This time it was all the Navy’s fault. Or maybe the Brits, I will allow them to share blame equally. But in any case, it was absolutely positively not my fault.
It all started last night with our arrival at Bastion. The kind Brits loaded us on the C-130 along with a number of other pax and we flew in the dark to Camp Bastion. The ever so nice petty officer picked us up and took us by our temp rooms to drop off gear.
Then, upon entering the hospital, we were informed that the Role 3 Hospital rules did not allow weapons in the building. If we wanted to do the tour (and we needed to prior to the morning meeting) we could check our weapons at the front or have them placed in the secure container along with those of everyone elses. My good travel companion elected to have his locked up so I followed suit.
We did the grip and grin, tour and then toddled back to the billets. In this case, half-round inflated main corridors with bracing – about 5 short segments off each side of the main make up each pod. The first on the left was marvelous in-door plumbing.
Dropped into room 9, I was roomed in with a number of lovely reserve nurses from Manchester and other points north England. Closer to my age than all the active duty, we had a cuppa and all crawled in bed for a nice read before lights out.
No issues in the morning, no issues watching the fantastic team unload and zoom when an unexpected helicopter showed up with casualties. Got through the meeting, repacking in the dark so as to not wait up the night shift.
We even got to the terminal in time to find out that there was an inbound flight of interest for me in the next few minutes. Check list – ID card, IBA, Kevlar, laptop bag, duffle, weapon…. OH SH*T! Our weapons are back in the container.
Petty Officer goes tearing off down the road, I talk to the lovely senior master chief at the counter. He is leaving next Monday, going home to retire after 27 years. Watching the clock, he tells me not to worry, he thinks he can get the plane to wait.
Is this the same Air Force as I have been flying?
Loading call comes just as my good navy guy comes skidding back in branishing two shoulder holsters. So there I am on the flight, only three pax, a lost bag and the crew. Headed back to Bagram, it is nice to be back.