17 October 2008

Kuwaitin' Around

Wow. I'm sure there's a point to the time we're spending here, but what it's really accomplishing is turning us all into nocturnal chain-smokers. This is how the day passes in the Giant Chick Tent:

At night we smoke cigarettes and, wearing our absolutely-no-kidding-required reflective belts, trudge around the camp to the 24-hour coffee places. During the day...well, there's a lot of napping.

15 October 2008

Not a bad morning

I finally woke up rested. So I made my way to the shower, where I have to admit I took more than the allowed 5 minutes. I hand washed some underclothes, since the laundry turn-in process here is rumored to be cumbersome.

I got back to the tent, and it was New Uniform Day, which is always awesome. I had a brand new pair of UnderArmor hot weather boots socks, so I dusted my feet with some Gold Bond Medicated foot powder (the stuff in the blue container) and pulled them on.

Taking a can of coffee, I wandered out the smoking area, where the shade was over the benches and the people didn't suck.

I don't know, folks. There's no body armor scheduled today, and things are looking good. It's almost enough to make me nervous.

14 October 2008

More fun than

a barrel of camels. Which we saw, by the way, while standing out on a range in the middle of the godforsaken desert yesterday. Well, camels at least. No barrels were observed.

In fact, let's just not talk about yesterday. We shall simply point out that yesterday went from 0300 until 1800 and all we did was fire 18 rounds. 'Nuff said.

Today, on the other hand, was reasonably useful. We trooped over to yet another big brown tent/building thing for the body armor upgrade. This is the part where we swap the IBA with Outer Tactical Vest for the IBA with Improved Outer Tactical Vest. Here's the money quote on that subject:

...the IOTV has several advantages over its predecessor. It is three pounds lighter; it provides more coverage in the small of the back; it sits higher around the armpit area; and it sits lower on the torso...

All of which is awesome. And I tried one on. Although on my last deployment I wore a small IBA, this time I've been working a medium. It hasn't fit very well, and rides out on the shoulders. These new vests, though, they're great. They fit snugly, feel lighter, don't chafe the bade of the neck...

And apparently cannot be made fast enough in Medium, Small or Extra-Small.


Eight of the not-quite-thirty of us will be continuing to rock the less-comfy IBA for the time being. Although the vest people swear more are coming, and, in a few months, when they arrive, the vest will find their way to us at our final destinations...

The little Soldiers, the slight, short and generally compact Soldiers, sighed, rolled their eyes and trudged out in the dust. Disheartened, they filed onto the bus. One of the big Soldiers followed, climbing happpily aboard with his spiffy new vest. Then he stood up too soon, and whacked his big, tall, head into the door frame. The little Soldiers laughed.

13 October 2008

I really don't understand this...

I think I somehow posted the last entry several times as a direct result of either jet lag or a jacked-up internet connection.  I think we'll blame it on the latter.  I whacked the duplicate.  I think.
Anyway, here's the photo I attempted to upload.  I think it adequately conveys the beauty and joy that is Kuwait. (This is also a test.  My email is working more smoothly than my internet, and I can't get the image to upload.  Let's see if it goes through the mail)


12 October 2008

It Lives!

I was sitting by a guy today in the chowhall.  He's from another CA unit, but we've somehow crossed paths pretty frequently throughout the last few years.
"Well," he said, "this blows."
"Yep," said I.  "It seems like a lot of the moments when I say maybe this wasn't such a great idea seem to happen in Kuwait."
We have made the big leap to a country that someone, somewhere, probably in a national publicity office, probably refers to a The Jewel of The Middle East.
[OK - so the image upload isn't going to work tonight.  I'll try again soon]
Fortunately, we'll move along from here after an appropriate length of time.  And I don't think there's any OPSEC violation at this point in saying that Kuwait is making Iraq look good.  And that ain't cool.
Our movement was uneventful, but let me just say this - from the time we dragged our bags outside until we got on the plane, it took sixteen hours.  And folks, that wasn't bad compared to some other trips.  The flight was long, punctuated by one of those random and anonymous military stops at some flightline somewhere where we could smoke but not buy beer, and then another flight.  Ugh.
Weather report - days are hot, but not oh-lord-kill-me-now-because-I'm-already-buring-in-a-fiery-pit hot.  Night is nice enough.  The dust level is not high by middle east standards.  The sun, as usual, is bright enough I wonder if somehow it moved several million miles closer while we were on the plane.