Friday, September 28, 2007

And then there were three...

Horne goes on leave Monday. At which point there will be 3 mortar section members in-country, which is just enough to man a truck. We'll be pretty busy from that point on, since by the time Anderson returns, White should be leaving, and we'll stay at 3 personnel.

My leave is only 33 days away now.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Don't we all love visits by General officers?

Yesterday, we had a Brigadier General, and a Major General, come to our little outpost. They were here to participate in the CIB pinning ceremony for the soldiers involved in the contact back in late May. As with every military, no matter where you are, there is a lot of busy work involved in having a general officer around. Everything has to be cleaned, all the cigarette butts have to be picked up, barracks have to be swept even if the next dust storm will put them right back the way they were. Even if it's the MIDDLE of a dust storm (which it wasn't).

Anyway, we sent a huge detachment of trucks over to pick up the generals, who, of course, were late. Not just 15 minutes, but an entire hour and 20 minutes late. Then, we drove them back, had our little ceremony, had lunch with them, and drove them to FOB Scorpion, where they looked around for another hour or so. Then we took them back to KAF, and were rid of them.

The food wasn't bad, so I guess it was worth having them around. And allegedly we will get a day off tomorrow to make up for all the busywork over the last two weeks getting ready, so at least SOME benefit may come of having them around. Oh, plus the state newspaper was here and took some pictures, so some of the guys will be famous, at least locally.

34 more days until my leave. Not going to count out the hours, not yet. But soon...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Another Busy Week

Since Sgt. Arflin left, we have been short-handed. In order to man a gun truck, we need 3 personnel - a driver, a gunner, and a truck commander. Without Sgt. Arflin, we only have 5 people.

This has led to Sgt. Knight pulling extra duty, or double-duty, as SOG and then going on missions, within hours of each other. Horne has been promoted to Section Leader and is taking over the task of being Truck Commander (TC), but we're still short a gunner.

And now, Anderson leaves tomorrow to go home on leave for 15 days. To be honest, he'll probably be gone for 4 weeks. Goloyugo just got back, and he left late in August. So, with Anderson leaving, we're down to 4 people, one of whom has to pull SOG duty. Horne leaves in another week, and then I'm not sure WHAT we'll do. Possibly guard duty AND mission rotation? Maybe just missions? We'll see...

I can't even remember now if I was on missions last week. I remember we had a mission Monday to Qalat, and I think on Saturday we went to FOB Wilson and then to an ANA checkpoint near Sperwhen Ghar, but I just don't remember anymore. The days all run together now. Today we had a run to FOB Scorpion, then to An Kopf, and back, which took a few hours.

Oh, yes! Yesterday I achieved three out of five weightlifting goals! My body weight, abs exercises, and bicep goals were all achieved last night. My bench press is the one remaining achievable goal that I haven't yet accomplished!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Busy week

It's been a busy week. Two missions, one a two-day run, and a bunch of work on the vehicle has made for not much time on the internet.

That, plus the fact that the internet has been slow as a 1 legged dog lately, has meant that I'm behind on emails, behind in EverQuest, and behind on my Blog. But I do have a MySpace page now, if you care.

Might have another mission still this week. And my bunkmate, Anderson, is supposed to go on leave early next week, so I'll probably be spending more time on missions and less time on guard duty. Which has its ups and downs, of course.

Anyway, the weather is DEFINITELY cooling off, and the sun goes down MUCH earlier now. I keep looking at my yahoo client and seeing that the temperature back home is in the low 70's/high 60's, and cloudy. And here it is sunny and cool in the 80's. It's going to be such an adjustment being back home.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mission to Sperwhen Ghar

We went on a mission to an ANA checkpoint near Sperwhen Ghar yesterday. We left in the afternoon, escorting numerous ANA vehicles. They are not very good drivers, and it was stop and go, and constant slinky formation all the way there. We would speed up to 45mph, and then abruptly slow down to 15mph.

We were at the location for about 2 hours. This was the place surrounded by marijuana fields. The odor was quite distinctive, and it lingered in the vehicle for several hours even after we got back.

The Op-order had indicated that contact was EXPECTED, not merely likely, but, as usual, nothing happened. The way back was uneventful, although I had to pay a LOT more attention to my driving in order to maintain proper intervals in the dark.

Today, I learned from the 1st Sgt that we will be getting commercial internet as soon as 50 people sign up for the service. From what I can tell it will be a good service, worth having. It might even give me better ping inside EverQuest.

Back in late June, I set 5 goals for myself for my weightlifting by November. I'm getting close now to achieving 3 out of 5 of those goals. One of them was simply to remain below a certain weight, so it's been quite easy, and the last one was completely unreasonable (although I didn't realize it at the time), so I definitely will NOT be able to achieve it. 4 out of 5 is pretty good, especially when the 5th is practically impossible to achieve.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Leave is coming soon...

My 2 week leave is coming up in less than 50 days.

In addition, Anderson busted up his pinky finger, and has been on guard duty with me all this week (so far). Ramadan has started and as a result, ECP duty is not as hectic as it used to be.

Everquest has been working rather well, ping times often under 1000, so it's imminently playable. As a result, I've spent almost all my time asleep, on duty or missions, or playing Everquest. Yay Everquest!

I missed an opportunity to be in on a meeting with the contractor who is going to provide us with internet access. I have a feeling it's not going to be that good, and still going to be expensive.

I recently read Hell's Faire, by John Ringo, which was part of a series he wrote back in the late 90's. It was enjoyable, definitely written for military personnel. I've also read the story of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in WWII, and a book about changing missionary work in the world, called Revolution in World Missions.

My black gloves have worn a hole in the fingertips of two fingers, so I am in need of more gloves. I hope I can get some tan cotton work gloves, kind of like gardening gloves, and also get a pair of leather work gloves like I used to have. One for the summer, when it's hot (like now) and one for in the winter.

We haven't been rocketed in a while, and from what I can tell there hasn't been much other activity. Looks like things are settling down.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Another Rocket attack on KAF

KAF got rocketed last night.

Which is only noteworthy because I was in the shower. I ended up spending 10 minutes standing in a bunker, waiting for the all clear, wearing only a towel and some shower shoes.

We also had a day at the range yesterday. I was able to hit man-sized targets at 50, 75, 100, and 150m with my 9mm pistol. Not as well as with the M4, but still, I'm just as dangerous now with a pistol as I ever was, which is good for me to know.

The 1st Sgt. says that the commercial internet thing is now up in the air, so we might go back to the satellite solution. I just hope we get something that is faster and more consistent. That's ALL I ask.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Another Trip to Qalat

We had a mission to FOB Apache today. We passed 10 burned out trucks that had been part of an ANA convoy from up north. They had been attacked yesterday evening by the Taliban and had been blown up. They evidently had been hit by multiple RPGs, because there were still some fires burning.

Also, we just had our internet reconnected. Funny story about that, but I won't relate it here. /grin Hopefully shortly we'll have commercial internet access at higher speeds than what we have available.