100 Things the 511th Learned During the ARTEP of 1991

Today's contribution marks the 7th installment in my series about the 511th MI Company's misadventures, which I collected during my tenure there from 1988 through 1991. This list was composed by the EW2 platoon during the ARTEP of 1991 - I believe it was in April - which we dubbed "Operation Pogo Stick." This name seemed apropos because of the considerable frequency that the EW platoons were required to jump sites, for no apparent reason other than the sheer fun of watching the level of aggravation that it caused. I think that this was the last deployment that I went on with the 511th; shortly after the ARTEP had ended, DeGrood and I got our orders to PCS back to the states, and everyone else got orders to Kuwait.

Things we learned during ARTEP '91

  1. Hot refuels really are (with lanterns).
  2. Point fire extinguishers at flames.
  3. Don't play Russian Roulette with a .45.
  4. Mosquito nets make good kindling.
  5. Calling SGT Tabbert "Larry" is effective aggravation.
  6. Being "killed" is the only way to get a couple hours' sleep.
  7. The Official ARTEP Song: "Jump" by Van Halen.
  8. There are no weapon mounts on HMMWV bumpers.
  9. SGT Rice makes a 2LT with a map look good.
  10. MI-51's radio has a maximum effective range of 100 meters, and MI-52's is about 100 inches.
  11. You can get away at MOPP 0 in a MOPP 1 environment, until the MAJ sees you.
  12. Ken be nimble, Ken be lean, Can't jump over the Concertine. He jump high, he jump low. He get caught, down he go.
  13. TCAE can get tracks to the field, but not back.
  14. Security isn't.
  15. Chase vehicles don't.
  16. The best form of land navigation is a well-informed German.
  17. An unheated, unlit tent and a pile of BOGINT tapes is an effective TRQ-32 simulator (bring your own paper).
  18. The latest in EW sleepware is the DA Morris Improved Stealth Tent.
  19. Mumbly-Peg is easier with the knife unsheathed.
  20. This was a very well thought out, and carefully planned exercise. NOT!!!
  21. Mumbly-Pistol is a game as yet untried.
  22. SGT Cyr relates well with farm animals. ("Moo...")
  23. Reimers can sham out of anything if he really wants to.
  24. Germans on holidays make interesting navigational obstacles.
  25. The TRQ-32 is the coffee-making, radio watch sitting, front seat sleeping, $800,000 car stereo wonder of the 20th century.
  26. Fred can never be in too warm an environment.
  27. The TRQ-32 glove box is hell on the shins.
  28. Handcopying BOGINT in MOPP 3 is a joyous experience.
  29. It's just no fun wearing a protective mask with a runny nose.
  30. GRA-39's make excellent car stereo amplifiers.
  31. TRQ-30 DF antennas are better left in the rear.
  32. M-8 alarms work better without batteries.
  33. We can ID more types of static now.
  34. You can teach the LT something new every day.
  35. LT's aren't sensitive items, but they have feelings, too.
  36. The LT wigs out when challenged.
  37. It was good training. NOT!!!
  38. Who's the a****** who made those 2-minute intercept to 2-hour static tapes?
  39. Blind TCAE geeks should not be allowed to recon intercept sites.
  40. The TACJAM squad is now cross-trained in landscaping.
  41. Duerksen can "hold it" for 4.5 days.
  42. Roddick don't know s*** about whoopie lights.
  43. Menthol cigarettes don't cut it.
  44. Roddick's new discovery - wet newspaper. It camos as it cleans.
  45. It's more fun 4-wheeling.
  46. Starvation is preferable over chili-mac and lima beans.
  47. Duerksen and Roddick can eat a whole cow.
  48. German kids love MREs. (That looks bad as a culture, doesn't it?)
  49. Braddy is too lazy to drive 10 minutes to see us. (So the d*** flew.)
  50. Germans don't like having M-60s pointed at them.
  51. Noise discipline need not be observed near 200 decibel generators.
  52. Propane heaters are heaven.
  53. Rich is a lying son-of-a-b**** when asked about this ARTEP.
  54. The CO has no sense of humor where guard posts are concerned.
  55. O'Conner has no tact.
  56. The TLQ squad is still the Kase-Camo Net Meisters.
  57. It seems like you always jump during your sleep shift.
  58. TCAE goons sleep more in one night than EW geeks do in a whole week.
  59. Mumbly-Peg doesn't work with swiss army knives.
  60. Lanterns with broken globes are somewhat dangerous.
  61. Field coffee isn't.
  62. Guard duty sucks. (That's why officers don't do it, right?)
  63. Vehicles, though forbidden, are still the preferred sleeping areas.
  64. Hooches get simpler the more you jump. ("All I need is a cot...")
  65. The TACJAM squad knows Germany.
  66. After a week in the field, even the locals smell good.
  67. World War II issue maps are not effective navigational tools.
  68. Only the TLQ squad can out Black-6.
  69. (This number is still not seen hereabouts.)
  70. Sure DeGrood has tonsillitis.
  71. Reimers' other foot will be broken upon our return.
  72. When you're a minute early on shift you're the greatest, when you're a minute late you're an a******.
  73. Johnson's magazine subscriptions are enjoyed by all.
  74. Where's the Jam button?
  75. Where's the Fix button?
  76. What freq am I on?
  77. Are we on Zulu or Local time?
  78. Mr. Roller is as effective an NBC alarm as an M-8 without batteries.
  79. Just because it looks like rain doesn't mean that it will.
  80. You know that you need a haircut when you can grow dreads in the field.
  81. Brush guards do.
  82. Brushing your teeth is really a morale booster.
  83. If German's can find our sites, why can't we?
  84. Never ask DA for a light. ("But he looks good with a singed face...")
  85. Burning tents are wonderful reference points at night.
  86. What do Germans do with all that lumber?
  87. The TRQ-32 needs a microwave.
  88. After a week of ARTEP, even TROJAN sounds good.
  89. The TRQ-32 has the only working radio in the PLT.
  90. It's nice to pull radio watch in a vehicle with a good heater.
  91. Cold mornings suck. (1 week from summer.)
  92. We never thought we'd be so happy to see a 1-week field problem end.
  93. Duerksen doesn't like grits.
  94. Groovy man remembers lots of worthless music.
  95. Everybody still wants to be a jammer.
  96. MOPP 1 is quite warm.
  97. Civilian life can't be all that bad.
  98. Newbies whine almost as much as EW1, but not quite.
  99. TCAE can drop the ball, duck the issue, pass the buck, and wash their hands of it better than anyone else.
  100. I wonder what Hohenfels will be like this year...?

