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Iraq - My Latest Pics, Stories And Shananigans  
User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2280 times:

So it's been like over a month since I posted on A.net. Last time I posted, I was down in Qatar for a little R&R. I gotta say... that country is really awesome. Maybe it's because I've been living in Iraq for so long, but I really enjoyed Qatar. It was awesome to just walk around in civilian clothing all day, go out to restaurants, go swimming and drink beer!!! I wasn't all that mad to come back to Iraq, though. Many of you might remember I was separated from my mother unit and attached to a national guard unit new to Iraq. After I got back from Qatar, I was able to rejoin my home unit and start working with them again.

The national guard unit I was with was pretty chewed up when they first got in country, but they turned out to be pretty descent by the end. The people turned out to be pretty cool, as well. (Well... as cool as any west coaster can be!!! Everything is always "cool" and "oh that's chill.")

In the helicopter world, I had my first significant EP (emergency procedure). It was my last mission with the guard unit before I rotated back in to my home unit. I was on a QRF (quick reaction force) mission, I was 2nd seat flying with a CPT, it was at night and we were using NODs. We just dropped some grunts off in a courtyard, I was off the controls, and as we were extracting from the LZ, when the cockpit went crazy with caution lights and the loud audio warning horn. Almost all of our number two engine instrument indications cut out, the #2 eng out[/b] caution light appeared accompanied by the eng out audio horn. The CPT, who is at the controls, immediately calls outs "We've got a #2 engine failure." and he proceeds to launch into the EP for single engine failure. And I hesitated for a moment, looked at the gauges and realized it wasn't an engine failure, but an alternator failure. The engine alternator does many things, including supplying power to the ECU (they're still flying the old alpha models). The ECU gives us cockpit signals regarding engine functions. And when the alternator quits, the lack of signals makes it think the engine died. But if you stop for a second and read what the other instruments are telling you... you'll see that the engine is actually running just fine, you're just not getting any instrument signals and a few other problems which lead into increasing RPM%R. (whole other EP). So yeah.... that was my big lesson: stop, think, troubleshoot the problem. As a CW4 told me later that night: [i]"A superior pilot is one who stays out of trouble by using superior judgment to avoid situations which might require the use of superior skill."

In other news: it's bloody hot. I'm talking 120-130 every day. The skin of the aircraft is so hot you cannot touch it with bare hands, or you will burn yourself. Sitting in the the cockpit prior to engine start is so hot, it's hard to breathe. And the water we carry with us heats up to the air temperature. It's like being in a hot shower, and trying to drink that water.

I went to my first USO show. 6 months and I had never been to any kind of Army sponsored function - I even missed the guy who plays the "Stewie" character on MadTv. I guess he did the "Persian Tow-Truck Guy" and it was a huge success. Anyway - the one I went to had a few country music singers and a comic.

And lastly - I was injured. I suppose I could be like "Oh yeah I was in a pitched battle and I barely came away with my life." But the truth is, all that happened was a mortar tore open a wall of a building I was in. No gun battles, no fixed bayonets... just a random mortar. Funny thing is... they brought me to the hospital and while any soldier is in treatment, they let you call home. And not being one to pass up a free chance to talk to the folks and the wife, I took them up on it. So I talked to the wife first, and didn't mention I was hurt or in a hospital and the conversation went well. Next was the the folks: so I am talking to my mom and she overhears the intercom in the background - and asks me what that was, and I let it slip out, [i]"Oh just the hospital intercom." Yeah the cat was out of the bag and she just about completely lost it. All I got were a few stitches and bruises, and she was crying like I just lost my legs or something. And then of course, my wife found out. So it was a HUGE thing for something so little.

Anyway enough of my boring ramblings, here's the good stuff: pictures.

44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2280 times:

These are very famous ruins in... ummm... Babylon or Ur. I can't remember.. But we're talking the dawn of civilization! isn't that incredible!?


Another famous landmark, and forgive me, but I forget if that is Ur or Babylon.


