Ever been in a brown out? If you have you know how there are varying degrees of them; there are the ones where you can muddle your way through them, there are the ones where you can’t see your hand in front of your face, and then there the ones that you can’t see your hand in front of your face and its a moon less night. We were on our spot, ready to touch down with the most lethal fighting force that there is. Over the intercom I hear three… two… there may be a brown out… One!
We get on the ground and can not see our hands in front of our face, we creep off the skids an our team lead did not move at all, not a muscle. The MH6 crew hits there IR Light of there FLIR bubble a few times, it simply turned lightless cloud to a cloud that was as bright as the sun (with dust around it) we still could not see and were afraid we were going to walk into something. Finally the Pilots suddenly lifted off and went straight up, it must of been 500 feet they climbed too in seemingly an instant(I swear they did a 360 trying to clear the dirt because there was no wind that night, I doubt they did). The dust cleared and the work could start.
Never been so blinded in my life, I had always heard of it but never experienced a brown out that had disturbed my equilibrium. I was going to follow the guys next to me, HA, that plan failed.
You guys know we have a deep urge inside of us to succeed, grind through it, over come it, as Dominik Rosso Retired Seal says “Crush Everything”? there are times where you single handedly can not do it alone. If not for the Pilots skill, to try the IR light, then simply grab grab collective throttle the engine and pull (with the ever loving British accent in there helmets saying “torque high torque high”) someone could of run backwards thinking they were running forward, etc. The dust cleared I saw four dudes nuts to buts against the wall. Me? I laid on the ground and said F@#$! It! if its my time at least i know what I’m looking at… in a min or so… We all have the drive to succeed at everything, that night I learned I was an idiot laying on the ground. the IR Strobe that was had flashed several times is off the FLIR bubble on the front of the bird, I should of known to turn and go the direction it was pointed and thats how they knew to move to the wall.
We have all been the idiot, if you don’t think you have, your eyes have not been opened wide enough. I try to expose my duder and dudette to as many things as possible. I will work as hard as I can to do the same with both kids, because if you don’t your failing them. simple weekly trip’s to the REI, or the trips to watch airplanes land, if its the occasional call to this LT who can’t to seem to get his ass in gear and start flying the planes that scare duder but don’t scare him when he wears dad’s ear protection. Or his papaw to tell him about what it was like to fly BUFF’s during the Vietnam war.
I believe there is a pic going around IG of a guy returning fire as the partner force falls apart (a common theme overseas, not here we have all those “Threepers” keeping us safe) the guys laying on the ground as the gentleman stands up and returns fire with his ballistic helmet, ballistic vest, ear pro, and eye pro, I believe he even had solid cover. People turned it into a meme calling the ANA pussies but they are generally given AK’s that don’t work well, ZERO ballistic if they are lucky and do get equipment its generally expired, (in my opinion why the partner force falls apart when the S@#! hits the fan) I had a gentleman literally begged me for some 550 cord so he could tie his scope he found and was allowed to keep on to his rifle. I laughed because a picture looks a lot different given some context. When you can stand there a skilled fighter behind proper cover and better training and equipment.
We have all been the idiot if our eyes have not been opened wide enough.