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Go Back   FZ1OA Message Board > FZ1 & Fazer Owners Association > Letters from Iraq

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Old 09-13-2013, 12:19 PM   #1
shoffmann
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Differences between my to tax funded trips to the dessert

There are many things i miss about my first deployment and a few things that are better. I will use this thread to list them out.

#1 While we were still awarded a patch, and are paid combat pay, this deployment (so far) is not a combat deployment. We are in Kuwait, we do even carry weapons or wear body armor. Some people spend more time in civilian clothes than their uniform. Compared to my first deployment where we were not allowed outside unless we had our body armor and weapon.

#2 Light discipline, my first tour we were blacked out at night and all was pretty quiet. Compared to here where there is a light generator every 50 feet with halogen towers glaring from an hour before Sunday to sunrise. That leads to #3, but I will save that for later so I do not get carried away and run out of thing all in one night.

Good night everyone,
~Sean
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:36 PM   #2
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Just don't let your guard down
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:39 PM   #3
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Kuwait ain't Iraq or Afghanistan. I'd still keep my eyes peeled though. Reminds me of Sean Connery in Raiders "We are pilgrims in a Unholy land"
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:31 AM   #4
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#3 Biggest threat my first deployment was indirect fire (we were mortared every 2-3 days on average). Here the biggest threat are sadly other soldiers, contractors or third country nationals we have working on base. It seems every week we have a report about an assault of some sort. Not to mention wallets, phones and bikes being stolen. Before we got here there was a group of soldiers busted for running a bike chop shop. They would steal bikes, repaint them and then sell them, or pay them out and ship parts home. Last deployment we all looked out for each other. We only had 600 on camp last time versus the thousands around this place so that makes a difference.

Definitely keep from becoming complacent. It is hard at times, but we are just one vbied (vehicle born IED ) from reality.
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Last edited by shoffmann; 09-14-2013 at 02:33 AM. Reason: #%**%$ auto correct...
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:48 AM   #5
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#4 Food Options. Last time we had the chow hall and a small (like 9' x 20') px that stocked toiletries, chips, smoked oysters ect. On this camp there is one chow hall, but also a department store sized PX with groceries and the roller dog and tornado machines (like in 7-11), Great Steak, KFC, Pizza Inn, Hot dog/burger place, Chinese restaurant, Taco Bell, Green Beans Coffee, and even a StarBucks. The inside of the Starbucks here is the exact same as those back home. It is a little surreal to walk into it.

They really should just call this a hardship tour and let us imbibe...
~Sean
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:22 PM   #6
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I don't know how you just did it, but I'm hungry for smoked oysters now.

Stay safe either way!
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:32 PM   #7
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Haa, well now that I am sitting here after missing breakfast, oysters are sounding mighty tasty!

As long as we do not get complacent we should stay safe.
Enjoy your weekend,
~Sean
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:27 AM   #8
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Thank you for your service. Question, my son is on his second deployment in Afg. He was originally supposed to go to Kuwait but ended up back in the armpit. He is Air Force working for the Army in personal. He works 7 days 12 hrs a day, do you guys have to do this also? On a more positive note his deployment this time is 6mos instead of 9 months like last time.
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:48 AM   #9
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Hello Barry,

Operation tempo is really mission specific. Right now your son is at a very high tempo. Here in Kuwait where the threat is relatively low they try to give us at least one day off a week. As pilots the longer our duty day is the higher the risk assessment which means the higher up the food chain we need to get approval signatures for our missions so they try to keep our duty day's limited. During my last deployment (I was not a pilot) there was a much higher threat level which meant we had more additional duties such as manning the guard towers, we had to man the gates (versus contractors here) etc. Being stationed here is more of a hardship tour than a combat tour. Is he working in an administration type position? If he pulling extra duties? Feel free to answer without giving too much detail. If you have some sensitive/private questions PM me and I will send you my email.

