Filtering by Tag: conus replacement center

Leaving Fort Benning

Because Fort Benning now has a couple of brigade combat teams (from different divisions), the Army built a new deployment center at Lawson Army Airfield.  It's quite a nice facility and I think this is what Fort Carson wants to build at Peterson AFB for its Soldiers. 

We were fed a hot meal, hit the head, received some motivational speeches (mostly from Soldiers with no patch on their right arm), and boarded our World Airlines charter flight.

It was good to leave Fort Benning again, for the third time in my life, and 25 years since the last time.

The CONUS Replacement Center (CRC) actually was not a bad experience.  I just didn't need to be sleeping in the barracks again.  Once I get overseas, the CRC experience will just be another old memory that I choose not to recall very often.

PQ and CIF

Went through medical and dental screening today.  The process is streamlined and pretty effective, especially when the cadre has to process 500 folks through it in one day.  The good news is that I'm PQ'd (physically qualified) for deployment.  The bad news is that they shot me up with Anthrax (which I asked to be excluded from -- didn't work) and Smallpox.  I remember the Army giving me another dose of this crap but I couldn't prove it.  So, both arms need exercising.  Oh, and someday I can get a job as a mail clerk in the local post office (Anthrax distribution center).

Then came CIF (Central Issue Facility).  When I retired, I swore off CIFs forever.  That oath has held for 14 years.  Until today.  What a pain-in-the-ass.  Understaffed and undersupervised, the line of Soldiers and civilians drawing their gear and equipment snaked out the doors.  To make matters worse, everyone is issued IBA (individual body armor) now.  This stuff is heavy, uncomfortable, bulky, hot, and confining.  Depending upon one's location, you'll wear it all the time, or not at all.  I'm hoping for the latter, but I suspect the former.  And it's not over yet.  We have another formation at 1700 hrs to be instructed on how to piece all this stuff together (there are 14 separate components that have to be stitched together). 

Lastly, because of all the delays, we ate MREs for lunch, and I know we're getting more tomorrow when we have the Death by PowerPoint briefings (from 0700 - 1900 hrs).

I'll be glad to get to the war zones.  It's got to be easier than this.

The CONUS Replacement Center (CRC)

The CRC is where Soldiers and civilians process through before deployment overseas.  The Soldiers who go through the CRC at Fort Benning are going without their units.  All divisional units have their own deployment centers at forts across the country.  I'm seeing a lot of reserve and USANG guys going through.  Also, there's a small platoon of DoD civilians who are here going through too.  Contractors like me make up the bulk of the population here.  The CRC processes 500 folks a week for deployment.

These are the barracks we stay in.  Four men to a room, two women to a room -- separate barracks for men and women.  Common latrine and showers.  Just like the good old days of basic training.  Chow hall is in the same complex along with a Day Room where there's TV and pool tables.  Chow is good and plentiful.  My roommate asked for a two-egg omelet and got a 12-egg one instead.

Here's my barracks room.  There's two bunk beds in the room with four wall lockers.  It's fine unless someone snores.  There is someone next door snoring so loudly that I hear him through a brick wall.  Thank god he's not in my room.  Actually, I'm lucky.  I've only got the one roommate and he's a good guy.

Here we are preparing for our 0615 formation to get transported to Main Post for more processing.

A Dinner Off Fort Benning

I've been stuck in the old Ranger barracks out at Harmony Church at Fort Benning, feeling like a Private.  But, tonight, a friend from my Germany days came south from Atlanta to fetch me and go to dinner.  John Troxel was my boss when I was the Range Modernization Officer for 7th Army Training Center at Grafenwoehr.  We became friends but we lost touch sine I last saw him in 95 when I had a TDY in Atlanta from Korea.  Anyway, this is a plug for LinkedIn, the social media site for business contacts.  I found John again through LinkedIn and, while I mostly use Facebook, LinkedIn does offer some advantages in the business realm.

We ate at Country's BBQ off of Exit 5, the original location and one where I used to eat when I was here at Benning back in 77/78 and 84.

It was great, but I don't need to spend much more time in Columbus, GA in order to enjoy it.

Now, I'm back in the barracks getting ready for a 0615 formation tomorrow morning so we can continue our processing for overseas deployment.

A week at Fort Benning

Bunking in the barracks at Fort Benning's Harmony Church area brings back too many memories of my early days in the Army. And I mean "early." This is like a major flashback to when I was in my early twenties. It makes me wonder what I've done wrong that would have caused me to have to relive my old experiences.

Thinking about getting a rental car in order to be free of this barrack's life. I'll be able to hit most of my old haunts around the city.