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Units - Military/Naval Service of ACG Members Here you will post or find the units in which ACG members have served.

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  #1  
Old 21 Jul 12, 23:46
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tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500]
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Tigersqn's SAR days

A message I received from Slug and the intro written by Admiral for this section has prompted me to do up a thread on my career; from the time I joined in 1985 until I retired in 2007.

I'll begin by giving an overview of the 21 years 147 days that I served the queen. Subsequent entries will reveal stories, anecdotes and events that happened throughout that time.


I joined the Canadian Air Force at the age of 21 in sept 1985 and attended recruit school in St Jean, Quebec for the 11 weeks it takes to turn a civilian into a soldier.
I graduated from recruit school in late november, 6th in a class of 64(don't know why they rate recruits )

From there I carried on to CFSATE (Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering) for my trade training. Having graduated 1st of 16, I was almost assured of receiving my first choice of postings. As a result, I was posted to Edmonton, my first choice since my sister lived there and I hadn't seen her in 6 years.

Anyway, I got to Edmonton in May of 1986; just 2 weeks after a disastrous collision between 2 Hercs (CC-130) had occured on base.
I was assigned to the BAMEO (Base Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Organization) Herc maintenance section doing heavy maintenance on the CC-130s.

I must say here that any newbie joining an airforce unit should IMO be sent to heavy maintenance section. There is no better place to learn the aircraft.

After 2 1/2 years in heavy maintenance, I did a stint in a local base initiative to train newly arriving recruits. For about 9 months I taught new maintainers what they needed to know about hydraulics, landing gear, flight controls and pneumatics to pass their QL5 (Qualification Level 5, QL3 being right out of recruit school). After that I spent another 2 1/2 years in Servicing section.

And this is where my long association with Search and Rescue started. Although 435 Sqn's primary function is transport of goods and passengers, their mandate requires that they maintain at least 1 Herc on 24 hour standby for SAR duties in the 10,000,000 square kilometres it covers.

In 1991, the Canadian Forces decided, as a cost cutting measure, to close down the base at Summerside, PEI and move 413 SAR Sqn to Greenwood NS. Simultaneously with this move, it was decided to integrate the CC-130 as the Squadron's fixed-wing asset, they having previously been equipped with the CC-115 Buffalo. Having no qualified CC-130 maintainers on the 413 Sqn rolls, the military asked for volunteers for postings to Greenwood. Feeling it was time for a change, I volunteered and turned up in Greenwood 26 days later(a bit of a quick move that one, my wife was loosing it ).

As 1 of only 2 fully qualified Herc maintainers in 413 Sqn, and with learning to maintain another aircraft as well (CH-113 Labrador) my life was very busy for the next year or so. In fact the whole 11 years I spent in Greenwood could be considered hectic. This is the time period in which most of my TDs (Temporary Duties) occurred. Most of these TDs consisted of full-scale SAR ops, but there were some to international locales.
In fact, I recently mapped out the locations I've visited during my career and out of 73 countries I've had the pleasure(?) of visiting, 57 of them were visited in this time period. This was also the period of time in which I got divorced(understandable, I was hardly ever home).
Immediately after my wife left, 413 Sqn moved me off shift work into a straight day position. Finally, after 15 years in, I was able to go home in the afternoon. They put me in charge of the Sqn Tool Crib. A sort of all encompassing duty that had me responsible for the all the squadron test equipment, tools, and consumable stores, as well as ensuring that the fly-away search kits were complete and serviceable at all times.

In 2002, my career saw another move, this time to 424 SAR Sqn in Trenton, Ontario. In 2004, with the retirement of the CH-113 Labrador and purchase of the CH-149 Cormorant, my association with Search and Rescue finally came to an end. I was moved to AMCRO (Aircraft Maintenance Control and Records Organization) 8 Wing.
Finally, a desk job. I liked it at the time, but I don't really think it was for me. I retired 3 years later in 2007.


