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This week was going to be the long-hyped urban combat training week - advertised by our superiors as probably the most fun we’ll have, the highlight of ours service. The week of up close and personal action, furious knife-edge battles and ultimate bad-assery in window-hopping, door-kicking and stair-sliding fights.
Only I wasn’t going. Instead I’d be partaking in testing and assembling communications equipment - testing and configuring all our switch modules and servers.
That was probably the closest to what I had hoped and intended to do during this service. A week in relative peace and calm (since everybody’s away), tinkering about with computing equipment, and figuring out why a roomful of switches just merged into a 160-port monstrosity.
Still...I just kind of wish I could have had my cake and to eat it too.
Same rhythm as the previous week - set up HQ, sit on your hands, take down HQ in the middle of the night, relocate, sit on your hands.
Drew a still life during one of my dull shifts. Felt it was a tad too dull to post without some story I usually throw along with these sketches. Slapped some paint on it to increase interest factor. Eh, good enough.
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Similar base-setup training as last week, but with a wrench thrown in the works: midnight relocating. So throw together all that gear you set up, hop on them trucks, and set up in a new location in pitch black. Not a thrilling prospect.
Especially once you realize that….this 200m optic fiber line you just laid down? Yeep, that cable is not giving a signal. Better roll that puppy up, fetch a new spool and re-lay the line. Groan.
Oh, did I mention that It’s now 9am, every other squad has gotten their things set up and are already sleeping and you’re the only idiots still running around, cursing those cables? Sadly, the motto “last ones in, last ones out” tended to apply to our work.
And now that we have our gear, it was time to put it to the test. Something I don’t think I’ve mentioned before is the nature of the battalion I’m serving at which would be setting up and servicing headquarters.
Much of the time thus far has been training individual components of that job - how to set up inflatable tents with all the cabling, how to deliver power, how to dig up some checkpoints at every entrance to HQ, how to drive there without killing yourself and everybody else on the road. But this is the first time to put that all together into one comprehensive “erecting-a-base” package.
...remember what I said about my truck being the backbone of any network we’d erect? Wasn’t exaggerating.
The beginning of the end. While everything else thus far been has been throwing general-purpose courses at us, giving a foundation of skills, this one’s more to the point. Subunit course is a “this squad, doing this thing in this platoon, as part of this company” course. The end stage of our training.
Consequently, this week was spent on equipment. Each squad now has its own equipment to manage and maintain. And since I’m the trained driver in our squad, I was now assigned to and handed the keys to our server truck.
It….made me unreasonably giddy, the notion of this personal, assigned-to-me, equipment. Dat one’s my truck. I drive dat. And I never could quite figure out why…even if I have a hypothesis - the truck assigned to me would the backbone of any network we set up since that’s the one where our servers are set up. Could it be that in my brain, thoughts are veering in the direction of “This truck is important. It was assigned to me. Ergo, I am important.”?
Well. As I said, just a hypothesis. Still…
You can’t have it.