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I've seen bigger...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As many of you know, I recently set out on my 3rd deployment in 3 years. I haven't deployed in 2 yrs (I left my last one September of 06), yet no matter where I go, they always start out the same yet feel like new experiences. I'm pretty sure after I get past my 5th, they will ALL feel the same.

A little background about my job in the US Air Force: I'm a loadmaster on C-130J's (google it). I have always been a load, and started on the C130E's (we call them legacy's now) and have over 1200 hrs on them. I have 200 hrs on the J in the year that I've been flying them. Even though I have over 1400 hours flying on Herks, I never tire of learning every aspect of the aircraft and find that I learn something new everyday. Because these planes are so new, we all constantly strive to learn every detail to get us through the harsh days and nights flying them in and out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa.

So what is it I actually do? Glad you asked. I'll be brief since I could go into so much detail about my job, but I won't bore anyone with my military lingo. I'm almost a flight attendant, yet if you ever call me that I'll pistol whip you with my 9mm and make you scream for your mommy. My #1 job is to make sure the aircraft is balanced for take offs and landings. I load cargo accordingly and power up the aircraft, do refueling and monitor engine and hydraulic systems while flying. I also brief passengers (pax for short) on emergencies and tell them that if they're too dumb to work a seat belt or oxygen device they deserve to die, suffocate or get hit in the head with a tiedown device (which I will personally deliver). Nothing gets through a passenger's skull faster than a donkey punch to the back of the head with a seat rod either. Even though I'm a SSgt (staff sergeant) Colonels, Majors and Chief's riding on my plane must obey my every word or feel the wrath of the loadmistress. I have many stories about such unruly passengers, but that's for another time.

Onto my main subject, the deployment. Many people gasp and cringe when I mention the "D" word, yet I just laugh and remind myself of all the money we get to bank out here. People will be surprised to experience not having to purchase gas twice a week or groceries. Out here, there are no vehicles to drive (even if you get to drive one, gas is free) and all food is free, unless you want your daily/weekly fix of cheese whiz and red bulls at the local shoppette. We have a pool (or two) out here along with a Dairy Queen, Subway, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins. You'll rarely find me eating at these establishments as they're gross and don't help you lose the weight out here. Speaking of losing weight, the heat alone will help you drop 5 lbs as soon as you walk off the plane when you arrive. I'm already at 190 and it's still dropping off. It's so hot, I'm never hungry and only seem to find an appetite late at night or when I'm on the plane at altitude.

Day time is the worst out here. It's so bright, you almost need welder's goggles to walk outside. There's nothing but sand or white rocks as far as you can see, and all the buildings are the same color so it's even more blinding. If you don't prep your eyes with sunglasses BEFORE you step outside, you'll burn your retinas faster than Pete can turn into a perv. :buggerd:

This is my first time here in Qatar, as my previous deployments were in Kuwait. I liked Kuwait, it was small and the bathrooms where actually in the building. Maybe not in your room but at least at the end of the hall. Here, strap on your hiking boots and walk 1/2 mile to go take a piss. This alone makes me not drink as much as I should should I wake up in the middle of the night and have to go.... *stares at the piss bottle in the corner*, yep, it's come to that too.

The good news is we're allowed to drink... :drunk:bad news, we're limited to 3. Yep, 3 beers a day. and they don't even have Guinness. :gun_bandana:Well, the Aussies' do at their bar, but you have to know one and get invited. Well, shit, I don't know any and all that's around me are Brits.

Some other good things... Mail. We love to get mail out here. Hell, even the Starbucks of Little Rock sent us 100 lbs of coffee and a coffee grinder to pass out to everyone. (not the grinder, but the coffee) Sometimes I'll order some mundane item from the internet just so I'll get a package. It makes me feel special. If anyone wants to send me anything, I'll provide my mailing address later.

