I escaped my penal colony for awhile, on a business trip to the big city, and got to ride from BIAP to Balad on a Blackhawk, in the daylight, which is a new experience for me. I had been doing all my flying in the dark and rarely saw what was out there. It’s hot already, and even with the windows down (out altogether, actually) and 130 knots blowing, it’s still hot.
The door gunners searched for targets, but the guns weren’t needed that trip. Mookie Sadr had come back and VBC was on alert and we were ready for trouble, but the only trouble I had was keeping my lunch. Nap Of the Earth, they call it. I did alright until one window was full of blue sky and the other was full of brown dirt. Rotary wing aerobatics.
Parts of Iraq are nice and green. Date groves look like pleasant oasis compared to the desert in Anbar Province. Greenery, water, houses and trash. Some of the houses are tumbledown adobes, but some of them look like Italian Riviera beach houses that would be nice if they would clean up the yard and stucco the cracks. Junked cars, trucks, buses, tractors; if grass would grow they would probably lose transmissions in the yard. I have in-laws like that.
War can be boring. Uneventful flight over a peaceful countryside. No pillars of smoke on the horizon. No signs of a war except for the door guns and the M-4’s the sailors with me carried.
Don’t eat lunch before you fly Catfish Air. Trust me.