Sunday, March 29, 2009
Al Udeid (aka The Deid) is a base in Qatar and serves as a major hub for the Air Force at least in getting supplies and more importantly people into and out of OIF and OEF. You can google it if you want to see it on a map. That’s where I am right now stuck between home and the war in what appears to be summer camp. Everyone knows summer camp can be a drag, but we all had fun right? They have a pool here decent chow and a huge overhang that everyone calls “the Bra”. It has two big tent poles and a covering on each with the coverings connected in the middle. The result looks like two giant cups that a giant stripper flung off and it landed here in the land of the Arabs. There’s beer if you want it, but you can only have 3 drinks per day to keep people from getting out of control. The living accommodations consist of large Quonset hut tents and about 30 beds in each. The capacity right now is such that everyone gets at least their own bunk bed, so you can at least have the bottom bunk. The tents have AC, but they make no attempt to put you up with someone who will be on the same sleep schedule as you. As a result, you are always tiptoeing in and out and someone is always banging around when you are trying to sleep. Hence why the Bra is so popular. It’s like a large outdoor living room. This time of year the weather is perfect, about 75 during the day and a chilly 60 or so at night. There’s plenty of MWR stuff around including video game rooms, a movie theater and a brand new BX with a Charley’s subs, Baskin Robbins and all the comforts of Kadena. Everyone wears there PT uniform because we have to be in uniform at all times. So you see people in PT gear everywhere, sometimes smoking and drinking and occasionally shoving a donut in their mouth (guilty as charged). We arrived here from Iraq expecting that we could get someone to take a long hard look at a globe and agree that it doesn’t make any sense to send me and my crew 13000 miles west around the globe to Japan with a stop in the US, and instead book us on commercial flights from Doha which could get us home in about 12 hours for about $1000 each. No No No they said. We will be taking a military charter flight from here to Hurlburt field (because everyone who fights in the war is obviously stationed in the US) then getting on a Delta flight from Fort Walton Beach, FL to Atlanta to Tokyo to Okinawa. Total flight time (not including layovers) is about 30 hours with a cost of about $1500 per ticket. Not to mention that 8 military members will be sitting here doing nothing while still getting paid and earning paid leave. So I’ve found myself with a lot of free time and not a lot to do with it other than goof off and blog. The conditions aren’t really that bad, and I don’t even mind the time off, but these people won’t reason with you when it comes to anything. “Logic is not a factor in military policy” is what I always say. This is your tax dollars at work! Hope all is well.
Posted by Chris and Amy at 4:23 AM