MIL What I Did on Deployment

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Asherman, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. Asherman

    Asherman New Member

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    Willijdub has recently written a series of short pieces here describing his personal experiences on deployment to Sand Land. His perspective was his own, and he clearly had no agenda other than unburdening (?) himself with a sympathetic audience, many of whom have had similar experiences. Willij has written himself out, and in the process created a unique memoir to pass along to his children someday. This thread is an open invitation to others either on deployment, or recently returned to talk a bit about their experiences. I hope that the exercise will be as useful and interesting as Willijdub's posts.

    Here you are anonymous, and most of your readers will already have gone through similar experiences. Just tell it like it is/was, and then you can get on with your life.

    Thanks in advance for your effort. Reliving an experience can be almost as difficult as it was in "real time", but I firmly believe that it is something that soldiers, and others who go in Harm's Way will ultimately benefit by.
     
  2. jimmybuffett

    jimmybuffett New Member

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    in on this. thank you guys for all that you do.
     
  3. FalconXtreme

    FalconXtreme w3rd

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    sweet i hope to be a pilot or nav one day.
     
  4. widds2v

    widds2v Active Member

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    Typical day for an IT in the navy underway:

    Get up at about 0600, take a shower, shave, etc etc. Start work at 0700, first few hours consist of unlocking accounts of people that are too tired in the morning and fat finger their password wrong a bunch of times. There are a few password changes too for retards that can't remember the one they chnaged it to yesterday. We'll get the occasional computer thats off the domain from overnight power losses or dumb people unplugging and/or moving stuff.

    Morning slows down around 1000 and I'm in my internet surfing mode (I do it to ensure we have a connection, for real, it's all work related, how else would I know if the net is down...). Do this until lunch, eat, then back to work. Continue my internet monitoring until dinner, eat dinner, go back to work. Usuually we bust out the games right about now and do that until 1900 when work is over, then we continue playing until like midnight.

    Repeat that every day for 6 months and that about sums up a deployment. Actually I do other stuff that I can't talk about with the CT's but I won't overglamify that, I generally sleep all day when I'm with them, or read a book.
     
  5. armywrx

    armywrx New Member

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    Last deployment was a lot more intense, I am a 92F (aka refueler) and was in a trans unit on top of a .50 last time. That was a very interesting and a lot of times extremely scary deployment. I put somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 rounds through my .50 and at the end of the deployment I had logged over 30,000 miles of gun time. There were plenty of close calls where the trunk in front of me would hit an ied, our truck would get pinged with small arms and the like, but the only time I really got shook up was when we were going to camp Anaconda via MSR Tampa and we have just gotten the highspeed armor that comes up off of the roof to protect the gunner instead of just the people inside of the truck. We had been driving maybe 2 hours when I heard a loud PING, I unlocked the turret and made a couple of rounds to search for a target but couldn't see anything until we got to Anaconda, about 6 inches up the back plate or about the small of my back if I was standing up there was a nice bit of lead dust. That was the closest I have been to getting injured and thankfully it didn't happen. This deployment I am in an aviation unit as the armorer and have life pretty good really, even though we are on a Marine ran base. We did have one of our Chinooks shot down on 14 August 2007, which was less than a month of being in country but the rest of the deployment has been pretty darn smooth and such and I can't wait to be out of here this coming August.
     
  6. brackac

    brackac Fuck all of this. OT Supporter

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    My "deployments" have either been to Columbia, where I can only discuss portions of what I did, or to cushy places like Thailand or Honduras.
     
  7. nsxrebel

    nsxrebel New Member

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    I've heard the stories... I'm hoping Hugo Chavez does something stupid and we go to war down there. :x:
     
  8. willijdub

    willijdub New Member

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    thanks asherman..... i vote sticky. possibly new sticky titled "downrange experiences".... any one else second this?
     
  9. willijdub

    willijdub New Member

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    love to hear more SweetDaddyO. Jtacs for the win.(except that one time gbu 12 dropped almost right on us by an a-10, but thats a different story, lol)
     
  10. brackac

    brackac Fuck all of this. OT Supporter

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    I vote for the title "No shit, there I was"
     
  11. SweetDaddyO

    SweetDaddyO we need a montage!!

