Thom@s
Topic Author
Posts: 11674
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2000 2:03 am

A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Tue Jan 11, 2005 7:14 pm

Right, just thought I'd make a thread for those of you who have served in the military, where you can tell what you did while in the service. Where and how long did you serve, what was your job, was it fun, etc.

I myself spent a year in the Royal Norwegian Air Force. Peace time, so no "action" if you will, but still a great experience. Sept 2003 I began my service in the shape of a 2 month recruit camp/school in Madla, Stavanger. We were taught the basics of military behavior and discipline. The officers tried to be "bitchy" and make our stay a living hell, but we saw right through them, and soon realized they were quite cool people. Rather than punish ignorance and mistakes, they credited a job well done. Nothing works better on motivation.

Early in November we were placed at the base we would serve for the rest of our service. After a disastrous mistake which had me ending up in a warehouse at Bodø Air Force Base under the supply squadron, sorting out coat hangers and counting sleeping bags, I requested a move to the job I had on my mind since day one: Mission support, Operation assistant. And after 2 Weeks of hell at the depot, I got my transfer.

I remained in Bodø and began my job as Operation assistant at the 330 Search and Rescue helicopter squadron. A hangar which contained 3 Sea King helicopters and a view over the airport, terminal, and rwy. My job:

- receive and update weather information.
- receive and distribute any other information of importance to the crew.
- operate the telephone desk.
- logging flight hours for the crew.
- sounding the alarm whenever an emergency call came in.

+ a number of other minor jobs. I also had the chance to listen in on the twr frequency during the day, and therefore knew more or less exactly what was going on. With the hangar located close to the taxi- and runway, there was always a chance to sneak out during the day and take some pics.  Smile

It was the perfect job. Although hectic some times, there was plenty of time to take it easy. Met a lot of new interesting people. My 5 roommates were great guys too. We always found something fun to do.  Smile whether it was going downtown, make short films where we parodied the officers which inspected our room in the morning, or went out for a barbecue in the summer. Good times.

In the summer I made corporal, which I sort of enjoyed. Hehe. Then in August came the day I finished my service. The guys at the helicopter squadron gave me a farewell gift in the shape of a flight in the Sea King. Not that I hadn't flown with them several times before, but this turned out to be a sightseeing / "stunt" flight. I was amazed to find out that a Sea King could move like that.  Smile

So a year after joining the Air Force I took a well deserved vacation and was left with some great experiences and memories. + a few thousand photos... Big grin

(Initiate shameless plug)


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Photo © Thomas Andre Hjelmen
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Photo © Thomas Andre Hjelmen



Now let's hear your story.

Thom@s
"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
 
iakobos
Posts: 3255
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 6:22 pm

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Tue Jan 11, 2005 8:45 pm

Trygg Havet (Guarding the seas)
Formed in April 1941 in Iceland, part of RAF's Coastal Command.
Moved later to Scotland.

Main missions: anti-submarine patrol, convoy escorts.

Interestingly, the only unit in the world that flew the Northrop N3-PB single-engine amphibian. Later replaced by Catalinas and further on by Sunderlands.
 
RJ100
Posts: 3895
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2000 1:37 am

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Tue Jan 11, 2005 8:52 pm

I did a 15-week basic training in the Swiss army as well as a 6-week training to become a subofficer, then spending another 13 week as a corporal in a basic training school (explaining the stuff to the rookies).

I am in an anti-tank unit, driving in the armoured Piranha vehicle which is equipped with the TOW missiles.

Now I need to go into repetition courses every year (1 month every year). We have a special mission this year as we are responsible for the security of foreign institutions in Switzerland (mainly guarding foreign embassies). I'll need to go there in August/September.

Regards,
RJ100
none
 
AzoresLover
Posts: 756
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 4:43 am

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Tue Jan 11, 2005 9:10 pm

US Air Force.

Basic at Lackland AFB TX (who doesn't??)
Tech School at Keesler AFB MS
Then to Norton AFB in San Bernardino CA for 19 months - loved it there!
Then Lajes Field, Azores for nearly 4 years.

Just a paper pusher.

Anyone who is currently stationed at Lajes...I'd love to hear from you, and to compare notes, and find out what the place is like now. Contact me through my profile. I totally enjoyed my 4 years there, as you MAY have guessed by my Username!!
Those who want to do something will find a way; those who don't will find an excuse.
 
