17 July 2007

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 03 Jan 91

03 Jan 91

160624, 5T2, 2.1, 260, Peewee

Today I flew with PeeWee, Injun and Stoney in Dash 2. We flew Gen Boomer around to check out some grunt ops. Very simple but time consuming flight. Weather was cloudy, windy and cool, with a few sprinkles here and there. Visibility was 3-4 miles. We had fun, no problems. Ate oreos and had some cherry beverage powder in the LZ while we were waiting. I had a real smooth landing coming in, because the wind blew away our burble as we touched down. The Marines in the LZ tossed out a smoke grenade to show us wind direction. I like landing where the smoke swirls through the rotor wash. Gee, the thrills I get.

Chow was good, yaki soba and shrimp fried rice. Back to tent to yak and play paper boy.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 02 Jan 91

02 Jan 91

Tip of the Spear update: There's now a few thousand ground troops in front of us, the jets can be in and out of Baghdad airspace before we reach the border, there must be something...367 is parked further North than us, everyone got desert cammies before us, and cots before us. Maybe we're the noisiest? But we must remain focused on the mission, just don't know if it's completing MCIs or waging war. Micromanagemnet and the zero-defect mentality reign supreme today, plus boring training classes. Thank goodness someone had the briefing room reserved at 1630, or else we'd still be there.

We're starting a pool to see when Spot is going to keel over, we don't think he sleeps at all or leaves the squadron. He probably wonders how he got stuck here with us?

Highlight of the day was turning in sleeping bag and poncho liner to the laundry. After 4 months it was taking on a life of its own. So it's clean and ready for another 4 months now. Now if the other guys would get theirs cleaned.

Becky and Randy sent me a box, and on the side it said pork sausage. Someone had blacked out pork, which was funny because it was wrapped in Christmas paper. They sent some chips, salsa and an electronic game called Paper Boy. It's great. You get points for breaking non-subscriber's windows, hitting dogs and trash cans with the paper, etc...The paper boy gets creamed by skateboarders, cars and light poles. Just like the real thing.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 01 Jan 91

01 Jan 91

160624, 5T2, 2.5, 260, Perry

New Year 91. Let's hope this one turns out better than last, at least from August on. Flew today, carrying some East Coast and Reserve guys. I was in Dash 2, with our FNG. Diamond was Lead, with the Group CO getting some flight time. We flew north to look at some prospective sites. Still lots of talking/planning and little action. They are getting some areas ready to move too, glad I don't have to do the embark plan. Don't know if we'll move or the new forces coming in will go there. We'll be going North eventually, even if it's "grab an MRE and get going". Going to live in the Kuwait City Hilton sounds good.

While we were waiting at one strip we met the Saudi crew and Scottish Flight Nurse of tan aeromedical service. The plane was a nice Gulfstream. There were some Saudi helos here too. The crew was real nice, they let us get up in the cockpit. They fly VIP when they're not doing medevac. And the nurse was real cute!

Got back to base around 1500 and went to chow. Good steaks tonight, with pork and beans minus the pork. Plus pasta salad and a Pepsi.

15 July 2007

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 31 Dec 90

31 Dec 90

Very boring. Classes all day and into the evening. No mail. Lunch at the burger stand with Tom, Grif and Injun. Not much going on. Some reservists are showing up and we're building more permanent structures. Navy Times from Dec 24 has a picture of our airfield on the cover. I can even see my tent, straight down the road from the tower.

Still cold, but warming a bit. Blue Moon tonight, that's got to mean something.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 30 Dec 90

30 Dec 90

Spent my day off sleeping til 1015, then cleaning up around my rack. Flipped through about ten magazines and went to terminal for about 45 minutes. Had a slice of pizza for lunch, with Mooch. It was a beautiful day today, mid 70s, small breeze. Raised the tent flap for a few hours. Read more magazines. Also, did a Depot level repair on my electric razor. It quit working. I took the case apart, removed the screen, blades, battery cap, batteries, motor, switch and plastic cam. Cleaned all the electrical contacts. The motor wouldn't turn for some reason, so I took it apart and found a contact had come loose at the base of the motor. The thing was so small that I had to use tweezers to put it back in its slot. Made an adjustment to the switch, put it all back together and, voila! It works! Diamond proclaimed me to be a razor electronics genius.

