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Steve Noll’s Travel Diary

Monday, 18 Jan 2010

Location: Baghdad, Iraq

MapWell, we are celebrating MLK Holiday here in Iraq...not really, we don't get ANY days off. I think the best part about going home (besides finally seeing my wife) will be NOT working for the 183rd straight day. It gets old, kind of like Groundhog Day, except we never get to see our shadow.

Things have picked up pace drastically since Christmas. I have about 4 major projects going on that I can't really say much about on here (or I'd have to kill ya'). Honestly, though, I could leave tomorrow and feel that I have made my mark on the Iraq Theater/War and made positive contributions. I will be able to talk about most of it after I get home, maybe at Nic and Melinda's wedding weekend.

I regularly email/get emailed by 2, 3, and occasionally 4-star generals about some of these projects that I am working on. One of the most recent ones was the Mansfield, OH ANG C-130s that were out here for a "concept of emplyment" test for future employment of the C-27J Spartan starting in 2011. I had some big involvement working with the guys from OH, helping them speak to the Army as well as tracking their progress in the test. The results have been briefed to the SECDEF and will then go to Congress. It was all good news.

Other than that, the weather is nice...usually 65-75 during the days and high 40s at night. I will be happy to get out of here before the summer heat hits. Last summer they had 2 weeks here of 130 degrees. Yes, it was 130 degrees! But, at least it dropped down to a chilly 105-110 degrees at night. Glad I missed it.

I will try to update more as I get more information. Right now, Tonya and I are awaiting word on when I will actually report to Altus, OK this summer for C-17 Requalification. I was told July but we are hoping to move right after I get home from Iraq. Patti has already called dibs on the guest room for the first 2-3 months, so we are going to be looking for a 4 or 5 bedroom house to rent so that we can put all the girls up, plus have room for company. All are welcome once we get settled in at Charleston. We are also hoping to get visits by Liz and John and Jeff and Jamie this Spring before we head out to SC. Anyone is welcome to visit Seattle before we move back east for the last time.

Take care and talk to you soon.

Lt Col Steve Noll
Baghdad, Iraq