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View Full Version : Follow Soldier415's Deployment Thread *UPDATED 12-5-08*


Soldier415
09-30-2008, 12:02 AM
Don't know if this should be s sticky or not, but this is the consolidated thread where I will be posting as often as possible with updates, pictures, videos, etc. (while always maintaining OPSEC) during my deployment.

We report in in 2 days, then leave to start training the next day.

You guys have done so much. Thanks in advance and I will keep you posted.

69Mach1
09-30-2008, 12:09 AM
Good luck and keep safe Soldier.

Soldier415
09-30-2008, 12:13 AM
Good luck and keep safe Soldier.

I'll do my best. :D

Although I did just request a transfer to the platoon that is going to pretty much the most hostile area in country.

Anything worth doing is worth doing right...right?

sorensen440
09-30-2008, 12:31 AM
No pressure but I do expect you to single handedly fix all the problems over there

apbrian112
09-30-2008, 1:14 AM
stay safe out there! Good luck and God speed!

bwiese
09-30-2008, 1:17 AM
Take care, Dan!

Steyr_223
09-30-2008, 1:31 AM
Take care man! Stay safe..

ghostwong
09-30-2008, 3:48 AM
I second this, Thank You for your service. stay safe out there! Good luck and God speed!

MrTenX
09-30-2008, 7:25 AM
Take care bro.

Darn! Wish I was 30 years younger, had both kidney's and could hear and see worth a crap.

lcpl. huynh
09-30-2008, 7:36 AM
Where are you gonna be stationed? Or is that opsec?

stphnman20
09-30-2008, 7:39 AM
Be safe and give them hell bro!

WokMaster1
09-30-2008, 7:46 AM
take care Dan!

Hopi
09-30-2008, 8:22 AM
Give 'em Hell!

Saigon1965
09-30-2008, 9:27 AM
Please hold the pics and vids - We probably should censor it first - Kidding aside. Take it easy out there Dan. You owe me a bowl of Pho.

jacques
09-30-2008, 9:48 AM
Stay safe Bro. Post in whenever you have a chance. You will be missed.

PatriotnMore
09-30-2008, 9:49 AM
Once again, thank you for your service! I am glad we have patriots such as yourself in our armed services. Be safe, watch your six at all times.

BB63Squid
09-30-2008, 10:52 AM
Be safe and come back vertical.

Colt
09-30-2008, 11:00 AM
Stay safe. God bless.

USN CHIEF
09-30-2008, 11:20 AM
Dan, just one request. Could you please bring me back a Desert Spider if you see one? Thanks buddy.

ETA: Never Mind, you are going to Afghanistan, not very common over yonder. Just come back safe and take lots of pics.

Nemo
09-30-2008, 12:03 PM
Take care, Dan, and do it right!

odysseus
09-30-2008, 12:24 PM
Stay safe and take care.

.

ojisan
09-30-2008, 12:57 PM
We are forever gratefull.
Kick butt, come home soon!

:patriot:

(At least you get to use hi-caps and no stinkin' BBs.) :)

soopafly
09-30-2008, 3:25 PM
thank you for your service and good hunting...
:patriot:

BroncoBob
09-30-2008, 4:35 PM
Take care and God be with you and your fellow soldiers. Thank you for your service and by all means be careful. We'll keep you in our daily prayers for a safe return.

trashman
09-30-2008, 5:02 PM
Looking forward to updates Dan -- kick some enemy combatant *** and come back to us in one piece!

--Neill

berto
09-30-2008, 5:12 PM
Thanks for serving. Take care of yourself over there. I look forward to updates.

Saigon1965
09-30-2008, 6:50 PM
Yeah - Maybe he'll destroyed the Poppy fields and convert them.

CrackedShot
09-30-2008, 8:41 PM
Powder dry, head down, giv'em hell. Thanks for your service!

moulton
09-30-2008, 9:08 PM
have fun and play ni-....err... shoot them terrorists.

chris
09-30-2008, 10:03 PM
good luck dude and be safe and don't do anything stupid ok.

FMJBT
10-01-2008, 12:03 AM
Keep your head down when not returning fire, and please refrain from making any necklaces out of teeth, fingers, or ears of enemy combatants :D Stay safe!

marxdspot
10-01-2008, 7:11 AM
Good luck and be safe.

Doheny
10-01-2008, 8:03 AM
Godspeed.

