Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Getting Up To Speed

The reason for my prolonged silence is that I arrived at my new command on Monday and have been running hard ever since.  When I get back to my room at night, it's about all I can do to unwind a few minutes before hitting the rack.

My flight from Kuwait to Baghdad was scheduled for the morning after I arrived.  Our show time was 3 a.m. (yes, that's right, the military doesn't follow the same rules as Southwest Airlines).  We put on our IBA (individual body armor, a.k.a. kevlar vests and helmets) two hours later, climbed into the buses, and were taken out to the C130 sitting on the flightline.  Which, of course, wasn't anywhere near ready.  About an hour later the pilots showed up.  Once they finished pre-flighting the plane, we were packed in like sardines and off we went.  When I say "like sardines", I mean it: I couldn't even move my left leg for most of the flight because it was jammed between the legs and feet of the people sitting across from me ... and they couldn't move their feet because they were jammed between me and my immediate neighbors'.  "Personal space" simply does not exist on a C130.  After an hour and a half flight, we touched down at Baghdad International Airport and taxiied over to the military side.  Those of us going to the Corps of Engineers commands were picked up and taken to another facility.  Then a little while later, we were loaded into armored vehicles for the convoy into the International Zone.  The trip went smoothly and quickly.  Soon enough we were parked in front of our new home at the Gulf Region Division.

Since then, it's been a constant run.  I've been briefed and badged and checked-in and signed-up.  I've been learning the ropes in the new job.  I've been taking Melatonin, which helps me get to sleep and stay asleep at night, despite the fact that my body clock is lost in somebody else's time zone.  I've been meeting new people and getting re-acquainted with old friends ("old friends" in Baghdad is anybody you've known over two weeks). 

I have not been able to videochat with my wife since I left Virginia.  I think it's a bandwidth issue, but it's getting annoying.  At least we've been able to text.  I guess I'll have to go get one of those phone cards from the BX.

Weather here is really nice.  It's in the upper 60's or low 70's in the morning, going to around 90 or so in the afternoon ... and since it's so dry, it feels great.  Today it was windy and cloudy, so tomorrow might be a very dusty day.  We'll see.

And that's about enough for now.  I've got more to talk about, but I'm a walking zombie and need my rest.  

1 comment:

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 04/16/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.