This photo shows me reaching for the engine PCL (power lever). It also shows the CDU (central display unit) in the the middle of the panel with the vertical green bars. That was what basically went dead when I had that EP. It's kinda cool to look back and realize when all of that stuff started to go wrong, I just fell back on my training without forethought or panic.
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/109.jpg

My gunner took this picture. It's from the left gunner's window looking forward. Common misconception among people is that large bar in the forefront is NOT a handle for the pilots to use to get into the cockpit. Nope, that is our fox mike (FM) antenna.
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/145.jpg

Relieving some stress:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/177.jpg

Live rounds. Makes it hit home that this isn't a game:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/198.jpg

A guy in my unit - from Mississippi - saw this and said, "God damn! It's hot enough to breed sheep." I STILL don't know what that means!
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/267.jpg

The OH-58D Kiowa. This was my second choice if I didn't get to fly 'hawks. It's a bad ass little helicopter.
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/306.jpg

"If you ain't Cav, you ain't shit." Pfff.... whatever. Air Assault is what separates the men from the boys.
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/347.jpg


User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2271 times:

The Gieco gecko:


This guy ATE the Gieco gecko! (no, not really)
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/425.jpg

I like this photo because it shows the "brownout" conditions that exist. It's basically flying IFR 10ft off the ground. Its nuts.
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/312.jpg

Every once and awhile, the boots on the ground find some nice weapons (for the most part, the insurgents use some pretty crappy guns).
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/329.jpg

We're pilots: we work hard!
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/354.jpg

Last minute checks on the #1 engine. Note the "disco ball" to the left. Believe it or not, IR guided manpads are a serious threat in Iraq. That thing is a life saver.
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/355.jpg

Tail rotor quadrant: VERY important area.
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/452.jpg

I've got to start a different thread on this: but I got to check out a Polish MI-24 Hind. I learned a lot of cool/interesting things:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/370.jpg

Did I mention I was promoted?!? Big grin


User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2271 times:

Me posing outside one of Saddam's palaces:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/384.jpg

How to interpret you pee:


An actual sign in Qatar:


Finally, some real entertainment arrives:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/427.jpg

Yet another interesting shower sign:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/430.jpg

Spider attack. It freakin' hurts!
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/429.jpg

This young private is learning about a typical gift we give the terrorists. You see... they shoot 5.56mm rounds our way... we shoot this their way. Circle of firepower:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/449.jpg

[Edited 2006-08-01 03:26:30]

User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12242 posts, RR: 35
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2258 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Thanks for the great pics as always. My brother in law is home in Minnesota now on a little vacation. Heading back across on Wednesday though for a while longer.


911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2258 times:

Ok... now for the good stuff. The mortar attack. Three of us were inside a supply building, when the alarm sounded telling us that we were getting incoming. This is VERY common in Iraq, but you still need to follow SOP and go to the concrete shelters. We heard the alarm, grabbed our Kevlar helmets. We weren't moving all that fast when a mortar round hit really close outside. We hesitated to go out and that's when the second round (60mm) hit about 6 feet outside the building. The wall didn't just disintegrate like the photo shows. When it immediately happened just the top part imploded and sent shrapnel flying. I hit the ground (that's how I got the black eye and cut on my nose). I got stitches in my nose, left hand, left thigh and a few other minor cuts and scrapes. The base was hit pretty hard that day by a well coordinated mortar attack.

The building:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/457.jpg

The crater outside the building:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/460.jpg

Another building on the FOB:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/458.jpg

Even a -47 out on the line got hit:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/465.jpg

My hand:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/473.jpg

And because I am not graceful and can't properly hit the deck:


My buddy, also in the building at the time, had this taken out of his shoulder:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq/466.jpg

And I will end on a more positive note:



Hope you all enjoyed!

-UH60


User currently offlineCastleIsland From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2258 times:

Hey, UH. Glad to hear from you. We are all pulling for a positive outcome and a safe return for all of you.

As for:

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
"God damn! It's hot enough to breed sheep." I STILL don't know what that means!

I'm sure the Scotland contingent could help, but I'll be damned if it ever gets that hot in Scotland!

Thanks for the pictures, and stay safe.

John


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12242 posts, RR: 35
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2258 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 2):
Last minute checks on the #1 engine. Note the "disco ball" to the left. Believe it or not, IR guided manpads are a serious threat in Iraq. That thing is a life saver.

