Archive for August, 2009

I’m now in Delta

Author: Jon

After a grueling 9 hour convoy filled with mechanical misfortunes and backed up traffic, we’ve finally made it to our new home: FOB Delta.  Here we’ll be doing construction missions on the base for an undetermined amount of time.

The base is pretty large, it has an airfield, and is planned to be operating for some time to come.  We’ve been here for about 2 weeks (I’m sorry about the delay of this post but the Internet is slower than dial-up and I was finishing my “Day in the Life” post from it).

I don’t have pictures for this post but hopefully will be able to upload some soon.  The chow hall is just as good if not better than the one on VBC as is the gym.  The nicest part of this post is that it’s far away from our “flag pole” or higher headquarters.  Without them looking over our shoulder trying to sharp shoot or second guess every move we make, we are able to work more efficiently and without unnecessary criticism from people who by all accounts have no idea what they’re talking about (not everyone but there are a few).

We live in old iraqi barracks that equate to squad bays with a dozen or so soldiers in each.  It’s not too cramped but privacy is basically non-exsistant.

Other than that, I’m happy to be here doing an actual mission and it’s a whole heck of a lot tamer than my last deployment.  I’d equate it to being deployed to Detroit.  (I hope I don’t offend any Iraqi’s by comparing their country with Detroit)

A Day in the Life.

Author: Jon

Since our time here in VBC (Victory Base Complex) is coming to an end, I figure I’d show you what life was like here on most days.  Have you ever heard the saying, “The army does more by 9:00am than a normal person does all day”?  Yeah, that doesn’t really apply back home on reserve status.  On active duty, however, it’s more like 8:00am.

0600: Wake up (that’s 6:00am for you civilian types), eat a hearty breakfast of pop tarts and head out the door at 0640

A yummy and filling breakfast!

A yummy and filling breakfast!

0645: Check that all the soldiers in my squad have what they need for the day and head to the motor pool.

Heading the the Motor Pool, early in the morning.

Heading the the Motor Pool, early in the morning.

0700: Classes start, they typically run 3-4 hours long with practicle excercises to ensure every soldier knows how to do what was taught.  We also use this time to find out if there is a better way to do the activity.

Getting the litter out of the RG33 as part of a class/learning session.

Getting the litter out of the RG33 as part of a class/learning session.

Me explaining how I plan to put a litter in the RG33.

Me explaining how I plan to put a litter in the RG33.Practicing putting a litter in the back of an RG33. Very tough since the RG wasn't designed to do this in any way.Me in the back of an RG33 after demonstrating how the litter goes in.

1130: Break for lunch, depending on what else needs to be done and it’s priority we’ll break for a few hours to stay out of the hottest part of the day.  Two days ago, it was 114F by 1000 in the morning and I’m fairly sure it was 130F at the hottest.  In any case, it was draining!  You work outside for any amount of time and you’re exhausted within minutes.

1500: Back in the motor pool, if the work isn’t too important.  1300 if it is.  During the afternoon we work on the trucks and equipment, getting them ready for the mission.  Since we started out with 70% of our vehicles inoperable, there is always work in this area.  By now, we have enough vehicles that are able to run without blowing hydraulic fluid across the ground that we can leave for our mission soon.

SPC Runtz getting promoted.  Congrates!
SPC Runtz getting promoted. Congrates!
PMCS on a 5Ton Dump.

PMCS on a 5Ton Dump.LaPlante and Douce by a D7. With them it looks like a D9.

1700: Break for dinner chow.  No cameras are allowed in the DFAC (Dining Facility) for security reasons, but it’s hughe!  And the food is good  to boot.

Time after chow is usually personal time unless there is very important work to do or it was dangerously hot to do it during the day.

Harvey holding up the spray king.

Harvey holding up the spray king.

 SFC Boyd on the Spray King that is loaded on the trailer.

SFC Boyd on the Spray King that is loaded on the trailer.

At the end of the day it’s the usuall “shit, shower and shave”.  But on VBC they decided to put down river rock everywere, which doesn’t compact into a nice hard surface to walk on.  So you’re constantly taking 3 steps to move forward 2 and doubly worse in flip-flops on your way to the shower.  As far as the shower’s go, the army has finally decided to give soldiers individual stalls which is nice, and you don’t even have to turn the hot faucet on to get warm water, because the water stays warm in the tanks from the day’s heat.  Over all, it’s like camping in a trailer.  You have some comforts of home but not enough to be truely comfortable.  The assault rifle on your back everywhere you go is a constant reminder of this.