Pacific Warrior 2008 is complete. The preparations for Pacific Warrior 2009 are, undoubtedly, underway. Hopefully in 2009 they will follow the published time line. I am very familiar with the burned out car in the photograph in the previously linked story. I spent a good deal of time near it looking for spent grenade simulators.
In the time I spent out there my team and I trained about 400 Soldiers on the basics of FOB defense. We saw some of the best of what the reserve had to offer. We also saw some of the worst. You wouldn't think that "Take cover. Return fire." would be a hard tenet to follow, but for some it really was. The best comment was from a "killed" PFC. He was asked why he didn't return fire and replied "Well, I thought about shooting back." The young Soldier couldn't really be blamed as his leadership was too busy repeating back everything the voice on the radio. It was ugly. Of course for every time a 249 gunner opened fire into a crowd of Soldiers mixed with civilians there were highly disciplined Soldiers establishing security and suppressing enemy fire.
This was also my first trip to the west coast. I got to actually step into the Pacific Ocean and eat lunch on Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey. It was a good time. I'm back.