In another strange turn of events, after I PCS'd to Fort Huachuca, I met the guy that made those 2-minute intercept to 2-hour static tapes that we mentioned in item #38 of the list, and I wound up working with him. (And just to satisfy anyone's curiosity - yes, he made those on purpose. He was a nice guy, but he had a wicked sense of humor.) Later on, I was asked to create intercept tapes for the MI officer school at Fort Huachuca, and I followed his lead by creating tapes that sounded like HF traffic - with hours and hours of radio printers, static, and morse code transmissions stomping on top of the voice messages. (FYI - The officers hated these tapes - mission accomplished.) But here's a quick behind-the-scenes trivia fact: I didn't actually record any actual radio printer or morse code transmissions from HF frequencies - I created them on my computer. Most radio printer traffic is simple Frequency Shift Key transmissions, so I wrote some algorithms that would allow me to enter a text string into my computer, which would be converted to binary, and then encoded into an audio stream based on a baud rate and space/mark frequencies that I picked. When I was done - they sounded identical to the real thing. So what did all of those ear-splitting radio printer messages actually say if you plugged them into a computer? Things like, "I hate the Army," "I can't wait to ETS," etc. Yes - even then I was a geek.

IHateTheArmy.mp3 (76.73 kb) "I Hate The Army" Frequency Shift Key (FSK) Sample

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