What a trip. Mosul is about 30 miles south of the Turkey border and has been in the news as a real hot spot for a while. We were gone 10 days a ran only 1400 miles. But there was a lot that happened to not have much happen. We left out on the 2nd. There were 6 of us and a bunch of TCN’s. 2 of the TCN’s had to got to Tallil. While there, Mike, our CC for this mission, was going to do the Army a favor and grab a trailer of ice and take it to Scania on our way. With all the rain we have had over here, Cedar was nothing but a mud pit and they were not allowing the convoys to come in for the night. The Army was going to try to get the Air Force to let us stage at Tallil instead of out by fuel pod on the road. Since I am running as ACC right now, Mike and I talked about the fact that we didn’t think that it was safe enough on the road to spend the night and he was going to try to get them to let us into Cedar. Well, everything that could go wrong, did. We got into Tallil and right after we parked, the Air Force came and told us that we had to be inspected. Now to do that, we had to go back out the gate and into the inspection area, that was as big a mud pit as Cedar staging area was. Our Army escort had a fit and took us down there. The 2 TCN’s and Mike were the first to go in to get inspected and all but Mike got stuck in the mud. So the Army threw another fit and told the Air Force that we were not going into that mess, and that we would go stage out on the road. Mike had to stay and get the ice trailer, so that meant I was in charge. One of the platforms had already taken some of the TCN’s out to the road as the rest of us were trying to find a safe place to turn around and not get stuck. As we got close to the road, I was stopped by that platform and informed that one of the TCN’s had hit a wretch, and that I had to stay with the accident till KBR’s safety came out to look at it. So I sent my guys on out to the road to the fuel pod. At this time I still thought that Mike was going to make it out of Tallil and join us and he would handle getting us back behind the wire. The wretch driver had one of the few cell phones that works at Cedar and I called into camp to our boss there. He had a fit. I was not supposed to be there with the TCN, they are the Army’s responsibility and I need to make sure that I got my guys behind the wire before dark. Mike was going to be stuck at Tallil for the night. He couldn’t’ get an escort out to join us. I told him that I didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to stay, but couldn’t’ do anything about it right then. I would get the guys in the camp as soon as I could. I asked him to get the safety guys out there so we could get off the road. We were in an unsecured area and I was dealing with a trigger happy Army guy that was driving me nuts. The sun had gone down by the time safety got there and got their pictures. The platform escorted me and the TCN to where the other guys were parked on the side of the road. As soon as we stopped I started in on them to escort us back into Cedar. We could go with out them since there were 5 of us and it is only 2 miles away. But that KBR really wanted us to have an armed escort. It took some talking but I got them to take us back in to camp. Of 3 reefer convoys there that night, ours was the only one that made it behind the wire before dark. We just barely made it before dark though. Once in the camp we had to find a place to park for the night that we would not get stuck in. Wow, that was a really hard one. I finally found someone that knew what was what and where to park, and then I started trying to get things coordinated to get Mike back with us in the morning, us to the road and the rest of our convoy and escort. It was a very late night for me that night. We finally decided that we would have to loose our dedicated escort and deal with MP’s. We couldn’t’ get Mike out of Tallil by the time that our escort wanted to leave. I didn’t like that, but that was all that could be done and keep everyone safe. So, I went to bed. The next morning, Mike showed up about 15min before our escort did. They had waited on us. That was good. that day was uneventful. We made it to Anaconda and camped out for the night. There was mortar fire and gun fire all night. We didn’t see it, but heard it. There was a TCN convoy that came in and showed some of the guys their bullet holes. 22 trucks out of 2 convoys were shot at, and 2 drivers were killed. Now, don’t everyone freak out on me. It was TCN’s, not Americans. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous the next day when we got ready to head out. But as usual everything went smooth all the way up to Mosul. Believe it or not, there are mountains in Iraq. I didn’t think there were, but I have pictures. We were at Mosul for 3 days. As ya’ll can see from the pictures I sent out last night, I had fun while there. I crawled all over that tank and even got to hold one of the shells. They weight 75lb. I also did some shopping while there. We had an uneventful, but VERY SLOW trip back to Anaconda. Once we got there everyone asked us when we left and told us about the suicide car bomber that hit the front gate. We left at 0800 and I guess the bomber hit just and hour or 2 after we left. The next morning, I saw Keith as we were leaving out the font gate. For those of you that know Keith, he says to tell everyone hi. For those of you that don’t, Keith was the one of the mechanics at Christenson. He is in the Army Guard and has been in Iraq for several months. I ran into him and got to talk to him when we got to Cedar 2. He said that they left out 10 min after we did. They were hit by an IED. No one was killed, but 2 guys were cut up from the flying glass. He says that they will be fine. The rest of the trip was also smooth but slow. We had HETS in our convoy and they can only run about 45 mph. But here we are again, safe and sound, and ready to go again. There is some stuff going on and I will be hauling mail for a while. We have run our last reefer mission for a while. I will explain that all to ya’ll in another email. I think this one is long enough.

Written by WhiteRose

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