Dispatch from Ali Base, 12 June 2009

Here is this week’s dispatch from Master Sgt. Russell P. Petcoff,  who sends us more news of life and events at Ali Base, Iraq.

The theme plays like a broken record…it’s hot out there. One day this week we topped 123 degrees Fahrenheit! It’s probably hotter when one is standing on asphalt.  The air feels like a hair dryer on hot blowing in your face. The hot air dries out eyes. The concrete seems to store up heat. Airmen can feel it still radiating at 4:30 a.m., even when the hand is six inches away.

Despite the hot temperatures, the Tuskegee Airmen of Ali are still doing their jobs. For example, security forces Airmen and special agents from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 2409 here conducted weekly training to keep their skills sharp. Recently, they trained on removing a “wounded” Airman from a damaged vehicle while others provided security. Participating in the training were Senior Airman Lionell Peake-Marshall and Senior Airman Terrence Jones (above left) and Special Agent Marcus (right).

Ali Base is full of hard-working Airmen. One organization is the 407th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron. According to Lt. Col. Kevin Gaudette, 407th ELRS commander, the squadron supports the 407th’s air operations mission, providing full-spectrum logistics services to Air Force, Navy, Army, contractors, coalition forces at Ali Base and supporting forward operating bases. Airman 1st Class Matthew Hunter (right) tightens the bolts on a harmonic balancer inside a pickup truck. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Marasky)