Jun 7, 2011 - USACE Flag presentation by the Commander
I got delayed by a day. Pls pray for those I leave behind. Had an emotional and gut wrenching experience flying from BIAP to Kuwait. We landed at Kuwait international en route to Ali Al-Salem. Caskets of two fallen soldiers were transferred from our plane to a waiting truck. We all rendrered honors as the caskets were transferred. It was painful and saddening to watch the caskets being moved. Five of our soldiers were killed a couple of days ago at FOB Loyalty in Baghdad by rocket attacks.Jump to full entry
May 29, 2011 - GRD Maaslama (Farewell) 10K Run
This was the US Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region District, the Command I work for, farewell run. As we start the drawdown we will collapse into an Area Office operating out of the IZ. This is the first time I ran 6.2 miles since I graduated from OCS in June 1990. Did it in 54 minutes; mentally feels good, physically, don't ask.Jump to full entry
Mar 7, 2008 - SSgt Frost's Memorial Service
Below is the official press release on our Fallen Warrior (first from MNSTC-I since I got here 6 months ago). Air Force Staff Sgt Christopher Frost died doing exactly what he was trained to do, reporting on the establishment and Training of a Capable Iraqi Air Force. He personally volunteered for the mission, understood the dangers associated with all missions here in the combat zone, and fearlessly did his job. Each of us owe him and his family a debt of gratitude for the professionalism and pride he brought to the PAO Section, MNSTC-I,...Jump to full entry
Feb 3, 2008 - Super Bowl ... in Saddam's Movie Theatre!!
Thought this was a sureal moment. . In the picture you see LCDR Dan Rochford (another EDO, and actually the 'other' OIC of SPF ... sorry Dan! Grin!) and I in Saddam Hussein's personal movie theater watching the Superbowl at "0'dark hundred" in the Palace. Was pretty neat! . Although we did not get to see all the cool Superbowl commercials, it was an amazing experience. Just hoping NEXT Superbowl I will be somewhere closer to home ... . God bless, SteveJump to full entry
Jan 19, 2008 - Fun's Over ... Back to Baghdad (only took 21 hours!)
Once again, a fun little travel experience! (grin!) . So there we were, taking off from Qatar to fly back up to Baghdad. The C-130 thundered down the runway (helmet, IBA, glasses, ear plugs and all) and we flew for about 45 minutes, and then we started to feel our descent ... and 5 minutes later we were on the ground, rolling to a stop! Wow! That was quick ... actually much quicker then the C-17 that took us down to Qatar ... . ... wait a minute ... . That control tower looks really familiar ... and that guys standing at the back of the...Jump to full entry
Jan 8, 2008 - Going to Diyala
One of the exciting (!) points about working with the ISOF, is that their bases are being constructed at all the 'hot' spots around the country. Although this will be good once the bases are finished to have areas being closely monitored by the Spec Op bubbas, GETTING those bases built has it's own set of challenges. . The site we are getting ready to build in Diyala is fairly close to Ba'quba. This is the "Fallujah of the East" when it comes to insurgents and rebel militias, although out west it has certainly calmed down considerably!...Jump to full entry
Dec 25, 2007 - Merry Christmas!
Over THREE MONTHS! So, I'm a bit over a fourth of the way done. . Have recieved SO many boxes and cards and great stuff from everyone! Wanted to really thank those that sent the Christmas trees! Everyone here was really amazed at how many people back home were sending along decorations, gifts and even Christmas stockings to give to them (stockings were put together from my kids school!! Thanks guys!) . I also want to thank the Cape Canaveral guys (both the Lockheed Martin folks and SPFC)!!The Thanksgiving DVD I received was truly amazing,...Jump to full entry
Nov 29, 2007 - Back to Baghdad (getting colder!!)
Finally made it back to the IZ. Another airframe got logged on my list, the British Puma helicopter. A bit smaller than the Merlin, but certainly fun to ride. . A bit over two months down ... still seems like a long haul left to go. Thanks again for all the prayers, cards and well-wishes. The trips around the country certainly make the days go by faster, but November (and I am fearful December as well) has seemed to start to crawl ... think it is just being over here away from family during these holiday seasons. . GOD bless, and please...Jump to full entry
Nov 22, 2007 - Happy Thanksgiving!
Phoenix Base had a really good spread they put on for Thanksgiving. Prime Rib and Ham, lots of different types of food, and they certainly had decorated the whole DFAC really well. Although most of us are trying to forget that we will not actually be with family this holiday season, it did put a lot of us in a bit of a better mood. . I would like to take this opportunity to be thankful, and to send ALL my best wishes to those out there reading this journal. So many of you have been so supportive of my family back home, of me over here by...Jump to full entry
Nov 21, 2007 - Back to Baghdad (with a slight detour!)
On the way back from Al Asad, we made back as far as Balad before the weather turned sour. High winds were kicking up dust and the Blackhawks that were starting to fly (like the one we actually were able to get on!) had to turn around about a third of the way there because of reduced visability. . So we waited ... . ... and waited ... . ... and RIGHT before the helo air flight schedulers pulled us back into the terminal and told us to come back in the morning, the very resourceful guys I was with, talked our little group's way onto a...Jump to full entry
Nov 16, 2007 - Back to Baghdad (with the Aussies)
Flying back up to Baghdad was pretty uneventful until we got back to BIAP (Baghdad International Airport) and tried to get only the Blackhawk flight back over to the IZ. Our scheduled flight was going to be leaving at 2230 (10:30pm for all you non-military folks! Grin!), but of course we were trying to find an earlier flight back than waiting a couple hours with nothing to do but look at each other (we were a pretty sight, either!) ... The trouble came when one of the guys I was with (our Aussie guide while in Tallil) talked the folks at...Jump to full entry
Nov 11, 2007 - FINALLY ... another Entry! (grin!) ... 2 MONTHS DOWN!
First, let me thank everyone with being so patient and understanding of my lack of comms over the last couple weeks (month or two?) ... although time has flown by, it certainly has been because of learning so much and actually getting to go out and start seeing first hand some of the things we are doing, building, and fixing. . The last couple weeks I have been able to learn all about the right (and wrong!) way of buckling myself into Blackhawk helicopters, the waiting time for a C-130 is somewhere between "15 minutes ago" and "sometime in...Jump to full entry