Leaving BAF for Germany

Mountains in background at BAF.

It rained all night at BAF and since my cot was positioned close to the tent flap, I was a bit cold. The next morning I went over to outprocess with the Army Liaison office and then visited the Passenger Terminal to find about my flight itinerary. Due to weather, some flights were previously canceled and the backlog of people departing for R&R was growing. I tried to stay optimistic and positive. At the briefing, we were informed a C-17 would be able to transport 150 passengers and I was listed on the manifest. Our lockdown and roll call would begin at 2:30 pm. I was excited and went back over to the MWR building to notify Liisa. While I was there waiting in line for a phone and a computer, I watched part of a movie on the big screen. It’s like a small cinema and

USO at BAF.

can hold over 100 people. Later on I visited the USO building for some hot coffee. It was named in honor of the late Pat Tillman. At 2:30 pm roll call was held and we were placed in lockdown. This basically meant we were restricted from leaving the passenger terminal or nearby facilities in case our flight arrived early. We weren’t scheduled to leave until 8:30 pm. This was a boring 6 hour wait. I entertained myself by reading the newspapers along with the latest Tom Clancy book. Around 8 pm we were taken out to the flight line for another accountability drill. This time we had to wear our IBA vest and helmet. After the roll call was taken, we boarded the C-17 aircraft. This plane has the latest state-of-art technology and design. Due to my positioning in line, I had to sit in the jump seats located on both sides of the aircraft. At least these seats weren’t webbing and had some padding, but were not as comfortable as the cushioned passenger seats. We were all strapped in and the crew chief announced it would be another hour delay because of ice build up on the wings. An hour later, we took off as planned and it would be 4 ½ hours until we reached our

Tent shelters in Kuwait.

next destination in Kuwait. We landed in Kuwait around 1:30 am. It felt good to take off our protective vests and helmets. But now we had to inprocess the R&R station at Kuwait. By the time we inprocessed and stored all of our gear at the warehouse and I got my tent, it was 3:30 am. I felt very fortunate to have a tent all to myself. I turned off the lights and went to sleep until 6:30 am, when a group of soldiers came into the tent. They turned on the lights and made a lot of noise until they got all of their stuff squared away. By now I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I went for a hot shower and shave. It felt great to be inside a shower area large enough to turn around without accidentally hitting the hot and cold water knobs. I returned to the tent and decided to get some additional sleep. Around 10:30 am, I woke back up and decided to visit the bazaar area, PX, and fast food restaurants to include Pizza Hut, Subway, and McDonalds. I couldn’t resist eating the Big Macs and French fries. In fact, that day I consumed 2 Big Mac Meals along with 4 cheeseburgers. I also had a foot-long meatball sandwich at Subway. Although I am not a big fast food patron, these sandwiches were out of this world. At 8 pm, we were loaded on a bus and driven to the Kuwait International Airport. My flight would take off at 1:20 am and 6 hours later, I would land in Frankfurt Germany. At Frankfurt I was connected to another flight to Munich, Germany. Here is where I would wait for Liisa provided her plane would not be delayed.

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2 Responses

  1. […] more here: Leaving BAF for Germany « Afghanistan My Last Tour Share and […]

  2. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/08/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

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