Friday, April 10, 2009

When Duty Calls…

As some of you man have heard or know we lost an aircraft at work a few weeks ago. It only hit the news cycle for about an afternoon and quickly was relegated to the back pages. Since the time it when down my folks have been support 24/7 operations to ensure communication is up and operating in support of the recovery. When my guys maxed out the amount of time they can work in a pay period and with limited options I volunteered myself and another guy (Kris, technically he was the only other person who volunteered without restriction – sorry Kris) to provide the 14-hour shift coverage from 7pm to 7am. I say 14 hours because it takes an hour to get to the site from the base and we also have to load up the vehicle.

So since Sunday I have been working this crazy shift basically sitting in the middle of the desert in a cargo van waiting for something to happen so we could restore communications. So far our equipment has been extremely reliable and we have been fortunate that everything is working, as it should!

I also want to throw out some kudos to my good friend Rob Mendoza who went above and beyond to ensure communications which included lugging most of what you see here up the side of this high point to get radio equipment up and operational. Rob’s a super guy and dedicated to doing what it takes to get the mission done. You can’t really see it from the photo, but the antenna is a complete masterpiece including electrical take to secure the mast to the tripod that he had on had. Him and James Littlefield as the sun was going down put that up and piled rock on it to get it up and going. It’s has been working pretty darn good every since. Subsequent crews tied the guy wires to it.

Well other than the few days break I have right now (kind of – everyone has seemed to forgot that I am working nights) things are going to be a bit crazy for a few weeks.


At Saturday, 11 April, 2009, Blogger Brad said...

The "john" shot is really interesting. I really like seeing the stars in the sky, while the ground scenery looks daylit. Long enough exposure to get stars and ground scenery, but not so long enough for the stars to streak? Or was it closer to sunrise? Just curious...


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