20 Aug 2009 @ 1:08 PM 

Old Crusty Cold Warrior Vaguely Uncomfortable Moment


Back when I was a youngin, the idea of being directly overflown by a Hind D (big, evil-looking Russian attack helicopter) was a horrifying prospect. Today I was overflown at an altitude of about 100 feet on several occasions by Afghan National Army Hind D’s.

It was vaguely uncomfortable. I knew, on a conscious level, that they were “friendlies,” but all the old aircraft ID classes built in a negative reaction. Something inside me said, “Shoot it! Shooooooot it!”

A 5.56mm rifle will not bring down a Hind D, barring divine intervention.

Sometimes thoughts are just thoughts. Vaguely uncomfortable, but just thoughts.

Tags Tags:
Categories: Afghanistan, ANA, General Military
Posted By: Old Blue
Last Edit: 20 Aug 2009 @ 01 08 PM


Responses to this post » (14 Total)

  1. Joshua Foust says:

    Clearly you and Rambo 3 did not attend the same schools.

  2. anand says:

    Joshua Foust :LOL:

    Don’t worry old blue, the 9 ANAAC M35s are near the end of their life, and will be replaced within 3 years, that is if the ANAAC doesn’t crash them or the enemy does not shoot them down first.

  3. coffeypot says:

    I think for the rest of your life you will have a strong tendnecy to look up with more attenton paid to the sound of a chopper flying by than any airplane. Comes with the job you are performing now.

  4. RamblingRia says:

    Perspectives – When I was a youngin, I grew up in Las Vegas NV close to Nellis AFB during the Viet Nam war. At the time Nellis was the home of training for the Huey helicopter pilots and (still) the home of the Thunderbirds. Hearing the bone-shaking wop-wop-wop of the helicopters was cause for running outside to see what training they were up to today. The sight of Huey’s flying in a somewhat side-by-side formation from the west to the east side of the valley was spectacular and the true meaning of awe-inspiring. The chance to see jets flying in formation at a summer air show was worth the cost of third degree sunburn (waayyy before sun-block.) Many years later and many miles away, when I hear a helicopter my head snaps up to see how big it is and hearing that big unique sound only made by a group of jets flying in formation to a fly over event – brings a catch to my breath and a lump to my throat. And yet there is a zig-zag correlation between your discomfort of Hind D’s and my pride. Well, maybe not so zig-zag. By you doing what you do, I have the privilege to not associate helicopters and jets to being at war. No subconscious-self preservation urge to shooooot it!

    When my children took high school history on Viet Nam it was pitifully lacking in content or truth. I discovered what historians considered “history” because the teacher had the good sense to send the kids home to gather information from their parents and relatives. I hope your perspective on “the world as a neighborhood” will make its way to some form of teaching for the younger generation. Your perspective on how Afghanistan is now can be summed up to an attitude of “man-up” to mistakes of the past and let’s help get it right this time. Someday, this will all be textbook history – someday. Someone needs to get it down correctly. You and your compadre’s are doing a great job of showing the complexities a people straddling stone-age and the modern world. Perspectives. You, sir, bring a lump of pride to my throat. Thank you.

  5. David M says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 08/21/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  6. Attila says:

    Try rooting along line-abreast in Germany in your Hog and spot two reeeeeealy familiar-looking jets above you starting to convert on your six.

    First radio call: “I dunno Two, but we got company. In-place 90 right now…lessee if they honor our threat.” (Break off the attack ’cause they’ve been spotted and the “prey”–us–are starting to bring weapons to bear.)

    Second radio call (Two, this time): “Call me stupid, but I swear those look like MiG-29s.”

    (Two helmets catch fire momentarily, thinking “S**T! F**king no-s**t bandits!…Oh, wait, this is 1993…OUR Germans have Russian hardware now, too.”) OK, left hand, pull back slowly from the Master Arm switch…

    Anyway, they played for a while, and it was really a good thing to see what those buggers look like in real life and with the gear up…but it was weird in a semi-uncomfortable way. So, I feel your pain, dude.

  7. Troy says:

    Yes they are very scary aren’t they. People have no idea how big they are, but when I try to relate it I tell them to think of a battleship with rotors above it. They are huge, loud, and make a very distinctive sound. Now you know that all those days in the field playing spades or hearts with those threat ID playing cards were really training events ;-)

  8. Greyhawk says:

    “Sometimes thoughts are just thoughts. Vaguely uncomfortable, but just thoughts. ”

    I can recall a few times when a pair of Chinooks would overfly my tent in the middle of the night and I thought similar thoughts for different reasons.

    Second half of second tour was in a trailer, but that doesn’t provide much more of a noise damper.

  9. coffeypot says:

    How did the elections go for you?

  10. I remember a long-ago mission to find one of them things and sell it… heh heh… now they’ve been recycled. Glad to see the Afghan NG has gone green. >BG<

  11. Brian O says:

    Shoot it???????

    I am a crunchy remember that, DAMNIT!!!

    My first site of those flying was hide and do it fast.

    Maybe you DATs or TWOTs think shoot it, but then again that’s what you always think. Put the blue back on and think again.

    Love ya Bro


  12. Rosemary says:

    Hi Blue. Can’t say I remember that, but I remember the sound of my Daddy’s footsteps after my Mom spoke with him. ;)

    So it’s been a while since you’ve written. Are you ‘away’ or busy? If you don’t answer, I’ll know. Stay safe, many prayers.

  13. AB says:

    Could you connect me somehow to Carl Thompson? I want to republish his piece in my hometown paper but want Carl’s permission.

    You got my unpublished email.


  14. One of the best stories I’ve ever read was in Chuck Yeager’s autobiography when he relates how stunned the Russians were when he described the maneuvers he executed while test flying the MiG 15. Their reaction was something like – “Umm……it’s not designed to do that.” hehehe

    When I was a youngin’ my pops was stationed at Travis AFB. We would regularly hear sonic booms, usually around noon. I don’t think they are allowed to that anymore :(

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