FOB Willard - Day 137

posted Nov 26, 2011, 6:31 PM by Brandon McGuire

A photo of “The Clamshell” this is where we had all the formations at FOB Dunham.

(Original Date: Tuesday, November 2, 2010)

4:00 AM Wake-up. It's always fun getting ready in the morning on an FTX. In basic training I actually used shaving cream, but I felt I didn't have the time to do that during Capstone. I ended up just using a baby wipe and pretty much dry shaving. Dry shaving isn't too fun, especially when you have aggressive facial hair like me. Everything else as far as personal hygiene goes is pretty easy, go outside with my canteen and brush my teeth. Back inside the tent I take a "baby wipe shower" and then pretty much sprinkle baby powder over any part of my body I can reach.

4:45 AM Formation. Anytime we leave the tent we have to be in full battle rattle. This includes our body armor, helmet, and weapon. The only exclusion is when we are doing personal hygiene in the morning or if we get up in the middle of the night to use the porta-potties. During these times we only need clothes on, our weapon and our patrol cap. We grouped up in our new 4 battalion groups and took role. 

6:00 AM  We lined up for breakfast which was similar to dinner last night with the MOS-T soldiers serving us food.

7:00 AM Two of our battalions are assigned to another FOB (FOB Willard) and the other two stay at this FOB (FOB Dunham). I found out that I am part of the FOB Willard group. We formed up and got on a bus that took us to FOB Willard which is about 5 or 10 minutes away…long enough for a quick nap on the bus. FOB Willard is quite a bit smaller than FOB Dunham. We ground all of our gear except our weapons when we get inside and we only put it on when we go outside of the FOB which is nice. The bathrooms are located outside the FOB so that is a bit of a pain, but they are actual bathrooms instead of porta-potties which is great! The FOB has a training tent, an operations building, and a couple of guard towers. 

At FOB Willard our battalion was given the task to setup some laptops and a radio so they can communicate with FOB Dunham. So we started this exercise which for the 25Bs was pretty simple. Setup 6 laptops from scratch with appropriate network settings. Install some drivers and configure Outlook. The router was already preconfigured as was the exchange server. The 25Qs had to setup the radio.

9:30 AM PFC Metal and I had guard duty. At FOB Willard this involves standing at the gate to the FOB (walk up only…no vehicles) and checking IDs of anyone that wants in. We had half hour shifts for this that rotated through the class. When we tried to stop and ask the MOS-T sergeant he brushed us aside and said "get the fuck out of my way" lol…well we tried.

11:00 AM We called the duty van to pick me and PFC Metal up. We both had appointments at 13:00. We then ate MREs for lunch and waited for the duty van.

12:30 Called the duty van again and then had the SFC call. The duty van said they were on their way.

14:00 We decided that we were not going to be picked up by the duty van. They either couldn't find the FOB or they decided they didn't even want to pick us up. Sucks because I need to order glasses and I can't be out processed until I have them. I will try again on Wednesday

We had cultural training for middle eastern folks and some basic rifle marksmanship training via power point in the training tent. Don't go to sleep…don't go to sleep.

We had a formation outside for accountability and then took the bus back to FOB Dunham. We had dinner which was duty food again and then did some battle movement drills. We worked on react to contact, IEDs, and buddy team movements. 

The days are long here. We get up early and go to sleep late. It's 22:00 and I have guard duty tonight from 2-3 AM. I'm sleeping with my earplugs in and my beenie pulled over my eyes. I'm hoping to get some better sleep tonight.

Overheard Quotes: "What is motivation? It's not that hooah bullshit across the road (what is done at the schools)…it's doing the right thing!"

"I fucking hate hippies! Put them all in California and let an earthquake shake them off into the sea"

"I may call you some funny names such as jackwagon, ass-muncher, or dickhole. Don't take it personally" 

(These are all from our instructor at FOB Willard, he's pretty funny to listen to)

A photo of some of the trucks parked at FOB Dunham. You can also see some of the wall in the background...this surrounded the entire FOB