Monday, May 15, 2006
Greetings from the end of my first full day at my "final" assignment! The learning curve is steep, but I have to give my compliments to those that trained us up to this point: I actually understood 80 percent of what I saw today. The call sign "slogan" for the battalion I'm with, which will find its way into my email signature, is "Road Warriors!" As I mentioned before, they are responsible for security for supply convoys throughout Iraq, and they have a full workload every day. It's an amazing process, and it's very interesting to be right in the middle of it. The introduction to key leaders and staff members went pretty much the same. At first, when they saw "Navy", they were curious what on earth we were doing there. The Sergeant Major even asked, "Is this a student exchange program?" But once they learned who we were and why we were there, we were welcomed enthusiastically. Everyone is being very helpful to us, and we're trying to assure them that we are going to work as hard as we can to return the favor! One important thing I found out is that the TV show "Monster Garage" has filmed a few segments with the 181 Trans. Previously they aired a segment where they upgraded a Humvee with a 900-hp engine. They recently filmed another segment that I'll quote the teaser below. I highly encourage you to record this on your VCR, TiVo, or whatever other means you have. These are the guys I'll be working with, and the place I'll be working. The teaser even indicates it'll give you a taste of camp life. Watch it! IRAQ CONFIDENTIAL WITH JESSE JAMES Discovery Channel: Sunday, May 28, 9-11 PM and repeats at 1-3am Military Channel: Monday, May 29, 9-11 PM "Accompanied by a small production crew, Jesse descended onto a secret location just outside of Baghad to bring a little piece of home to the mechanics who help protect their fellow soldiers out in the battlefield. Jesse, armed with a caravan of equipment and parts, rounds up a group of unknowing heroic builders to restore a damaged Humvee that was hit during an insurgent attack. The troops of the 181st Transportation Battalion welcome this diversion from the everyday horrors of war and embrace the opportunity to showcase their talents. IRAQ CONFIDENTIAL WITH JESSE JAMES is a glimpse into what everyday life is like for these soldiers. Jesse gets to put a human face to this war, he experiences what it's like to be caught in the middle of a mortar attack and he visits the ER where American doctors help treat our soldiers, as well as the insurgents."