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    deleted my previous post just to play it safe regarding OPSEC (i was pretty catious about what was posted but i just feel better not posting anything in a setting here where anyone can access it)

    if you have specific questions PM me
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2008
  12. kawasakizx6rrrr

    kawasakizx6rrrr New Member

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    my first firefight

    ok, this was my first fire fight i had ever been in (only a 3 rpg day) i was in fallujah, but it was after the push and never got in a firefight, thought i had been ieded several during that deployment:​

    We were on patrol in ramadi around noon time. we were stopping at houses and the dismounts would get out and search the houses and stuff. i was a gunner. i was lead truck gunner on a m-240g med. machine gun in a usmc weapons co. mobile assault platoon. anyway, the dismounts were hitting houses and me and my buddy mitch were providing security with the rest of the 1st section trucks outside. we were rolling split section that day so, trucks 5,6,7 were a couple streets away. ​
    Anyways, me and mitch were slowly creeping up the road in our humvee, as i was talking to our lt. on the radio. then he told me to stop creeping, because the people in the house told him that 10 meters up the road and beyond that was all rigged up with ieds. so i told mitch to stop immediately and he did. i told him what was up. all of sudden, an rpg was shot from a rooftop down the road and exploded about 25 meters in front of our truck. that was followed by small arms fire, aks and rpks down at the end of the road. insurgents were popping out and shooting down the road at us. so by now my buddy mitch is screaming at me to shoot my 240 at them. and i yell back down to him and tell him i am trying but the gun wont fire! (you see, this was the first time i had to shoot my 240 and we couldn't test fire before we went out or anything so i would have no way of knowing if it would work or not, except the check i did for functionality. as an 0331 machine gunner, thats all i can do, i'm not an armorer for christ sake). ​
    So my guns jammed and down and i am trying like all hell to get it up again and kill these guys. meanwhile i've got to explain on the radio (i've got a head set with mic in my helmet) to the lt. what the hell my situation is. i am screaming at my buddy lopez to get up on his mark19 and kill them, but he doesn't realize we are taking rounds yet. so i grab my m4 and start popping off rounds like a mad man. somewhere in there another rpg got shot at us and skipped on the ground right by our trucks, and to my knowledge never actually exploded. another rpg gets shot and flies over everything that would have been in its path and explodes god knows where. the dismounts told me it flew right by them up on the roof of the house. ​
    Did i mention i was screaming at lopez to shoot, because thats what i remember most from this firefight. so finally lopez starts shooting and that whole area is getting whited out from the smoke from the 40mm rounds. the fire slows down and the dismounts mount up again, and we back out to let another truck take our position since my gun went down. that truck had a 240, and starts shooting along with the mk 19. the guys in the 240 truck open their doors and step out and start firing 5.56 from their rifles and 40mm from a 203. my buddy lock must have shot about 800 rounds before this thing was over. so we all backed the fuck out and got the hell out of dodge RTB. ​
    All this happened within about 7 to 8 minutes. i took my 240 to the armorer and they had no idea what the hell was wrong with it (shitty armorers i have had trouble with in the past). so they game me a new 240, and that new one never jammed in any fire fight from there on out. and thats my first 3 rpg day of many.:noes::bigthumb:


    [​IMG]
    p.s. i know my chevrons were sweet.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  13. jimmybuffett

    jimmybuffett New Member

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    MOAR STORIES KAWI!!

    scary stuff man!
     
  14. kawasakizx6rrrr

    kawasakizx6rrrr New Member

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    the first IRL (precautionary shots fired): for jimmy buffett

    :noes:first i will eplain to you what an IRL is for those who do not know. An IRL is like an IED except instead of simply blowing up it, shoots a rocket. IRL stand for Improvised Rocket Launcher. they told us that they weren't really used all over the place and mostly in ramadi at the time, i don't know if that is true. to give you a mental image, it is pretty much some sort of tube or metal pipe large enough to fit whatever kind of rocket they can fit in it. the tube is placed on top of 2 saw horses made of wood or angle iron and it is stabalized with rice bags/ sandbags, and aimed in the area that they want it to be shot. they are shot by remote or from a wire, or victim initiated with some sort of pressure device, but i have never seen them manually load and shoot one. its a very simple operation, but can be devestating. they have taken out several humvees i have been in, and they have also disabled tanks.

    So this story starts at night, while we were doing route clearance, as we were taking over a building for a new firm base. we went throught the motions with the route clearance eod guys, and that was simple. the plan was to do that and then take up positions and cordon off the area and provide security for the crunchies (the line company dismounted marines) that were supposed to be taking the building and start setting up. so the radio is beeping and voices are comin over with sit reps and requests and all that, non stop.

    the line company guys, get into the first building, i want to say around when the sun was comin up, probably a little bit after the sun was already up now that i think of it. they are talkin over the radio tellin BN whats going on, and we are listening in. then the mortars came. the mortars didn't drop close to us, but they were hitting right around the target building. now i am still unclear of what happened in the target building, but something blew up in the house. we thought it was mortars hitting the building, but later they said that the building was rigged to blow and had ieds in the walls. i still don't know, but rigged to blow wouldn't be far fetched, because many buildings were riged to blow, and some just randomly exploded.