How does it work?



911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineIAH777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 0 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2239 times:

Fascinating! At least, for someone not accustomed to war. Thanks for the update.

Oh, and next time, don't land on your face when hitting the deck. I learned that lesson in similar fashion to your experience. Only, without the mortar.


User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2231 times:

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 7):
How does it work?

Without getting too technical or going into classified info... it refracts light in a very intense pattern, that "blinds" the incoming IR missile. Best way to describe it is: Imagine you're in a dimly lit room, running towards an open door. As you approach the door someone steps out and shines a flashlight in your eyes. Chances are you'll run into the wall!

-UH60


User currently offlineDaleaholic From UK - England, joined Oct 2005, 3207 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2231 times:

Thanks for sharing! This gives us an idea of what it's really like to be in Iraq, not how the media portray it!

Thanks!



Religion is an illusion of childhood... Outgrown under proper education.
User currently offlineFumanchewd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2228 times:

Thanks for the pictures. I appreciate them and what you guys are doing.

When do you get your heart?


User currently offlineTouchdown777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2221 times:

Love the shower sign. Great pics, thanks for sharing.

T7


User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2221 times:

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 11):
When do you get your heart?

Can you believe that when I was sitting in the hospital, they told me I could probably get it if I wanted it!!

I've gotten more stitches and bruising from snow boarding!! I told them to give it to someone who actually earned it.

-UH60


User currently offlineFumanchewd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2218 times:

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 13):
I've gotten more stitches and bruising from snow boarding!! I told them to give it to someone who actually earned it.

Whatever you prefer. But in my opinion, you were wounded in combat in a very dangerous situation. Shrapnel could have taken you out. I think that you deserve it.


User currently offlineMDorBust From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2218 times:

Stop with the close calls.

That's an order.

 Smile


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12242 posts, RR: 35
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2207 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 9):
Without getting too technical or going into classified info... it refracts light in a very intense pattern, that "blinds" the incoming IR missile. Best way to describe it is: Imagine you're in a dimly lit room, running towards an open door. As you approach the door someone steps out and shines a flashlight in your eyes. Chances are you'll run into the wall!

Thanks. That's the kind of explanation I was looking for. I probably wouldn't have understood the actual function anyways Big grin



911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineFumanchewd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2207 times:

Quoting Touchdown777 (Reply 12):
Love the shower sign. Great pics, thanks for sharing.



I thought that everyone knows how to spell masturbating. Well, we should since we spend so much of our lives doing it. Wink


User currently offlineWellHung From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2200 times:

Good stuff - nice to see what it's actually like over there. But since you blacked out your face, don't state your full name or any other identifying information, it is clear that you are a fraud.  Wink

User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2195 times:

some videos:

This is what it looks like to be screaming over the Iraqi landscape. Notice at the very beginning of the video, flares are deployed. It is a common misconception that the enemy only fire RPGs at us, when the truth is, they've got an impressive cache of manpads. Scary shit. Anyway, house-top level at a 150kts is an incredible rush! Good I love this job:



Ok, I will let the next video speak for itself:



And before all of you start shaking your heads and joke how stupid they can be... well Americans aren't that much better:



Why do we wear our body armor, boys and girls? Because it works!!!


Interesting note on this video. The soldier who was shot was a field medic. Seconds after this video, these two snipers were spotted and shot. When the Americans came upon the two snipers, they were still alive, and the field medic... who they just shot... gave them life saving medical treatment. THIS is what seperates us from them.


-UH60


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2185 times:

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 1):
"If you ain't Cav, you ain't shit."

 irked 

Look here Junior . . . .

 wink 

I want you to practice 'hitting the deck' ten times a day for the next week until you can do so without causing great bodily harm to yourself . . .

Glad you're ok.

Great photos . . .

Yes the OH-58 IS one bad ass little helo.

Press the Fight, Chief.


User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6088 posts, RR: 29
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2171 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
God damn! It's hot enough to breed sheep." I STILL don't know what that means!

I like that, I might have to start using it. I don't know what it means either. I have a friend that always says "thats how the hog ate the cabbage" An example of how he would use it would be; he just shot up a bunch of old fruit with his M1919 and would say "thats how the hog ate the cabbage!"

