Friday, December 15, 2006

Five Months in The MOG

Michael Yon's Frontline Forum is a place where Soldiers can share their experinces. SGT Michael Waller served five months in Mogadishu during the period imortalized in the book and film Black Hawk Down.

5 Months In MOG

By Michael Waller

Veteran - Army

In August of ’93, I was at home in Michigan on a four day pass from my unit, the 227th General Supply (GS) Company, 1st Corps Support Command, headquartered at Ft. Campbell, KY, spending time with my son and my friends before our deployment to Somalia.
I remember getting a lot of questions about where I was going from my son Andrew, who was four at the time; many of which I couldn't answer out of pure ignorance. We found Somalia on the globe and I pointed to it, telling him it was right in the Indian Ocean. Andrew studied the globe and said, “I bet there are a lot of sharks.” The four day pass went by quickly and the time came to say good-bye to my son, my family and friends, and I drove the eight hours back to Ft. Campbell.

The train-up for Somalia at Ft. Campbell included a lot of time at ranges for all types of weapons, as well as convoy operations, field sanitation and combat life saver certifications. It seemed to us that the senior leaders were taking this deployment seriously.
On Aug. 17th, we were told to band and secure our wall lockers in the barracks, and be ready to fly within a two-hour window. That window came and went, and we were told the delay had to do with the possibility that the Somalis might have some type of SAM (surface to air missile), and that the flight had been canceled until further notice. We had already turned in our linen and slept on the bunks that night with no blankets. My roommate and best friend, Specialist (SPC) Mike Morrison, a tall kid from Marshalltown, Iowa, was still snoring when the alarm on my watch went off. Morrrison answered to his nickname, “Junior,” while off duty.

“Junior get up, we missed the flight!” I yelled.

He stumbled out of the rack looking for his glasses. I laughed and pointed at him.
“Dude relax, it's 0600 - let’s go to chow.”

Junior was not too happy about his wake-up call and was mumbling something about “dickhead” and “payback,” under his breath on the way to chow.

Our company was going to be escorting and delivering food and rations to units all over Somalia. As the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO), I was going to Somalia as advance-party with several other NCO's and one Specialist/E-4, my “hootch-mate,” Junior. On Aug. 18th, at 1400 hours, we took the five-minute bus ride to the airfield at Ft. Campbell, boarded a C-141 transport plane, and took off on a 21-hour flight to Mogadishu, Somalia - otherwise known as “MOG.”

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