Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Back to Baghdad...Again

02 June 2005

Whoo-hoo. Slept the afternoon away since our next roll call wasn’t until midnight. They woke us up around 11pm to say that the roll call was changed to 11:45. Both Will and I along with two network/system guys from ISG/Camp Slayer got on the manifest. So we loaded our stuff on the semi and boarded the bus for the hour ride to Alli Al Salem. I’ve ridden this horse so many times, I ought to be a tour guide.

Once at Alli Al Salem, we had to pull our stuff off the semi and bring it over to the pallets to be palletized. Then we were directed to wait at least until 0430 am in a big Quonset hut. It had cots and A/C and we were allowed to eat as many MRE’s as we could stuff ourselves with. Since we were all pretty hungry and probably wouldn’t be eating until after we got back to Baghdad, most of us ate something from the MRE packets. I chose the gourmet Vegetarian Stuffed Manicotti. It was actually pretty good. The vegetables were cleverly disguised as a beige-colored vegetable paste in the manicotti. Who would’a thunk? A little Tabasco sauce from the little 1 oz bottle included in the MRE's and we're good to go!

Although the vacuum-packed vanilla-flavored pound cake smells deceptively edible, once you put a piece into your mouth, it is designed to reconstitute itself by sucking every water molecule out of your body and expanding to the size of an inflatable raft in your mouth! It’s truly amazing that they can hide that pound cake into a block roughly the size of your wallet.

After a bit of a cat-nap, we got the word to move out and board our waiting C130 on the flight line at about 5am. The flight was mostly unremarkable. Being close to a window, I got to crane my neck and catch a glimpse of the Euphrates River snaking through the desert about a half hour out of Baghdad.

Next thing you know, we’re doing the quick cork-screw drop into the airport. Welcome back to Baghdad. Local time is approximately 0800 am local time, temperature is about 85 degrees and sunny.
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