Archive: November 2005

To Little Rock, Ark.

When we arrived at the Richmond airfield on Nov. 10, we learned our next stop on the way to Yuma, Ariz. would be in Little Rock, Ark. We were able to pick up two more aircraft before departing, and took off in two flights of four, spaced 30 minutes apart. I was in the first flight. During the trip to our first fuel stop in Greensboro, N.C., my cockpit was pretty much silent. I'd expected more chatter, but for the most part, the only words spoken came from the radio as flight alerted small airports we planned to over fly. There wasn't much talk on later legs, either, as we made our way from Greensboro to Knoxville, TN (KTYS) to Nashville, TN (KBNA) to Millington, TN (KNQA) to Little Rock. 10 NOV 05, Three of the four aircraft in the first of two flights of A Co 2/224th AVN aircraft,...

By Bert Stover | November 29, 2005; 11:20 AM ET | Comments (7)

Weather Diversion Back to Richmond

We saddled up to depart Ft. Dix, N.J. for Yuma, Ariz. on Nov. 9 in two flights of four Black Hawks each. The departure airfield, Naval Air Engineering Station, Lakehurst, was the scene of the tragic Hindenburg disaster. By the time I arrived, most of our aircraft had been taken out of the station's enormous hangars, built originally to house dirigibles like the Hindenburg. But the ones still inside looked like ants inside the towering hangars. We were two hours behind schedule getting off the ground for the first leg of our trip and were only guaranteed good enough weather to make it to Dover Air Force Base, a long way from Nashville, Tenn., where we'd intended to spend the night. 9 NOV 05, Able to house airships like the German dirigible Hindenburg, the hangars at Naval Air Engineering Station, Lakehurst are the backdrop for the six A Co 2/224th...

By Bert Stover | November 28, 2005; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (2)

Heading For Yuma

After a final week of classes, practical exercises and weapons training at Ft. Dix, N.J., we scrambled the night before leaving for Yuma, Ariz. to amend flight plans, finish any red flag aircraft maintenance and pack. Individually, we had twice as much equipment to take care of as we had just two weeks ago. As a unit, we have twice as many flyable aircraft. We plan to take four days to travel in our Black Hawk helicopters across the country to Yuma, and it figures to be a logistical challenge. 31 OCT 05, Ft. Dix, NJ -- Soldiers of A Co 2/224th AVN conduct drills on donning their Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) masks just seconds after the alarm is sounded. (Bert Stover -- washingtonpost.com) View More Photos...

By Bert Stover | November 18, 2005; 9:42 PM ET | Comments (55)

More Equipment...

Ft. Dix provided the unit with more individual equipment as we visited the base's Central Issue Facility (CIF) on Oct. 27. The experience was not as good as last time. I still think that the Rapid Fielding Initiative (a direct competitor) does a better overall job of issuing equipment to soldiers. 27 Oct 05, Eddie Meadows (far right behind counter), CIF A Bay Quality Control, leads A Co 2/224th AVN in singing 'America the Beautiful' during his exceptional welcoming of the unit to his facility. (Bert Stover -- washingtonpost.com) View More Photos...

By Bert Stover | November 15, 2005; 11:09 AM ET | Comments (21)

Death By Power Point

We spent three days (Oct. 25 - 27) in academic classes -- no doubt necessary for deployment, but so tedious that we started referring to them as "Death by PowerPoint." . We covered the general orders for the Army and the Central Command (CENTCOM), basic first aid, sexual harassment, etc. All said and done, we battled the sleep monster for about eight hours of straight lectures each day. One day went to refreshing our memory on the first aid tasks the Army originally taught us in basic training. The morning was devoted to classes, the after noon to a series of practical exercises designed to test our knowledge. Hopefully, we'll never have to use what we learned. 26 Oct 05, Select members of A and B Companies take a first aid class in order to become Assistant Instructors for the first aid classes being held the next day for the...

By Bert Stover | November 9, 2005; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (32)

Vargas Joins A Company 2/224th...

We've gotten a break from the Ft. Dix routine of classes, immunizations, issuing of equipment, etc., thanks to the assignment of SFC Vargas to A Company 2/224th. 31 Oct 05, SFC Vargas, newly assigned to A Co 2/224th, is pinned with her crew wings by her platoon sergeant and a unit pilot. (Bert Stover -- washingtonpost.com) View Enlarged Photo...

By Bert Stover | November 2, 2005; 11:57 AM ET | Comments (2)

Your Tax Dollars at Work

If you are wondering where some of your tax dollars are going then I have an answer for you. We were issued brand new equipment to include some frivolous items like fleece jackets, fleece hats, and Oakley sunglasses/goggles, and some very necessary items like new ballistic helmets, lighter and with more secure chin straps. 22 OCT 05, PFC Lee has his barcode sticker placed on his chest just prior to receiving his equipment from the Rapid Fielding Initiative, Ft. Dix, NJ. Barcode stickers provide a quick way to inventory items issued to soldiers. (Bert Stover -- washingtonpost.com) View More Photos...

By Bert Stover | November 1, 2005; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (41)

 

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