I've been deployed to the Middle East for almost two months of a three-month trip. It's been an interesting and different experience from the previous three trips. Back in 2010, 11, and 12, I deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, and a second trip to Afghanistan. Those trips were two six-month trips then one three-month trip. In all three of those trips, we were required to wear uniform 100% of the time. On those trips, I flew missions almost every day. And, on days when I didn't fly, I still worked building watch and cleanup. We did get days off but they came few and far between. In fact, generally, I got one day off of work each month. They weren't the worst times of my life and the time flew by even sometimes being fun. Those trips were deployments. This one is, well, not. For example, on this trip, we have a regular schedule that goes something like this: mission planning day (about two hours of work), fly a mission (about a ten-hour day), mission planning day again, fly day, down-day, repeat. Accounting just hours worked that's about twenty-four hours in a five-day cycle. The only downside is that there's no accounting for holidays, weekends or anything like that. So, if a fly day occurs on July Fourth, so be it. There are no weekends or holidays here, just that five-day cycle. On top of that, there's next to no uniform requirement here. Unless actually flying a mission there's no requirement to wear a uniform (more or less). Basically, this is a vacation in a crappy location that I'd never vacation in with a smattering of work thrown in. Not only is the schedule here a piece of cake, my crew is pretty cool. We have tons of fun pretty much every flight. They're chill missions, not much to do. We chat, laugh, and sing pretty throughout pretty much the whole mission. It's been a good trip.
It's been a good trip but I'm glad that it's almost over (hopefully).