|Commander Scott Hurst: looks like John C. Reilly|
So- we are off to meet the Commander of the base. Commander Scott Hurst. Even though I am not military, I always feel weird calling anyone by their first name on base. I also feel weird calling anyone by rank or sir- because I didn't earn the right to even do that!
The Commander could not have been any nicer- he explained our presence here and what he does- On a side note the base is the #2 employer of the local people, #1 being the port.
People actually vacation here from all over the world for their scuba diving. This place is like what Afghanistan was 15 years ago, a possible breeding ground for terrorists. The terrorists are kind of like gang members- they find weak, small countries with no guidance and flash money around them. Bring them in then use them for the dirty work. This mission is preemptive- we are showing them humane ways of life and in good faith.
Allot of the local are hoping because of the port- this could be the next Dubai. We have roughly 1400-1500 soldiers that patrol the North region of Africa. That’s is the size of 3 Americas plus the waters for pirates.
The pirate situation is allot worse than we know about. It isn’t big news in the states because they try to avoid America because we don’t negotiate- we kill them. It’s a big money scam for these guys on other countries.
|We vistit the Doctors|
|My Hero- Your hero.. What a sandwich|
We met the Air Assault- these are the guys who save people from helo’s.. but the bad ass’s like in the movie black hawk down.
Command Sergeant Major was showing us around and we met the 161- these guys are tough. Most of the guys have 2-3 purple hearts and continue to go. When you truly meet someone of the warrior class you get it. I wish I had it, but I don’t. I respect these guys and wish I could spend another week just letting them know how we as Americans appreciate what they are doing.
|Fresh Back from patrol|
We went over to the air field and hung with some very cool pilots. They refuel in air the harriers that patrol for the US. These C-130’s can fly 10-12 hours without refueling.
The bunks are called clus (Clue’s). There hasn’t been any case of malaria or yellow fever on base. What is brutal here is the heat and humidity- I tried to powder up and it ended up looking like pancake batter.
|K-9 units are amazing|
|Bad day to be a bad guy!|
|From Vicious to a baby in a command!|
|This is equal to a warning shot|
|This is what happend|
|Put me in coach!|
|They work in teams and multiple arrests|
|Choppers coming in before showtime|
I wish I could repeat these stories- but they are not my stories to tell.
I didn’t want the night to end – these stories where so good and I wish I could write them but I couldn’t give them justice. I do laugh because everything this guy has been through- yet he had the best attitude and sense of humor. For every scary story he had one that he was pulling a practical joke on someone.
|What a crowd|
|We look just like the scene in Commando|
|I'm Buff and Tough!|
|One of Franks Purple Hearts|
We may head into town tomorrow:
Here is a taste of whats out there:
The Black Mamba is one of Africa's most dangerous snakes and feared in East, Central and Southern Africa. It's aggressive when cornered and will not hesitate to strike. It can reach speeds of up to 12 mph (20 km/ph). It's the largest venomous snake in Africa with adults reaching an average of 8 feet in length (2.5m). Black Mamba's are not black at all, but brown/olive skinned. Their mouths are inky black which they show when threatened. Black Mambas live in savanna, scrub, tree hollows, and sometimes people's homes. If a Black Mamba encounters prey it can strike up to 12 times, each time delivering enough neuro and cardio-toxic venom to kill a dozen men within 1 hour. Without anti-venom, the mortality rate is 100%.
The Puff Adder (Bitis arietans) is considered to be Africa's deadliest snake because it is responsible for the most human fatalities. Puff Adders reach an average length of around 1 meter, and they're solidly built with a wide girth. Color patterns vary depending on where they live, their habitats extend throughout Africa except for dense rain forests and deserts. The Puff Adder has large fangs and its venom is powerful enough to kill a grown man with a single bite. Puff Adders rely on camouflage for protection and lie still if approached. Because of this, people tend to step on them and get bitten. Many fatalities occur because bites are not treated correctly, leading to infection and gangrene.
The Boomslang (Dispholidus typus) is an extraordinarily dangerous snake found in sub-Saharan Africa. Human fatalities are rare, since this snake is very timid, but spectacular. It's venom is haemotoxic, which means that it affects the body’s natural blood clotting mechanism resulting in the bleeding of the internal organs. Sometimes it can take as long as 24 hours before the symptoms of the venom can be felt or seen. Once it gets to work however, a person can bleed to death from every orifice. The Boomslang is a tree-dwelling snake (Boomslang means "tree snake" in Afrikaans). Females are brown, and males are light green with black highlights. The Boomslang reaches an average length of 5 feet. Its fangs are at the back of its head.
The Gaboon Viper has the longest fangs and the highest venom yield of any venomous snake in the world. Gaboon Vipers can be found in West, Central and parts of East Africa, they prefer forested areas. Adults reach an average length of around 5 feet. While the Gaboon Viper delivers a huge dose of venom, the venom is not as toxic as some of the other snakes on this list. A single bite could kill a man however. Gaboon Vipers are very interesting looking snakes with a huge triangular shaped heads and pretty black, brown and pink markings. Gaboon Vipers are quite passive and rarely bite unless provoked or stepped on (even then they don't always bite).
Saw-Scaled Viper or Carpet Viper
The Saw-Scaled or Carpet Viper are small, bad tempered, highly venomous snakes found north of the equator in Africa. Adults vipers reach an average length of just 20-30 inches. Their venom is hemotoxic and very virulent. This means the venom causes spontaneous internal bleeding, sometimes days after the bite has occurred. The Saw-Scaled viper is named for the sound it makes as its scales rub together producing a warning sound similar to a "sizzle". These venomous vipers are active after dark and that's when most of their victims are bitten.