Thursday, February 24, 2011

Where is Red Team? - (Korea) Day 86

A photo I snapped on the drive to Tango. This is a fake person with a robotic arm
that waves his caution stick up and down to warn people of construction ahead

Work call this morning was a bit early again because of another early meeting. It was actually part II of the meeting that went on yesterday, so we didn't have to setup all the name tags again…we just had to swap a few to keep the generals happy. (The officer's in our office who create the seating chart have a never ending job of trying to keep everyone happy with these stupid seating assignments) After we setup I started learning a new task with the air force master sergeant in our office. It's another task I'll do once a week and unfortunately it hasn't been done since the beginning of the year, so I'll have a little catching up to do. It's not terribly hard, just a bit time consuming. I don't know how much time I'll have these next few weeks to do it though because of the exercise. I'll try and do a little when I can.

I had to leave the office around 0900 to join the rest of the crew and the augments who finished PMCSing their vans. We split up into two groups (red & blue) each with four vans each. We also split up our staff as much as possible, so we would have a person riding in key vans for the trip. Walkie-talkies were issued to all the vans and we were ready to head out. I was riding in the very last van which was in blue group. Our group did very well staying together and the driver and TC in my van were pretty good at driving and communicating with the rest of the group. After a few miles out we saw two red group vans pulled over and a cop car next to them with it's lights on. Oh crap, did one of them get a ticket? Once our group all pulled over and checked out the situation we found out that two of the red team vans didn't take the exit and started driving off down the wrong hwy. D'oh! It just seems like our caravan is doomed every time we go out something happens. The two were contacted by phone and guided back. It took almost an hour for them to get back to us, we all just sat on the side of the road with our hazard lights flashing. Finally they made it back and we all took off again.

Once on the road everything went according to plan until we arrived to the tango exit. All the blue team made the exit, but the same two red team vans that got lost earlier just kept driving. OMG! We headed up to Tango and waited while they were guided back. It turns out the girl got confused and started following a van that was the same color make and model as our caravan vans. Unfortunately this is the first time our sergeant has been in charge of the caravan. There should have been an SOP or something, but instead we've had to learn on the fly and fix things as we go. We now travel in two distinct groups, we have walkie-talkies, and now we have numbers in the back windows of each of the vans with either a red or blue background.

We then headed back to post in our two groups with blue group leaving first, 5 minutes later red group was to leave. Special K was in the front van and for some reason thought we were going to K-16 and told the driver the wrong directions, so we missed the hwy back to Yongsan. Oh great! We did a couple of U-turns and started driving down streets that were parallel to the hwy. The lead driver really sucked, he would go through stop lights when they were turning yellow. The rest of the caravan had to stay together (that was stressed earlier) and all three would end up running a red light. Our van was last so we got a lot of horns honking at us. It must've seemed a little crazy to bystanders seeing these 4 vans in a tight formation driving down these side streets not caring about the small things like stop lights. We finally made it to an on-ramp to the hwy and were back on track. I got a call from SPC Roy asking where we were because the red team was already at the office and parked. D'oh!

We all ate lunch and then met back up to head to Tango once again. SPC Roy and I rode in the same van this time with the red group. Each trip has been incrementally better. Now each group is using a different channel on the walkie-talkies to help ease any confusion. We arrived this time without losing anyone! While at Tango all the drivers and their TCs practiced driving down the tunnel into the mountain base, and turning around simulating either dropping off or picking up folks. Some were good, but others like the chick that got lost twice needed a lot of practice. After this was all done we took off back to the office and called it a day. I cleaned up the office and took off for the first time this week at 1700. I finally got a chance to video chat with my wife. It seems like it's been so long since I've seen her. After that I started doing homework with a small break to tell the hall guard that playing loud music is a no go. I said he's going to have to turn it down or wear headphones. I was then able to finish all my homework and then relax and watch some shows. A much better night than the previous couple.

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