United States of America · 4 Days · 8 Moments · August 2017

Mobility Guardian 2017 McChord AFB Seattle

5 August 2017

We haven't really been an active participant in MoB Guard this year, we haven't got any clearances to do any of the active scrams or tactical flying. We have sort of been the kid they let play out over the ocean and send up aircraft to refuel but we sort of screwed that up the first two sorties. The first one was a night flight the first Wednesday. Pete said it was awesome they flew out of McChord and joined in with a formation of 12 C-17s, so they were in the middle with 6 C17s on either wing. So cool. Two came up to refuel but didn't think we were cleared, we said we were and they were like "argh we arnt comfortable" and left. Haha so fail. Second sortie I was on day flight down to Utah training area and waiting on 4x F16s, first two refuelled fine. Second pair came up, within 10ft of contact and. Brownie picked up they were a different model, F16c?? The two sweaters.. we have had trials and deemed not acceptable ( canopy curvature to the fuelling ..? ) so luckily he picked that up
On our leg home from POPE, talking to our photographer friends. Teaching them Aussie slang, they were laughing at us. " so what do u call your New Zealand mates?... sheep fuckers?" Hahaha he goes " I'm going to post on my twitter when I get back, the Aussie Kc 30 crew I flew with today from 33 squadron thinks all New Zealanders are sheep fuckers" hahahah. Sun is setting. We should get in about 10pm. Mobility guardian 2017. I love excercises, so much interaction. We took a boomer up from kc135 the other day, her name was Evangeline. She took us over and walked us through the kC10 and 135, they are so cool. Really old school military aircraft. 135 is the older wiser baby sister of the kC10 yet the kC10 is being trumped by the new kc46 coming in. Boeing. We had one refuelling bracket on the way over with a US C17, first active contact in excercise. The tanker pilots jumped on board in Pope and airdropped Barnsey those pics above. Pretty cool.
Contd. page 4. We had a lot of Aussie sounvenirs So we put them in bags and Erin woke them up and told them we were going to play a game, she yelled out seat numbers and Bella and Taylah ran down and they got a lucky dip, haha they loved it. So funny. We had epic patch swap battles with them all fighting for our patches, first in best dressed. I swapped my dragon patch with Shelby for her MP and her US IR patch, I swapped my other IR flag with Bella for an airborne unit patch. We had two USAF photographers onboard for both legs. They were cool. Their job is full on, god they have seen a lot. They reckon last year they were away for 280 days of the year. They've done their equivalent of combat survival and we're telling us about how they can physically hit them and the restrictions, so crazy! 16 hour day. 1.5hr turn around on the ground to head back empty. 7.5 hrs back in headwind.
Contd. page 3 From helicopters, pretty cool! Another one of the guys said they have been training for the last year and been on war ready alert.. as in, for the last year been on 16 hours notice to move to go to war.. ready for WW3? ... scary. They also said 3 guys from their sister squadron in IRaq were killed 2 days ago from an IED and that deaths were frequent. They have maybe one or 2 funerals a week. That's scary. They seem to have such a high reasonable rate of losses. In the scenario phase1 in the debrief they had lost 4 c130s to the same SA8... which would have been carrying all the jumpers.. that would have been 100's of personnel lost. All pilots said the same thing. " no indications" they also lost 3x f15's from targeting false sensors on the SAms. It's all scary this war game business. It's just like little kids playing in the sandpit and smashing their toys together it's so surreal the big picture game and real out look on how Americans do business.
McChord - Pope CNTD One of the guys was on crutches and we loaded first due broken ankle, he said he had a rough landing coming in, he clipped a shipping container with his foot. Ouch! We had such a great flight hearing all the stories. Funnily enough they were all scared of flying. ? Haha. Para is pretty much an EOI for US. Anyone can get qual'd. Mind blown though - the reasonable signed off risk though. One person on each course can die. I asked does it happen often? The photographer on board we were talking to said..."oh yeh all the time" Fuck that. Stuck in trees. Tangled with other jumpers. I met one of the girls Shelby, she had only been in just over 1 year as an MP and did the para course, she had a huge rifle, I said geese how do you go jumping with that and she said all up with her body armour and gear it's about 150 pounds of equipment.. she only weighs 140 pounds. Doubles her descent. So crazy, she loves it though and has done the tac assault course aswell propelling
McChord AFB - Pope Airfield North Carolina 98 US Army from the 82nd MP airborne battalion. 5.5 hour flight. I boarded passengers and did a head count at the bottom of the stairs. As they started walking across the Tarmac I could see they were carrying black ruck sacks or slinging shoulder bags? A lot of luggage. As they got closer I was like.. surely not.. cracked up laughing. All carrying weapons. Big m4's, rifles. I had to stop them at the bottom of the stairs and tell the GLO we'd need approval. I got talking to a few of the army guys, straight up, traded my ANF for an IR American flag. They were all MPs on excercise, from the only Airborne MP batallion, they were all apart of the drop on the first day of phase 1 to take over "Jaybo" airfield. A few didn't get to jump due to birds down - one C130s ramp wouldn't close, another the para door opened in flight so had to turn back, the ones that did Jump had stories on landings, landing hard on the Tarmac, other guy had

2 August 2017

The trip over was long. It was a 24 hour day, from Amberley delayed - Auckland. Cutting it fine and then a 13 hour leg to McChord AFB in Washington. We are staying in DuPont at Fairbridge INN. I'm sharing with Erin. Second day we had off due crew rest. Body clocks are shot! Tuesday we went in for induction briefs, they are always really cool. It's like being at a inter school sports carnival. All the different countries there was 35 countries, some players others just observers. Pretty cool sitting in the hanger with grand stands and seats, over 2500 personal And then we split up and aircrew went to the theatre to get the Excercise briefings and airspace briefs. The different phases, pretty cool the back story and scenario. Taking over "jaybo"