    so they are doing cas evacs and all that. meanwhile we are sitting at our position, i'm lookin vigilantly, ready for the worst at this point. our position is looking down into the souk, or marketplace, where nobody, previous units included really ever go. (my buddies plt followed a car into the souk and he said it was like black hawk down or something. he swears that they surprised the insurgents and swears, there was a squad of insurgents PTing hahaha). andyways, we are expecting to get some shit and nothing is happening. so we sit and sit and the mortars continue to drop.

    now we get the word that our truck along with another one of our trucks will be escorting psyops (army psyops, think they were reservists) who were on the way, towards the target building. GREAT. another truck from our plt took our spot and stayed watchin down that avenue of apprroach. so psyops arrives and we make our way to the target building, and shit was breakin lose. the mortars are still dropping, but now theres small arms fire coming from god knows where. insurgents are shooting, marines are shooting back, i don't know at what, but they were shooting. i only shoot when i have to, last thing i want to do is kill a kid or something, so i shoot when i have a target (exception: towards the end of this story)

    so we are up there, and lookin down the road. and a mortar hits a big gas tank about 30 meters to my 2 oclock. that thing eplodes into a fireball and makes me nearly shit my fuckin pants. the firing continues for a bit until there is a lull. my lt. says "i can't hold it anymore, shit's died down, i am takin a piss!" so we are like "ok..." so he jumps out and starts pissing when the fire picks up again, and he jumps back into the truck like a scared cat. the truck behind us got it on video, totally priceless.

    so now our truck leads, another truck follows, while the psyops truck follows that one. we move up and around the back side of the target building, which the crunchies are leaving to move down to the back up target building. we are on a street, if you could even call it that, where we didn't even have enough room to turn around. it was about a humvee and a half in width. and we are moving, and the mortars start again. now they are falling on the other side of the wall we are driving past. the psyops guys start screamin over the radio and i shit you not the guy screams "fuck the hearts and minds, let's get the fuck outa here!!!" he was scared shitless, and all of us in the truck are bustin out laughing like crazy all the while facing near misses of the mortar rounds landing on the other side of the wall.

    so we move down the street and the crunchies come out of the building, and it was cleared on the radio that they would stay by our trucks and move along side for cover. these guys just go and leave our asses in the back, we were like fine whatever. then we stop because there is a mortar round in the middle of the alley street thingy we were on. we couldn't tell if it was unexploded, or rigged up, but at this point we said fuck it and drove over it and hoped for the best. thats like a reoccuring theme in iraq. drive over it and hope for the best hahaha. this is also the point where i figure it is a good time to piss, so higgy gets out and provides security as i take a piss, all the while mortars still dropping. the whole time i am yelling at my penis "jesus christ hury the fuck up!" so i jump back in the truck glad to have drained my bladder and we moved along.

    so we finally make our way back and get back to our original position. the other truck pulls out and we pull in. they say everything is fine and nothing happened while we were gone. we say cool and the deal is done. now....i don't know why on this particular occassion, we canted our truck diagonal, instead of setting up looking straight down the road, but we canted it so the front of the humvee was facing diagonal down the right side of the road. we did it sometimes, but every time after this.

    so we are sitting there bullshitting, waiting to get shot at, or for a sign of life down the road, but nothings happening. me and my vc (vc position is shotgun in case you dont know) are the only ones who can see down the road at this point. and everything from here on out is in slow motion.

    i am looking and a puff of smoke generates down the road, and i don't hear anything. i can't say anything, to warn anyone, and that wouldn't have made a difference. so i just sit and watch. out of the smoke, i see it. a fucking rocket. its coming straight at us and there nothing i can do but pull up a chair grab some popcorn and wait. it feels like 10 minutes go by, but it was all of a few seconds. i watch it all the way until i can't see it anymore. thats when it dissapeared and thats when it hit us.

    everyone in the truck is fucked up, danny, my vc, gets knocked out, but that was normal for him, then he waked up seconds later and gives a report. it is weird. higgy is yelling, "i'm hit, i'm hit!" and for what reason i don't know, i start adding to the comotion and yelling "higgys hit, higgys hit!" like the 3 other guys in the truck didn't hear higgy the first god damn time. so his door (rear drivers side door) swings wide open and we are vulnerable to small arms fire. had small arms fire followed up the rocket strike, we wouldn't have been toast, armor is only good if its between you and the bullets.

