Archive: Work

A Search for the Missing

A couple of weeks ago, a terrible accident occurred just outside the wire of Al Asad. A convoy was crossing a wash and one of the seven-ton trucks fell victim to the rushing waters, causing all of the Marines and one Navy corpsman inside to go missing. CW4 Phil Brashear, a fellow pilot, was one member of the many crews that launched in support of the Marines and sailors on that truck. I asked him if he share his account of the first day of the mission. In light of the situation and out of respect for the fallen and their families, Phil and I have delayed posting this entry. -- Bert I am awakened by one of my fellow pilots at 03:30 in the morning telling me that an emergency mission has come up. I gather myself and get to the briefing room with little time to spare. We...

By Bert Stover | May 1, 2006; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (83)

Arrival and Remodeling at TQ

Departing Al Asad with the usual last minute snafus -- forgetting to pack necessary equipment, loading an aircraft with so much material that the passengers couldn't fit in, etc. -- Alpha Company finally parted ways with the rest of the 2/224th and headed east to camp Al Taqaddum, commonly called TQ (Tee-Que). Some company members went ahead to procure housing and work space, but the majority of us took two days to fly all of our personal stuff and aircraft to our new base....

By Bert Stover | April 24, 2006; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (23)

The Unit Assembles

I woke up late yesterday. I'd intended an 05:20 wakeup, with an 05:45 departure from my parent's house to Richmond for my official report date. I didn't get out of the house until 06:20. I tore through the house grabbing toiletries and a day bag. I threw everything in my truck (which I have not sold yet), loaded with my duffles and black trunk. I almost started the truck when I realized I had not stopped in to give my mother and father a good-bye hug and kiss, even though they would meet me later in the day in Richmond for the commander's brief about the deployment. I ran upstairs calling "Mom..... Mom you up?" Though my mother would have liked our good-bye to last longer, I had to cut it short in order to get on the road, which turned out to be a good thing since it left...

By Bert Stover | October 19, 2005; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (33)

Formation Flying

I got in some more flight time last week, taking off from Richmond for a training flight to Edgewood, Md. and back. The trip up was in a Lima model Black Hawk (one of the latest models, with improved equipment), and we flew black in an Alpha model (the original, with older, weaker engines and computers). We had a chance to practice flying blind, with instruments only, on the way up and then got to work on formation flying along the western edge of the Chesapeake Bay on the return trip. During a training flight to the Baltimore, MD area, SGT Ryan Reisetter, Black Hawk Crew Chief, keeps an eye on the sky at 5000 ft MSL helping the pilots steer clear of other aircraft and obstacles. (Bert Stover -- View Enlarged Photo...

By Bert Stover | October 4, 2005; 05:38 AM ET | Comments (1)

Last Day in the Office..

Today's my last day in the office. I'd intended to have everything packed up by close of business, but will have to come back tonight or this weekend to get my personal effects. Work has been hectic lately, and writing this blog has also taken time. My plan is to spend some quality time with my family and work from my parent's house on the long list of tasks to accomplish before my report date or "18 OCT 05" as it's listed on the official correspondence....

By Bert Stover | September 30, 2005; 02:04 PM ET | Comments (3)

An Eventful Flight

My flight time has been limited recently because of some pay and budget issues at our unit. But, thankfully, I was able to return to flying the weekend of 9/16.CW3 Phillip Brashear and WO1 Bert Stover finish startup tasks for their Black Hawk helicopter just before taking off vertically from Meadow Farm in Glen Allen, Va. (Gordon Stover)View Enlarged Photo I was a little nervous -- both because I'm still a rookie pilot and because I figured my skills might have become rusty in the month since I'd last flown. It turned out that my skills were okay, but I was right to be nervous....

By Bert Stover | September 26, 2005; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (3)

They Actually Want Me to Blog

As soon as I returned home with my deployment orders, I emailed Jim Brady asking him if he would still be interested in my writing about 'Reporting for Duty'. I expected him to say he'd thought it over and decided to pass. I actually ended up getting a reply inviting me to a meeting in his office with a few of the other editors....

By Bert Stover | September 6, 2005; 05:15 AM ET | Comments (13)

New Careers

About 8 months ago on a Saturday afternoon at a Chipotle in NW D.C., I ran into Jim Brady, who had just been named executive editor of We were trading backgrounds, with his questions mostly around my recent return to the company from military leave. He assumed I had been deployed overseas in support of either Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) or Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). I corrected him, explaining that I was returning from Army flight school, after years of wanting to be a pilot....

By Bert Stover | September 3, 2005; 05:37 AM ET | Comments (1)

Career on Hold

When I received news of the deployment, I was in the middle of applying for an open management position, responsible for all networking, hardware, and security for

By Bert Stover | September 2, 2005; 05:05 AM ET | Comments (7)

Informing My Employer

I drove up to Arlington, VA from my unit in Richmond, VA to tell my employer, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive....

By Bert Stover | September 1, 2005; 02:03 PM ET | Comments (2)


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