From the Soldier side: OK, on with the next mission story...this will be called:" Mission: East Baghdad."
When I returned to base from my last mission at Al Asad, I was told that I was giving up my "team" and getting a new team and assignment. This assignment was coming from a very very high place...but the battalion I worked for was still trying to figure out who I was getting on my new team and where they'd get us a vehicle.
So, in the mean time, I reported each morning to the Ops office and drank coffee. My second day sitting in the Ops office I was approached by the civilian who worked there. We'll just call him " Jim". He asked me if I had ever done any kind of investigations before. I told him I'd been a cop for over 25 years at that point, and was a detective at one time and did a bunch of shit in Bosnia. He said that would work, so he told me of a little mission he needed me to do.
This sounded very interesting...the mission...but getting to the job was where the real excitement was. I would have to go to one of the Forward Operating Bases (FOB) in Baghdad. The funny part was, we were on the far west side of Baghdad and the mission was on the far east side. So, to get there required riding in a convoy.
I discussed the investigation with the civilian and then had to wait for one of our "teams" to return from a mission so I could ask the team leader if I could ride out with them one day to do my "job."
The team leader came in with his team at the end of the day. They were very tired, so I waited until he'd unloaded his gear and presented him with my travel needs. He was all for the mission, so he said he'd be happy to haul me out to the FOB in 2 days (they needed a few days to submit a trip ticket.)
Now, I had to get my self ready. Wow, riding a convoy into Baghdad, Iraq. When you looked at the average daily events in Iraq, Baghdad usually had more "Sig Acts" in a day than the rest of all of Iraq put together. It was a shithole of activity. IED, VBIEDS, Snipers, Suicide dogs, pot shot takers, bad drivers, Suicide Vest Bombers, camel shit, donkey shit, people shit and all kinds of other assholeinsurgents.
(And the really funny thing is...the roads were still better than the freeways in California!)
All I needed to do was get my gear squared away and have my notes ready for the investigation I had to do. The Drivers had to prep their vehicles, the gunners had to prep their weapons, the convoy commander had to make a route plan and list all soldiers who were going etc etc. I had the easy job.
To be cont.