Sunday, 23 September 2012

2. Same Sh*t different Day

Lt Colonel Chris Tempest, Commanding Officer of the famous “Black Horse” US 11th Armoured Cavalry Regiment was visiting observation post Alpha with his Aide. He wanted to do a snap inspection of the position and also to speak to Major Schultz, who had acquitted himself exceptionally at the REFORGER 86 Exercise. He had been pulled out in week 2, to take over from Major Anderson who had been taken off the line and sent to Ramstein by Helo with acute appendicitis. Pulling up towards the turn off, he noticed the road hadn’t been snow ploughed yet, so much for German efficiency. He would bawl out the Soldiers at the outpost for not keeping this vital access clear at all times.  He leant forward and told his Driver “Drive it like you stole it Son. I want those Russkies up in that Observation tower opposite, to see us strong and fearless, not meek and mild like. You understand”.

“Yes Sir!” replied the driver enjoying the official sanction to be reckless; he gunned the engine and hit a snow drift at the side of the road which must have been concealing something solid, it launched the vehicle 3 feet in the air before landing heavily back in the 1 foot of snow in the centre of the road. As he hit his head on the roof of the vehicle, the Colonel instantly regretted his comment but decided to say nothing else on the Journey.

The Vehicle raced into the Compound, and hand brake turned skidding on a patch of snow and ice, coming to a halt across 3 spaces in front of the maintenance shed. This dramatic entrance both surprised and amused the 3 Crewmen who were working on an M1Abrams less than 20 ft away. The maintainers were had the heaters working full blast, but the hatches were all open and keeping the tank warm was a nightmare.

“He know something we don’t Sergeant?” Cpl Lockhart suggested in his southern Drawl.
“Shit, it’s the Colonel, go grab the Boss, and the rest of you run around spread the word. Don’t just stand there MOVE!” shouted Sergeant Ramirez. If the Colonel was this far forwards, in these weather conditions it must be another damn inspection. Great he thought, there goes another maintenance day entertaining Officers and make all the right cooing sounds at the right time. He could do without this crap.

1km away at the Observation tower, the Specialist operating the Ground Radar System detected a huge signal indicating contacts on his quirky and unreliable system. Not being even 50% confident in his equipment, he spent 2 minutes lazily doing a diagnostic, when that gave him nothing, he decided to turn the equipment off and reset it. A further 2 minutes later the Cathode Ray Screen resolved again only with more contacts which were alot closer, giving up on the system altogether, he picked up the high powered optic Carl Zeiss Tele-lens on the tower. Once he visually confirmed it was spurious he would report it to the Duty Officer as another phantom contact. Stupid piece of crap Ground Radar, the army always buys it’s equipment from the lowest bidder he mused to himself.

He swung the Tripod on the bearing and set the range focus before pressing his eyes to the rubber eyepieces and scanning slowly, adjusting the focus as he went. Then he stopped, dead still, barely breathing, He slowly exclaimed “Holy Shit..........” and turned around reaching and hitting the alarm button.

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