Gunnery Goofs, Part One

Radio vs. ICS-
I was on a gunnery range in Colorado, getting ready to zero the main gun on my Bradley. I’d been spotting the other vehicles all night and now it was my turn. Some of the commo guys came up with a way to wire the second radio to transmit “hotmike” everything over the ICS (intercom) to evaluate the crew coordination. It played over the speakers in the tower and was taped for review.

Tower told me to go ahead and shoot. Only problem was that the zero target wasn’t up. I came up on the primary radio and told them. They came back and insisted it was. We went back and forth a few times on the primary radio.

I’d forgotten that we’d switched to hot mike and finally, disgusted, turned to my gunner and in a rant that would make the saltiest bos’un blush, cursed the civilian tower operator, his parentage, the US Army, Colorado, the target and Lord knows who else,explaining that I’d been watching the target for the last 10 hours and had a pretty good idea when it was up or down. My gunner let me go on for a good while before finally, in a small, quiet voice, saying two words. “hot mike”.

That tape was a little embarassing. But it finally convinced them the target wasn’t working. The night got even weirder after that. Stay tuned for Part 2.