During my 4 months out here, I get tons of time to read, exercise and ponder life's questions. I think I've figured out the meaning of life, but not entirely sure yet, I'll let y'all know after my 5th deployment as my answer will reveal itself sometime after.

what I'll do with this thread is provide daily or weekly insight on my travels, experiences and other dilemmas that happen to me while here. Feel free to ask any questions, and if the answer doesn't impede on operational security, I'll gladly answer them.

Current weather: 112 F 89% humidity :shocking:

Please send all mail to:

Heather Dorman
746 EAS/C-130 OPS
APO AE 09309 :niceone:
 

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Registered
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As many of you know, I recently set out on my 3rd deployment in 3 years.

Please send all mail to:

Heather Dorman
746 EAS/C-130 OPS
APO AE 09309 :niceone:
I am sure after this post you will be getting a bucket load of mail. However you do not really say what you need out there in the desert. What can we send and are there any special reqirements for posting ?
 

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XLR8
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Thanks for the update and the thread. Let us know if there's anything we can send. Stay cool!
 

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Suzukichic, nice writeup on being a loadtoad! Great job and great experiences and kick ass aircraft! Love the herc. A lot of people are scared of the "D" word because they automatically associate deployments w/the Army or Marines and shit they see on Fox news or somewhere else. They don't understand the Air Force is different and we don't roll like that! Anyways, glad you're enjoying it and let us know if you need ANYTHING at all, if not we can stuff a bag full of shit for ya! I sent some stuff to my buddy earlier this year and MOST of it was important but my wife and I thought it would be funny to finish the last of the box off w/random shit. Apple w/a bite taken out, 50 card deck of cards, plant leaf, magazine covers, etc... It was funny as hell until he rounded up everything from his other TI buddies and the local nationals and sent one back to me! Very funny though. The coolest part of his box was an Iraq soccer uniform!
Anyways, keep us posted on how you're doing! Log some more hours and have a good time! Loadtoads are NOT glorified flight attendants no matter what Col. Schmucklenutts tells you!
 

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Mentally Disturbed
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As many of you know, I recently set out on my 3rd deployment in 3 years. I haven't deployed in 2 yrs (I left my last one September of 06), yet no matter where I go, they always start out the same yet feel like new experiences. I'm pretty sure after I get past my 5th, they will ALL feel the same.

A little background about my job in the US Air Force: I'm a loadmaster on C-130J's (google it). I have always been a load, and started on the C130E's (we call them legacy's now) and have over 1200 hrs on them. I have 200 hrs on the J in the year that I've been flying them. Even though I have over 1400 hours flying on Herks, I never tire of learning every aspect of the aircraft and find that I learn something new everyday. Because these planes are so new, we all constantly strive to learn every detail to get us through the harsh days and nights flying them in and out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa.

So what is it I actually do? Glad you asked. I'll be brief since I could go into so much detail about my job, but I won't bore anyone with my military lingo. I'm almost a flight attendant, yet if you ever call me that I'll pistol whip you with my 9mm and make you scream for your mommy. My #1 job is to make sure the aircraft is balanced for take offs and landings. I load cargo accordingly and power up the aircraft, do refueling and monitor engine and hydraulic systems while flying. I also brief passengers (pax for short) on emergencies and tell them that if they're too dumb to work a seat belt or oxygen device they deserve to die, suffocate or get hit in the head with a tiedown device (which I will personally deliver). Nothing gets through a passenger's skull faster than a donkey punch to the back of the head with a seat rod either. Even though I'm a SSgt (staff sergeant) Colonels, Majors and Chief's riding on my plane must obey my every word or feel the wrath of the loadmistress. I have many stories about such unruly passengers, but that's for another time.

