It was a very smooth flight from Kuwait to Afghanistan.  Boeing can be proud of their achievement and the Air Force made a great investment with purchasing the C-17.  Due to the extra leg room, this was actually more comfortable than flying coach on a commercial airliner.  Of course we didn’t have the movies, music, and weren’t served hot meals, but it was still comfy.

We landed at Bagram Air Field and hiked across the flight line towing our personnel gear.  The air terminal checked us in and we were directed to the R&R tents for the night.  I asked the female contractor if there was any particular tent we should stay in.  She said, “Just pick one they are all the same”.  I knew this wasn’t true because they have tents designated for VIPs and are separated by gender.  It was now 3:30 am and due to the difference in time zones, my body wasn’t sure whether to sleep or stay awake.  I opted to sleep and set up my cot accordingly.  Just as I closed my eyes and lay down to sleep, the tent filled up with new arrivals.  They turned on the bright lights and made a lot of noise with all of their gear.  I was already struggling to tune out the fighter jets and cargo planes constantly taking off.  Since I couldn’t sleep, I went next door to the MWR center and waited until 5:30 am to have some breakfast.

After some good chow and hot coffee, I returned to my tent.  By my calculations, I had been awake over 24 hours and my body was begging me to get some sleep.  So I put in my combat ear plugs and pulled my blanket over my head and zonked off for about 7 hours of much needed rest.

Feeling re-energized, I visited the MWR center, watched some football and caught up with some email on the space available computer terminals. My next stop was the air passenger terminal.  I wanted to ensure my departure time for my helo ride tomorrow.  The female clerk informed me they only handle fixed wing and not rotary wing.  I asked where the rotary wing building was located and she said to walk down to the PX and it was directly across from there.  I walked down to the PX and across from it were a wall and a fenced in area.  I was certain this was not the location.  This is when I started inquiring on the street for directions.

This is when BAF-nesia started to set in.  BAF-nesia is my new term for the BAF-fites at Bagram.  You won’t find this disease or disorder in any medical journal.  It’s a new BAF-ism I have coined.  BAF-nesia is only found at Bagram.  It is caused by a chemical imbalance of the brain and is better known by the expressions of “duhhhh or dumb a@@ syndrome.  Personnel stationed at BAF are so compartmentalized, that if you ask them a question outside their immediate work area, their usual response is “duhh…I don’t know.”  So my first question I would ask is “Are you stationed here and then follow up with inquiring the location of the rotary wing terminal.  The first person I asked responded, yes and then asked me what a rotary wing was and still didn’t know the location.  The next airman I asked said he has only been there for 4 months and tried to direct me back to the air passenger terminal.  The third person I asked wasn’t sure they even had helicopters at BAF.  The next person was the most helpful and said it was a mile down the road, but not exactly sure of the location.  By now the sun was setting and it was getting dark.  I was determined to find this evasive rotary wing passenger terminal.  I finally found another individual who wasn’t stationed at BAF and was able to provide me precise instructions where to go.

I approached the counter that had a big sign above it labeled Rotary Wing Passenger Terminal.  I inquired about my flight.  The Army soldier responded they don’t handle those aircraft and there was only one individual who could help me and he wasn’t there.  In addition, they didn’t have a phone number to contact this person either.  I kept asking more questions and I was referred to a back office and they basically repeated the same information.  However, an Army SGT queried the computer and found my name.  He provided me the departure time and the name of the aircraft.  I was feeling much better about then.  Just as I left their office I realized the departure time was in Zulu time and I couldn’t remember the conversion.  So I went back to the customer service counter and inquired about Zulu time.  I was given looks like I just inquired about Einstein’s theory or something complex.  Nobody was certain what the formula was and one person said just to add about 2 hours to the Zulu time for conversion to local time.  I knew this to be incorrect, but I couldn’t remember if it was 4 or 5 hours.    Keep in mind; this is the customer service section at the passenger terminal.  Can you say BAF-nesia!!

I was hungry now and returned to the PX.  I had my heart set on a hot pepperoni pizza with extra cheese.  As I approached the counter, there was one customer in front of me and then I noticed a small sign “Out of cheese”.  So much for that idea, what is a pizza without cheese?  So now my palate switched tastes and was focused on chomping on a Big Whopper at Burger King.  There were no customers standing in line and I was afraid they were closed.  But as I approached the window, I read the paper taped in the window “Out of sandwiches, only French fries and onion rings.”  This just wasn’t my day.

I walked back to my tent and visited the DFAC for my dinner meal.  Later on I researched Zulu time and noted you have to add 4 ½ hours to Zulu time for the conversion.  My tent was completely filled with personnel and it was going to be a long night.


One Response

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AllMilitaryNews. AllMilitaryNews said: (AFG: Last Tour) BAF-nesia: It was a very smooth flight from Kuwait to Afghanistan.  Boein.. #SOT […]

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