Monday, July 13, 2009

Back to Belediyat

Back to Belediyat. I got the system on line, and then returned to Loyalty base. What a nice place! I have a real bed, with sheets. The chow hall is first-rate. The system was serviceable at Belediyat, and I have been waiting here for two days.

I found out this morning, that the system is off the spacecraft. I must now return to Belediyat on the night convoy. Then I will get the system back on the spacecraft.

I am out of clean laundry, maybe I can get some washed there at Belediyat.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


I have just completed my first assignment. It is a great feeling to accomplish a task. I was told that this install would be easy, and that I would not have to use "tool one". Boy-was that wrong. I arrived up here at Belediyat two weeks ago. The equipment was not serviceable. I spent a couple of hot-sweaty days on a roof, trying to get it to run. I finally, disattached the dish antenna, and took the pedestal down.

I drove back to Liberty, and when I opened the pedestal, one of the circuit cards was burned. We scrounged a replacement, and I installed the card. Then I spent a couple of weeks trying to get a ride back here to Belediyat. I caught a chopper on Monday, and arrived. The army had to build a bed for me. I got started the next morning.

The antenna was not working properly, so I cracked open the case, and found that one of the gears was not attached to a shaft, and thus it was spinning freely. I did not have a correct allen key, but I found one. I got a carpentry crew to loan me a battery, so that I could turn the motor, and I set the gear properly.

This morning, I borrowed a compass, and pointed the dish antenna, and gave the equipment a run-through. I was able to capture the satellite, and it works great! I am glad that I was able to get this system up and running. Score one for me.

I am sure that everyone knows that the USA has turned over security in the Iraqi cities to the Iraqis. I read this myself. What the news reports did not say, is that now US military vehicles cannot even drive in the streets of Iraqi cities, except between midnite and 0500am. This means that moving around Iraq will be even more difficult for civilian technicians, and anyone who has to "float" between bases. What a hassle.

There are no convoys driving tonite, so I will catch one later. I will get a ride in a military vehicle, and go to Loyaltly base (20 mins away). Then I will catch a chopper to Liberty, a twelve minute ride.

Food here is pretty good. Since convoys do not run in the daytime, this post has set up a kitchen. They serve a decent breakfast. Since most of the soldiers do their duties in the middle of the night, the food schedule is breakfast at 1030am Lunch at 5pm, and supper at 630pm. Supper tonight was ground beef and pasta, so I had a slice of cheesecake for supper.

No TV here, sometimes they show a videodisc in the break room. At least here they have indoor plumbing. The latrine is just down the hall from my room. I forgot to bring a razor and cream, so I am letting the beard grow. The shower is weak, the water just dribbles out, and it is warm. But I can wash myself thoroughly.

So for now, I will just relax, and wait for the next convoy.