Well, the blogging has been pretty hit or miss lately. It has been a combination of the MWR lab being closed for painting, being busy with work stuff (always a drag on my myriad number of hobbies), and lack of motivation. March is going to be the toughest month of the deployment. Everyday there is a new milestone for something that should or shouldn't have happened due to the extension. For instance, we should currently have our "left seat" training complete with our replacements. That is where we do the work and they ride along and take notes. Our "right seat" training should have started by now, which is where our replacements do the work and we watch over their shoulders. For us admin pukes, it is pretty simple because our replacements were to be active duty and probably don't need a Nat'l Guard unit telling them how to do their jobs. It was more of an update for anything special they need to know about being in theater. Friday, March 9th, was our original TOA (transfer of authority) date and we would have been outta dodge shortly after that. Each day that goes by we talk about how different things would be if we were going home and not spending another 4 months here. SFC Kerchal went so far as to say we may actually have all died in a mortar attack, and are currently in purgatory. Every time our new TOA date comes around we'll find out we are getting extended and never get to leave. I've been having nightmares ever since.
Once we get through March things will get better. We should have an idea of our new TOA date by the end of the month, and essentially April 1st will be sort of like December 1st. Time to start thinking/planning/working on getting out of here. Right now we are in limbo which isn't much fun. One of the Brigade staff officers used to always say that this deployment isn't a sprint, it is a marathon. He now says that is isn't a marathon, it is a death march. We have depicted this on our big white board with stick figures representing each month. Right now our stick figure guy is crawling along the ground. In April he will start to get up off the ground. May and June he will be heading towards the light. July he will be back on his feet. August he will be celebrating with his friends and family. So, we'll make it through some how.
I was planning on doing a post on my new helicopter today but I forgot my flash drive with the pictures. After consulting with the Dan the Man, I've named her Irene. I am still figuring out how to fly her, and things are going pretty slow right now. I found a flight instructor on the 'net (really!) and he is giving me some tips. Once I get the hang of it I'll do a more detailed post of me and my bird. I am done with Radd's ground school and am moving on to hovering right now. I had a little bit of a hard landing the other day and bent an important piece, but my Crew Chief (SFC Kerchal) and I did some maintenance and she is back up in the air. Good times.