Prev | List | Random | Next
You are looking at Iraq, from on high, a birds-eye view (but the bird is a satellite, so you've got a great view...)
Let's zoom in a bit and see what we can see... look - over there...
Coalition forces positively identified a foreign terrorist killed in an operation Tuesday in Musayyib as a senior al-Qaeda in Iraq member. Abu Usama al-Tunisi was in the inner leadership circle of Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq and was a likely successor to him. Al-Tunisi was the military emir of Baghdad’s southern belt and took over the role of emir of foreign terrorists when al-Masri became the overall leader.And there...
Al-Tunisi facilitated foreign terrorists and helped equip them for improvised explosive device attacks, car-bombing campaigns and suicide attacks throughout Baghdad. Foreign terrorists conduct most of the high profile attacks in Iraq. Over 80 percent of the suicide attacks are conducted by foreign terrorists.
During an operation Sept. 25, Coalition forces targeted al-Tunisi and other al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders. Credible intelligence from several previous operations led Coalition forces to the location of a known al-Qaeda in Iraq meeting and supporting aircraft attacked the time sensitive target. Al-Tunisi and two other terrorists were killed during the attack.
Task Force Marne AH-64 Apache helicopters responded to an improvised explosive device strike Sept. 24, killing the four extremist militants responsible.And over there...
A concerned citizens group alerted Coalition Forces to the location of a weapons cache Sept. 25.And there...
The concerned citizens approached Soldiers of Company C, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, who were providing overwatch along a main route, and told them they knew the location of a cache.
Soldiers followed the concerned citizens to the site. The cache consisted of two 60mm mortars, one Chinese rocket-propelled grenade launcher, one 57mm projectile, a Russian PG-7M infantry anti-tank launcher, three Iraqi OG-7 RPG launchers, seven rocket-propelled grenades, three blasting caps, 24 feet of yellow detonation cord, a spool of command wire, 4 ounces of PE-4 bulk explosives, two empty fire extinguishers, one four-foot steel pipe and a blue barrel for storage.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has installed and handed over to Iraqi authorities a compact water treatment plant in Dhi Qar Province in Southern Iraq.Busy, busy days...
The Iraqis "have signed for the facility and it's operational," said Navy Cmdr. Michael Lang, officer in charge of the Adder Area Office of USACE's Gulf Region South district.
Now we begin to zoom a little closer... closer... closer...
There, somewhere near the Iranian border you see something small. Drop in a little closer and you see it's two guys, sitting on a Pelican Case, waiting in the middle of the desert with weapons at the ready and their armor and helmets nearby. (One of them isn't me.) It is hot, and the wind is blowing without cooling, occasionally picking up dust from a few yards away and tossing it at their faces. They aren't easy targets, though. They see it coming, they casually turn their heads and wait for it to pass.
"Want to hear some music?" Asks one.
"You got an mp3 player in here?"
They stand. He flips the latches on the case and opens the lid, rummages for a minute inside, then pulls out the player and hands it to his partner. "You have speakers too, right?"
No answer, just a bit more digging, and out come the speakers. "If this doesn't bring them" he says, "nothing will."
They had been waiting for a helicopter, and had tried various rituals usually guarenteed to bring any awaited conveyence. They had lit cigars. They had gone to the port-a-potty. They had removed their armor.
All had failed.
Going to the trouble of setting up the portable entertainment system was close to their last hope. And sure enough, before the sounds of music even began the sound of distant rotors was heard.
"Well that worked." He put everything away. They quickly donned their armor and helmets and jammed in ear plugs as the now-visible birds circled the pad, kicked up dust, and landed. The gunners hopped out and opened doors for a handful of passengers who disembarked and headed to vehicles waiting on the side of a dirt road and drove off, raising more dust.
Now ready, the two would-be travelers stood and waited for the signal to board. It never came - the gunners hopped back on and the birds lifted off, circled again, and flew away. The noise faded.
Some locations have passenger services at their helipads, with people with radios who can sometimes tell you what's going on. Instead of all that, this one had dust.
One glanced at his watch. "That had to have been our ride. There couldn't be more flights out here today."
They removed their ear plugs. "I said, I guess we'll hear some music after all."
"Wait - I hear rotors." He was right. Two more 60s flew into view. They did touch-and-go's for about 15 minutes, then go'd for good. As the noise faded, the wind gusted again, and dust blew.
They removed their armor and helmets and sat down again on the case, where the iPod remained. "By the way, I want to thank you for bringing your stuff in this case. Standing out here would suck." They drank warm water from clear plastic bottles. "How hot is it?" One asked. "It's only about 105. Funny, that really doesn't feel hot, does it?" "No." And it wasn't bravado - it really didn't feel hot. "Summer ended earlier this week, you know."
In the distance, rotors. They remained seated. The helos appeared as dots, then grew, then landed a few feet away on the pad. "They're going to shut down."
"THEY'RE GOING TO SHUT DOWN. I CAN TELL BY WHERE THEY'VE LANDED. IF THEY WERE JUST GOING TO PICK US UP AND LEAVE THEY WOULD HAVE STOPPED OVER HERE."
The noise of the engines changed, grew quieter. The rotors slowed. They removed their ear plugs again.
"Hey, they're shutting down!"
"Don't worry. They're going to get lunch. (points to watch) It's lunch time. But this one's our ride." The DFAC, however, was a mile walk away.
The crew hopped out. "Hey, I know these guys. I'm going on out there." He wandered out onto the pad, where the crew had begun eating a picnic lunch beside the aircraft. "Gentlemen," he said, "mom says she'd appreciate it if you get junior home safely."
"I don't know man, an awful lot of dust blowing around out here... we can't see sh..."
"Naah, don't worry about it. There wasn't any dust 'til you guys got here and stirred it up." He lied, while the orchestra in his head began playing the theme to Lawrence of Arabia.
To one of the gunners: "How's flying?" The question was supposed to be
about flying conditions on that particular day, but the answer was about what it's like to fly the skies of Iraq every day:
"You know, it's not bad. We fly a lot, and it gets tiring some times. But I've seen things most people never will. The Mother of all Mosques, the crossed swords, the ruins of Babylon..."
He envied him that. Two trips to Iraq, and he'd seen none of them. he'd seen a lot of open desert, but none of the sites.
The crews finished eating, a fuel truck pulled up and fed the helos, and they loaded up and flew away.
Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 10/01/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.
you must have been a big fan of those serial cliff hangers as a boy, G... waiting for the next installment...Posted by Some Soldier's Mom at October 1, 2007 04:09 PM
Flying off when I said to stay put I can understand, but, SMOKING CIGARS? You are on timeout forever! NO SMOKING!Posted by Mom at October 1, 2007 06:15 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(3) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)