Onto my main subject, the deployment. Many people gasp and cringe when I mention the "D" word, yet I just laugh and remind myself of all the money we get to bank out here. People will be surprised to experience not having to purchase gas twice a week or groceries. Out here, there are no vehicles to drive (even if you get to drive one, gas is free) and all food is free, unless you want your daily/weekly fix of cheese whiz and red bulls at the local shoppette. We have a pool (or two) out here along with a Dairy Queen, Subway, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins. You'll rarely find me eating at these establishments as they're gross and don't help you lose the weight out here. Speaking of losing weight, the heat alone will help you drop 5 lbs as soon as you walk off the plane when you arrive. I'm already at 190 and it's still dropping off. It's so hot, I'm never hungry and only seem to find an appetite late at night or when I'm on the plane at altitude.

Day time is the worst out here. It's so bright, you almost need welder's goggles to walk outside. There's nothing but sand or white rocks as far as you can see, and all the buildings are the same color so it's even more blinding. If you don't prep your eyes with sunglasses BEFORE you step outside, you'll burn your retinas faster than Pete can turn into a perv. :buggerd:

This is my first time here in Qatar, as my previous deployments were in Kuwait. I liked Kuwait, it was small and the bathrooms where actually in the building. Maybe not in your room but at least at the end of the hall. Here, strap on your hiking boots and walk 1/2 mile to go take a piss. This alone makes me not drink as much as I should should I wake up in the middle of the night and have to go.... *stares at the piss bottle in the corner*, yep, it's come to that too.

The good news is we're allowed to drink... :drunk:bad news, we're limited to 3. Yep, 3 beers a day. and they don't even have Guinness. :gun_bandana:Well, the Aussies' do at their bar, but you have to know one and get invited. Well, shit, I don't know any and all that's around me are Brits.

Some other good things... Mail. We love to get mail out here. Hell, even the Starbucks of Little Rock sent us 100 lbs of coffee and a coffee grinder to pass out to everyone. (not the grinder, but the coffee) Sometimes I'll order some mundane item from the internet just so I'll get a package. It makes me feel special. If anyone wants to send me anything, I'll provide my mailing address later.

During my 4 months out here, I get tons of time to read, exercise and ponder life's questions. I think I've figured out the meaning of life, but not entirely sure yet, I'll let y'all know after my 5th deployment as my answer will reveal itself sometime after.

what I'll do with this thread is provide daily or weekly insight on my travels, experiences and other dilemmas that happen to me while here. Feel free to ask any questions, and if the answer doesn't impede on operational security, I'll gladly answer them.

Current weather: 112 F 89% humidity :shocking:

Please send all mail to:

Heather Dorman
746 EAS/C-130 OPS
APO AE 09309 :niceone:
Thanks for the update, but what are things you are wanting or need. I have had friends who deployed to Iraq, but buying for them was easy, snuff,motorcycle magazines, and etc. Just give us a idea of what you are wanting or needing. Thank you for your service
 

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She shoots, what a !!!!!
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Thanks for your service Heather :bigclap: & stay safe out there.....
 

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I've seen bigger...
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
DVS got it right.... Guinness would be awesome... however my punishment for receiving alcohol in the mail wouldn't be..

As far as things I need, the BX provides a lot of things for us, however I cannot find an iPod charger. I lost the white cable that goes from the computer to the iPod a long time ago and relied only on my car charger.... now I'm screwed. :p I could really use some starbucks coffee and I'm a sucker for french onion dip. Oh God how I love that stuff. Empty travel bottles for shampoo and stuff would be cool too, so we can dump some of our big bottles into it and it not be bulky. As far as everyone else who would benefit from a care package: Batteries, toothbrushes, books, notebooks, random items.

As far as special postage, a customs form will have to be filled out for anything send over. For the US, fill out a small green US customs form, the post office will help you if you need it. Could be the same for other countries, not sure.

Oh geez, my transformer just blew. No TV, now what will I do to occupy myself.

I'm sure anything that anyone sends we will love and appreciate it.

Please no alcohol.
 

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Mentally Disturbed
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DVS got it right.... Guinness would be awesome... however my punishment for receiving alcohol in the mail wouldn't be..

