Monday, January 29, 2007

Three years of blogging part two

It’s been three years today (well in 2 hours) since I started this blog.

I left off part one with our somewhat explosive arrival to Iraq. The helicopter unit I flew with, our main mission was transporting troops and doing CASEVAC which is short hand for casualty evacuation. We were the basic air ambulances, during coverage, we would either be close to the site of the battle or flying around waiting for the call. My job for 90 percent of the time is waiting like a lump in the back for the shit to hit the fan and. It’s not fun ground turning for a couple of hours in a hot helicopter in the middle of the summer, let me tell you. The rules since have changed so I can write all I want about outdated techniques.

My first mission was a milk run, transporting from our base to the “CASH” or Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad. This was about a week after we got there and my first flight in country. We were flying along looking at the sights of the Baghdad night and tracers started flying by the window! We did a bit of banking and turning and continued on. Sheesh! Was this how every flight was going to be?

Up ahead we saw the landing pad (which was really just a parking lot) and as we were pulling in an RPG flew by us and exploded to one side! And suddenly we were sideways doing a sharp flying turn between two tall buildings and then circled around and landed. I had no idea what was going on in the cockpit, I wasn’t on ICS that night. We landed, off loaded our patient and were in the air in under a minute.

The flight back was smooth and I saw my first Iraqi sunrise flying, the air seemed a little sweeter because I was still alive.

All of the flights after that one mixed into one other unless something went wrong, helicopter almost taking off without me, aircraft breaking down in some strange place, having more patients then you have hands, you know those sorts of thing. Most of my groundside time was spent reading, taking pictures, taking care of minor medical needs and blogging.

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