Browsing All Posts filed under »Field Notes«

Day 9 – Going Home

March 28, 2012

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I wake up in a freezer. It’s the first time since on exercise I’ve ever been cold waking up. The warehouse isn’t heated and with such a large building, the more than 150 bodies inside didn’t make a difference. We pack up and grab breakfast. Everyone is asking me what I thought about the exercise […]

Day 8 – With eyes watching

March 27, 2012

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Last night is the first time I have trouble sleeping. At 0300 Master Corporal Mistelbacher wakes everyone up and as it is with an early reveille, things move quickly. The morale is high; it’s the last big day of the ex, but we still have one huge task to push through. We gear up to […]

Day 7 – Under fire

March 19, 2012

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Waking up in a Forward Operating Base is distinctly different than waking up in the field. There’s always a hum and a buzz, people moving – a world outside your tent. Today is rehearsal for the troops – the officers take time to clarify and detail attack and movement plans, the soldiers learn their roles […]

Day 6 – The curse of FOB Maiden II

March 14, 2012

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FOB Maiden II is cursed. I’m not a terribly superstitious person, but something strange always happens either driving to or from FOB Maiden II. The day starts off with a smooth ride,but at that time we didn’t know we’d be making our way to the Maiden; under the belief we’d be pitching our tents at […]

Day 5 – Hearts and minds

March 13, 2012

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“Reveille, reveille, reveille!” sings Master Corporal Alex Swaan from the fart sack beside me. Even though I’ve never used it for farting, that’s what the troops call a sleeping bag out in the field. It’s 0400, time to get up and go for the final push to Gameti. We’re given exactly five minutes to eat […]

Day 4 – Relief, in place

March 12, 2012

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It’s weird waking up and not striking down a tent. Master Corporal Lee Mistelbacher, our section leader, left early this morning for the 15 minute ride north to Gameti; to see where and how the relief in place (RIP) would work. “We replace [the PPCLI soldiers] one section at a time,” explained MCpl Alex Swaan. […]

Day 3 – Baby Monkey

March 11, 2012

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There’s so much snow everywhere. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever find snowfall beautiful. But during the night, the sky placed a thin layer of snow over our tents and kit. We leave our rucksacks outside, with our parkas overtop – keeping our coats inside the warm tent creates moisture on the jacket which freezes […]