunday, November 14, 2004

gas chamber & patrol lanes

For the curious out there, this is what the outside of the cattle car looks like:

Sorry I'm not in any of these pictures. I guess I can't prove I actually went through the gas chamber. I've been through gas chambers before, but this was the first to build greater confidence in the protective mask. The only way we could tell the gas was active was the prickling/burning on our skin as it permeated our clothing. Once inside for a while we did jumping jacks, ran in place and performed exaggerated mouth movements to show the mask seal would hold. After intentionally breaking the seal, replacing the mask and clearing it we exited. Here are some of the guys just before entering. (No hoods on the mask since our new protective suits have hoods attached to them.)

Apparently we arrived and tested in the gas chamber before this sign was put up. Surely someone would have tried to use it as an excuse to skip out.

After surviving the gas chamber, I figured I deserved a fancy dinner and a night on the town:

While going through a patrol exercise on the way to an 'illegal checkpoint' we came across human remains that needed to be secured and reported to the Kosovo Police Service. Here's a training aid from that site:

We received some training on basic crowd control skills using riot gear:

Finally, last night we had a memorial service here at Fort Lewis for the two Kansas Guardsmen that were killed in Iraq. Having the battalion assembled just after dark, listening to the citation of how those soldiers performed their duties was a lesson in taking our training seriously, taking pride in our mission, and being grateful for the being tasked with a peacekeeping mission in a country that wants us there.


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