First, sorry if this is more appropriate for "Trip Reports" and not "Non-Av."
Second, sorry about all of my spelling/grammar errors in that IM
posted from me. I was writing it on the go, and didn't have time to reread it. My internet time is limited... hell my FREE TIME is very limited! And what time I do get, I spend emailing my wife. But today I've got about 20 minutes, so I will fill in the blanks left by that brief IM
. Also, it seems like we all got cameras over here, so I'll try and share some pictures.
Here is our last view of the Fort Campbell gate as we shipped out:
We flew to Kuwait and went to Camp Doha. Our birds were shipped over on a ship prior to us leaving the states. The trip took roughly 30 days. When we got there, they were ready to prep, assemble and fly. While most of the unit proceeded on to Iraq, we flew our helicopters north into Iraq with destination: Camp Anaconda, Balad.
Here are two pictures of the long, but very interesting flight north:
Camp Doha was incredible and so is Camp Anaconda. A great facility and it has anything we practically need or want. The housing units are clean, air conditioned, and suprisingly spacious. Here is my unit when I first arrived:
We took a flight around the area of operations and we were shown all of the check points, major land marks, hazard areas, etc, etc... Here is the city below us at 130kts:
On a side note** On day 3 we were flying south over Baghdad and we were fired upon by at least* two RPGs. I say "at least" because they say you only see 1/4 of all rounds fired at you. You're flying along - fat, dumb and happy, and you see this white smoke trail snaking up from the ground. And your first thought is one of disbelief. Like, "I can't believe they're shooting at us." And you almost want to explain it away, pretend like it's nothing serious or anything to worry about. All of that in the first second or two. Then the training kicks in and you immediately go into evasive action. A second round was fired - but both were poor shots and far enough away not to pose a serious threat. However, this did not matter and our Apache escorts, who were itching for action, moved in.
The weather is good. Warm, but not insanely hot. The nights get cold as all the heat escapes the sand. The constant overflying helicopters kick up quite a bit of sand and dust. The sand is EVERYWHERE. It gets into your clothes, your aircraft, your food, EVERYTHING.
Have you ever seen so many flying school buses??
Now here is something beautiful. My bird:
Here is me:
Ok, again, time is short. So I need to run. Thanks for all the words of encouragement. I post occassionally with some good pictures. Hope all is well.
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.