Some times the Entourage! duty is an adventure.
One day, a general in charge of a committee somewhere in the bowels of Washington D.C decided to visit out little piece of Iraq. No problem, we’ll meet him whenever and wherever he wants. We would meet him at one of our smaller FOBs and let the general look at a real Iraqi, maybe drink some tea. But, the weather was bad that morning and the meeting was scrubbed.
Until! The Colonel’s schedule maven grabs me and says the meeting is back on and we’re leaving in like five minutes.
GET TO THE CHOPPA!
I throw my 50ish pounds of gear on and run out to the waiting helicopters. A quarter mile jog in full gear is no fun at all. Grab a 45 pound plate the next time you run on a tread mill, you’ll have a great work out or die. Most infantrymen carry more weight longer and further than I do, bless their hearts.
The helicopters zip us out to the base…and no general. Somehow the weather went bad again during our flight. So, we chat with the soldiers and head out to look at a cache site. The terrorist asshats buried explosives and munitions in the floor of a chicken farm. All the bits that go boom were gone by the time we got there, but we looked at the holes in the ground. No chickens were harmed during the course of the operation.
I got a few action photos of the holes and then we got a call from headquarters. The general is waiting for us back in our conference room back at the airport!
GET TO THE CHOPPA!
The only thing that can fluster a full bird colonel is if a general is waiting on him. My boss is shorter than I am, but I think he has bionic legs. He manages to speed walk at an Olympic pace. As such, I stay in eyeshot of him at all times, because if I lose sight of him he’ll warp to a waiting helicopter and I get to spend the night with Iraqis.
We load up the vehicles, race back to the base and run (again) to the helicopter. By this time, the weather was questionable, so the pilots decided to fly entirely too fast and entirely too low. During a normal flight, I look like this:
On the day the pilots flew at warp factor 2 ten feet above the ground:
Giggle! I guess they wanted to stay ahead of the weather, or the general told them to get the colonel to the meeting ASAP.
We made it back and I spent the rest of the day mumbling to myself and glaring at anyone in a flight suit.