If you have any other questions I will answer what I can.
~Sean
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:27 AM   #10
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Hello Barry,

Operation tempo is really mission specific. Right now your son is at a very high tempo. Here in Kuwait where the threat is relatively low they try to give us at least one day off a week. As pilots the longer our duty day is the higher the risk assessment which means the higher up the food chain we need to get approval signatures for our missions so they try to keep our duty day's limited. During my last deployment (I was not a pilot) there was a much higher threat level which meant we had more additional duties such as manning the guard towers, we had to man the gates (versus contractors here) etc. Being stationed here is more of a hardship tour than a combat tour. Is he working in an administration type position? If he pulling extra duties? Feel free to answer without giving too much detail. If you have some sensitive/private questions PM me and I will send you my email.

If you have any other questions I will answer what I can.
~Sean
Thanks Sean,

Matt (my son) is working in administration, personnel, to be precise. He volunteers to go with the special forces guys who are stationed there just to break the monotony. They let him drive the truck. This scares the crap out of me but he says its not that dangerous. He also says he needs to do this to gain the respect of the people under him, rank wise. He has been in the AF for 13 years. As soon as his next re-up comes along (next Sept.) he says he is out. He is very unhappy with the military. I think of how close he is to 20 years but he says it doesn't matter, he's done. As his dad I will support him 100%, even though I think it is a mistake. Thanks for listening, and be safe yourself.
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:00 AM   #11
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If I had to be back out on the roads I would prefer to be driving. At least there you have a bit of control over your destiny. I am not as familiar with roads in Afg, but if like Iraq there are some areas that are more dangerous than others and if he says it is not that dangerous I would trust him. As horrible as IEDs are they still effect a small percentage of units on the road. At least smaller than the impression the media gives off.

I have been in for 13 years myself, but outside of my two deployments and 2 years at flight school it has been National Guard and Reserves this whole time. I can only assume the military has been used by politicians since the beginning of division of labor, the longer I stay in the more I see us as pawns for politicians more than fighting force out to fight for freedoms and values. But I will leave it at that as not to move this into the War Room ;-). I am still proud to serve and even if used by politicians I still, at a personal level, fight to make things better for people where I can, even if it is just in the small things/gestures that I can make.

Let us see what this next year brings him, maybe he will have a good enough experience to keep him going. You have a valid point about being close to his 20. He is lucky that whatever happens that you support him. In case he has not, on his behalf I will say think you.

Feel free to hit me up anytime,
~Sean
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:05 AM   #12
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I know a couple of guys who were active duty, then came out and did contract work back in the sandbox and made great money at it. One even has made a real career out of it and then training troops going back over.

Both of them ended up as MSF rider coaches when I went through my training or later when my husband did his. Even better still, our coaches themselves were ex-military and most of the guys in the class were too.

It doesn't pay much but they seemed to be set up okay to do that just to keep busy and for fun.

barry, when your son gets out is he interested in contract work?
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:03 AM   #13
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I know a couple of guys who were active duty, then came out and did contract work back in the sandbox and made great money at it. One even has made a real career out of it and then training troops going back over.

Both of them ended up as MSF rider coaches when I went through my training or later when my husband did his. Even better still, our coaches themselves were ex-military and most of the guys in the class were too.

It doesn't pay much but they seemed to be set up okay to do that just to keep busy and for fun.

barry, when your son gets out is he interested in contract work?


We Skype every Sunday, I will ask him. Thanks for your interest.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:03 AM   #14
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Thanks Sean,

Matt (my son) is working in administration, personnel, to be precise. He volunteers to go with the special forces guys who are stationed there just to break the monotony. They let him drive the truck. This scares the crap out of me but he says its not that dangerous. He also says he needs to do this to gain the respect of the people under him, rank wise. He has been in the AF for 13 years. As soon as his next re-up comes along (next Sept.) he says he is out. He is very unhappy with the military. I think of how close he is to 20 years but he says it doesn't matter, he's done. As his dad I will support him 100%, even though I think it is a mistake. Thanks for listening, and be safe yourself.
Dang, just 7 more years. I would be in the same boat if it were my kid. But I would still be working on him to stay in.

That is one of the regrets I made for myself. Had I stuck with my original plan I would be retired once and on my second career.
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