Posted by: Dude in the Desert | February 14, 2010

14 Feb 10

HAPPY VD to everyone! today we got some work done … we swapped out a transmission on one of the ATVs, put all the other parts and pieces back together and got that bad boy up and running …of course we had to take it for a test spin– runs like a champ…then I worked on the air brake system on one of our MRAPs–seems to be getting some moisture back in the brake chambers causing them to stick…since there is no preventive measure for this, I took off some of the air lines and sprayed some denatured alcohol in there –hopefully the alcohol will circulate around to prevent the moisture from freezing…after that I had a frozen ass–I was sitting under the truck where ice was melting and running down the concrete to my working space…all we have as a “garage” are is a roof about 20 feet high on top of some poles and a concrete pad…so all around the parking area is piles of snow…wet pants in the freezing cold is not a desired condition …then, of course, we had to take the MRAP for a test drive…we found some awesome giant mud puddles to splash around in…we had all 4 wheels spinning like crazy and even got her sideways a couple times…it was kinda scary since I wasn’t driving–I have a hard time trusting other drivers …especially when sliding sideways thru deep mud in a 40,000 lb truck…but it was fun and nobody got hurt and we didn’t damage anything in our path…also, had to get on the little Caspian 125 motorcycle and take that for a spin too –that thing is super scary when hitting 4th gear in loose gravel…and then myself and the civilian mechanic here discovered that someone had removed the front fender–we both got full frontal coverage of mud when cruising thru some small puddles…but, it was worth it…this afternoon around 1700 hrs the clouds rolled in, it got kinda dark and the snow started falling…dammit man, I wish it would just warm up already …I would rather be dripping in sweat than have frozen toes…if I can see my breath it’s too cold for this Southern boy…anyhoo, I got some good Army issued cold weather stuff, so I guess I’ll survive…I am seriously diggin this place …it is so much more relaxed and a lot more user-friendly than being at BAF…I wonder how I can get permanently assigned as a mechanic for these guys–other than joining the Army…oh well, I’ll enjoy it while I can and hope for the next deployment to be the same type of thing …dinner was great– real cordon bleu–actual, real chicken breast sliced and filled with ham and cheese, hand smashed taters, green beans (out of a can, but still good), and some Afghan style rice with spices and small pieces of beef…really good stuff–much better than the chow hall at any big base…after dinner we had a meeting with pretty much everyone here and talked about local threats and actions on attack and all that war stuff…pretty much the same thing you hear at most places in Afghanistan… IEDs, small arms fire, RPG attacks, OPSEC, COMSEC, all that good stuff…this place seems to be about the same as the area I was before…same types of threats– just Taliban and “insurgents” trying to kill anyone not following their beliefs…whatever…nothing new since this shit started 8-9 yrs ago…well, I guess that’s about all for now… love you and miss you all…starting to count down the days…not much longer till I am back in Italy enjoying the pasta and vino and crusiing Black Betty


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