For those who haven't heard it yet, I have arrived in Kuwait safely. Just an update on things that have happened so far with my deployment. This is going to be occasionally vague because I am not going to provide operational details. You can't accidentally give away things you don't know, and even though everything is in the past, that doesn't mean the details won't be the same for someone else in the future.
After boarding a plane at Fort Hood sometime last week, we flew off. After about 20 hours later and stops in Bangor, Maine, and Germany, we arrived in Kuwait around midnight. I slept a little, but it was pretty cramped since the airplane was about 1980s vintage and we all had weapons with us (which don't store in the overhead bins).
After an hour to download all the baggage and load it on trucks, we travelled a few hours (by bus) to the training camp in the desert of Kuwait. We were greeted by an hour of the most terrible in-brief I have ever experienced.
We came out of the brief wondering what would be going on, but at least we knew how much extra "imminent danger" pay and "family separation" pay we would be getting... I guess that is really important for some folks, but since it was the 3rd time we had been given that particular information, I was somewhat irritated.
Anyway, then off to find our tents and download our baggage from the trucks. After laying claim to a cot and getting my baggage stored in the tents, it was about time for breakfast. After breakfast, I grabbed a quick shower and then laid down to sleep. After only an hour, I was awakened by my senior boss who wanted a Division Chief meeting to go over contact details and information he had (since he had been here 5 or 6 days already). *sigh*
Eventually back to sleep, and get up after lunch to start walking around the camp trying to get acclimated. Geez, it was a cool 135 deg F! Not much to do the first couple of days, except work on getting acclimated and watch the thermometer vary from 135 or 148 deg F. Nights are typically 100 - 110, although a couple have gotten down to 90. It is very odd to go out at midnight, and feel a hot breeze in your face. Even more odd get up at 5AM for Physical Training (PT) and still have a hot breeze on your face.
I did some running around camp, completing all the paperwork to get my computer accounts set up. We can get Internet access, but you sign up on the roster and then wait your turn (sometimes an hour or so), and then get 30 minutes of time. It is now working much better to have gotten official computer accounts set up, because I can come into the Ops Center and use the extra computers they have set up for transient units.
We have gotten various bits of training completed, although our time on various ranges won't really begin until tomorrow.
Thing can be kind of funny here. For example, there are no such things as
cold showers. The options are very warm and scalding. The "cold" water sitting
in the tanks, even after it has cooled all night long is still over 100 deg F.
Of course, water is a precious commodity, so showers are very short "combat
showers" consisting of:
- get wet for 15 seconds and turn the water off
- soap up/ lather up/ wash your hair
- turn on the water and rinse for 30-60 seconds
- turn off the water and get out
More adventures in a few days!
Peter / Terafan