UH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3357 times:
Update from Iraq:
The average day consists of either a scheduled flight duty, a "on call" day, or a "down" day. For scheduled days (you can be scheduled for anytime really, we stand ready 24 hours a day. Day or night), I wake up early in the morning and go do PT for an hour or so (either run around the camp, or go to the excellent gym the have here). Report to the flight line when I am scheduled to do so. Daily mission briefing is followed by going out the aircraft, where my crew chief has been prepping the aircraft for quite some time, and prepping for the flight. The flights themselves can be short, or can consist of flying for hours, on top of hours, on top of hours. Missions might be: carrying supplies and personnel around to the various camps/bases/FOBs etc..., QFR, aerial recon, air assault, troop transport, boarder patrol, we typically do not do med-evac missions (those missions are typically handled by the dedicated med-evac units, however we have evac'd wounded personnel when time is critical), and we even did an aerial sniper mission. We also travel around quite a bit. Whether it's to the northern reaches beyond Mosul or south to Najaf. We don't just stick in the "Baghdad" area. One thing you don't get use to is getting shot at. You are a big, black target orbiting around in the sky. When small arms fire hits the fuselage of the aircraft, it makes a distinct noise. A popping noise.
While it's difficult to be far from family and friends, they do everything possible to make it feel like home here. The housing units are comfortable, clean and air conditioned. The food is great. The PT facilities are great. As you can see, we're able to get internet access, tv access, mail, etc... We're far from cut off. Although the work tempo is seriously 10x beyond what you would do back in your unit stateside - the morale is good. Sure, everyone wants to go home, everyone wants to be with their families. But they've also been trained to do a job, and they take pride in their job and their mission - and want to do it right.
Here are some pictures that either I took, my friends took or my crew chiefs took:
Smoke on the horizon:
Yes, we have food vendors:
Auntie Em' Auntie Em! It's a twister! It's a twister!
The streets of Baghdad:
Saddam's palaces are everywhere. I've only seen the inside of two - but they had been converted into HQs for command, so most of the furniture was gone. Nice location though:
The Army is relying more heavily on the Kiowa Warrior than the Apache for close air support. They're all over the place and conducting some kick ass missions:
"What was that?" - Me. "I think we just found the weapons cache. And they're not happy we've joined their party. Take evasive action." - CW3 flying in command, said in a perfectly calm voice as we started to take fire. Ouch:
A "gate guard" is a static display airplane/helicopter/tank/etc... that stands guard at the enterance of US military facilities. Apparently the Iraqis have the same thing:
Like I mentioned earlier, med-evacs are a niche of a specifically training/outfitted unit. They have to get into tight spots sometimes (not my photo):
We flew a mission along the Iranian boarder:
While I am on the subject of Iran... I don't know how much the news reports back home, but they're a major issue over here. When we are shot at, there is an increasing chance that the weapons used by the insurgents are Iranian funded and supplied. Much in the same manner that Hamas is kept alive by Iran, such is the case with the insurgency here in Iraq. Again, I don't know how much filters through, but the religious infighting is also increasing. For the most part, the ones that are instigating the fighting are Iranian supported religious leaders. The boarder is a security risk, and we're attempting to stem the flow of materiel and personnel that flood across it.
The situation is becoming more complicated with the growing threat of an Iranian nuclear weapons arsenal. Again - I wonder if people realize the immensity of this threat. Iran is actively participating in the conflict in Iraq. Iran is using all tools at their disposal to disrupt the rebuilding process. Iran is desperately attempting to undermined the newly democratically elected government. And to make the situation worse, Iran is on the verge of going nuclear. My biggest fear is that the western world will be far more hesitant when it comes to dealing with Iran aggressively, because Iraq has left everyone with a bad taste in their mouth. This is one of those issues that should transcend politics. Surely both sides can agree that Iran is a grave threat, to the Middle East, to Israel, to Europe, to the US... and to allied troops currently serving here in Iraq.
Anyway, just wanted to say hi and share some pics.
Black Hawks are the only way to go: (again not my photo)
Marco From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2000, 4169 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3247 times:
The Insurgents are anti-Shia so as a shia muslim, I highly doubt that
As an Iraqi I can tell you that unfortunately situation is not that simple. There are many insurgnecy groups and militias in Iraq. Not all of them are Sunni. Some are actually Shia groups supported (covertly) by the Iranians. So his explanation just could be possible.
Gunsontheroof From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3516 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3183 times:
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter): Surely both sides can agree that Iran is a grave threat, to the Middle East, to Israel, to Europe, to the US... and to allied troops currently serving here in Iraq.
