Saturday, August 16, 2008

leaving the philippines

Going all the way back to June, we finished all of our projects in the PI and were sent off with some very nice parties and ceremonies (and a not nice supposedly 5k "fun run" that was not fun and was not 5k). We left the Philippines by C-130, one of the nice and unique things about a C-130 is that it has the ability to utilize a "reverse" by changing the angle of its propellers. This is necessary when you are attempting to take off from a small runway the size of the one that they had in Calbayog City. What many people don't think of (especially children from a small island in the PI apparently) is that once that plane backs all the way up to the edge of the runway, it's going to change direction. There were two small boys standing at the edge of the runway on a small grass knoll when our C-130 changed the propellers to get us moving forward, the boys had only felt a small wind from our movement and must have felt safe standing a hundred or so feet behind the plane. However, when we began to move forward, all of that changed and they were sent literally flying down the backside of the knoll (naturally to our great amusement), I was just glad that the ramp was down so that we had a nice view of it.
If anyone has ever had the pleasure of flying on a C-130, you know how "comfortable" the accomodations are for a five hour flight. The important thing is that we made it back to Okinawa in one piece and were able to catch up with the rest of our battalion that had just left Gulfport. We spent two pretty uneventful weeks at Camp Shields before departing for PNG. It was another C-130 trip down to Port Moresby, PNG where we spent the night in a pretty nice hotel while awaiting our C-12 trip down (actually it was kind of up, in the north/south sense of the words up and down, but it was below the equator so I don't know if the usual convention of referring to northly directions as "up" and southerly directions as "down" is still accepted) to Popondetta. I will leave off here and continue updates as I find the time. Thanks for reading.

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