OYRJA
Posts: 2577
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:43 am

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Tue Jan 11, 2005 9:11 pm

Now I need to go into repetition courses every year (1 month every year). We have a special mission this year as we are responsible for the security of foreign institutions in Switzerland (mainly guarding foreign embassies). I'll need to go there in August/September.

LMAO!!!! Shit dude! I'm glad I'm not working at those embassies if you have to rescue us..
 
Thom@s
Topic Author
Posts: 11674
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2000 2:03 am

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Tue Jan 11, 2005 9:30 pm

Iakobos, that's pretty much the story of the 330 squadron i worked at...  Smile

Thom@s
"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
 
RJ100
Posts: 3895
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2000 1:37 am

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:20 pm

LOL OYRJA Big grin You should try to break into one of the embassies then  Big grin and see what happens  Big grin

But you know, it's damn boring to stand in front of a house 12 hours a day/night. I will bombard you with SMSs then...

RJ100
none
 
electraBob
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 3:11 am

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Tue Jan 11, 2005 11:30 pm

A long, long time ago for me....

I was drafted....inducted into the US Army May 3, 1968.

Basic training and advanced training....Ft. Knox, Ky.

Radio and signal training....Ft. Gordon, GA.

Served in Vietnam from Dec. 1968 till Dec. 1969....I was a radio operator with a tank battalion (2d battalion, 34th armor, 25th Infantry Division)...did get to go out in the field a few times, but mostly worked in company headquarters at various fire-support bases 30 to 40 miles Northwest of Saigon.

Discharged....December 7, 1969.

Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool.....
 
iakobos
Posts: 3255
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 6:22 pm

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Wed Jan 12, 2005 3:07 am

'71-'72 + 7 extra times, memories of another era...

6 months at armoured troops school, Stockem-Belgium
(first night guard at ammo depot with minus 26C, cool..)
My colleagues chose me as promotion major (aka the punching ball), which resulted in a total 48 days of arrest (every wrongdoing which cannot be attributed to a specific individual falls on the prom major's shoulders)
Thanks guys.

then 17th Recce squadron (armoured reconnaissance unit of 17th armoured brigade), a mixture of medium tanks (Walker Bulldog), recce jeeps (home modified with .50s), and French made APC and 81mm mortar AMX vehicles, based in Arnsberg-Germany (just next to the infamous Mohnesee dams of RAF fame)

Being the only non-pro officer in the unit, my colleagues kindly "obliged" to give me all tasks they did not wish. This led me to missions in Ludenscheid, Arolsen, Spiech, Duren, Hohne (Bergen-Belsen), Neheim, Vogelsang, a 5-day map update trip along the iron curtain, etc...

Made 2 major week-long NATO exercises and another two Div to Div exercises (one against the US 1CavDiv), well over 50 alerts (mostly at night) half of them at NATO level with deployment to combat positions.
I was in charge of firing practice for new recruits (a new batch every 3 months), everything ranging from FAL 7.62 up to 81mm mortar, which, once the newbees had fired their alloted ammo, always ended up with me emptying
alone the remaining ammo, cow boy style, with a guy dedicated to change barrels when it started glowing red.
Temporary mortar instructor at 1st Parachute Regiment (60 and 81mm pieces)
Mortar instructor for foreign officers' missions (mostly Congolese, Rwandese,...a nightmare)
Selected as mortar leader for the first NATO (Eur theatre) demonstration of Atk missiles (wire-guided) night firing (under mortar illumination).

I calculated roughly that I personally fired 600+ mortar bombs, 60-81 and 120mm. (and I am not deaf)

Being a radio freak, I changed the antenna systems of all vehicles, significantly increasing the (normally very poor) communication capabilities inside the platoon. (perfectly unauthorized but endorsed by the squadron CO)

The army was so kind to call me back 7 times (5 to10 days each) after my period, last time in '83.

I went to the army with two books for reading and came back with only one half read.

No spare time, great time.

 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Wed Jan 12, 2005 3:23 am

Iakobos,

So you´ve been in Camp Spich? It is just down the road from where I live!

