Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Mice & Men

30 Apr 07
There are lots of mice in the Iraqi squadron. Some time ago Susan sent me a bunch of mouse traps. Adnan saw them and asked for a couple. He had them in his car and forgot about them until yesterday when his wife saw a mouse. He hunted through his car to find them, set them in his house, then left to go to the market. When he returned his wife was locked in their bedroom and the boys came out to tell Adnan the trap had caught a mouse. With mocked disgust he said, “I was so embarrassed of this Iraqi mouse to get caught in an American trap! I was sure this trap would never catch an Iraqi mouse. I think this mouse deserved to die!”

We have two guys named Dan on our team. One is stationed at RAF Mildenhall in England and the other came here from Scott AFB, IL. The Dan stationed at RAF Mildenhall also asked his wife to send him some mouse traps. She sent British traps while the traps Susan sent me are U.S. We’ve been keeping a running tab of whose trap has caught more mice. The British trap has six kills; the U.S. trap has just one.

The RAF Regiment is an army infantry style regiment within the Royal Air Force. They train with the British Army and use their tactics but they are RAF. They are charged with protecting the base from attack and employ heavy machine guns, mortars, snipers, fast attack vehicles, and a range of other weapons to protect the base. They can be employed either offensively or defensively. They jokingly call themselves “the military branch of the RAF.”

Three rockets this morning just before sunrise. A 240 hit the Norwegian Lines, went thru the sun shade, thru the Kevlar roof over one of the cabins, thru the cabin and lodged over 12m deep beneath the Hesco outside the cabin…all without exploding. The occupant was in the room and had been sleeping until the attack alarm. He escaped alive/unscathed.

Two British guards at Basrah Palace have been killed in the last week by a sniper. One was 18 and I heard the other was 19. When the palace closes, I suspect those rifles will be turned on the only remaining Coalition base in Basrah province. I’ve placed the perimeter roads off limits to our team. My next door neighbors, Tim and John, are RAF police. They work the front gate here on the COB.

Leaving work I noticed gray skies and a brown, dust cloud on the horizon towards Basrah. I was giving Ali a ride home and pointed at the horizon. I told him that it was good weather for shooting rockets…we have had some seven separate attacks within the last two hours. The entire COB is currently on lock down and no one is to go outside until further notice.

Ten attacks today so far…the previous record was seven. The first attack caught me outside with my door locked. I rushed back and dove into one of the other guys' hooches. I think it will be a long night. I’ll be sleeping on the floor. None of us dared to take a shower tonight.

Eleven attacks as of 2130. Twelve attacks as of 2239...new record!

1 comment:

emitch1 said...

There's NO WAY the "limey's" can build a better mouse trap! they must be using poison or something else to get the upper hand! I was thinking, however, why not a sawed off 20 gauge? It works for snakes!