Thursday, November 05, 2009

So there I was...in Afghanistan...

This is the view from behind our work tent. Actually kinda nice, no? I'd love to be able to take pictures this nice. I've purloined this one from a talented Master Sergeant who sits about 10 feet from me. He's got the requisite eye for photography, IMHO.

It's my "day off" today...all that means is I slept in (0720), am in PTs vs. ABUs and I'll only spend 6-7 hours working, vs. the "normal" 12-15.

But I do enjoy these days. Today will be especially nice! Dad sent me some Acid Deep Dish cigars!! I'll enjoy the first one today...been waiting for the time when I can sit and enjoy without having to worry about being pulled away. At least that's the plan...

Most days go something like this:
~0530-0600 Wake up and perform the daily morning rituals...WITHOUT coffee...
This is a significant issue about being deployed. Full disclosure: I'm an addict. I must have coffee.

The "fix" comes after I arrive at the work tent, a scant 100 feet from the tent I currently call home. As the first cup is being consumed, I review a couple of reports before sending them up the chain and prep myself for my morning meeting with my maintenance unit OICs. I spend about 1/2 hour getting status of aircraft from my OICs, grilling them, prepping them, mentoring them, about how to brief our Colonel. Less is more. Stop talking if he moves on. Listen. Don't formulate your answers to the question until AFTER you've heard the whole thing. Full disclosure isn't always necessary, because the "facts" at 0800 may not be "facts" at all.

We've got 30 minutes to go over 60+ aircraft in 8 different units, of 6 different types. Then the real challenge starts...

At the 0830 meeting our Colonel runs through his slides, anywhere from 100-142, depending on the day...we talk about everything from manning to vehicles, broken aircraft, parts for broken aircraft, scheduled maintenance, how flying went yesterday, what's planned in the future, etc.

This meeting goes anywhere from 20 minutes up to 75 minutes. Thankfully the Wing meeting starts then and it's my turn to brief all aircraft to our Wing commander. That's actually a very short meeting with a lot of "Got it" moments. Fighter pilot talk. "Got it" means "I understand, move on...now..."

So after the Wing meeting I begin my day in earnest. Mop up from the taskers in the 3 meetings prior, find a few minutes to get out onto the flightline and touch some aircraft, grab a bite sometime before the 1600 Production meeting.

Our deputy group commander conducts that meeting and we review strictly maintenance issues. Much shorter meeting. Usually 15-20 minutes.

After that there's lots of paperwork, email and other projects to work on...

I usually skip dinner at the chow hall and eat some stuff from home. Beef jerky, tuna, cashews, almonds, banana chips and often an MRE. I like MREs. Meals-Ready-to-Eat. The Potroast with vegetables is my favorite!

In the mid-late evening I'll try to talk to the family back home and see how their day will go...we're 11.5 hours off...makes for crazy contact times.

Usually head to the tent to read and fall asleep between 2200-2330...and do it all over again!

13 comments:

Bryan T. said...

It sounds as if your day consist of a lot of B.S. with the upper brass! Keep it up little buddy! When do you get to pin on your little gold flower? Major Flower. . . I like it!

AFCAPTBUCK said...

Major Flower...I'm scared. I'll actually pin-on 1 December...and I can't wait...feels like I was BORN a Captain...

Hope you guys are well!!!

Buck said...

feels like I was BORN a Captain...


Heh. I know THAT feeling. I was a SSgt from 1969 - 1976... but it only (heh) took five years to make MSgt. Let's just say I wasn't a "fast burner." ;-)

I made up for it in civilian life, though.

Your day sounds pretty full. Six different AC types? Lemme guess... F-16, F-15, A-10, C-130, and two flavors of helicopters (Blackhawks and Hueys)? I'm assuming the Pred guys are in a separate unit...

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