25 October 2005

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 23 Oct 90

23 OCT 90

Another day in paradise. Our day off yesterday was nice. The flying has slowed down as more units have come in to spread out the tasking, and there is not as much need for recon missions as there was initially. Plus they have more Hummers to drive around, in addition to all the Land Cruisers, Suburbans, Cherokees, and Range Rovers that are popping up over here. Evidently there is a need for "admin" vehicles, for everyone to move around without having to take a Hummer or a tank. But since the vehicles are going out to the forward areas, they sprayed them all over with tan paint. It's funny to see a brand new truck, covered in tan paint, with the paint scraped off of just the windows, headlights and tail lights. Maybe I can get a good deal on one when this is over.
With the ops tempo slowing, everyone wants to slack off a bit. Since my shop was going round the clock when they first got here, they are really tired. We have one guy out on guard duty, and I'm trying to deflect the routine tasks away while they catch up. They'll be spooled up again soon enough, and they're ready. I'm moving around from around 0615 until 1830-1900. Some days I feel like I've accomplished absolutely nothing, sometimes the brain gives itself the day off whether I want it to or not. Other days everything gets done. My Marines are a good bunch and we finally have some other Flight Equipment shops over here to share info and material with. The MAILS Marines are very good, MAILS-16 is ahead of MAILS-39 with the gas masks and Nevis. But everyone is working together.
Had a post-phase Huey today. Preflight, rinsed engines, ground turned. It had a lot of small gripes, but other wise a very solid aircraft. I like flying and testing when it's just me, a crew chief and a camel. We don't go too far from the field, probably around 5 miles, just far enough to get away and get clear of the pattern. Once clear we can start writing down gauge indications, checking performance. My favorite test in when you check the flight control rigging. Sometimes it is just one continuous maneuver. Start out going forward then slowly pivot the helicopter around the transmission. Bring the tail slowly around as you continue straight ahead. Sideways, then backwards, sideways, then pointing straight ahead again. It's a good coordination exercise, and a fun time to be in a helo.
Chow was burgers with gravy and rice, not too bad after being doused with Worcestershire sauce. Had an awesome piece of chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. Wrote a letter in the terminal, where it's cool. Butted in to other people's business for an hour or so. Quote of the day "You can't row the boat without making some waves."
No Iraqui hordes yet, guess the Holy Day invasion rumor was wrong. Guess leaving on the 23rd rumor was wrong also. Guess 45 day ultimatum was false. Still in the same spot, no word on anyone moving anywhere. But we're ready. Been ready in Memphis. Been ready in 323 as part of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force. Not too ready in college. All kinds of times on the MEU. Panama. Manila. Sri Lanka and Burma. Some I missed, some never happened. In some ways this has been no different than sponging up oil in Alaska, snuffing out fires in Yellowstone or chasing drug smugglers around the border. Each situation offered its own unique challenges. We're going to be ready and do our best.

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