Well, I’ve been back in the States for a little over a month and had time to recharge and reflect on my time serving as USARCENT Bands LNO. Besides the invaluable experience I gained working on the USARCENT staff, I came away with a few important lessons: Continue reading
Tag Archives: Deployment
So, I’m a little late writing this post…A couple of weeks ago, the Army Ground Forces Band (FORSCOM Band) sent their cover band to the area to perform for troops around the Fourth. This was the trip I started planning a couple of weeks after I arrived, and it was great to finally see it happen.
I knew the Loose Cannons was going to be good, but you never know until they start playing and you hear that first vocal. As expected, they were fantastic, performing an updated set list. The first full day in country, the band worked with the contracted sound and lighting guys in the venue they were going to play in on the Fourth – a large, air-conditioned “tent” that sounded like a gymnasium. The position of the stage was probably the worst place it could be acoustically, and during the initial sound check, the sound guys had a terrible time getting the band to sound like…the band; despite the fact that the event planners wanted the band surrounded by games and activities like a carnival, we decided that we needed to move the stage. Though the picture wouldn’t be as nice, the music would be a lot better…and it was. Continue reading
Last Monday I had the opportunity to go to Qatar – my first trip out of Kuwait. I flew out Monday because there were no flights available Sunday or Saturday, and I couldn’t get on a flight the previous Tuesday or Wednesday. Flying Space-Required (Space-R) is not exactly a sure thing; it’s barely one step removed from Space-A.
With Space-A, you probably have the flexibility to wait around all day to be told, “sorry, maybe tomorrow.” With Space-R, you probably have someplace to be but don’t have enough rank to get a seat; so the only difference with Space-R is that you’ll need to call the person you had a meeting with and postpone it. Perhaps more than once. But, I finally did get on a plane – a C130 – with one other passenger and a big payload of cargo. I arrived at Al Udeid Airbase (which is actually a Qatari base with an American base nestled within it) in the late morning, went through customs, checked in with billeting, and dropped off my stuff in the open bay I was going to be staying in. Continue reading
Well, I’ve been in Kuwait for a little over two months now, and I have certainly settled into a bit of a routine. To help break up that routine, I’ve been able to get off base a couple of times. On one excursion, a small group of us went to brunch and did a little shopping. When we got out of the car by the water, I was immediately struck by the familiar scent of the ocean, which of course reminded me of Virginia Beach. Above is a shot I took of the Kuwait City skyline with the pier in the foreground. There were a lot of beautiful boats docked at the pier and out in the water. There was also this beauty.
On 21 February, I began the latest chapter in my Army story. That’s when I started my preparation for a six-month deployment to U.S. Army Central Command in Kuwait as the Bands Liaison Officer. On the 21st, I arrived at Fort Bliss, Texas, which is adjacent to El Paso. Spending a week at the Conus Replacement Center (or CRC), I got a healthy dose of training, a couple of duffle bags worth of gear, and an all expenses paid trip to sunny Kuwait. Continue reading