Stormfeather
10-01-2008, 5:10 PM
Hey Dan, is it possible that we can cause international incidents on two fronts? :) Keep safe bro, and I will touch base with you as soon as we hit sand. We are looking at the 16th (not OpSec since it was reported in the evening news) as our bounce date. DocSmiley and I are having a ball though! Keep your head up, your *** down, and your . . .(oh wait, did I get that backwards?) you know the deal bro!

Soldier415
10-01-2008, 5:47 PM
Hey Dan, is it possible that we can cause international incidents on two fronts? :) Keep safe bro, and I will touch base with you as soon as we hit sand. We are looking at the 16th (not OpSec since it was reported in the evening news) as our bounce date. DocSmiley and I are having a ball though! Keep your head up, your *** down, and your . . .(oh wait, did I get that backwards?) you know the deal bro!

It is very possible. I plan on organizing a "Wet Burka Contest" soon after hitting ground in Afghanistan. We will see how well it plays out.

Stay safe. Give me a call if you get a minute.

Dan

f00lish1
10-01-2008, 5:58 PM
Godspeed and be safe. Clean up that place as much as you can so the rest of us don't have to go back! :D

ivanimal
10-01-2008, 6:04 PM
Dan, you are one of a kind! Wet Burkas the mind reels! We will keep the place in order till you report in. Here's wishing you all that is good.

GammaRei
10-01-2008, 6:13 PM
Take care of yourself over there. We should get peeps to get together from time to time to send Dan some care packages~!!!

- G

moulton
10-02-2008, 8:16 PM
http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20081002/NEWS/810020253/1349?Title=North_Coast_GIs_say_goodbye
North Coast GIs going to war

By GUY KOVNER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Published: Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 4:50 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 5:10 p.m.

About 60 California National Guard soldiers spent Thursday morning packing gear — weapons, computers and tools — at the Petaluma Armory in preparation for a year-long deployment to Afghanistan.
MARK ARONOFF/The Press Democrat
Brandee Cardenas, 25, pregnant with her baby due Oct. 18, hugs her husband, Spc. Sandro Cardenas, 26, before leaving him at the Petaluma National Guard Armory on Thursday. The 235th Engineer Co. heads Friday for training at Camp Roberts near Paso Robles before going to Afghanistan.
More Photos:

* Petaluma Guard packs for war

“It’s like moving day for us,” said 1st Sgt. Christopher Kramer. “It’s not an easy move.

On Friday, the soldiers from the Petaluma-based 235th Engineer Co. will depart for about two months of training at Camp Roberts north of Paso Robles.

In early January ,the company of about 100 men will leave for Afghanistan where they will conduct road clearing missions for the infantry, locating and disposing of deadly roadside bombs.

The company includes about 40 men from Sonoma and Mendocino counties.

Training involves certifying each soldier in hundreds of task, including first aid, weapons and vehicle operations.

“We have a lot of work to do,” said Capt. Cory Marks, the company commander and a Ukiah CHP officer.

Marks said that among the soldiers stepping away from civilian life are another CHP officer, emergency medical technicians, a grocery store manager, a high school principal, construction workers and a FedEx delivery driver.

Some of his men will be taking a 50 percent pay cut to serve in the combat zone, he said.


http://srimg.ny.publicus.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?NewTbl=1&Avis=SR&Dato=20081002&Kategori=NEWS&Lopenr=100209997&Ref=PH&Item=6&MaxW=585&MaxH=500&Border=0
:tank::80::79::rockon:

artherd
10-03-2008, 4:01 AM
Take care Dan, stay sexy!

Soldier415
10-04-2008, 7:04 PM
Well guys, the fun has truly started...

We have been at Camp Roberst since Friday afternoon and as luck would have it, we are stuck way on the far side of the post in the barracks that are literally about 1 year away from being condemned. I'll post pics later.

Our first day of briefings started today. All day in a big auditorium that has no bathrooms as it is being renovated. over 120 soldiers have to share two porta potties on the far side of the parking lot.

It is the standard lame and boring inbriefs. General Orders for CENTCOM, UCMJ, Rules of Engagement, Equal Opportunity, and the most laughable of all...Prevention of Sexual Harassment :D

I was in the front row during this briefing, and I was taking notes in my pad under the heading, "Techniques to Improve On."

Entries consisted of:

Elevator eyes
Foul and disgusting language
jokes of a sexual nature
unwanted sexual advances
provocative posing

and you can imagine the rest.

