Sunday, February 05, 2006

Fire in the Sky

Black Snow

I've mentioned before the quality of air at my location. All our trash and waste is burned. This occurs frequently and there's a never ending cloud of thick, black smoke, billowing over our area.

This foul air floats across the post and into our living areas. I'm now acquainted with the smell of burning plastics and organic waste.

In any event, my unit's officership has mandatory runs through out the week. I'm mentioning this because, as one of my fellow lieutenants and I rounded the last corner to the straight away of our run, we could see the cloud was darker than usual.

No less than 3 minutes after we completed the last stretch of the run, black chunks of ash started to float over our work area and billets.

Someone started shouted, "Look! Black snow!"

I ran back to my billet to grab a camera and by the time I returned the wind had shifted directions and the ash along with it.

Well, They Called It A "Test Fire"

From time to time we have test fires on post - you can hear the anti-air protection guns screaming across the base.

I'm noting this experience because outside of chaff, dropped from the sky by aircraft , shimmering from the heavens and the off chance a flare goes off from base defense, there isn't much that happens at night.

During one of these test fires, I was moving to do a late night work out. I heard the guns initiate fire.

I was trying to figure out what was going on and when I looked up to the sky, I saw a fountain of fire billowing up and into the night sky. This went on for a couple of minutes and you could hear the crackle of the tracer rounds either impacting on something in the sky or detonating - it sounded something like fire crackers.

An amazing sight to say the least.

Earlier in this deployment, I had wrapped up a morning work out and moved to a shower trailer. When I heard the high pitched scream of the anti air cannons opening up. I had just stepped out of the trailer on to the porch when this went off and I was in a state of confusion because,

A) I had never heard that sound before.
B) I didn't know how to react
C) It was so freaking loud I couldn't think - when this thing starts shooting imagine those shrieking fire alarms in most buildings constructed today and magnify that noise by about 50 and you have a comparable experience.

The trailer door closed and my roomate was next to me. I yelled,

"What the hell is that?"

He tapped my left shoulder and pointed to the sky on the other side of the shower trailer - I could faintly make out a copper stream - almost like tiny birds moving toward a large object in the sky. At about that time, the screaming had stopped.

"Yeah! That was the defense system kicking in!"

At that point you could hear the rounds crackling and see the incoming mortar fragment into small pieces that ended up (fortunately for us) missing post.

Range Fire

I've also managed to get on to a range to re-zero my weapon and get re-acquainted with my weapon. A great experience and, I think I'll try to work some time into my schedule and get on to a range more frequently.

And with that, I move on to business as usual.



At 6:46 AM, Blogger Cristina said...

Sounds quite terrible of what had happened @~@ matter what, keep this little e-Angel as a Guardian Angel who will protect u as long as you want it... :D

At 6:23 PM, Blogger buericana said...

That sounds really scary.


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