Sunday, May 28, 2006

Just Another Day in the Desert

Hello again, if anyone is reading this. So far it's been a fairly quiet night. Nothing much going on here as usual, the Indy 500 was tonight, and me and my friend watched as much as we could, followed the rest of it on the internet, one of the few sights we can actually get onto to watch the race. Not quite like home, but i'm used to having to deal with what i have at hand by now.
I mentioned in my last post that i would go into more detail as to what i do in the navy. As i said, i'm an Aviation Electricians Mate, not just that, but an Airman, E-3. So in a nutshell, i just do what everyone else either doesn't want to do, or what i am told to do, whatever happens first. But it's not so bad, just tellin it like it is. Aviation Electrician's mates(or AE's as i will refer to them from now on) work on electrical powerplant and distribution, electrical systems such as lighting, engine ignition, bladefold, de-icing, and the such, if it's not a radio, satellite, or antenna, and it's electrical, it's an AE's system to maintain. The maintenance on these birds is continuous, we never stop working on these helicopters(HH-60H SeaHawks). These Helicopters were made for water missions, and the hotel version we're flying out here for the occasional Insertion and extraction of Spec-ops soldiers and CSAR(Combat, Search and Rescue) mission. But we'll have been flying these in the desert for over a year now outside of their normal environment. The sand gives these helo's a beating, and there for us as well, we are used to cleaning up saltwater and the such from overwater missions, and the amount of sand out here in the helos when they get back from flying is unreal. And i might say, alot harder to remove than water. So me as the AE, i would clean and replace any components that go bad during the flight, fix problems on the flight line as needed right before the helo launches and when it returns. It's a fun job, you can't sit and watch helos take off and land 20 feet in front of you at your everyday run of the mill job. but it's what i do, every day, and it's fun. Now, in addition to that job that i went to school for and work normally, i spent over a year in what is called 'the line shack'. effectively named cause the line personnel usually work on the flight line all day, and their shop is usually a shack out on the flight line, or beside it. The line division is tasked with the daily and turnaround inspections on the helicopters, washing them, and general houskeeping of the helo's and the hangars. To get out of the line shack as an airman you have to achieve a qual known as being a Plane Captain, which takes a minimum time of about 4 months to make. It entails learning the helicopters systems and general dimensions and capabilities, having a general knowledge of the aircraft, learning how to lauch and recover aircraft on the flight deck and on the flight line, and spending alot of time washing, and cleaning and the such. So having been through all of that, i am one of the senior plane captains on this Det B, and there for i have the AE job to look forward to everyday, and the Plane Captain's job as well, Post Turf(cleaning the bird after a 'turf' mission, one in which they actually land on the ground), Overwaters(cleaning saltwater off the bird from an 'over water' mission), and Daily's Turn Arounds, and things like that. The Line division job is enjoyable as well, you're around a bunch of guys, all your age, same rank, and we all get along pretty well, we spend pretty much all day together and learn alot about eachother, so they are all kind of like family after a little while the married guys and the single guys all hang out, we pretty much know eachother on first name basis by now as well. Our families have all hung out outside of work numerous times, and my wife for one counts them as her own children, cooking them meals sending care packages, buying what little things they might need out here and stuff like that, so it's pertty cool.
But that's my job, it's fun, not TOO overwhelmingly rewarding, but i enjoy it most days.
Tonight, like i said there's nothing going on, so we're all sleeping, eaing, playing games, or music, or doing what i am doing now...
well, again, it's time for me to back on here tomorrow.


Blogger USN Downunder said...

You say you work on electrical equipment? You're an E-3? Mate, the only electrical equipment E-3s work on are vacuum cleaners, floor waxers and the enlisted mess bug juice machine. Get your head out of your butt, boot camp!

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