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
iakobos
Posts: 3255
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 6:22 pm

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Wed Jan 12, 2005 3:27 am

Really Jan ? if don't remember if we had there the 1st Rgt Chasseurs Ardennais or the 2 Rgt de Chasseurs-Cyclistes (bicycle-mounted infantry...)
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Wed Jan 12, 2005 3:46 am

Wow . . . how to compress 24 years into a few lines . . . .

Ft. Knox, KY, 1977: Basic Training

Ft. Hood, Texas, 1977-1979: 2/5 Cav, 1st Cav Div and 1st Brigade, 1st Cav Div

USAREUR, 1979-1984: 1/70th Armor, Wiesbaden and F Trp, 11the ACR

Ft. Knox, KY 1984-1987: Drill Sergeant, 1st Armor Training Brigade, Armor Advanced Course (1986), Armor Master Gunner School (1987)

Korea: 1987-1988: Brigade Master Gunner

Ft. Knox, KY: 1988-1990 Drill Sergeant, Drill Sergeant Academy, First Sergeant School

Desert Storm: 1991, 1st Cav Div

Ft. Richardson, AK 1992-1995: Special Ops

Ft. Bliss, TX, 1995: Sergeants Major Academy

Pentagon, 1996-2001: Special Ops

Sept 30, 2001: Initial Retirement Date, Delayed by events of 9/11

Dec 31, 2001: Actual Retirement Date.

That's it in a nutshell . . . very small nutshell.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
ly7e7
Posts: 2222
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 3:15 am

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Wed Jan 12, 2005 5:22 am

IDF Signal corps.
Sgt. 1st class, res.

I am a software engineer and during the service I dealt with development of field tactical systems for armored, infantry and special forces.

2 things are endless: ignorance and space
 
fraspotter
Posts: 1979
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 8:12 pm

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Wed Jan 12, 2005 5:44 am

US Army Spc.

joined 2.5 years ago and did my basic training at Ft. Hood, TX

I JUST got back from my year deployment 2 weeks ago from bases all around Iraq. Mainly around baghdad. did gunner position on convoys to/from the airport. might have to go back another time next fall.

Anybody else?
"Taking off is optional. It’s landing that’s mandatory."
 
SlamClick
Posts: 9576
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:09 am

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:34 am

US Army, active duty 1965-70.
Aircraft maintenance instructor (Huey) at Fort Rucker Alabama
Fixed-wing pilot training.
1260 hours of combat time in Vietnam - electronic surveillance missions, then flew Helio Courier in Latin America for a couple more years.
Left active duty and got in the National Guard 1970-72.
Helicopter pilot training. Flew rotary for a couple of years.

Also left the service with my driver's license pretty well filled up, Jeep, 3/4, 5/4, deuce-and-a-half, five ton, and tanker, commercial 6x4. Oh, and staff car.

All a very long time ago.

Since then I've taught ATP and FE written test prep to military pilots of every branch, and ATH (helicopter ATP) to Army and Coast Guard pilots.


Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
Venus6971
Posts: 1415
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:55 pm

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Wed Jan 12, 2005 9:34 am

Here goes a short story
1980 Lackland AFB TX Basic training,
1980 Sheppard AFB TX Airlift Bombardment Aircraft Maintenance Specialist School.
1980 Carswell AFB TX, B-52D Crew Chief
1981 Tinker AFB OK, E-3A Crew Chief
1984 RAF Mildenhall Suffolk U.K. RC-135V/W Crew Chief,
1986 Andrews AFB Maryland C-137B/C Crew Chief
1991 Keflavik NAS Iceland E-3B/C Crew Chief
1992 K.I. Sawyer AFB Michigan, Say Ya to da UP eh! KC-135A Crew Chief
1993 Tinker AFB Ok again E-3B/C Crew Chief and alot of other jobs until my retirement Jan 1 2003
I would help you but it is not in the contract
 
gocaps16
Posts: 4138
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2000 9:14 am

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:12 am

June 20, 2002 - Aug. 20, 2002 - Basic Training, Great Lakes, IL.
Aug. 21, 2002 - Oct. 17, 2002 - Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL. NATTC "A" school, Basic Engine Theory and Jet Stand.
Oct. 28, 2002 - Feb, 17, 2003 - NAMTRU "C" Advanced school F110-GE-400, NAS Oceana, VA
Feb. 2003 - current - Naval Air Station Oceana, VA AIMD - F-14 Super Tomcat
May 24, 2004 - Nov. 1, 2004 - USS John C. Stennis Western Pacific Deployment - VF-31 Enlisted Aviation Warefare Specialist qualified.

