The Black Hawk is the bus in Iraq and I’m on my way to work.
They fire a few .50 caliber rounds from the door guns into the Tigris soon after taking off. The pilot rocks the bird left and right so each side has a downward facing opportunity. The sporadic flashes are magnesium flares from the lead bird, fired off to confuse any weapons that might be targeting us with infrared homing technologies. I’m guessing that most of the flight is at 200 feet and 125 knots.
Thursday, 21 December 2006
I’m an old man in a war zone, 52 years and aging. I’m in the back seat of a US Army Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. It’s always the last seat taken because of the prop wash. Both side doors are open and the chill wind is lashing my face. The Black Hawk is the quotidian bus in Iraq and I’m on my way to work.
I have the five-point harness fastened—I hope. I’m wearing my PPE (personal protective equipment) an Army requirement for helicopter travel: a heavy flack vest with steel plates front and back, a ste…