28 July 06
I couldn’t have started the day better. An E-mail from my Brother telling me I owe the IRS a lot more than I thought. My Father footed the bill to make it easy on me for the mean time. I can send mail free, but, it takes weeks. Come to think of it, I’m waiting for some more of my Taxes here to be reimbursed to me. It’s tax free in a Combat Zone, but they take it out anyway and then pay you back. Go figure. (Since I started writing this it I have been reimbursed last months taxes.)
Tonight I have contractors on my mind. One would be very surprised how many are here on Taji alone. Mostly KBR and its subcontracted parts. Civilians are everywhere. A couple of doors down there are middle aged Ukrainians that don’t speak English and listen to Britney Spears, and an old Texas Country Boy that rebuilds tanks for the Iraqi Army just to name a few. Mostly in my function I deal with security Firms, EODT(US), Armor Group(UK), RGS(UK), Falcon, and Universal. I wouldn’t be surprised if I encountered another soon. These company’s are staffed by EXPATs…Ex Patriots, guys from Western Country’s like the US and UK, South Africans and one Frenchmen I know. They form the leadership in armored trucks loaded for bear. Third Country Nationals (TCN’s) make up the trigger pullers and Local National (Iraqi) trucking companies provide the freight trucks and drivers. Some companies use LN’s for trigger pullers as well. Point blank, they’re Mercenaries but, that doesn’t mean their bad guy’s. There is not one of them that I don’t like. Every single one of them is a hell of a guy. I’m not here to get into the concept of them.
These companies haul much of the supply’s around the Country and it’s an acccepted fact that things wouldn’t get where their going without them. A few weeks back they had to get a special letter from the Army saying they could use the roads. During that time certain items got low in the Chow Hall. The Iraqi Army would be naked without them.
Today we had a big convoy lined up out side of the Depot Gate waiting to be loaded. We needed to have them a certain distance down the road, so me and the guy from EODT told a certain number of them to turn around and get at the back of the line. It may have been twelve or fifteen trucks; the front started, and began speeding towards the back and the middle pulled out in front of them. In my mind I imagined a speeding semi to slam into another broadside as it pulled out in a U Turn. How that didn’t happen is to be credited to God alone.
Today I heard that one of the contracted convoy’s had been hit hard, losing a few guys and some trucks. I hope to see some familiar faces next time around.
I have an OIC now. That’s Officer In Charge to you civvies. He’s an Air Force Captain that specializes in Security. Along with him there is a USAF Master Sgt (actually the same rank as me, a SFC). They are some of the changes to my section I mentioned. I had a guy leave as well. He didn’t like some of the changes we were having to implement, and voiced it, so, I didn’t want someone disgruntled disrupting the Harmony…I arranged for him to leave the Section. No hard feelings, but, a decision had been made and it was time to support it. It’s not like the decision violated principle, so, it’s up to us to make it work. We have essentially combined two sections into one with us all doing a shift rotation. We are the only section of the Depot that operates 24 hours a day. Others sections have let someone take a day off here and there, I’ve been in Country longer than anyone and I’m yet to take a day to rest. I’m not complaining, I’ve got friends running the roads of Baghdad, but, a day to gather some thoughts would be nice. We’ve been waiting on the Air Force guys, we’ve not had the man power for one of us to not take more than a couple of hours. I think my record is 76 day’s without a day off, and I’ve not broke that yet. Look, I just want to make it perfectly clear I’m not bitching.
Enough of this writing stuff. I just don’t know when I’m going to get this posted. The internet has just gotten harder to access. Some Ass Hole put a pass word on a computer and didn’t tell anyone before rotating home. When the Power went down (Generator Maintenance) it rebooted. It was the one I used for posting and checking mail. Internet Café computers are slow…Very Slow. I mean Dispasionet.