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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-01-08 08:49 AM
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Crew chiefs stuck with scenery near Balad
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Sgt. Jeremiah Tebay, a 26-year-old crew chief with Bravo Company Paleriders, 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, washes the windows on an Apache on Thursday in Balad, Iraq. Crew chiefs like Tebay spend hours each day keeping the helicopters ready to fly, but most never get the chance to ride on one of the aircraft themselves.

Crew chiefs stuck with scenery near Balad
By James Warden, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Saturday, March 1, 2008

BALAD, Iraq Sheer boredom.

Thats how Spc. Cole Killion describes life here in Balad, and the 22-year-olds observations are hardly unique. They echo those of his fellow Apache crew chiefs, most of whom have hardly left the base since they arrived nine months ago.

Its like Goundhog Day. Every day is the same, said one crew chief.

Just being on one base confined, it takes its toll, said another.

Crew chiefs, in general, are a happy bunch. On their part of the airstrip, youll find pinup photos, iPods and, inevitably, personal tools engraved to ensure they dont wander off with lesser mechanics. They tell tales of an ill-advised shopping spree through a Craftsman catalog and tell dirty jokes funny enough to leave a chaplain in stitches.

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