08. April 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

“Taken off the line?”

Yeah, I guess it’s a reference to putting a fighting unit in reserve after serving on the front lines for a while. That’s how I feel now. I’m no longer on the work schedule. My mission is to get home safely.

Paul is here, he’s fully trained and now has the helm of the weather team’s night shift. The training was a very busy time, and not without drama…we have to shoehorn the training here with real-world events and real weather issues. I’m popping in and out of the workcenter, mainly to say “goodbye” to the various people with whom I had the honor of serving alongside, but don’t ask me anything about the weather over Iraq or Afghanistan. I don’t know!

I also had some non-weather related drama this past week, with lots of troubles scheduling a flight home. I was cleared to leave anytime starting today, and about 6 hours ago I received my flight information. What a relief. I wasn’t as concerned with when I’d be headed home as much as simply knowing something to pass on to the family and colleagues. I should be home by the end of this weekend.

I went to my last weekly social tent call this past Tuesday and as is tradition, I put some money on the bar to celebrate it being my last week. It certainly didn’t hurt that I had taken 2nd place in the Air Mobility Division’s NCAA Bracket contest, much to the chagrin of the 20 other guys who didn’t appreciate my “Barbie’s Dream Bracket” prediction of UNC v. Michigan State for the championship game. I had predicted Michigan State to take it all, but oh well.

I got a lot of great pictures from Tuesday but here’s a sampling I’ll share. Working the night shift was awesome, we could be honest with each other and focus on getting the job done without the politics of day-shift issues like pretty Powerpoint slides for the generals.

Here’s proof that my replacement did indeed arrive and is doing well. That I didn’t kill him during our training! Ha ha! Just kidding! Paul was a great student despite the brutal schedule we gave him!

Me with some of my night shift colleagues. Yes, I’m the only girl in the picture above, but there were other ladies around…

See? That’s Sarah on the left (Royal Air Force) and Mel on the right (Royal Australian Air Force).

This is for Jacob. This young man, who goes by “Buddy”, flies A-10s in the war and has been temporarily assigned to our unit here for a couple weeks to serve as a liaison between his squadron and the air war planners. His patch is that of the Expeditionary Flying Tigers and I told him about how that’s Jacob’s favorite airplane, the Flying Tigers A-10! He gave me a unit patch for Jacob!

Now that I’m “off the line”, I have been converting my sleep schedule into more of a swing shift schedule, to better match Central Daylight Time. I have the time to work on this blog entry, upload about 50 new pictures, and I also have a chance to work out 1-2 more times before I head to the airport. In fact, I think I’ll go to the gym right now!

Just like on my trip here, I’ll send a note or two on my trip home, so long as I can pick up WiFi on my layover in Europe, and once I’m back in the states my phone can hop back on the AT&T network and I can write more often!

I absolutely can’t wait to see my boys again — knowing it’ll be this weekend some time is such a great feeling!