I love expressions like that

Great pictures too. My dad has some cool chopper photos he took in Vietnam, your photos reminded me of them, along with the commentery.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offline11Bravo From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1718 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2167 times:

Look son, you're not supposed to catch the God damn shrapenel! That's the kind of dumbass stuff we expect to see from some newbie butter-bar, not a veteran CWO2.  mischievous 

Thanks for the pics, stay safe.

Shot,...Over



WhaleJets Rule!
User currently offlineDrDeke From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 830 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2159 times:

Always glad to hear a report from you. Fascinating stories and photos as usual. Hope you stay safe.

-DrDeke



If you don't want it known, don't say it on a phone.
User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2159 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 20):
I want you to practice 'hitting the deck' ten times a day for the next week until you can do so without causing great bodily harm to yourself . . .

Tell me about it. I can work a helicopter like I can a hot blonde on a friday night at the local bar.... but I can't drop and hit the floor without nearly taking my eye out!

I think it was the whole shock of: "Holy shit the wall is missing!"

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 21):
I have a friend that always says "thats how the hog ate the cabbage"

I love that one. I also like "Damn, it's darker than 3ft up a bull's ass!" and "Christ it's hot, I'm sweatin' like a whore in church."

-UH60


25 Halls120 : Congrats on the promotion, and thanks for the update!
26 Handcuffs : UH, I am from MS and I can't figure that one out. Down in this part of the state we say "It's hotter than a 3 balled tomcat", or my personal favorite
27 Mrmeangenes : Thanks from both of us (my wife was reading over my shoulder) ! And,oh: by the way: thanks on behalf of the far-too-numerous anal apertures at home wh
28 DavestanKSAN : Thanks so much for this post, really amazing what you all are doing over there. Thank you for keeping us safe, your sacrifices are truly humbling. Tha
29 TheSorcerer : Highest temperature ever recorded in Aberdeen is 31 degrees C. Nice pics UH, good luck. Dominic
30 Dougloid : Good work. Stay safe. Pack pow'ful weapons. Practice peace through superior firepower. If you have them by the balls, their hearts and minds will fol
31 AndesSMF : I saw that you hadn't posted for a while and was a little concerned. Goof to see that you are OK. Thank you.
32 Clipperhawaii : That will ALWAYS seperate us from them. Great going UH60 and stay out of further trouble. Thanks for the update.
33 Post contains images Oli80 : Hey UH60, Great post and pics as usual! I too had noticed that you had been absent for a little while. Glad you enjoyed your time in Doha. I suspect i
34 Post contains images YooYoo : Is that +150 F or -80 F ? Thanks for sharing and stay safe
35 Post contains images AGM100 : enough said
36 CO7e7 : hey UH, i'm glad to know you're alright.... Congrats on your promotion buddy. Stay safe. -Zaki
37 Post contains images DL021 : Hey, dude, speaking from personal experience you need to tell them you got scratched right up front and make sure they get over it right away or you'l
38 DeltaGator : Dammit! Didn't we tell you to stay safe over there? Now you go and get bit by a spider and get your hand all stitched up. Come on now! I think that on
39 FlyKev : Glad to hear your ok over there. I think ill stick to my war games on the PC, they seem real enough lol. I enjoyed this latest set of pictures again,
40 MD-90 : Maybe it's meant to show absurdity? One of our family farms is a sheep/cattle farm, and sheep breeding decreases the hotter it becomes, either for in
41 L-188 : Try and stare at a strobe light eyes wide open and you will get the idea. Agreed. Maybe we should get somebody from Scotland or Montana to answer tha
42 Post contains images UH60FtRucker : At the time he corrected himself and agreed with my mal n' al (malfunction analysis) and I adjusted the PCL as necessary to maintain RPM%R and stop t
43 Post contains images BMIFlyer : Ah, UH, good to hear from you again Great pics as always When are you due to return home? Stay Safe man...... Lee
44 Post contains images Klaus : Good to see and hear you're still on deck, if not completely unscathed. I guess you learned your lesson about illusions of "information control" among
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