Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hatfields & McCoys

12 Mar 07
While preparing one of the Seekers for flight today, one of the IqAF maintainers noticed a hole in the armpit of the right wing. We investigated the damage and I found a damaged spar where the round must of pierced. Luckily it was a dry bay. Twelve inches forward and it would have found one of the inner wing fuel tanks. The damage apparently happened yesterday during flight but neither pilot nor maintenance saw the damage until today.

The British have at least two compounds in down town Basrah. One is called Basrah Palace and the other is the Shaat Al Arab Hotel. Both are attacked throughout the day and night. Sometimes they’ll receive dozens of rocket propelled grenades and mortars. Their army units rotate from here at Basrah Station to the other two locations and dread the downtown rotation. One sniper rotating through the station told us he was kept exceptionally busy each night.

SciFi returned from Baghdad this evening. We were discussing his trip when we heard thumping noises outside. We went out to investigate and heard a considerable amount of ground fire in the distance. It sounded like a fairly large battle and we could make out large and small caliber weapons. At times the fire was extremely intense. SciFi and DC said it was “the Hatfields and McCoys.” They explained that there are supposedly two families in Basrah that store up ammunition and periodically face off with one another. Given the intensity I was certain it must involve dozens of casualties. According to the locals it seldom involves any casualties. According to Adnan, there are casualties regularly and they hope the two sides eliminate each other to bring some calm to the city. I hope last night’s festivities didn’t include any British or Iraqi Air Force personnel.

No running water or internet in the compound. The only water we have is bottled.

No comments: