On January 22nd my aircraft and our sister ship just barely arrived at FOB Warrior near Kirkuk through increasingly poor weather without having to turn back to FOB Speicher. In retrospect, we should have turned around because the weather did not clear for 48 hours leaving us stuck. You all might remember that I spent Christmas night in Kirkuk under similar circumstances.
In addition to our crews, another flight of 2 UH-60s from our company got stuck at Speicher. This totaled 16 crew members and about 50 passengers all stranded. We were put up in the transient housing section of the FOB which, I have to say, is not well maintained. We stayed in a well heated tent on bunk beds but did not have sheets, blankets, pillows or towels. The bathrooms were filthy and the showers overcrowded and clogged. Nonetheless, we were warm, safe and dry and, as Ive said many times before, things could have been much worse.
One good thing about FOB Warrior is that the Air Force shares the base. For whatever reason, this seems to bring better facilities to the base. We spent many hours at the "Clamtina". This is a club set up in a clamshell aircraft hanger. We sat around drinking "near" beer from bottles, eating fresh popcorn, and playing board games. It was actually a lot of fun. I think we all forgot for a few moments exactly where we were and why.
We finally returned to Speicher today only to be sent on a four hour "battlefield circulation" mission. The mission went without a hitch and I am finally back in my own CHU.
I am attaching some pictures from the past several days. The one in front of the Clamtina sign is me with my friend Dave. I think the others are self-explanatory.