Kevin

[Edited 2005-01-12 02:17:40]

[Edited 2005-01-12 02:18:58]
 
dl021
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Wed Jan 12, 2005 12:26 pm

OK looking at the old journal and DD214.

1985 Entered DEP with permission of parents (17 at time of enlistment)

Jan1986 Ft. Leonard Wood OSUT Basic and AIT. 12B Combat Engineer

April 1986 Fort Benning Airborne School

May 1986 Assigned Fort Bragg, 82d Airborne Division (307th EN (ABN) )

Jan 1987 Fort Sherman Panama, JOTC

Jun 1987 French Commando School, Montauban France (Permissive TDY to our sister unit the 17e RGP (Regiment du Genie Parachutistes)

Apr 1988 Honduras for Spring Break '88. If you were there you know what I'm talking about. The 82d and the 7th LID each sent a Brigade to reinforce the SF on the scene when the Nicaraguans came over the border.

Jul 1988 RTL at Camp McCall

Sep 1988 Back to Honduras to work as slave labor for an SF B-Team in the Pacific coast corridor between El Salvador and Nicaragua. 6 weeks of area beautification with the Honduran Paracaidistas.

Jun 1989 Retrained as 11B1P (summer at Harmony Church for AIT) and went to a LRS unit in 525th MI.

Aug 1989 LRS School. Ft Benning Now 11B2Q.


Sep 1989 Exchange with the ESR and 2Commando BN Belgian of the Para-Commando Brigade. Great time at Marche les Dames and in the Ardennes. Swam a river naked and went to see Waterloo Battlefield.

Dec 1989 Panama. Did not do anything exciting. Sat in the bush overlooking a crossroads. Met General Powell (along with about 3000 other guys...our junior guy was interviewed by NBC reporter and cameraman and was asked whether he missed being at home over Christmas. He said, and I quote.."Are you kidding me? Its 90 degrees and sunny here, its 35 and drizzling back at Fort Bragg. Plus the women here are beautiful....I live in Fayetteville NC, where fat chicks can be choosy!!!" I am pretty sure that the tape was intercepted by the PAO that came running and screaming.)

1990 out of active duty and into Guard unit while attending college. Lucked out with a LRS unit that had slots for schools.

May 1990 US Army MFF school. Ft. Bragg and Wright Patt AFB

Nov 1990 - August 1991. Volunteered for active duty. Sent to 24thID in 18th Abn Corps. Worked for MI Bn in the LRSD. Ran a few missions.

August 1991 PLDC (got back to my old Guard unit H Co. LRSU and they were all gone to a school I already attended.)

Summer 1992 Requested transfer to IRR from National Guard in order to start a business with a guy from my unit who lived near me. Could not go to school and start the business with Guard obligations. Figured I'd done my duty.

Did spend the afternoon of 9-11 in the parking lot of the recruiter having a discussion with a guy my age who was an E-7. He kindly convinced me that there were plenty of guys with my skills but in better shape and with less history of broken bones and surgeries available. I decided to continue on my course as a good supporter of the economy by earning and spending as much as possible.

Didn't mean for this to turn into a book, but this got me thinking and I made some phone calls. Thanks for the thread, Thomas.

Side note for Thomas....met the 4 star shief of staff of the Norwegian Army once. I drove the humvee that carried him and my BN Cdr out to LaurinbergMaxton Reg Apt for an exercise. He exhibited some interest in the HUMVEE, as we had just gotten them, and I let him drive it. Can't remember the guys name, but he spoke a little English and proved to me that all generals ask the same questions...."Hows the food, where ya from, etc.

All this ends with this. The guys who did their time in a combat zone for a months and years at a time (Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Central America) have done so much more dangerous crap for their country than I did that it embarasses me to speak about the military with guys who don't know the difference. Yeah, we cold warriors did our jobs, and it was important. Some of us even got shot at a few times, but I just feel humbled every time I see a 19 year old kid on an airplane who is just getting back from Afghanistan or Iraq and has been dodging IED's and snipers for the last year.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
gocaps16
Posts: 4138
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2000 9:14 am

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Wed Jan 12, 2005 12:41 pm

When my dad was stationed in Honduras and Pamana with the U.S. Army, he had a blast and wish he could live there....He met soo many great people and a few ocassions we will travel to central or south america to visit.

