Posted by: Dude in the Desert | February 12, 2010

12 Feb 10

so, it’s been a while since I wrote …no reason other than me being a slacker … a lot has happened since I wrote last … all the old guys are gone and all the new guys are here … they started changing pretty much everything at the camp …everyone now pulls gate guard or tower guard, me and Joe moved to the main motorpool, actually Joe is gone back to the US–his wife was having complications with her pregnancy, and I am out at a FOB …other things have been slow and boring, as usual…the new guys in the motorpool are pretty cool… the new motor Sgt was talking about living in Germany as a kid –turns out he and I were at the same American high school at the same time …he is a couple years older than me and I don’t really know him, but we both knew the same people …crazy how small the world is when you’re in the military …here’s a good story about one of our AF guys …this cook who thought he was Mr. Toughguy/Badass and talks like he’s the man with the plan goes out to a FOB…he was there for 48 hrs and complained and cried so much they sent him back to BAF …when the new guys came in they brought less people so they needed him to go out to another FOB …well, he gets there and within 48 hrs he goes to the doc with something wrong downstairs …might be an STD, who knows…so, while waiting to catch a flight back to BAF for a full medical check-up he SHOOTS himself in the leg with an M-9 pistol–a weapon he’s not even qualified on and not supposed to be carrying …he was medevac’d to BAF and then to Germany–he is stationed in Germany…so now he has to explain to his wife and home unit why he shot himself with an unauthorized weapon and possibly explain an STD that was contracted in the war zone….pure awesomeness…not saying I’m happy the guy got shot–but come on, that’s funny shit …as for me, after 10 days or so trying to catch flights, waking up at 0-dark-thirty 4 or 5 times to find out the flight is cancelled, diverted, full, etc…I finally got out here …also brought one of the younger guys with me …he has been begging to get out since we got here …so I talked to the boss and got him to come along to help me out for a week or so …the is a civilian mechanic here but he mainly works on the MRAPs, not hummers or ATVs…so, I’ll be out here for 4-6 weeks before I head back to BAF to start packing up to go back to Italy …this guy with me, Ben, got to experience a few new things just in the past couple days …he had never been on a chopper–we flew out here on a chopper…he had never ridden an ATV–today we went cruising around the FOB and played in the snow on ATVs, he never shot any weapon besides the AF issued M-16–today we shot some high-speed automatic rifles, he had never been to, or seen a FOB–now we’re living at one …this place is pretty cool…again, we are on a FOB (Forward Operating Base), but we have our own little camp within the FOB…our vehicle maintenance shop is a wood shack with 3 walls and a roof…more like a large carport really…we can probably fit 2 hummers in there side by side with just enough room to move around them and work…right now there are 2 broken ATVs and everything else is running fine …the guys have had to jump-start the hummers for the past few mornings because it gets down to about 4 degrees at night here …I think we are at about 7500 ft elevation here so it’s much colder than BAF …also, there is still quite a bit of snow on the ground and everything is covered in ice…when we stepped off the chopper and started walking to meet our people, Ben slipped and busted his ass on the ice …it was pitch black and he didn’t realize he was walking on ice…he learned quick…we both have our own rooms in b-huts (wooden shack type buildings), with good heat, and I have free internet in my room–Ben is in a temp room and he’ll only be here for about 10 days or so–no internet where he’s staying…I share a b-hut with a civilian mechanic that is only here temporarily also…as soon as he leaves Ben will move into his room …the internet here is free and actually works a lot better than the $70/month crap I had at BAF…the chow hall here is basically a kitchen and dining room…enough to seat about 10-15 people and one house sized kitchen…there is a regular large chow hall on the main FOB, but we usually just eat here …there is one GI cook and one local cook…that’s enough for us to operate on…the bathrooms are pretty sweet too …there are big heater units pumping hot air 24/7 and it’s all tile, with big shower stalls and real shower curtains, and washers and dryers…overall it’s a pretty sweet set-up for a small camp on a FOB in the middle of nowhere …my first day here -yesterday- we basically just cleaned up the shop and organized all the tools and parts…today (second day here) we had the day off…I guess Friday is kind of a down day…so Ben and I cruised around on the 4-wheelers and toured the FOB…there are a few local vendors that sell everything from cell phones to bootleg dvds to custom made suits…there is also a coffee bar and an Indian restaurant–we ate lunch there today …after lunch we went out to the firing range and got some trigger time …we fired our awesome M-16s and then got to use some cooler weapons …the M-4 full auto with a 10 inch barrel (illegal in 50 states) and the SCAR–it’s basically an M-4 type rifle but shoots 7.62 rounds (bigger bullets) and it’s fully automatic…the guy letting us use thee rifles gave us some good tips and lessons on weapons use in general and some specifics about those weapons …it’s cool for us AF guys that never get to do cool shit like that …so, after firing for a while we cleaned up the guns and chilled out…went to the main chow hall for dinner and got to see how the general public of the FOB lives…I think I like it here at the FOB and will probably enjoy my stay…the plan is to buckle down and hit the books for promotion and hit the gym for my beach body the whole time I’m here …doesn’t seem like there will be an overload of work–but that is my main priority of course…well, love you all and miss you very much…less than 60 days left on this tour … I can’t wait to get back to my own house and Black Betty, but I’ll be OK for a while here at the FOB


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