Evening chow sucked, but there was Cokes, M&Ms and Oreos for desert. Listened to some jazz, no good football games, then time for a shower and sleeping bag (with sweats).

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 29 Dec 90

29 Dec 90

160176, 5T2, 2.2, 260, PeeWee

Watched tape of the UT-A&M football game, fingers "Hooked" for the Cotton Bowl now.

Flew with PeeWee, followed Injun and Super Dave around. We flew a reaction course where enemy threats were simulated by guys on the ground flashing mirrors at us and Diamond chasing us in another Huey. It was a great drill, helped us practice crew coordination, tactics, SOPs, comm, control, etc... We aslo did some TERF, vs the 500 feet we've been fling for the last 2 months. It makes a big difference as to what we can see and where we can mask. We need more training like this.

Had some chow, finished filling sandbags. Figured out it helps keep the wind from whistling through the tent. Now if they will just do the same thing for shrapnel.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 28 Dec 90

28 Dec 90

Slept in. I'm tired and Irish is flying late, so I gave myself a meritorious 2 hour break. Came in and had more Christmas presents, surprise.

Ground turned a Huey all day, then off to chow.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 27 Dec 90

27 Dec 90

159204, 5T2, 2.7, 260/370, PeeWee

Got up at 0515 for an 0600 brief. VIP standby, flew down to Bahrain to pick up LtGen Mundy. Got there, got gas and sat near the runway waiting for him for an hour. Meanwhile, one mile away, Bob Hope and Marie Osmond were giving a show. maybe that's where he was? If we'd known he was going to be late we could have seen part of it. The "3 Daves" flew Bob Hope yesterday. They talked to him briefly and may have gotten a picture with him. They said he hopped out and started walking away from the helo while they were trying to shut down real quick and get out to say hi. He walked off a ways, then turned around and walked back towards the helo. The 3 Daves got their cameras out as he walked by them and munbled something like "I'll be right there." He then proceeded back by the tailboom and took a leak on the sand. After he was finished he came back to the group and shook some hands. All of the guys were impressed that he knew where to go for the official "leak check", but then again, he's been riding around on Hueys for 30 years. So that is now their Bob Hope brush with fame story.

Gen Mundy showed up (I don't think he was late, I think we were sent down way early). he was waiting for LtGen Wills to show up, who needed a ride also. Wills is the head aviator in the Corps. So there was a delay and we got to shoot the breeze with Gen Mundy. I asked him how Gen Sullivan was doing and he said "Oh, you know Lancer, he never has a bad day. He's flying Hornets and hoping they need him over here." He said he was boating and having fun on the east coast. He also asked us how the birds were holding up and was glad he could come over and see how they could support us from the FMFLant. He was very nice, and talked with us longer than anyone else has over here. The usually don't have time.

I was tired when we got back and it is cold. Filled some sandbags to warm up after we had to eat outdoors They're improving the chow tents, so they are all pulled down. Hope that doesn't last long. Waaaah! We're damn lucky to have 1) a chow hall and 2) tents to eat the chow in.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 26 Dec 90

26 Dec 90

159204, 5T2, 4.4, 260, PeeWee

Briefed at 0515 to fly backup VIP aircraft for a 3 star (some procurement branch head from DC). Flew around all day with PeeWee. At the FAARP we spotted some boxed rations, so Nemo and Mooch stole some for our lunch. These were the newer meals, packed in a box for 12 people. Our box had trays of lasagna, fruit cocktail, coffee, peanuts, butter, crackers, Tabasco and even foam cups and napkins. All you need is an oven. At our last stop we had a 2 hour wait at a small airport, so we talked the Saudis into letting us use their oven. They even offered us some pita bread and tea. There was a crew lounge with couches and chairs, so we shared a meal. Some guys made "lasagna burritos".

