** This is
"joeslist"! Your (hopefully) daily taste of the war from somewhere
in the Gulf. You
get this because I only get to send 2 emails per day (when
and I want all of you to be informed, and possibly entertained.
If you'd prefer
not to get this, or get it sent to a different address please
firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him this. I won't be offended (much).
what it's like to get WAY TOO MUCH email these days. I will assure
you that I won't
be pitching you for a mortgage or penis enlargement, however.
Today I'll begin
insertion of really stupid random comments in this space to
see if ANYBODY
is paying attention to this text block. Moose and Llama?
If you think
that somebody would enjoy this or find it useful, please feel free
to forward it on
to them, but let the rest of us know who else is "out there".
can't be answered due to security constraints. **
inclusion to this list or private personal ones should be sent to:
Friday 11 April 2003 11 AM Still
Floating around the Northern Arabian Gulf (NAG)
Temps: Berthing = Icy Ship
Internal = 80f Ship outside = 90f hot water = OK
Unusual Smells = none currently
noted after clothes from "Beach" were burned
Stormwatch: Weather supposed to
start sucking. Ship movement is now noticable
Apparent Morale (as measured in the
Chiefs Mess) OK/Boredom increasing
Boredom index (0=Exciting
9=Excruciatingly dull) today = 8
Most Annoying Event = Loud Rap music
coming from nearby head late at night.
Corrective action initiated.
Movies Watched: Rock Star (site TV),
UNKNOWN Stallone mountain climbing movie (DVD)
Food Ratings: * = Sucky ** =
Better than MRE's *** = Average **** = Yummy
***** = Unlikely ("It's just a tiny wafer")
Last Nights Dinner: Low Fat Lasagna
(***) and Low Fat Chicken Fried Steak (***)
Lunch: Fish stuffed with crab &
Shrimp (****) Warm gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies (****)
Today has been
really slow. I've been doing a bunch of computer work trying to get my
laptop set up
the way that I want it and working on this email.
Rusty Hodge of SOMA FM Writes:
Glad you're back
on the boat safe. You're making news too...
April 10, 2003
7:30 PM Umm Qasr opens to aid ships
- The Royal Navy says Iraq's only deep-water port of
Umm Qasr will
receive its first merchant ship carrying humanitarian
aid on Saturday.
"A ship called
the Manar from the United Arab Emirates carrying 700
foodstuff will go in the next couple of days," Steve
Tatham, a Royal
Navy spokesman based in Bahrain, told Reuters on Thursday.
He said the
shipment would quickly be followed by two
vessels carrying some 28,000 tonnes of wheat.
The port has
been closed to merchant shipping while U.S. and British
mines from the approaches to the port. (THAT'S YOU!)
Tatham said a
second Royal Navy supply vessel the Sir Percivale,
300 tonnes of aid including fresh water, food and
berthed at the sprawling port complex on Tuesday.
The Sir Galahad,
another naval supply ship carrying aid, drew
Actually the Sir
Galahad showed up about a week ago. That's the one that's in
We're really happy to see the whole humanitarian thing start
to come together
and move. It needs to move faster! Kids stop you in the
for water. It tears my heart out.
He said there
was just one berth in the northern-most reaches of the
port, of 21 that
are still operational, to be cleared of mines.
"The passage up
to the port has now been cleared and we can assume is
safe," he said.
He said more merchant vessels carrying large cargoes
of aid would
follow in quick succession.
southernmost "old port" berths are the best for deep draft "big"
The river needs to be dredged! All berths are cleared of mines.
A major concern
is that the large cranes needed to move cargo are not yet
to mechanical problems and the poor condition of the electrical
at the old port (south port). I am certain that they could get
a few running
with effort to correct the electrical situation. This is an area
that I was very
involved with at the port (what a mess!)
Rusty Continues further:
On a related
This is a live
Sat feed from a shared uplink in baghdad. It's really
it's a live video (not webcam) feed, with sound. You can see TV
back to their producers, doing alternate feeds, etc.
Right now, it's
just a shot out the hotel window, you see people
it looks like there is a fire out on the horizon.
You guys got any
C/Ku band receiving equipment on the boat?
I wish that we
had some that we could play with. The ship folks don't seem to
have the "hacker
ethic" or be "up to speed" on what they have. Record some of
it if possible.
These shared uplinks are the norm for the press over here. It must
be a good scam
for the link operators!
I knew you would
come to like those big gray things with hot meals and
showers even if
it took a trip to Iraq to do it - you're going to be a
In an earlier
communication, I said that I hate the ship (or words to that effect).
This is sort of
like picking your implement of torture. I was dirty, smelly, hungry
and bored. I had
easy (though overpriced) and instant voice communication to the world
with my GSM
mobile phone with service from Kuwait.
Now I'm clean,
overfed and bored, with spotty and slow email only. The "beach" had
room to roam (in body armor and an M-4), the ship has only one place to
and eternal flourescent light and a noisy 1MC (NOTE: 1MC is shipspeak
Address System). The Captain is a nice (though VERY talkative) guy who
to get his own
AM radio talk show when he's done here (I am making this up but it is
can't go through hatches easily with body armor and the M-4 is only
occasion here on the ship. It was suggested that I get my ESWS while
If I'm here long enough to
do that I think I'll be returning in a straight-jacket by medevac.
back from the NAB show in Las Vegas. It was rather slow
this year and
the radio hall did not have the foot traffic as in years
Everyone that knows you says "hi". I was looking at Iridium
at the show -
thought I might want to replace my analog mobile unit with
one ---- but
having to call Arizona to do the uplink sounds like its not
everyday use. Nice to have maybe for emergencies but not for
towers and transmitter buildings.
phones are a bit more finicky (I have one in my hand right now and have
using it to call
one of our boats because they can't get them any other way). They would
not be good
"general purpose" phones, but they have their own niche. The
or spy will find the service very useful. If you're paying nothing
calls (as I soon hope to be), paying the freight to Arizona (.05-.10 a
is in the noise
as far as I'm concerned. It would not be good from inside buildings at
Judy called -
dinner is ready.
