11 July 2006

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 01 Dec 90

01 DEC 90

160179, 5T2, 1.2, 313, Bean

0230 brief with Shiner, Bean and Mooch. Our mission was a recon team extract about 30 miles north of the field. They were training with the Brits. Full moon, on the goggles. It was a great night to fly, with a bit of a chill in the air. Got close to the LZ and the team signalled us, we grabbed them and took them to their base camp. landed in a tight zone, one of the best missions we've done so far. Two Hueys droping out of the dark sky at 0400 to pick up 10 cold and hungry grunts, and take them back to hot chow and warm bunks.
Landed back at the base at 0500, had some chow and hung around squadron til 1200. Back to Chez Tent for letter writing. Mailed letters and MRE fruitcakes to some family, they're in fo a delicious treat! Took a nap, aka MORP (Marine Officer Rest Period). Evening chow was pretty good. Walked by the movie on the way back to the tent and watched 30 minutes of Full Metal Jacket. I've seen it before, the fist hour is a great representation of Boot Camp silliness, the second hour more Hollywood influence and stereotyping.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 30 Nov 90

30 NOV 90
Worked on letter for tan flight suits. Got it approved by Irish and Spot. Trying to buy some now from a private vendor, as it appears supply will never get any.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 29 Nov 90

29 NOV 90
Squadron on Alert because of upcoming UN Security Council vote. Cancelled training and had crews and aircraft standing by. Got to catch up on some reading, Cardinal of the Kremlin.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 28 Nov 90

28 NOV 90
Sunrise was awesome, hazy with lots of clouds. Actually sprinkled last night. Had a laid back morning at the squadron, did some work, read part of a book. Cup O noodles for lunch and a Dr Peper. Drew up an open purchase request for tan flight suits, then went out to the Aviation Supply ship at Jubail to turn in NVGs for maintenance.
The ship was neat. It was an old ship that the USMC paid for, and converted to carry container full of supply gear. Also a floating repair ship. They can cram everything on board or unload and work at the docks, or leave some gear at the dock and do repairs underway. The section that repairs NVGs is in the Avionis section. I wanted to see how they do the repairs and ask some questions. The Marines working there were great. We also found out that our shop will receive a NVG test set so we can test NVGs before each mission. Normally, we put them on and if we can see, we fly. The best thing that the test set checks for is for alignment. If a tube is out of alignment, the eyes try to compensate and this creates blind spots.
About a week ago I had seen an article in Rotor and Wing on the Coast Guard's NVGs; they used a piece of equipment called an "assessor" before each mission to check gogles before each hop. I wondered if we could get something like that. Turns out we could.
Talked about some other Flight Equipment stuff, then had chow on the mess deck. it was good. As we left, we ogled the nurses going onto the hospital ship Mercy. Interesting how they got to wear civvies and not carry gas masks, only 7 miles away from our camp, where we still carry gas masks to the shower and wear uniforms to the outdoor movie.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 27 Nov 90

27 NOV 90
Semi busy at the squdron. Didn't fly today. We had a reaction drill, sinulated attack on the airfield. Walked around in my flak jacket and helmet all morning, then off to noon chow. Read a book Pillars of the Earth, about England in the 1100s. It was about the church, the state and master builders. It was good but got predictable after a while...bad knight, monk and king triumph over good knight, monk and king, back and forth. It felt good to read and not worry about anything else.
Road Kill got some Godzilla slippers, big monster feet that roar and crash. They cracked everyone up.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 26 Nov 90

26 NOV 90
Slept late, got to the squadron by 0800. We wore the gas masks for 30 minutes to get used to them. They were relatively comfortable (about what you could expect for having your head inside a rubber bag). Trained the rest of the day, had a formation then an AOM. What a fun day. The training was good though, threat update and no shots!

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 25 Nov 90

25 NOV 90
Glad reinforcements are on the way. More folks to sit in the Gulf on boats. Hot, chow, hot water but no phones.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 24 Nov 90

24 NOV 90
Monday now. Slept in Saturday because I was flying late. Came in to squadron around 1000 and planned a NVG nav route with Pickle. We basically were going to go out and build time, which was good, because we can all use the training and experience. We need to work on basic nav and airwork, then move along to the more complicated missions.
Filed the route with the SDO then blasted off into the wild dark yonder. Not much moon tonight, but enough to see. We got about 30 minutes into the hop when I felt a strange vibration in the aircraft. It was a weird flutter throughout the flight controls , and I also thought I heard something too. I guessed that some of the abrasion tape on the tail rotor had loose and decided to land. We landed, shut down and checked it out. Sure enough, that's what it was. Some of the tape had come off and was causing the vibration. We pulled of the remaining tape, turned up, aircraft felt better, so we flew back to base. Tail rotor will have to be retaped and rebalanced now.