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ZK Patrol Truck GunnerS Do It On The Roll Match Conclusion
Temperatures hovered in the 90s all day and the ZKs fighting in the patrol trucks cooked under the sun. The high humidity made it feel like it was well over 100 degrees. It didn’t bother the undead, but the ZKs lost fighting efficiency quickly in the heat, sweat pouring off them and stinging their eyes. If they’d had to fight on foot in this weather, they’d be carrying more water than ammo and would probably still have heatstroke casualties. The drivers earned their pay, negotiating the terrain to keep the gunners in action without getting a single patrol trucks stuck. They’d fought their way to the safe house, and sure enough, it was occupied.
The eight survivors inside were too worried about raiders that were pursuing them to put out the marker panels. They’d put up a good fight against them not far from the safe house and the noise of that battle drew out the undead in the area. In fact the arrival of the zombies is broke the raiders’ attack. The survivors were lucky to be so close to the safe house. Now they were riding back to Live E-Town in three groups on the backs of the patrol trucks while the exhausted ZKs dozed, still soaked to the skin in their own sweat. The sky darkening with gray clouds and cool breeze kicked up suddenly signally the approach of a thunderstorm. It broke loose in a fury for twenty minutes and the ZKs just covered their weapons and let it the rain wash over them, a welcome relief.
Back at Outpost #7 the survivors were processed, the enlisted returned to their barracks and the NCOs reported to Sergeant Kruer for the after action review. The fight had gone well overall. The ZKs had killed 514 zombies in about seven hours of continuous actionand expended about 1750 rounds of ammunition. They drank over fifty gallons of water too. The trucks had done a good job of supporting each other thanks to radio communication and well refined standard operation procedures. They accomplished the mission no casualties. Many of the men had performed extremely well but the stand out zombie killer was actually a rookie which surprised Sgt. Kruer. The man was an older fellow too. Kruer went to personnel records and pulled the rookie ZK’s file and placed it on his desk. He put a clean sheet of paper into his typewriter and began to work the keys with two fingers.
23 August, 2016
Memorandum For The Record
Subject: Letter of Commendation for
He paused to look at the name on the file, and then carefully typed .
“I need to tell Capt. Soo-Z about this rock star when she gets backs, “ he thought.
Our first fully patrol truck mounted match was by far a greater marksmanship challenge than past running & gunning formats since competitors could not close the distance to their targets. This isn’t something we’ll do a lot, but removing the athletic component from the course was the right call for an oppressively hot and humid day. We had no heat related casualties. I think the scheduled shoot times likewise helped to “Get those troops out of the hot sun!” The afternoon shift arrived fresh and ready and some shooters that had to travel long distances didn’t have to get up
before dawn to get to the match and wait around for hours to shoot. I can’t say for sure that the ‘”ONE & DONE” format worked more efficiently, but once we got enough target reset people on the job, it seemed like we were finishing a shooter ever 10 minutes or so. Time was lost getting in and out of the truck, with general fumbling around with arms and ammo once mounted, and when the next shooter was not standing ready and waiting to mount up. As usual, we were running behind, but only by about 50 minutes.
Many thanks to Daryl Thruman, Lonnie Leake, Ryan Reynolds, Dave Ackridge, Wes Brehm, Nick Saylor, ZK Ulfr Dokr and pal Jeff who dedicated their whole day to RO and match support duties on the truck and lower range. Topside I had a lot of help from ZK ZZ Stop and ZK Bagola. Everyone pitched in at the end and we got the targetry packed up in
record time, though remind to do a tutorial on how to wind up a target pin and leader so I don’t have to spent hours untangling them again.
The match consisted of 36 targets total, with no mission or bonus points. It began with 5 rifle targets, from 10 to 50 yards away along the upper road shot from the stationary truck, followed by 13 shotgun targets shot on the roll beginning in the woods along the road to the lower range and ending on the far side of the lower range. Finally, the pistol stage’s three shooting stations with 7, 6 and 5 targets respectively were shot from a stationary truck. Shooters made two loops around the lower range, the first to shoot the shotgun targets and the second to shoot the pistol targets on the outer edge of the lower range.
The fastest rifle stage was turned in by ZK Templeman who dropped all 5 targets with 8 rounds in only 20 seconds. The most efficient and only perfect rifle stage was shot by ZK Bagola who dropped five zombies in 30 seconds with only 5 shots. I’d expected this to be the hardest stage but we had seven shooters sweep the stage clean. The pistol and shotgun stages combined did not have that many clean sweeps. The rear three targets were especially hard to hit because of the way they blended into the forest. I think our ZKs have been practicing for this stage.
The rolling shotgun stage had 13 targets. The three in the woods and the one in the yellow shirt in the over-your-head reeds along the road were especially easy to miss if you weren’t paying attention, didn’t continuously reload or hesitated. Steve Graham shot the best shotgun stage dropping all 13 with only 15 shots. Rookie Mitch Shulz shot all 13 with 19 rounds and old hand ZK Templeman with 21. They were the only ones to get all the targets.
The best pistol stage was shot by ZK Lonnie Leake . He dropped all 18 targets in the three different stations in only 92 seconds with 48 rounds . Though he didn’t shoot to win because of his RO responsibilities, ZK Leake came in 4th place, missing only 4 targets total. The most efficient stage was shot by ZK Ulfr Dokr who dropped all 18 in 104 seconds with only 40 rounds. Pistol targets ranges were from 10 feet to 25 yards. This was the stage that shooters seemed to think was the hardest.
Among or new shooters was the beloved mother of ZK McAwesome who proved to quite awesome herself. Having met her, I now understand the source of ZK McAwesome’s great talents. After shooting the course she stuck around with us to the finish, except for a brief time when she was practicing with her throwing knives! What a super-mom!
Finally, our congratulations go out to another rookie, ZK Daniel Rennaker who saw our ZSU banner on the fence, joined up with his whole family, and shot an amazing match. He was even up with ZK Templeman on zombie kills but took the first place honors because he was 59 seconds faster. Good shooting ZK Rennaker.
The last match of the season will be on October 25. Hope to see you all there. Please pre-register early so we can get a good feel for who will be there and plan accordingly. This has traditionally been a big attendance match and I want to be prepared. When you register, you will be selecting a shooting time slot as we did in this last match so the earlier you register, the more likely you are to get the time window, or thereabouts, that works best for you.
Also, in September, come and visit our table at the Night Risers Film Festival in Elizabethtown! We’ll be meeting the last living cast members of the classic Munsters TV show. You can too.
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