Or perhaps, the United States and Israel pose a grave threat to Iran, hence their pursuit of nuclear weaponry. Why might Iran be angry/fearful at/of the United States/Israel? Anyone else know the history?
Thanks for the captivating images. Best wishes to you and your men.
Aviationmaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3175 times:
Thanks for the great pictures and keep safe!
Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 12): Or perhaps, the United States and Israel pose a grave threat to Iran, hence their pursuit of nuclear weaponry. Why might Iran be angry/fearful at/of the United States/Israel? Anyone else know the history?
What should Iran be scared of? Scared that their president keeps provoking some western nations with his stupid remarks and is now only a few steps away from getting his ass whipped by them?
The history is that Iran has been calling for the destruction of Israel and the US for the past 30 years or so... and are now on the verge of possesing nuclear weapons, who should be scared now?
Oh and instead of starting another round of pro- and contra-Iranian views, let's just stick to the main topic of this thread
Gary2880 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3150 times:
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter): When small arms fire hits the fuselage of the aircraft, it makes a distinct noise. A popping noise.
i could imagine my bollocks making a run for it if i heard bullets hit me while in a flying gas tank.
Quoting Mir (Reply 7): Any idea what species of lizard that is? I've never seen a lizard that fat before.
bet the lizard has never seen a subway before either the lucky thing...
anyway keep doing your sudokus that you better be doing. keep making me jealous of your blackhawk
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter): This is one of those issues that should transcend politics. Surely both sides can agree that Iran is a grave threat, to the Middle East, to Israel, to Europe, to the US
probably true enough. almost everyone agrees that Iran was and is more of a threat to everyone than Iraq was, but as you hinted at its like the boy who cried wolf.....
767Lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3114 times:
Regardless of what one personally feels about the war, or any war, we have to commend you guys for doing the service you signed up for. I shudder when I think of people who used to escape to Canada to dodge service. Their choice, but the men who stick with it are truly brave. I tell ya, if somehow an army of people started walking down my street attacking my neighborhood, I'd want the brave guys -- men-- there to protect me.
And people forget that a serviceman's job isn't always about actual "warfare" but also supply missions, rescue missions etc (as is the case when there's a natural disaster such as the tsunami.)
AirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2683 posts, RR: 24
Reply 18, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3105 times:
Thankyou very much for the photos! they were very good! Also, its nice to hear an opinion from someone who is actually down there in Iraq, and knows what it is like. Your photos also show things that aren't shown in the news, so it was very interesting indeed.
CaptainGomes From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 6413 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3056 times:
Nothing more to say than has already been included in this thread, but I do want to extent my appreciation for your inside view and fantastic pics! You're doing a great job, and despite many people's opinions, the majority of us are on the side of the soldiers. I hope to see more pics and opinions in the future from you!
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
AGM100 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 5407 posts, RR: 16
Reply 24, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3026 times:
As a lad I wanted to fly Hueys so bad, I wanted to be a Army pilot but ended up just watching them fly over. You are living history ! , and should be proud of what you do. Excelent pictures UH60, my son and I are looking at them together. We are very proud of the US Army and especially Army Air. Give em hell and stay safe.
You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
: Man-O-man! I hope you've got kevlar underwear and an armour seat plate! Something UH-1's didn't have a lot of, if any. Troops sat on their helmets dur
: I was thinking exactly the same! UH60, thanks for the interesting pictures and stay safe! Patrick
: Nice photos. Stay safe and come home soon. It's a Spiny-tailed lizard (Uromastix microlepis) Here's a link to a blog run by a guy who's a wildlife bio
: Thanks for sharing those interesting pics with the rest of us. Take care of yourself.
: Thank you for your post and for the pictures! Let's just hope that the lizard hasn't escaped from the kitchen...! Yes, Iran is and has been among the
30 ME AVN FAN
: First of all, thanks for the interesting pictures. And in regard to this MIG-15, it of course ought to be repaired and restored and become part of a
: Excellent post, thanks for sharing. Respect, and keep safe.
: Only a Subway? That sucks.....Word on the Street is that Kandahar is getting a Tim Hortons.
: UH60 Thanks a lot for sharing the pics. Stay Safe man!!
: Excellent pictures, thanks for posting them. Be safe over there man and come back full of stories and not wounds. -NWA742
: Glad you're doing well. Thanks for the close-up from the warzone. YOWza
: Eh, looks no different than the last time I was there. You see one warzone, you've seen them all. Just be glad you don't have camel spiders invading y