    so higgins ends up getting shrapnel in his left tricep, and a piece of the inside door handle flew off and hit me in the arm, but i was cool. i wasn't taking any chances with more of an ambush, so i try to get up and shoot at the insurgent before they can shoot at us. so i try to get up and higgy is holding on to me, and i cant see but i am thinkin the worst. i am thinkin man higgys got no fuckin legs or whatever, i didn't know, but he was grabbing onto me for dear life. so i struggle and kinda push him off me, and start shooting my 240 down the road when we got the rocket from. at the same time, mitch backs us the fuck out and we get the fuck out of there. we pass our docs truck and he checks out higgy almost as we pass, and higgy gets in ther truck and we get someone from their truck that has to hold the door shut the whole way back. the truck is leaking all kinds of shit and couldn't get out of first gear. no good.

    so we get back with no other incident and turns out higgy was ok, just got shrapnel in his tricep and what was it. could have been a bad fucking day, but all turned out decently well. docs truck told us what they saw, as they were facing our truck down the road and watched the rocket peg our truck. i find out a few days later that higgy wasn't trying to hold onto me as i went up into the turret to shoot my 240. turns out my side sapi plate got caught under his kevlar when he got blasted further into the truck, and when i tried to get up on the gun, i took him with me hahaha, we still have laughs about that. when i told him i thought the worst and that he had no legs and pushed him off me so i could shoot, he called me an asshole. and thats my story about the 1st IRL that hit our truck.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  15. jimmybuffett

    jimmybuffett New Member

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    holy shit kawi
     
  16. kawasakizx6rrrr

    kawasakizx6rrrr New Member

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    ramadi was a shit storm dude.
     
  17. Ranger-AO

    Ranger-AO I'm here for the Taliban party. Moderator

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    I can't count the number of times I've done this. But then again, I'm in a vehicle that's designed to take a blast. :hsugh:
     
  18. kawasakizx6rrrr

    kawasakizx6rrrr New Member

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    what do you drive a cougar? well thats what we called them, courgars and buffalos. we just had uparmored humvees. in fallujah we didn't even have turret armor for the first 2 months haha
     
  19. Ranger-AO

    Ranger-AO I'm here for the Taliban party. Moderator

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    Depends on the mission, but normally I TC an RG31. If I'm not in an RG, I'm in a Husky. I rode in a Buffalo for a couple of missions and hated every second of it. It's like riding in a fucking hotel room. I felt disconnected from everything. All the Buffalo does is roll along in the middle of the convoy waiting for someone up front to call it up to interrogate stuff. It's the Army's answer to "how can we make Route Clearance as mind-numbingly boring as possible?"

    We're kind of rough on our vehicles, so if we're short on RG's we'll include an 1114 in the package. Now that is an exciting way to look for IEDs. :hsugh:
     
  20. kawasakizx6rrrr

    kawasakizx6rrrr New Member

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    i know it all to well. i went through 3 1114s over there. well 4, but one was due to a bad transmission, the others were because of shit like the story above.
     
  21. kawasakizx6rrrr

    kawasakizx6rrrr New Member

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    i liked writing about it. makes me feel alot better.
     
  22. crucialkc

    crucialkc the earth is flat

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  23. Rambro

    Rambro New Member

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  24. Swoop411

    Swoop411 New Member

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    I suddenly feel like my story sucks so hard, but I will post it up anyways.

    Back in January of 2003 we all loaded up on the Bataan and set sail for Iraq. The war had not begun, and we all expected the worst. We did NBC drills like every fucking day and started to get sick of it. I dont know how many hours I spent wearing that damn mask.

    Fast forward and we were ten miles off the coast of Kuwait. Some CBRN unit had set up the sensors on shore as an advanced warning net of sorts and held some sort of drill with the ship when we arrived.

    Myself and a Sergeant from my shop worked day crew so and we were down in the ship's laundry kind of late in the evening, in PT gear. All of sudden the 1MC goes apeshit and they are screaming this is not a drill. We look at each other and nearly shit. Our masks are up in berthing and we are all the way down in the laundry. They set Zebra and we tried to get out, but the hatches were fucking stuck shut. I got on the phone and tried to call, to find a way up to berthing, but no one would answer. So for the next three hours we sat on the floor in the laundry waiting to die. We first rambled on wondering what kind of agent it was, then wondered if we would know if we were contaminated. My skin began to crawl and I just knew I was fucked.

    Anyways, they came over the 1MC, say it was a false alarm, have a nice day. I wanted to fucking choke a bitch. When we finally put ashore we got mortared, but it didnt freak me out nearly as much as that false alarm. I always figured you at least can see what killed you if it was a mortar, gas would just creep up on ya.

    Now I am a Combat Photographer and bound for Iraq once again in the very near future. I am sure I will have a better story when I get back, but to be honest I could live without it. This time I will have photos and video to back it up, so my "no shit, this is what happened" will have supporting evidence!
     
  25. EBK

    EBK Hate hippies & hadjis

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    VBIED, our Bradley, permanent tinnitus and some back pain.. :hsd:
     

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