As far as things I need, the BX provides a lot of things for us, however I cannot find an iPod charger. I lost the white cable that goes from the computer to the iPod a long time ago and relied only on my car charger.... now I'm screwed. :p I could really use some starbucks coffee and I'm a sucker for french onion dip. Oh God how I love that stuff. Empty travel bottles for shampoo and stuff would be cool too, so we can dump some of our big bottles into it and it not be bulky. As far as everyone else who would benefit from a care package: Batteries, toothbrushes, books, notebooks, random items.

As far as special postage, a customs form will have to be filled out for anything send over. For the US, fill out a small green US customs form, the post office will help you if you need it. Could be the same for other countries, not sure.

Oh geez, my transformer just blew. No TV, now what will I do to occupy myself.

I'm sure anything that anyone sends we will love and appreciate it.

Please no alcohol.
Cool ,makes it allot easier, Give me a a couple of days and I will get package in the mail for you. Ipod charger will be included.
 

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I've seen bigger...
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
lol, thanks.
 

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loving toronto
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I'm sure anything that anyone sends we will love and appreciate it.

Please no alcohol.
and i'm sure suzukichic would want me to mention that it would be terrible to waste it, so please send suzukichic's alcohol to me.

i'll take good care of it! :innocent:

:D
 

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I've seen bigger...
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm sure you will.

The thing about our alcohol consumption here is that we receive a ration card every month, and when we go to the bar, they cross off the dates with an X and a circle to show we've had our 3 limit. We're also limited to two drinks at a time, so we cant get all three at once. Usually we'll get our first two, then drink our last one later. Kinda sucks because you just start getting a good buzz then you're cut off.
 

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I'm sure you will.

The thing about our alcohol consumption here is that we receive a ration card every month, and when we go to the bar, they cross off the dates with an X and a circle to show we've had our 3 limit. We're also limited to two drinks at a time, so we cant get all three at once. Usually we'll get our first two, then drink our last one later. Kinda sucks because you just start getting a good buzz then you're cut off.
Guess a massive plane with drunken "loadmasters" might become a bit hairy ! lol. You will just have to make up for it when you get home. That is after you have a ride on the bike !
 

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I've seen bigger...
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh I plan on it. I will head to my favorite karaoke bar and get sloshed.
 

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Back to nOrMaL!
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I think it's time to hear about the unruly Generals! :jerry:
 

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Pete's bike hauler
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I didnt realise you were on a J version, I used to fly into boscombe down (home of the empire test pilot school) quite a lot and the cheif test pilot of the RAF at the time was a friend of mine I remember one day they had received two J models for evaluation to say he thought they were a pile of junk would be an understatement, he much preferred the earlier models and was recommending many modifications before they would be accepted into the RAF. were they that bad or was it just the earlier versions?
 

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I've seen bigger...
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Probably just the earlier versions, they were still very much working out all the kinks in the computer software. The entire plane is essentially a giant computer. But I also think that it takes people to learn a new system with acceptance. This isn't the old 130's by any means you either love it or hate it, but once you're on it long enough, I think you tend to get out of your old habits and learn to appreciate the simplicity of your workload now that all the new technology is working for you. I know my job is a lot easier because of it. You'll also notice that a lot of our pilots and loads, are not the old crusty guys that have thousands of hours on the legacy herk.... they don't like the idea of learning something new and being out of their comfort zone. I know when I started my upgrade training to this plane, I hated it; I cried and pitched a fit, but after a while, I started to understand it more and it grew on me.


I'll update a story that happened to us today when I wake up. I've been up for 24 hrs now and I'm delirious...but trust me y'all wanna hear this... maybe,...... I think.

ciao
 

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I've seen bigger...
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
i prefer dark roast, pretty much espresso.... ME LOVE CAFFEINE
 

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Mentally Disturbed
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package in the mail :niceone::niceone::niceone:
 
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