Just so happened that the instructor saw me writing when she was talking about keeping a written record of instances of sexual harassment and grabbed my pad to hold it up for all to see just to make her point.

Luckily, she didnt see what I was writing or I would most likely STILL be in the Commander's office :D

It is going to be good times. Just wanted to check in and let people know what is going on.

Dan

Saigon1965
10-04-2008, 7:20 PM
How's the chow -

Soldier415
10-04-2008, 7:25 PM
How's the chow -

How can I put it delicately...

The guy in front of me on the bus back to the barracks let a fart rip and the smell would have made a pig run.

I didn't mind because it got the taste of the chow hall food out of my mouth.

moulton
10-04-2008, 8:04 PM
How can I put it delicately...

The guy in front of me on the bus back to the barracks let a fart rip and the smell would have made a pig run.

I didn't mind because it got the taste of the chow hall food out of my mouth.

Sounds great :patriot: http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b22/moulton/calgunspoopballon.gif http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b22/moulton/calgunspoop2.gif
Glad to see you are able to get some internet time, you bring your own compy?

Saigon1965
10-04-2008, 8:10 PM
He had to walk 3/4 mile to the rec. room -

Sounds great :patriot: http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b22/moulton/calgunspoopballon.gif http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b22/moulton/calgunspoop2.gif
Glad to see you are able to get some internet time, you bring your own compy?

Saigon1965
10-04-2008, 8:10 PM
It'll only get better -

How can I put it delicately...

The guy in front of me on the bus back to the barracks let a fart rip and the smell would have made a pig run.

I didn't mind because it got the taste of the chow hall food out of my mouth.

dilligaffrn
10-06-2008, 2:49 PM
How can I put it delicately...

The guy in front of me on the bus back to the barracks let a fart rip and the smell would have made a pig run.

I didn't mind because it got the taste of the chow hall food out of my mouth.

LOL!

Soldier415
10-10-2008, 3:13 PM
So, good news!

Just found out last night that I got a slot to go to the Explosive Ordnance Clearance Agent (EOCA) course out at Ft. Leonard Wood on Monday. Short notice, but this is one of the hardest schools to get into as it is in extremely high demand and the school is a month long with only 18 slots per course.

PURPOSE: To train skill level 10 thru 40 (E-4 to E-7) Combat Engineers (21B) and select Engineer Officers (0-1 to 0-3) with the basic skills and knowledge required to perform as Explosive Ordnance Clearance Agents (EOCA).

This course is designed to train students in the following areas: React to the UXO Hazard, EOCA Roles and Responsibilities, Ordnance Terminology, Safety, Color Codes and Markings, Explosives and Explosive Effects, Demolition Operations Refresher, EOCA Manual overview and Application, Ordnance Identification, Remote charge placement, IED Decision Matrix, Common IED Components, Protective Measures, EOCA Reconnaissance, Marking, Disposal of select UXO (in place only), as identified in the Explosive Ordnance Clearance Agent ID Guide in the conduct of Engineer specific area and route clearance operations, Reporting and Current IED Trends.


In a nutshell, it is EOD-lite. With the EOCA MOS designator, you are authorized to blow in place everything except dropped ordnance (air force bombs, large submunition dispensers, etc.). Now when out on mission, instead of having to sit there as a big target for 2 hours waiting on EOD to roll out and blow it, we can do it ourselves and continue mission.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get this training and I am looking forward to it even though it is a tough course. I pulled the academic requirements printout for the course and it is thick. It lists all the subjects you will be covering that day, and the next morning you come in and are tested on the previous days subjects, with a minimum score of 80% needed to pass. Two fails and you are dropped from the course.

But hey, it gets me out of Camp (Hell Hole) Roberts for a month and will allow me to have a beer at the end of the day.

Iíll check in from there as well and post pictures of the training ( the stuff I can, as 90% of the info in the course is classified).

Dan

Colt
10-10-2008, 5:37 PM
Good luck. My younger boy was there a couple years ago (different MOS, though). Fort Lost in the Woods is an interesting place. At least you missed summer!

goathead
10-10-2008, 7:14 PM
good luck Dan

aileron
10-10-2008, 10:30 PM
I'll do my best. :D

Although I did just request a transfer to the platoon that is going to pretty much the most hostile area in country.

Anything worth doing is worth doing right...right?

