Browsing All Posts filed under »Field Notes«

Day 9 – Going Home

March 28, 2012


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


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


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


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


“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


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


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 […]