Got back to base, no mail, went to tent, got a shower, crashed.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 25 Dec 90

25 Dec 90

Merry Christmas. Every day is a holiday in the Corps, so of course we got to work today. Opened presents the night before at 0001 Zulu, got some nice gifts from family. Got a balloon animal kit, maybe I can start a new career.

Told the guys to only work off the downing discrepancies and then to write letters and relax. They worked a shorter, 6 hour shift. Wish we didn't have to work, but 1) what else was there to do and 2) never know what the Iraquis would come up with .

Christmas meal was good, though not as good as Turkey Day. Got stuffed and went back to tent early.

Merry Christmas from Sgt Lee, Frosty and Clark.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 24 Dec 90

24 Dec 90

Training day, I didn't fly but some folks tested. Got to go make an anniversary phone call, it was nice of the squadron to set it up. We got a new Flight Equipment Marine, I asked if he wanted to go along and call his family so they would know he arrived safely. He said he would write.

Got to meet "Major Dad" gerald McRaney and Delta Burke a few days ago, and he autographed some pictures. The looked tired and were swamped with fans. I mentioned the Squadron Wive's visit to the set and he remembered it, and told Delta about it. What a nice guy.

Red and Green M&Ms to celebrate Christmas, then me and Gadget drove the little Toyota over to the camp to make a cal. Stood in line for almost 2 hours, but finally got the call out. Then back to Chez Tent to watch for the Fat Man. Hope the Patriots don't shoot him down.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 23 Dec 90

23 Dec 90

Today was a good day. Slept in til 0930, got up and had a lovely breakfast. Came in to work, wrote a letter, mailed it.

There was a Russian AN-124 here last night that brought some Brit gear in, I guess the Brits leased it for a few weeks. I I had thought 4 months ago that I'd be in the Middle East watching Brits unload a Russian cargo plane, I'd have been declared crazy.

Slow day, a little R&R, got a burger at the Christmas Party. Presents were passed out. Families made custom boxer shorts for everyone, which was a big hit. "Santa Spot" handed them out, he was in a good mood.

We also got to fill sandbags today, to beef up the areas around our tents. I don't know who decides how many sandbags will be enough to protect from a missile attack. I'll be on the floor, so a berm about a foot high should be enough. Anyway, enlisted Marines were real happy about their early Christmas sandbag party. Someone's been watching too many war movies.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 22 Dec 90

22 Dec 90

160176, 5T2, 2.8, 313/300, Spot

Slept til 1030, flying goggles tonight. Stopped by MCX to get Cup O Noodles. Also got peanut M&Ms and Dr Pepper. What a great brunch. Spent about 3 hours gathering info for our hop. The mission was great. Fly a recon team to an LZ, and try to evade a British artillery ranging radar. We got help from a Prowler, and also had an RPV relay info to our wingman on whether our LZ was clear or not.

When I saw I was flying with Spot, I thought "crap" for a second, then remembered I've never had a bad hop with him, and I always learn something. And usually better to be flying with him than on his wing, that way you don't get chewed out over the radio. I'm here, wanting to become a better pilot, and he is one of the guys who can help me do that. No one in the squadron has the experience that the has. The things I have issues with are outside the cockpit. He may not realize that he moves at a different speed than everyone else, or uses a different thought process. So how to avoid the wrath of Spot? Be prepared, think ahead.

Got the aircraft preflighted and ready to turn up. Spot hops in and asks me (surprise) to read the checklist. We went out and ran the route during daylight, as a rehearsal, with no Marines on board. That's a requirement and a good idea. Also pilots have to have a minimum of 25 hours to carry pax. I have about 55 now, and Spot has who knows how many. Picked up Recon guys, and ran the team in at 50 feet, on the goggles, evading radar, getting info from RPVs, navving and timing to hit the LZ +- 30 seconds in a 20 year old Huey. Spot asked how everyone's comfort level was during the flight, and the mission went fine. It was challenging, but the planning and crew coordination made it a lot easier. We also had a FLIR and the were using that to look ahead for obstacles. The operator sits in back and relays display info over the intercom. So now I can't complain about flying "combat VIP" all the time, at least for a few days. Used the mike lite, it worked great. I'll have to turn up the heat in supply so they'll buy them for the whole squadron. They'll come in more handy than flight suits, binos, etc...