Stay safe... cant believe you would ask to go to the hottest spot. Best not do too much jenkem while out there if your going to the hottest spot. ;) Good luck in your adventure.

Soldier415
10-14-2008, 4:06 PM
[QUOTE=aileron;1607295]Stay safe... cant believe you would ask to go to the hottest spot. QUOTE]

Yeah, I am kind of twisted in the head like that. I think it is a prerequisite to be an Engineer. :D

Out here at FLW now. Just got done with the first day of class and it is going to be one long month...:eek:

Stormfeather
10-21-2008, 7:28 PM
gee, you arent hat far actually. . .hmmm, might have to make a midnight run and visit!

Soldier415
11-08-2008, 7:39 AM
Well, just graduated the Explosive Ordnance Clearance Agent course yesterday. I was the Honor Grad, with a 97.5% overall GPA. Damned tough course unlike anything I have been to yet in my career. I am now one of only three EOCAs in the CA Guard.

From what I hear from the unit we are replcaing in Afghanistan, I will be putting these new skills to use daily. Sure will be nice not to have to sit there for hours as a big target waiting for EOD to show up.

I am SO ready to get out of FT Leonard Wood. This place is boring as hell and seeing the undisciplined bastards that now make up basic training and AIT made me want to scream every day.

We don't fly back until Tuesday, so we have a few days off to relax and drink beer after 12 hour days for the last month. I have a 4 day pass when i get back to CA, so I am going to definately head down to bullseye and do some shooting. I feel wierd not having shot in over a month.

Soldier415
11-08-2008, 7:49 AM
Here are some pictures from the portion of the course on remote charge placement on IEDs.

Using only the robot and it's cameras, you have to positively ID the round and initiation system, and then place a pre made charge of C4 on the IED. Run the robot back and pull the igniter.


Not as easy as it looks even to leane the charge against the round correctly.



http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo106/Sapper415/IMG_2379.jpg

http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo106/Sapper415/IMG_2380.jpg

http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo106/Sapper415/IMG_2381.jpg

http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo106/Sapper415/IMG_2382.jpg

http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo106/Sapper415/IMG_2383.jpg

f00lish1
11-08-2008, 7:58 AM
http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo106/Sapper415/IMG_2381.jpg


That's one mean Roomba! :D

Soldier415
11-08-2008, 8:03 AM
That's one mean Roomba! :D

LOL. That one above is the Talon

We use another one which is more manueverable but harder to control and operate. I was using that one and managed to do the near impossible, balance the square charge lengthwise on a round projectile using the Pacbot.


http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo106/Sapper415/IMG_2385.jpg

http://i366.photobucket.com/albums/oo106/Sapper415/IMG_2386.jpg

Soldier415
11-08-2008, 10:30 PM
BTW, i am celebrating my graduation by getting so drunk i cant see straight

Saigon1965
11-08-2008, 10:43 PM
You're still typing pretty well -

taloft
11-08-2008, 11:20 PM
touch typing, you don't need to see the keys.:p:D

Soldier415
11-09-2008, 7:29 AM
True, and it took me about 3 minutes to write the above

aileron
11-09-2008, 9:29 AM
I'm no expert, but don't you want to fog the license plates in those photos????


BTW, very cool bots!!! Thanks for sharing.

Satex
11-09-2008, 3:41 PM
Soldier415, do you mean to tell us that you get paid to play around with RC???
;)

Soldier415
11-09-2008, 4:29 PM
Soldier415, do you mean to tell us that you get paid to play around with RC???
;)

Yep. Gotta love being an EOCA :D

Soldier415
12-05-2008, 5:16 PM
Hey all!

Have been in Camp Shelby, MS since the 2nd. We are settled in and started training the day after we hit ground. Things are fast paced and are going to get even crazier starting monday. We have live fire convoy lanes, IED Defeat, Urban Ops, shoot houses, weapons ranges and all the other fun shiznit.

It is cold as hell out here. Luckily we went through the RFI (Rapid Fielding Initiative) and got issued the new high speed Extreme Cold Weather System, which with all the components will keep you alive in -50 degree weather.

But the cold still sucks. Running on 4 hours of sleep a night since we got here, so i'm going to jump off of here and get my gear straight for tomorrow and make sure my troops are good to go so I can get my happy a** in the rack and get some shuteye. I'll check in again next week.

