Arrived in Baghdad lastnight after a one-hour flight up from Ali Al Salem Airbase, Kuwait. Flew in an Air Force C-17 cargo plane - one I've flown in many times to/from the ice. It was so very...familiar (and I knew the best seats are the ones along the fuselage wall - NOT the cushy, pax seats in the middle).
There were about 140 of us, over half were soldiers, and for some, it was their first time in a war zone. Some were excited, some quiet, some were in prayer, all were armed.
The cool part about the flight was the death-spiral landing. In times like this, the pilot will stay at-altitude for as long as possible, usually till they're right over the airport, then spiral the plane down to the ground...but in a controlled, good way. This limits the exposure to...how shall we say...people who like to shoot things in the sky.
Landed safely, waited an hour and a half for a ride, then spent the night in yet another tent - transient housing. Today we may or may not get a lift up to Taji. We'll see. It's only 17 miles. I say we rent a car, and drive on up. For some reason, people frowned at that idea.
Only got about four hours of sleep lastnight. But then again, since this whole trip started 13 days ago, I haven't gotten a full eight hours night's sleep. My body's tired, and starting to feel it. Just...need...one...good...night...of...zzzzzzzzzzzz...
So, the adventure continues. As soon as I hit Taji I can do something I've been wanting to do for awhile: UNPACK! I forgot how tiring it is to live out of a suitcase/duffle. Exhausting.
That's it for now. Let's see what the day has to offer, shall we?
Why am I hearing automatic weapons fire in the distance?...