Spot signed off two syllabus flights for me, Electronic Warfare and Helicopter Night Assault. 3 more flights and I can get my Attack Helicopter Commander checkride. AHC is my next goal, then maybe External Weight IP. The Instrument and Ordnance, to go with the Fam, Terf and FCP that I already have.

Next time we'll do it while coordinating an artillery LZ prep with other attack and transport assets, with a Command and Control radio pack in the back, shooting rockets and carrying an external load, yeah, that's it, with no tail rotor, and Mooooooorgan Fairchild will be my copilot.

After the hop, Shiekeys pizza and a Pepsi for midrats, then hit the rack at 2230.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 21 Dec 90

21 Dec 90

Turned in laundry, cruised in to work. Spent some time organizing, trying to get my OIC stuff together. Talked to Nemo for a bit. Transferred some info to my new green "brain book". My other one had lasted a year and was pretty beat up. I'm going to try and write more things down, so at least I'll have alist of what I've been blowing off. The problem is, where do I write down the memo that reminds me to look at my memo book, or where I left it?

Bugged some folks about flight suits, mike lites, sewing machines and other BS. Pizza for dinner, and a burger for the movie. Watched 15 minutes of "Honey I shrunk the kids". Picked up laundry, it was clean and all accounted for! Read some of Steel Tiger.

Noticed that M&Ms sent through the mail end up tasting like perfume because of all the stuff sprayed on everyone's letters.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 20 Dec 90

20 Dec 90

169179, 5T2, 2.5, 260, PeeWee

Flew and did admin work today. They're bringing in some gear, satellite dish. etc...that looks suspiciously like the parts to a phone center. Lots of civilians around it. Gee, if they get paid by the job and not by the hour, maybe I'll be calling family from here by Christmas.

Heard Gerald McRaney will be coming over, it would be cool if we got to fly him.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 19 Dec 90

19 Dec 90
Aiieeee! I need $79,999,564.99? Some terrorists have abducted Frostee the inflatable snowman! It's so terrible! Next they'll send me a picture of them torturing him with a sunlamp and letting air out little by little. Well, soon they'll learn that crime does pay.

Nothing interesting today, worked on a turnove folder and went to supply to pick up some gear. We got more GPS receivers, and better yet, some external antennas and mounting kits. These kits will allow us to put the things permanently in the aircraft, and the external antennas will give us much better reception. Right now we can only get the satellites that are in front of the aircraft because the receiver sits on the glareshield. With an antenna on top of the bird, it will see everything that's more than a few degrees above the horizon. I like the GPS, hopefully now everyone will get interested in it.

Our current NAV system, the LORAN, uses ground based transmitters. The Iraquis would never try to blow those up, would they? if they did, we'd be back to the map. They can't mess with the GPS. Hmmm?

As Doonesbury says, we don't have a morale problem here, we have an "attitude" problem.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 18 Dec 90

18 Dec 90
Got some mail today, it comes in bunches. A week without, then 10 letters.

Got letters from Paul and Barry, high school buds.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 16 Dec 90

16 Dec 90
Went in to work this morning, primarily to look for mail. Fixed covers on the helos while I was in, several had blown loose. Timing was good, as Spot walked in after Grif and I finished, so no tirades. It felt good to be out on the flight line, in the sun, doing something easy. Walked back to the tent, got a soda and filled out some Christmas cards. The should arrive sometime next year, if I'm lucky. Now I'm all set for Christmas, just waiting for Santa and the elves.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 15 Dec 90

15 Dec 90

159204, 5T2, 2.5, 260, PeeWee

Flew early with PeeWee, briefed at 0445. We took a LASER team down to a range so the Cobras could shoot some LASER guided missiles.

