Then we got to shoot the M203 grenade launcher. This is a system that mounts onto the M16A4 rail system. Remember Terminator and the M79 "Thumper" that the Governator shot? If not, here's a quick refresher. This is what came before the M203, but now we have the M203, so much better, because it allows the Marine to employ organic indirect fire as well as his M16 all in one weapons system. What does that mean? Well, it basically means that a squad (about 13 Marines) can cover their own dead space. "Oh, ok", "Wait, what's dead space?" I know, I know, quit typing and show us the video of the grenade launcher already! Dead space is what you can't see. For instance, if a squad came upon the crest of hill at a saddle (the valley between two hills), the dead space would be the area that they can't get "eyes on" while they stay behind the crest of the hill. If you have questions, just post them. Ok, onward with the M203, here's a link to some more info and pics.
So the next weapons system we got to fire was the AT4. This one's easy to get. It is a single use rocket launcher. Yeah I know, SWEET! However, we didn't actually fire the rocket. How unfortunate! We did get to fire 9mm tracer rounds that have the same trajectory out of the AT4 though. It was fun. Here's a link for some more info and video below. The video doesn't really get good until about 2:30, sorry. That's when you can see the tracers.
And the coup de grace, we got to throw live hand grenades! How terrifying that was! Once you see the video you'll understand. The Marine next to me could have literally dropped a grenade on me, plus I was holding a very deadly explosive device at one time, but I threw it away. Haha. Now, it's not the old pineapple grenade that you can buy emptied of explosives at military surplus stores. This is the M67 which is supposed to fragment into more pieces, intended to make more shrapnel. As above, here's a link and a video. :) M67 Grenade, Pineapple Grenade.
We also got to see some additional types of flares and grenades such as the White Star Cluster or the Red Star Parachute, but my favorite was the Incendiary Grenade which burns at a temperature of 4000 degrees...I think the video speaks for itself.
How gruesome! That I am now in the business of killing. That there are whole huge enterprises dedicated to dreaming up the newest more effective/efficient way of killing someone. Right now I'm making my way slowly through a couple of books written by Lt.Col. Dave Grossman entitled "On Killing" and "On Combat". I highly reccommend them. Of course, I haven't finished them yet, but I think they are highly enlightening; even if you're opposed to killing or war, etc.
So, the above is just a taste of what is to come. Today, 1 July I received my first order, so I have to take that order from my Platoon Commander and write a squad level order. I'm excited. I hope you enjoyed reading and watching! Have a great day and have a fun and safe Independence Day. Thank God and a Marine!
Also, if you have any comments, requests, ideas, please feel free to share them!