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Sunday, July 11th, 2004

There are so many kinds:

– Consider the people who act like children. I swear these have got to be the easiest jobs in the world, particularly given the pay. Therefore people have to get into all sorts of not getting along / reindeer games bullshit. It’s like working with a bunch of kindergarten kids sometimes.

– Finding out someone who you went to a lot of trouble to get away from can still affect you here truly sucks. They can’t prevent me from doing what I want to do, however they can make it where I have to go to extra time and trouble stealthing my way in. They give people too much control, and your friendly support drones have a habit of doing the stupidest things to involve those people, when they don’t need to be involved.

I can rant about this, but if my request is rejected, it’s best I don’t say anything else yet. Sorry, I know that doesn’t make much sense to you.

– Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner mortarman is back on the prowl. What a pain in the ass that guy is. Just have a sandwich on your meal breaks like everybody else, pal. The random nature of these things is the irritant. The other day some poor guy picked the wrong time to climb down out of his watchtower to take a leak. Generally they don’t hit much, but sometimes…

Hitchin’ A Ride

Friday, June 25th, 2004

So finally I made it down to Mosul Palace. It was a fairly short flight, of about 10 minutes. I was in a great spot for viewing, but in a bad spot to sit. I’d never flown a passenger-setup Black Hawk before. The wind really beat the crap out of me. As we sped along, not really nap o’ the earth, but certainly not at altitude (prolly 50m altitude or so) I notice many farming type areas, and grazing flocks. Just about everyone I see waves to us. As to whether or not it was a friendly wave, or I simply couldn’t see the finger and hear “hey you’re scaring away the sheep!” I can not be sure. I think it was more the former than the latter, though. It was quite fun popping up over the power lines and quickly dropping back down. When I flew on the other Black Hawks it was always much more sedate, flying racetracks in the sky, except for the single occurrence when the pilots decided to practice missile drills — that was a ride! Other than that, all the low level dodging around stuff was in Hueys, which are slower and less maneuverable.

We passed over some buildings that had been right blowed up, though when exactly I could not say. There are several Palaces in this particular cluster, 5 or 6 I think. As the bird landed, I grabbed my stuff and hopped out. We didn’t shoot at anybody, nobody shot at us, we didn’t crash, and nothing went flying outside the bird in impromptu fashion. It was a good flight.

This FOB is in a much hillier area than the airbase, which is flat. I see a lot more combat troops and vehicles than on the airbase. I start out in a tent, because they are short on living containers. Could be worse, but we are sleeping in the MWR Palace for the next week or so because it is a hard building, and because the military is doing that for their guys as well. Yaay! Floor! Rolling Eyes Everyone expects an interesting time through several days / a week after the changeover, but you never know when you might experience a Y2K-like ho-hum instead.

I don’t expect to have much to do here, so maybe I’ll write more often. I still have some pics to bring up of the airbase, that I took yesterday evening. I have not taken anything here yet.

The Trip to Mosul

Thursday, June 24th, 2004

Outward Bound

I finally get all the approvals to go. This involves me short-circuiting the process and going straight to the people I need to get things done. Going through the proper HR chain involves about 8 different layers of obfuscation. I get all the pieces collected, and tell travel when I am going. I make this decision on my own, but no one questions me. It’s a relief to get this all in process since not only am I trying to get out of here, I am trying to get out of here on a specific schedule so that I can visit with that special someone on the way out. (more…)

Ok, I’m Finally In Mosul

Wednesday, June 16th, 2004

But in a few days I am going down the road to the Mosul Palace instead. It’s about 15 minutes away I think. Flying milair up here was interesting, because while we pulled a heck of a lot more g’s (pos and neg) than we ever would in the Uzbekistan prop planes, I never at all felt like maybe the pilot didn’t know exactly what he was doing, or where exactly the airport was at.

Apparently there are only 30 people / 20 computers down at the Palace so I will prolly be asleep most of the time.

Westward Bound

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

Looks like I am on track to get out of here. Heading to Tashkent Thursday, and Saturday I fly to Frankfurt and then on to Kuwait City. I’m not sure if we just MILAIR out of there or there are intermediate steps. I’ll be going to work up in northern Iraq, at the Mosul airbase. I will document as I can, but it may take time to get anything written up and posted, much less any pics.

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