28 February 2008
21 February 2008
19 February 2008
From the Soldier Side: Ok, I guess I need to get on with MISSION AL ASAD, PART 2.
There were were, surrounded by desert...in every direction.... desert. This place was hot...and I don't mean hot in a nice way...it was just friggen hot. The secured compound we were working on was near a flight line...and some sort of aircraft took off every hour or so...24 hours a day...sometimes it was a C-130 lumbering down the strip, or some kind of fast mover jet...that broke the sound barrier and my ear drums.
Since the compound we were working in was extra secure, they brought in chow in cans....to feed everyone. The food was never hot and after a few days it started to really suck. We asked where the closest KBR mess hall was---a 2 mile walk across the desert...I took off with my team for some decent food. The walk there and back was very interesting....there were crashed Migs and other debris. We couldn't figure out which war some of this stuff was from...the Gulf War or the current one. There was also an Internet Cafe near by...so I could fix my fix.
After almost a week had passed by, with us not really having anything to do... the leader of the little group we were there to help ( a nice Marine 2 Lt) told us that there was a "BIG RAID" coming up. That was way we were sent there...before we were needed...so when the "customers" arrived, we'd already be set up to provided the "customer service" and get them on their way quicker.
This was going to be a big big raid...they had XXXXX number of Marines, Army and Air Force pukes flying cover... the night of the raid, we were all sitting around waiting for word to come back of all the new "customers" that were coming in from the big raid.
(No, I really didn't shoot down that Mig with my M-9. And nobody really calls me CI-Roller Dude.)
to be cont....
15 February 2008
12 February 2008
11 February 2008
From the Soldier side: Over the years a few people who've never been in the military have asked me: "why did you join..for love of country, to defend freedom, to save the world?"
Nope. I joined to go out and do some really cool shit. There's not too many jobs like I have in the Army National Guard where someone could go do all the cool shit I get to do. Last weekend we flew on a C-23B Sherpa to do some training. Now, I flew on a Sherpa in Iraq and I thought it was going to fall apart...which kind of adds to the excitement. But, the one we just flew on had been fully re-furbished and it looked good. There only about 42 of them in the entire Army National Guard, (that's right "ARMY" because when the Air Force looked at them they said the Army could have them." )
They look like a flying file cabinet, but they are really handy and sturdy as hell. I'd enjoyed the flight to trianing and back... what kind of training...."Army Training Sir!"
I'll get back to the Mission at Kalsu...it will have a "Happy Ending".
07 February 2008
But there were exceptions to the high quality of enlisted people and one case that I will not forget. I usually don’t pick on lower ranking people, but when I’ve tried to help them do better, and they were too ignorant to take the help, then I’ve lost hope for them.
We had one such soldier we had to work with. She was National Guard from a state I’ll not mention. She had been “talking to customers” for a total of one week when we arrived at FOB Kalsu to help. Her civilian job was flipping burgers at a restaurant or something, so she had no other experience to fall back on and she wouldn’t listen.
A lot of the “customers” we had to talk to were brought in for little or no reason. It was like that everywhere we went, but some places were worse than others. Part of my job at Kalsu was to help some of the newer “customer relations” folks when they were talking to “customers.” After our first mission to Fallujah with the 1st Marine Div, my team seemed to have a reputation of being a little above average…so, we were requested everywhere. How or why we were sent to Kalsu still puzzles me, because the folks there didn’t seem to know what they were doing and didn’t like our suggestions.
Anyway, Burger Flipper was “chatting” with some dude one day and I was sitting in as an observer and to offer tips to improve her methods—which sucked. She went down a list of questions like her job was to just fill in a form. On about her fourth question, the dude blurts out: “I know who’s bombing your camp everyday.”
I thought that was important, but Burger Flipper just went right to her next question and seemed to not even here what this knucklehead had said. I interjected and said: “hey, that might be something important, you know Force Protection stuff…”
Burger Flipper looked at me with a very puzzled look on her face and said: “what are you talking about?” (She never added my rank when she talked to me, which normally never bothered me, but she did it with great disrespect.) I had to take over the “chat” and I looked at this dude and said: “tell me about who’s bombing the camp, and tell me the truth.” This guy went of for hours telling us all kinds of stuff. After about 20 minutes, Burger Flipper caught on as to what a great “catch” this dude was and got her head into the game. As she seemed to do better, I backed off and let her do her job. This was going to be a good one....
To be cont.
04 February 2008
I looked around and the female sergeant was gone...along with everyone one else in the Finance office.