So, I wasn’t planning to do another update until after New Zealand. (I got 15 days off about half way through the deployment, I met up with Michael in NZ) But the flight from Forward Operating Base (FOB) Morales Frazier to Bagram Air Field (BAF) was so cool that I just felt I had to write about it.
Let’s start with what was supposed to happen. The original plan was to go out on a convoy to BAF. Then run a mission out of BAF the next day. Then get all my leave stuff ready and leave out from there. Dates got changed; missions were canceled so ended up I needed to take a helicopter flight to get to BAF.
Getting a Helicopter Flight
Almost every night a helicopter flight comes in to our FOB and back to BAF. So my team scheduled me to be on the next available flight. No big deal, right? Well, the first day that we tried to get out the helicopter flight was canceled in the early afternoon. The next day our flight was canceled, 10 minutes before it was supposed to land. That was a major bummer.
The next day there wasn’t a flight scheduled. And going out on Monday was cutting it kind of close. Add to the fact that if the flight was canceled we were in a lot of trouble. It didn’t look good, but then in the afternoon on Sunday we found out a General was coming to our FOB. We could catch a ride on his flight.
We showed up an hour early waiting for the flight to come in and ran over with all our gear and carry ons waiting for the signal to get on the helicopter. The helicopter landed, no signal, no nothing. We didn’t want to miss the flight if it was the one going to Bagram so we just walked forward and yelled, “Are you going to BAF?” with the answer of yes. We jumped on and headed out on our less than 10 minute flight.
I was blown away by how cool it was so cool to see Afghanistan from the sky. Since I had been down on the ground where our flight path went many times so I knew exactly where we were. I saw the road that our PRT built and a bunch of little villages. The dirt walls looked like little sand castles from the sky. And the mountains are amazing to look at from the ground. But the view from the sky is even more amazing. (It was probably one of the coolest things that I remember from the deployment and I was so glad that the previous flights had been canceled).
Now, I’m just trying to relax and forget about work so I can have a great vacation with my hubby. I’m living in a tent and didn’t sleep to well last night because of all the jets flying overhead and the noise road. I think it will be nice to go back to my little FOB when I get back. BAF has about 30,000 people on it. We also have to salute and wear our hats so I am grateful that I am living on a small place that does not require hats or salutes. Good news though, I was able to turn my weapons in. So, now I feel like I am walking around missing something because I always have my 9 mm with me and now it is gone.
Side note: I was worried I would still feel like I was missing something while in NZ, but once out of uniform I forgot all about weapons. Months after being home I would still randomly freak out that I was missing something, but it only happened when I was wearing my uniform