Dan

Soldier415
12-21-2008, 8:39 AM
Back home for christmas leave, may be spotted at bullseye at some point. Currently drinking like a fish...

Saigon1965
12-21-2008, 9:42 AM
Have a great holiday -

Soldier415
01-01-2009, 6:08 PM
Another drive by posting, but not much time.

We are back from leave as of the 28th and went right back into training and weapons ranges. So far this week I have been enjoying shooting heavy weapons from the turret from the M249 SAW up through the Ma-Deuce and the MK19 grenade machine gun (god I love that thing).

The Battalion had a new years eve celebration where there was a 4 beer max per soldier. After 3, our CO and XO relieved the CSM and BC from the beer truck and would just re-mark an already checked box by our name on the beer roster.

When we got back to the barracks, the fun was just getting started.

Summary of events.

1. Wrestling led to a wall locker being knocked over onto a bed.
2. Food fight
3. went outside for the coundown to the new year. Our Lieutenant had no shirt on and the Platoon SGT had a shirt on but no pants or underwear
4. The LT peed in his wall locker in the middle of the night.
5. I woke up with a bore snake in my underwear.

God I love being an Engineer!

Hope you all had a good new years. We have less than a month till we leave for the Stan.

Dan

jacques
01-01-2009, 6:13 PM
Hope you did not have to wake up at 5am the next day:eek:

That sounds like a good time.

Soldier415
01-31-2009, 7:05 PM
Hey guys!

Just a quick check in. I havent had internet access but 9 or 10 times for the last two months. We leave for Afghanistan tomorrow. It is going to be a long damned flight.

We just got done with a 2 week mission readiness exercise. Running on 3-4 hours of sleep per night sucks major butt, but you get numb to it after a while. Morale is high and we are ready to get on mission.

We got word back from some of the guys who went advance party. They started rolling on missions with the guys we are replacing. From what they tell us...it is going to be interesting. On one guys first mission out the convoy was hit with an IED and two complex ambushes in a narrow mountain pass with a 1,000 foot cliff on one side of a one lane road and rock on the other side. He has been there before and he said he had never seen so many RPGs incoming at one time...

Sounds like it is going to be fun. My platoon is going to be all over the place. We cant start clearing minefields until the ground unfreezes in late march early april. Until then we will be doing convoy security, QRF (Quick Reaction Force) and Route Clearance.

Once I get in country and have a better internet connection I will post up some pictures of the fun we have been having.

Thanks again for all your support. I'll have my address soon and will post it in here.

And just so everyone knows...Ivanimal is one of the greatest guys in the world. He knows why.

Dan

nick
01-31-2009, 8:36 PM
We got word back from some of the guys who went advance party. They started rolling on missions with the guys we are replacing. From what they tell us...it is going to be interesting. On one guys first mission out the convoy was hit with an IED and two complex ambushes in a narrow mountain pass with a 1,000 foot cliff on one side of a one lane road and rock on the other side. He has been there before and he said he had never seen so many RPGs incoming at one time...

Sounds about right.

We cant start clearing minefields until the ground unfreezes in late march early april.

And until then the weather will do the job for you. I wouldn't go anywhere near those minefields when the ground is frozen.

Anyway, good luck and stay safe. Shoot a couple of "friends we haven't met yet" for me :)

Soldier415
02-02-2009, 10:12 PM
[QUOTE=nick;1975144]Sounds about right.

QUOTE]

Yeah, fun in the sun in afghanistan

Saigon1965
02-02-2009, 10:19 PM
Good to see you got your boots on the ground -

What time is it there ?

jacques
02-02-2009, 10:26 PM
Yeah, sounds like you are going to be busy. Be careful.

tgriffin
02-02-2009, 10:27 PM
Keep strong Soldier. Give 'em hell. This place isn't...the same...lol... without you.

Soldier415
02-02-2009, 10:28 PM
Good to see you got your boots on the ground -

What time is it there ?

Dont have boots on the ground yet. still in transit. just posted a thread in off topic

sorensen440
02-02-2009, 10:29 PM
Dont have boots on the ground yet. still in transit. just posted a thread in off topic
Just so you know there is no jenkem left in your safe... not sure what happened but we woke up the next day confused and in Mexico

Soldier415
02-02-2009, 10:33 PM
Just so you know there is no jenkem left in your safe... not sure what happened but we woke up the next day confused and in Mexico

Didn,t i warn you that that tends to happen when you hang out with the chief?