Just Another Routine Deployment

28 Sep 11

The daily routine has set in over here and the lack of excitement has translated into a lack of stuff to write home about.  Our schedules have become more firm and I can look forward to about another 100+ days of the 2330-0830 shifts, 3 days on and 3 days off.  Every other week I get to do a tour in the control tower as the Supervisor of Flying, which isn’t so very bad. It’s interesting to see how things operate on the other side of the radio. I get to work that shift at night, and if you’ve never seen a jet with an afterburner take off in the dark, you’ve missed an amazing feat of aviation aesthetics.

Our guys have been flying on all sides of the clock and to all different locales.  OpSec prevents me from talking about that in too much detail, but suffice it to say we’re bringing the beans and bullets to the boys and girls up front; heck we’re bringing the boys and girls up front, and back for that matter. I sit behind a desk and brief them before they leave and listen intently to their tales of high adventure upon their return.

My job mostly consists of creating fodder for more of those endless briefings I wrote about earlier. I’ve said it before and believe it even more strongly now, the Air Force would be severely crippled if we didn’t have PowerPoint.

I spoke with Shannon a couple nights ago and she offered up some loving critiques of my writing since I’ve been gone, the kind only a wife could give. She said the stuff I used to write last time I was deployed was interesting, exciting, and more importantly, witty. I realized that what I was doing over here last time was more interesting, exciting and lent itself nicely to witticism.  She also thought it would be a good idea to have her own contribution to the site by writing on how the other half is living, or I guess in my case, the other three-quarters. While I was whining, wining and dining in St. John’s debating on which would go better with the fresh salmon, an ale or a stout, she was racing home from work to pick up two girls from school, microwave some chicken nuggets and leftovers so she’d have time to clean bathrooms, fold clothes and pack lunches for the next day. While I’m over here setting work out goals, she’s back there trying to figure out when she might sneak in a power walk around the neighborhood, and if cutting the grass really counts as a workout.  She didn’t really want to entertain my offer to switch places though.

Exercise is pretty much a given over here. I’m lucky to be on the night shift for several reasons, not the least of which is the temperature.  During the day it gets up above 100, and the air is thick enough with humidity that it makes it hard to breath.  At night, the temps drop briefly into the 80s and the humidity stays about the same.  Night time is the time to go running and it’s hard enough then.  My longest run to date is 3 miles, and my intent is to get to 20 miles by the time I leave here so that I’ll have a good base for running the Flying Pig in the spring.

Yesterday morning, my good friend Sac and I went out for a run as the sun was coming up at the end of our day, the temperature actually seemed a bit cooler than normal.  We thought we’d do a little exploring before starting out and we walked across the street from our trailer to these huge berms that might be there to stop explosives or prevent tanks from rolling in on us, or they might just be there because they had nowhere else to put all the loose stone from the construction of the base.  I always wanted to know what was back there so we took a walk and saw a little desert fox patrolling around back in the flat area between the front and back berm.  He eyed us up and determined that we weren’t a threat and went about his business.

Then, I think he figured we might have something he wanted so he started walking over to us, like he was gonna bum some spare change or a smoke.  We picked up the pace a little and he did too. Sac grabbed a couple of rocks, which made a lot more sense than me yelling at him to get on outta here.  I’m thinking he probably understood a rock thrown at him more than he did English being yelled at him.  Now he had us trapped in a box canyon so to speak, and Sac just started whining about how he didn’t want to get rabies. I was sure there was another exit out of these berms but it wasn’t readily apparent. We kept on walking sideways with our heads looking back over our shoulders, and that little fox kept on following us. I tossed a rock his way and he casually headed up to the top of the berm where he now had the high ground on us. I wasn’t liking that one bit, but not to worry because apparently he gave up on us and turned around and went back to his business.  We found the next opening in the berm and went for our run. I’m probably going to bring that little guy some food today, he looked awfully hungry.

So we’re off for another run this morning and then I think I’ll do some walking around the base before bed time and get some pictures to post on here. I hope everyone is doing well back home.

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