Grumbling> Thanks for writing! :) I would pay ANY amount for some of
Joe, I'm Really,
Really glad you are back on the GunHal. Safe, Sanitary and
all the other
advantages a ship offers. Have you re'c'd any of the mail
sent to you, a
month ago now.?
I just checked
and they sent something out to "the beach". Hopefully the morons out
figure it out and it won't just be lost. I got the pictures. I'm looking
at them now.
Many thanks! (They came out pretty well.)
Dad goes on:
I hope you will
be on your way home soon. Your E-mails to everybody are extremely
Enjoy everybodys questions and your answers and descriptions of events.
You sure have
some good friends.I have printed the news releases,pictures, & info
Umm Qasr from
3-4-03 to 4-10-03. Most of the info I got from the BBC web page.BBC
gave all the
events and people in Umm Qasr good coverage.. I have these
pages in a
binder for you. I just got back from CHP office they verified
that my tails
lights are now working and will void the Fix-it ticket.. We
forward to you getting back HOME. LOVE DAD
gets philosophical (uh-oh):
The Brits and
Aussies seem to be much more "into" this than we in the US are. I think
that the folks
in the USA are more 'observers' and the other country's people are more
It may just be the way that our media is handling it. Their media is
every turn and tries to bring the UK to the Brits here, and connect
Ours seems to
'package' everything and use it for commercial purposes. We don't have
the Today show
here with us. We are referred to as "troops", they are actually
names and personalities. We're like players in a football game. They're
the folks from
home and the people from the country are with them. We don't get
from the society
collectively, only from our friends and families (Thanks God for you!)
As you can see
I'm trying to peice it all together, but there is a huge difference in
way that the USA
interacts with us. It may have to do with the fact that most people in
the USA don't
know anybody in the military.
As for your
ticket: I feel much safer now. :)
you get the snail-mail that I sent weeks ago? I'm just trying to
and speed of the mail from and to the ship.
Got it on
It's good to be
getting your dispatches again. You haven't heard from me as I
have nothing to
report, what with things being dull as hammers over here. No
where near as
exciting as what I see in them Navy commercials, anyway. One
out of a helicopter... the next, looking for a place to plug in
the laptop. Yar!
me! It's NOT just a job. It truly is an adventure. I show up with
and my butt-set (Linemans telephone test set). There are pictures of
me at the main
terminal at Umm Qasr tryig to find a working line to tap into and route
to our building
(over some of the scariest wiring you'll never see). I did tell you that
I now own an
Iraqi payphone didn't I? I truly felt like a conquering, pillaging
I pried it off
the wall! The testosterone was surging through me as I popped metal
out of their
frames to get into locked power substations using a forklift. Surreal.
techniques that I can use at home, right? Oh, I got your SMS message,
get my reply?
CEC Joseph E
> I will
> you that I
won't be pitching you for a mortgage or penis enlargement,
But I could
really use a mortgage enlargement, can you help me out?
WARNING: Possibly boring "Shop Talk"
Thanks for the
updates and the kind words...I'm pleased I was able to serve
and support even
from back here. Tina and Sabrina have been doing
well...they have responded to the demands and there is a
ownership with them. They have two major missions: One is a DEA
job in the
desert, which they are prepared for and the other is the
transfer of an
edgetech and all the support gear to MDSU2 in
both should happen in the next 5 weeks...
If they are
getting our ISIS system, this is most unfortunate. Please be sure that
don't get the
unit with Delphmap on it. Only one of the systems has it and they won't
use it anyway.
Triton can tell you which unit is licensed for Delphmap if you call
I want to say
that it's 56, but I'm not sure. If they do get one, also make sure that
inside is secured and that they get only a single drive. Thanks! I
they get their own ISIS system as we will be in bad shape without any
system of our
own. That's how I left it with our CO. Hopefully nobody has pulled a
one. Any news on
created a pretty nice SOP and instruction set for
guys..it has also created a great way for her to digest the
Please let Scott and Tim know that I have an appointment with the DK1 in
charge of pay to
verify their accountings...
Oh, ask Scott if
Mark Wolfe can use his recumbine bike...Mark is building
one and it would
be good for him to "feel" exactly what options Mark would
Lots to do...
Take care Joe,
Don, I feel much better and know that things are in good hands. When I
you about how
much of this went in person, I think that you'll be shocked,
and suprised by
the way that CTF-56 and NSCT-1 "handled" some things. I know that
there, but the way that this was done would blow your mind. UUV
were among the
smoothest and best planned and executed of all Umm Qasr operations.
was no "out of
the box" thinking (even when it would have helped). It's very difficult
be thrust into
the middle of another group that already has its own established ways of
There are strong personalities there, but at least they're competant.
The LT is not in
a very strong political situation due to "crab factor" (which should be
irrelevent for UUV's!) and there are strong political undercurrents at
between communities (SEAL's, USMC and EOD). They don't mesh well
You'd go insane
with EOD folks trying to second guess trained and experienced sonar
target interpretation and classification. It should be pointed out that
guys know (and
more importantly don't care) about Communications, Infrastructure
sanitation, utilities and materials) or transportation. Actually, they
do, but only
things aren't present. "Why don't we have
Still no word of
Scott. I probably won't see him for several more days. I should have
on them today.
No list business
today. Thanks for the sanity check!