Well...it's been a while and I figured I should get at least a tie-up type post on here. A lot has happened since January, obviously. I actually failed my Navigation checkride since I tried to do a Single Engine approach while in the weather. Then I hooked the EP for dual fuel filter bypass where he expected me to circle down over the field and I set up a 'normal' 5 mile straightin. So it wasn't my greatest day in the world, but I passed my 88 ride without trouble. The flight itself was simple, easy, and kind of unnecessary in my opinion. Then, on the ground eval she gave me a silly EP that I tried to bring to a logical conclusion, but it wasn't the conclusion that she wanted to hear so she kept changing the rules on me to try to lead me to the conclusion that she wanted from me...I was not playing ball, but eventually I used the conclusion she liked and got it over with. Of course THEN, since that was so hard she gave me another EP too which of course I didn't have trouble with. Then her General Knowledge questions were pretty ridiculous, though I knew most of them. Anyways, the whole ground eval portion was rather obnoxious and had a distinct 'drink the koolade' mentality to it; but I got through it and moved on.
Mission fam was actually a lot of fun. We had 4 formation flights which I flew on a Saturday and Sunday doing 'super form' out of GTR. I flew with the flight commander for all of those and they were pretty easy but very enjoyable. He was a good teacher. Then we moved on to the basics of airdrop and refueling before assignment night.
Of course, assignment night was awesome and I got my 4th overall choice of RC-135s in Omaha. My first 3 choices were 2 KC-10s and then a C-21; and I really didn't expect to get any of those, so it was my first 'real' choice; so I was EXCITED to get it! I think Nebraska is going to be a great place; I'm excited to see what the Lord has in plan. I'll be out there for 5 or 6 years on average for the assignment, so Cornhusker state is to be my home for a good while. I'm really praying for a good church to serve in and know the Lord has a place prepared. One of the churches out there supports Mom and Dad so I'll go there first and see if that's the place for me. I have about 3 or 4 churches that have also caught my eye based especially on their websites, so there's no shortage of churches it seems, thankfully.
Anyways, I passed my Refueling checkride a week later with a nice 2E so I was happy for that. Then, of course, graduation rolled around. It was great, Cindy flew into GTR the day before for graduation on Friday. I was so happy she could make it. The graduation went really well, and here's a paste from an email I wrote about it so I don't have to write it again:
Cindy got in really late on Thursday because of a bad storm in Atlanta. Then Friday morning started with a formal breakfast at the Club followed by a welcome from the base commander and an introduction to Columbus AFB. Then, it was straight over to the graduation. My cousins and their 2 kids were able to make it, and they didn't go to the breakfast but were there for the graduation.
The graduation ceremony was about 30 minutes long and real formal and professional, I'm sure it looked pretty cool. At the end after pinning on our wings there was a really patriotic video presention accompanied by Lee Greenwood's 'Proud to be an American' and near the end of it we all stood up and lined up in front of the ampitheater with our backs to the crowd. A huge American flag then rolled down out of the ceiling and we all turned at the same time as they officially 'presented' the graduating class of 09-08. So it was a really good graduation that I'm sure the friends and family all really enjoyed. I even had 4 people from my church here who were able to make it, so I really appreciated that. Then after all that we had the breaking of the wings ceremony where we broke our first set of wings for good luck and then the two pieces are never to be reunited again until our death. Then we turned in the wings that we were wearing since they were just a 'fake' pair that went on a magnet hidden in our service dress coat to speed along the ceremony. THEN we officially had someone of our choice pin on our first set of 'real' wings. Of course Cindy did that for me and we got some good pictures with the flag in the background and all. Then I took 1 of the halves of the broken wings to the art shop on base and they put it in a prepared shadow box that looked really nice and then I gave that to Cindy. So she'll forever be the keeper of half of my first real set of wings.
We then had a sim block for 30 minutes and all 3 of them got to try their hands at flying the mighty T-1 and I got to act as 'instructor pilot' just teaching them how to fly it! I think they really liked seeing that, but Cindy told me should would NEVER want to go through all of that as a living! Then we went out to eat and chatted for about 2 hours before our cousins had to leave and get the girls back home. That night we had the REALLY formal graduation dinner where we had to wear our mess dress which is basically a military tux. We had a good time sitting with my room mate's family at our table with Cindy and I, but it was a LONG dinner with more awards presentations and all even at the end of it. That was pretty much it after that. Cindy and I just hung around the house Saturday and watched a few movies, and she got a little nap in, then I took her to the airport Sunday afternoon. I was really glad she got to go to church with me and meet everyone at Lighthouse too.
Anyways, now I've been waiting for my orders to get out so I can schedule the movers to pick my stuff up. Less than 2 weeks and I'll be going to Josh's wedding and then turning right around and going on Survival the day after I get back. I'll be doing the resistance top-off and then 'special' resistance for us 'special' RC-135 pilots. After that I'll be back mid-June for about 2 days before leaving for good to Omaha. So I'm kinda stressing about getting these orders so I can get my stuff shipped next week! Problem is the Sergeant finds it's easier for her to do all the orders as one package so I think we're all being held up as it only took about 3 or 4 days in Seymour to get my orders. Anyways, I may have to stir up some trouble tomorrow if they're still not out, it's been almost 2 weeks. I'm going to be so happy to get off this base...I'll miss Lighthouse Baptist for sure, but I won't really miss the town. Sorry Columbus!
Well, there's an update finally! Hoping to get one in at least once a week now, I think that should be attainable at least. We'll see.