Starting to think we'll be here for a while, maybe they'll start rotating people and I'll go back to 303 to be an instructor. I can dream right? I also dream that the East Coast/5th MEB Marines are really our replacements, and as soon as they get set up and nothing is going on, they'll send us home. Other countries too. I don't think the US will carry this burden all by themselves for an extended period. We're obviously here first because we have the airlift and sealift capability. I don't want to sit here for over a year while the rest of the world sits on its fat ass.
All in all, though, I am really glad that I am not writing this from a foxhole. Things could be much, much worse.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 14 Dec 90

14 Dec 90
It appears Sgt Lee was not selected by the board. Maybe they'll have another one soon and he'll get another shot. He is definitely deserving.

There are WMs here now, so we really are the "tip of the spear".

Listening to reporters and politicians on the radio only has me pissed off. "We are moving dangerously closer to conflict in the Gulf...blah blah blah...give the sanctions time...blah blah blah." What, they didn't think tensions were high and it was dangerous the first two weeks we were here? The President is the guy I have to have the most faith in, at least he's consistent about doing "whatever is necessary" to deter aggression. It's hard to stay sharp and realize that "whatever is necessary" means hurry up and wait. But that is the Marine motto isn't it? Bush couls have pushed one of several buttons in August, so I give him credit for pushing the "hurry up and wait" button vs the nuke or frontal assault button. Let the build up continue.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 13 Dec 90

13 Dec 90
The Group selection board is still meeting. Whoever they select is 99% guaranteed SSgt, as there are only 3 groups. Maybe we'll even send 2 guys?

Haven't flown this week, but keeping up with the paperwork for the past few days has been fun. It was one of the most gratifying things that I have done since I've been here. Regardless of who gets selected, that person has to feel great about being recognized as their Squadron's top NCO. All this stuff brought back memories of how good it felt to be meritoriously promoted to every enlisted rank that I held. My favorite was being a Cpl at 29 Palms. We had a formation after the days flights were over and the Skipper had a surprise for me, my promotion to Sgt. I wasn't expecting to be actually promoted until we returned to El Toro. That was a fun ride back to camp in the 6 ton.

Got a radio, now we'll be able to hear how soon we'll be coming home.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 12 Dec 90

12 Dec 90
Chased Sgt Lee's endorsement around all day and finally got the smooth copy done at 2000. It highlights his military leadership skills and technical expertise. He is filling the top SNCO billet in this field, outside of his primary MOS, and doing a great job. He's filled several SNCO billets, as far back as 1985. He deserves the recognition and promotion.

The WIng gets 4 quotas to SSgt, plus one extra (alternate). The General will probably promote 16 and have one extra "hip pocket" promotion for a deserving Marine. It makes sense. A Wing CG can promote guys to Cpl and Sgt, which is how I got promoted, so why can't a MEF CG promote guys to SSgt and GySgt? I am really impressed with this move on the Marine Corps' part. I hope they do it regularly.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 11 Dec 90

11 Dec 90
Spent all day watching my Marines running around making covers for the guns, engine inlets, blades, plus other stuff. Working on promotion recommendations.

Irish confirmed that Sgt Lee would be our candidate for the promotion board at Group. So I spent all evening reviewing his record book and drawing up a draft of the CO's endorsement.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 10 Dec 90

10 Dec 90
Reading About Face. Good, but no revelations so far.

We had our normal classes on Monday ALL DAMN DAY, and I had a headache by the time it was all said and done.

Good news. The Marine Corps has approved 16 quotas for meritorious promotion to SSgt within I MEF, and 6 to GySgt. Basically Gen Boomer gets to promote some guys and recognize exceptional performers.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 09 Dec 90

09 Dec 90

Where has the year gone? Just yesterday I was gone to Yuma for 5 weeks for Eagle Claw...and 29 Palms for 5 weeks for a CAX...and Whidbey island for 2 weeks...and Saudi for 4 months...hmmm, noticing a trend here. But got some great air-to-air training, TERF Instructor qual and desert training. Might come in handy.