Kevin
 
iakobos
Posts: 3255
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 6:22 pm

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:22 pm

Ian,

I see you know Namur/Jambes, the Equ. Sp. Renseignement and 2codo green berets, le rocher Bayard, Marche les Dames...and subsquently good beer and food.
Had a chance to go to Bastogne ?
 
DABZF
Posts: 1063
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 10:25 pm

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Thu Jan 13, 2005 2:11 am

I was in the communication forces in the Finnish Army 11 months in '96.

Basically, setting up antennas and creating communication network for the HQ, fighting forces, artillery etc.

We spent so much time in the forests around Finland that I thought I'll become a tree (well, maybe I did actually). Basically after the base was set we had nothing to do! We waited the "cable guys" to bring their cables to hook them up to the network and then we just monitored that the network was up an running. As driver of the base vehicle (either Russian off-terrain "vehicle"(!) or Finnish tracked vehicle) , I also got a full 8 hours sleep every night just in case we had to move the base - not that we ever really had to.

One of the best memories is from when we were put in a same place for two weeks! As we got so bored after few days we dug the whole vehicle in to the ground - the tracked vehicle is about 8 meters long, 2 meter wide and 2.5 meter high. The rather soft sand was easy to dig and it took us about 2 days. Then we fully covered the hole so that you were able to walk over it and not necessarily notice anything. Best part was that when the highest rank in the communication forces came to make a visit to our base they didn't find us - they thought that they were lost first until the guards showed them the way. We got really nice compliments for hiding the base so well and some extra vacation Big grin We also dug and hid our tent very nicely as well as all the cables and the power generator (which makes quite a noise when on)!

I also had a pleasure to be a part of Electronic Warfare team - that was the best part. Jamming and localize radios etc. it's amazing what those things can reveal! Actually back the I got my first spark about aviation by spending a lot of time listening the ATC communication Big grin when we didn't have nothing to do.

For what ever reason they made me a first corporal - for excellent service (no idea where that came from though)!? Most of the men in Finnish army end their service without a rank other than a just a normal soldier.

Great 11 months - great friends!!! Wouldn't go back though  Big thumbs up *hoping they never call me back*
I like driving backwards in the fog cause it doesn't remind me of anything - Chris Cornell
 
dl021
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:26 am

Iakobos....Yes we went for the day to Bastogne while driving the countryside. I was pretty interested, but my big desire was to see Waterloo, Quatre Bras and the farmhouse.

Dabze...I bet you know how cold cold really is. We used to say that cold was a matter of mind over matter, and if you don't mind.... it don't matter. Well, that was before I went to Camp McCoy for a week in the wintertime.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
iakobos
Posts: 3255
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 6:22 pm

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Thu Jan 13, 2005 5:57 am

Waterloo...my former house was exactly at the location of Wellington's 3rd division (Dutch and Belgians under Gen. Chassé), 2.5km W of les Quatre-Bras.

DABZF: I guess that the Finnish army's biggest treat (except in winter) was mosquito attacks, no ? what did you do to repel them ?
 
WrenchBender
Posts: 1662
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 5:59 am

RE: A.net Members In Military, Tell Your Story.

Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:55 am

Joined in '79 basic at CFRS Cornwallis, NS.

Trades Training at CFB Borden, Ont (AirFrame Tech).

Posted to CFB Shearwater, NS in '80 worked on Sea Kings at 406, 423 and 443 Sqn's. Sailed on HMCShips Protecteur, Assiniboine, Ottawa, Iroquois.

Posted to CFB Esquimalt, BC in '87. 443 Sqn West aboard HMCS Huron.

Went Army from '88 to '91 working on Chinook's at CFB Edmonton.

Posted back to Esquimalt in '91 sailed again, HMCShips Provider, Annapolis, Vancouver, Calgary and Protecteur.

Finally after 18 years in the 'Airforce' I was finally posted to an airforce unit (no sailing or camping). 440 Sqn in Yellowknife, NWT. 3 pretty good years in the north, saw some awesome parts of the country.

In 2001 posted to Ottawa where I currently work as an LCMM (Life Cycle Manager) for 2 fleets.

Haven't decided when to call it quits (yet).

WrenchBender
Silly Pilot, Tricks are for kids.......

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