Thursday, March 31, 2005

Episode III of El-ahrairah’s Continuing Iraqi Saga: Arrival in the Land of Sand and Terrorists.

Note: Due to problems with his server, ol' El has requested that I post this edition for him.

It’s amazing what a night of rest will do. As luck would have it, the aircrew was able to fix the airplane (if there was a problem at all) and we boarded the plane (a C-17) which took us to Iraq. The inside of the plane is bare like a warehouse and it was full of cargo on pallets down the center, but there were webbed seats facing towards the center along the sides of the plane. We found a seat and were issued ear plugs and given a box lunch. It contained two sandwiches, a soda, a bottle of water, a bag of Fritos, some Oreos, a Dole fruit cup, a Jello cup and an apple. It’s not first class, but I bet I ate more on that flight than I ever had on a commercial airline. We got intoIraq at around midnight Iraqi time. After the formalities of getting our baggage, I was taken to my new home for three months were I tried to get some sleep.

Although I often bad-mouth the Air Farce, there was one incident which made me smile. Apparently, the day that I got to Germany, there was another flight to Iraq which was cancelled due to aircraft problems (what else is new?). On this flight, there was a army colonel and his sergeant-major. They were told not to worry since the Air Farce would take care of them and notify them when their flight was ready. Believing the Air Farce, they went to wait in their hotel rooms. The next day, since they had not been contacted by the Air Farce, the sergeant-major decided to see what was going on. Seeing that there were flights leaving for Iraq with Space-A seats available, he contacted the colonel and they returned in a haste to see why they had not been called by the Air Farce. The colonel went up to the airman behind the Space-A counter and demanded to know why he had not been contacted, etc. The airman tried to explain, but the colonel was not listening. He went on and on about how important he was and how important it was for him to get to Iraq TODAY! Finally, he banged his boarding pass down on the counter and ordered the airman (an E-5) that he had to get him to Iraq NOW! I guess the colonel was used to making soldiers jump when he talked and assumed that an O-6 making demands would have some pull with an Air Farce E-5. The E-5 told him that he was right, but he could not put him on an aircraft with authorization from someone at Scott AFB. Seeing that the E-5 wasn’t crumbling under his presence, he asked who was in charge, thinking that it was some 1st lieutenant that he could bully around. The person in charge was an E-6 who came out and told him the same thing which was essentially, “Okay, I agree with you but I cannot do anything to help you.” Finally, he slunk off, having been put in his place by an E-5. The sergeant-major then started talking to them, trying to see why they were not contacted and again, the E-5/E-6 agreed with everything he said about there needing to be a procedure in case of situations like this, yada, yada, yada, but he wasn’t to blame and he can’t do anything else besides put their names on the Space-A list. I just gave me a warm feeling inside to see an Air Farce E-5 put a colonel in his place.


At 12:04 AM, Blogger Rosemary said...

Hehehe. You are bad. LOL.


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