I like watching all of the big planes that go in and out of the airfield. Right now there are 4 C-130s, 2 C-141s and 1 C-5 unloading gear. Plus add in abot 90 helicopters. I esp like the sound of the C-5 at night, when the big turbofans spool up.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 08. Dec 90

08 Dec 90
Spot was in a bad mood today, therefore everyone was else was in a bad mood

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 07 Dec 90

07 Dec 90
Sent out Desert Shield Christmas samplers to family. Each pack contains
1 MRE fruitcake, delicious!
1 bag of sand
1 packet of MRE Holiday punch, yum!
1 tiny bottle of Tabasco (Gold over here)
1 pouch of MRE Christmas cocoa
and a card.

Made some phone calls.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 06 Dec 90

06 Dec 90

160438, 5T2, 0.7, 260, Shiner

Flew with Shiner, short hop.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 05 Dec 90

05 Dec 90

160179, 5T2, 2.5, 260, PeeWee

Today PeeWee and I flew MGen Hopkins around for about an hour. He was grumpy. MGen Hopkins that is.

When we got back, time to bump up the warfighting stance and contribute to the Combined Federal Campaign. I gave some money to MDA and Canine Companions.

Hey, Texas is number 3 in the Nation. Let's hope they "Hook" Miami. How about those Cowboys? That would be a miracle.

Mail call, got M&Ms and a Miller Genuine Draft. Poured it out...or maybe I gave it to Injun, yea, that sounds right. Also got some fudge, a letter, deodorant and foot powder from my father. My sister sent Stanley Jordan and ZZ Top tapes.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 04 Dec 90

04 Dec 90

160624, 5T2, 1.0, 260, Injun

Slept late and rolled into the Ready Room for an 1100 brief. We were scheduled to go out to the hospital ship USS Comfort for Deck Landing Qualifications. Two Hueys, I was the copilot on Dash-2. Injun was the signer, and Egg Fu went along also to get a few bounces. We had to pick up a few patients at the Marine Hospital to transfer out to the ship, so we went to their LZ first. 2 guys were ambulatory, one guy was on a litter. We also took Space out so they could x-ray his finger.
We got to the ship late because there was a delay in the LZ. I flew the first landing aboard, then jumped out with Diamond. We were on a mission to find the ship's store and associated gedunk. Oh, and to look for nurses! Didn't see many nurses, they must have been warned away. The store was out of souvenirs, except for stickers, but they did have peanut M&Ms.
We found a tour guide and went to get a Coke. The ship is a converted oil tanker? The passageways and ladderwells were very wide, clean and well lit, unlike most Navy ships I've been on. There were no kneeknockers that you had to step through, which makes sense as they would be rolling hospital beds around. Everyone was in a good mood and finally found the nurses, who were all winking at me, esp the cute ones. Diamond bought a couple of hats from the crew and it was time to go up to the flight deck to get some more bounces.
As we were getting ready to hotseat, a Navy helo showed up, with the crew claiming to have a mechanical problem where they needed to shut down. All of these ships in the Gulf and the Comfort was where they needed to land and clog the deck? Right! So we gassed up, I hopped in the front, we grabbed Doc and called it a day. I flew all the way back. It was fun to be back on a ship again. I took a few pictures, but the film didn't fully rewind, so some of the roll will be ruined. I'm sure they would have been Pulitzer Prize winners.
Baghdad Betty reports that while we are gone, our wives are dating actors, like Tom Selleck, Tom Cruise and Bart Simpson?! What a hoot! That had us rolling on the floor.

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 03 Dec 90

03 Dec 90
It's been boring here lately, but I guess I like it that way. The alternative probably isn't too nice.

Today was a training day. Most of the classes were stupid, but at least they managed to keep us tied up all day too. We had to hurry through lunch, which consisted of a Cup O Noodles. Good news, no shots.

