My neighbor Chris is in Iraq as the #2 guy overseeing rebuilding projects as part of the Army Corp of Engineer. He'll be over there for several months helping to rebuild the facilities necessary for providing clean drinking water and electricity.
Chris and his wife Susan are among the nicest people you will ever meet. Their dog Nelson was kind enough to show Twiggy the ropes as it comes to the best spots in the neighborhood for taking care of business. Susan is always offering to take Twiggy for a walk when we're away at work.
In any case, with all the bad news coming from Iraq, it's good to read about progress made in the rebuilding efforts. Here's a snippet about his wild ride into Baghdad. Be glad your typical business trip doesn't come with this sort of landing.
I'm safe in Baghdad....errr, well....I guess I'm just "in Baghdad." The flight into Baghdad International Airport is one I will always remember, no matter how hard I drink to forget it. There's 40 of us packed into a C-130, which was never intended as a passenger plane. There's no "passenger area" in these planes, just the cargo hold with jump seats running down the sides and a row down the middle. Only two small port-style windows on either side. We've got a military dog on the plane with us, not real happy in his crate and letting the whole world know about it. It's so noisy you have to wear earplugs and shout at each other to be heard. About 10 minutes outside of Bagdad, we begin our descent from 30,000 feet. That's right, 30,000 feet in 10 minutes. Not to mention that the pilots fly a corkscrew pattern to avoid potential rockets (they haven't had one yet, but nobody wants to be the first). Let's just say, the dog wasn't the only one howling on the way down.
After a hard landing, they popped the hatches and we put our feet on Iraqi soil.
I've flown in a C-130 myself and can vouch for how uncomfortable a ride it is. However, I've never experienced a landing quite like his.
[Via Live from Baghdad]
His ATOM feed is here.