Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Nothing more exciting than the dawn launch! Fucking 0430 in the morning and everyone is still wide awake and happy to be there! (picture taken slightly after 0430... it was to dark at that time.)
(A few hours later)
It is moments like this when I always think I am not dressed warm enough... "Dress to Egress" Oiy!
As much fun as it is being the only American in the sky with these guys... sometimes it is most excellent to have some American made Zeus to rain down incase things go to shit. Yesterday these guys were probably disappointed that they didn't get to kill anyone, but I was still happy to have them along!
Quote of the day..."Two, what are you doing here you should be on the ground by now!" said as I looked out the window as we turned to final for our LZ. I looked down and saw the shadow of two helicopters where there should only have been one. Never a good thing. -2 and -3 were supposed to land at a different LZ than us. Unfortunately we were getting electronically jammed so -2 didn't hear my "break out" command. Normally jamming isn't a big problem because we can burn through it in close formation, but the flight engineer on -2 didn't like listening to the fuzz so he turned down the volume on the radio... thus the pilot didn't hear. We went around out of that approach. -2 eventually fixed their radio and asked if they should land. Man, we did not sound cool on the radio... and in front of the gun ships too. Very embarassing. Luckily good formation discipline ruled the day and without orders he stayed right on my wing. Better there than just randomly flying around the AOR!
Finally I was able to break them out. -2 landed into the second largest dust ball I have ever seen. It was probably ten stories high and covered 5 acres. Fuck that shit! I didn't hear their on the ground call so I was almost positive they were a smoking hole in the center of that giant opaque brown turd! I was considering what to do when they finally called in. Thank god! We made our approach into our LZ... and everything was fairly uneventful after that.
On the way home, we passed the lead to the Apaches. They are the more power limited aircraft, so if they can do it, we all can do it. They also have a much better navigation system... so they just pushed the magic "Direct, Direct" button and turn the nasty task of navigation through the wilds of Afghanistan into a site seeing trip through some lovely snow capped mountains.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Today, my friend for the past seven months has left for home. She was here for over 20 months in Kabul. Congratulations on everything. "Educate the women... hmm... why you would do this?" -Beatles (Czech gunship pilot) Drink a Natural Light for me because I know you won't have a Guiness.
Now, without the soothing and mentally regulating effects of having women around I plan to fall completely off the deep end. Heres to exploring my own insanity! (Kodjo, thanks for sending "Villa Incognito." It is a good start in that direction!)
In other absurd news:
My pilots have been drunk dialing me all day to wish me a happy Eid. (Eid- imagine a muslim version of Christmas and Thanksgiving.)