Sgt Lee got his Navy Achievement Medal today. He really deserved it. It is nice to see someone be recognized and decorated because of their hard work. 3 other Flight Equipment Marines have Commanding General Cert Comms in work, and my last guy will get a NAM eventually for his work with the AR-5 gas masks. And Cpl Chames got a Meritorious Mast for being on guard duty when he first got here, part of the airfield security force. Cpl Samuels ("Bull") is getting a Letter of Appreciation form the Camp Guard he was on for 3 months. There's something about this group, they are really motivating 100 percent of the time. Cpl Chames also got qualified as a Collateral Duty Inspector (CDI), which has him excited because he gets to inspect and sign off work now.
It's hard to be motivated to do trivial things when some lunatic can drive up with a truck bomb at any moment, but also too stressful to spend every moment being paranoid. Problem is, in garrison, everyday someone comes up with more idiotic BS as time fillers. Idle minds, I suppose. I don't see how you can be focused on a warfighting stance while doing MCIs, putting guys on weight control, etc...It's time to focus one or the other.
This may turn out to be the new Korea, Okinawa, Germany or Philippines, where we maintain a full time presence and enforcing sanctions. I do feel better that additional forces are being sent over. We should be letting the sanctions work while keeping enough forces here to deter the Iraqui threat. To me, that makes sense. At least Saudi and Kuwait are contributing financially, vs the countries that have taken US money over the years. Too bad there will always be a world market for Middle East oil, I would hope that someday there will be alternatives. Right now too much money and power is controlled by folks who are bent on evil deeds, and are more than willing to use evil means to maintain that control. Meanwhile, 4-6 months to see if sanctions work. A drop in the bucket of time. It took 4-5 years to get Europe back from Hitler, and 40 to get the rest of the Warsaw Pact. And that was right in the middle of everyone's back yard. Maybe Russia will turn up some heat, although their agreement on sanctions is certainly enough at this moment. It would be nice if the citizens of Iraq realized the need for change and took matters into their own control.
One guy wrote us "Don't do nothing dumb". Excellent advice. He also sent a recipe for homemade hooch, which no one has dared to make yet. Maybe later.

14 July 2007

Gunfighter Diary Desert Shield 02 Dec 90

02 Dec 90
Spent most of the day goofing off. A lovely breakfast of eggs, oatmeal, pineapple and juice, I was only somewhat nauseous when I left the chow tent.Back to the tent, read a book for a while, then went to watch the boxing matches. They were fun to watch, everyone seemed to enjoy them. Cpl Sanson boxed and TKO'd his opponent in the first round. Everyone wore headgear, big gloves, etc but they were still wearing each other out. That was the most fun I've seen guys having since I've been here. Wheat and Dutch spent a lot of time training these guys and working with the MWR folks to get a real boxing ring. The matches were mainly USMC vs Seabees, but there were a few USN vs USN bouts too.
Back to the tent and listened to the radio on the "porch" for a while, with Injun, Grif, PeeWee and Road Kill. Dinner was good, beef? stew. Camel, maybe?
The birds are holding up pretty well, the only hold up is parts. We've been flying some TERF routes and using the GPS, which is funny because there is very little terrain here and the GPS constellation is only in view for a few hours a day. The LORAN has been working fine though, plus there's always the good old chart. We have one chart that has absolutely no terrain features, contour lines or anything else depicted on it, just brown dots to depict the featureless, flat sand. We drew a TERF route on it as a joke and posted it on the wall in the Ready Room. We'll never get lost, though, because there is always someone willing to tell you where to go.
Haven't requested any more GPS receivers yet. Government just put up another NAVSTAR last week, so coverage should be improving. Paper said 12 of the proposed 24 have been launched so far, to be complete in 1992.
Had a CH-53E burn up. They had a problem, landed, put out a small fire, but it flared and burnt the helo to the ground. Everyone is OK, no injuries. Talk about snake bite...the same squadron had a taxi mishap and crashed another one. They can't have many left. Only one person injured out of all of these.