I've included the Squadron patches and heraldic crests for the 3 squadrons with which I served. Some of you may guess that I got my handle "tigersqn"
from the 424 Sqn patch.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 435 Sqn patch.jpg (69.1 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg 435 sqn heraldic crest.jpg (68.6 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg 413 sqn patch 2.jpg (121.3 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg 413 sqn heraldic crest.jpg (55.0 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 424 sqn patch.jpg (30.0 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg 424 sqn heraldic crest.jpg (31.2 KB, 3 views)
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  #2  
Old 21 Jul 12, 23:47
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  #3  
Old 27 Jul 12, 16:39
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I may have crossed your path Pierre. I was a CIC officer with 18 RCACS. We'd take the cadets to 14 Wing every year. A visit to 413 Sqn was always a favourite stop.
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  #4  
Old 27 Jul 12, 19:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigersqn View Post
A message I received from Slug and the intro written by Admiral for this section has prompted me to do up a thread on my career; from the time I joined in 1985 until I retired in 2007.

I'll begin by giving an overview of the 21 years 147 days that I served the queen. Subsequent entries will reveal stories, anecdotes and events that happened throughout that time.


I joined the Canadian Air Force at the age of 21 in sept 1985 and attended recruit school in St Jean, Quebec for the 11 weeks it takes to turn a civilian into a soldier.
I graduated from recruit school in late november, 6th in a class of 64(don't know why they rate recruits )

From there I carried on to CFSATE (Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering) for my trade training. Having graduated 1st of 16, I was almost assured of receiving my first choice of postings. As a result, I was posted to Edmonton, my first choice since my sister lived there and I hadn't seen her in 6 years.

Anyway, I got to Edmonton in May of 1986; just 2 weeks after a disastrous collision between 2 Hercs (CC-130) had occured on base.
I was assigned to the BAMEO (Base Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Organization) Herc maintenance section doing heavy maintenance on the CC-130s.

I must say here that any newbie joining an airforce unit should IMO be sent to heavy maintenance section. There is no better place to learn the aircraft.

After 2 1/2 years in heavy maintenance, I did a stint in a local base initiative to train newly arriving recruits. For about 9 months I taught new maintainers what they needed to know about hydraulics, landing gear, flight controls and pneumatics to pass their QL5 (Qualification Level 5, QL3 being right out of recruit school). After that I spent another 2 1/2 years in Servicing section.

And this is where my long association with Search and Rescue started. Although 435 Sqn's primary function is transport of goods and passengers, their mandate requires that they maintain at least 1 Herc on 24 hour standby for SAR duties in the 10,000,000 square kilometres it covers.

In 1991, the Canadian Forces decided, as a cost cutting measure, to close down the base at Summerside, PEI and move 413 SAR Sqn to Greenwood NS. Simultaneously with this move, it was decided to integrate the CC-130 as the Squadron's fixed-wing asset, they having previously been equipped with the CC-115 Buffalo. Having no qualified CC-130 maintainers on the 413 Sqn rolls, the military asked for volunteers for postings to Greenwood. Feeling it was time for a change, I volunteered and turned up in Greenwood 26 days later(a bit of a quick move that one, my wife was loosing it ).

As 1 of only 2 fully qualified Herc maintainers in 413 Sqn, and with learning to maintain another aircraft as well (CH-113 Labrador) my life was very busy for the next year or so. In fact the whole 11 years I spent in Greenwood could be considered hectic. This is the time period in which most of my TDs (Temporary Duties) occurred. Most of these TDs consisted of full-scale SAR ops, but there were some to international locales.
In fact, I recently mapped out the locations I've visited during my career and out of 73 countries I've had the pleasure(?) of visiting, 57 of them were visited in this time period. This was also the period of time in which I got divorced(understandable, I was hardly ever home).
Immediately after my wife left, 413 Sqn moved me off shift work into a straight day position. Finally, after 15 years in, I was able to go home in the afternoon. They put me in charge of the Sqn Tool Crib. A sort of all encompassing duty that had me responsible for the all the squadron test equipment, tools, and consumable stores, as well as ensuring that the fly-away search kits were complete and serviceable at all times.

In 2002, my career saw another move, this time to 424 SAR Sqn in Trenton, Ontario. In 2004, with the retirement of the CH-113 Labrador and purchase of the CH-149 Cormorant, my association with Search and Rescue finally came to an end. I was moved to AMCRO (Aircraft Maintenance Control and Records Organization) 8 Wing.
Finally, a desk job. I liked it at the time, but I don't really think it was for me. I retired 3 years later in 2007.


I've included the Squadron patches and heraldic crests for the 3 squadrons with which I served. Some of you may guess that I got my handle "tigersqn"
from the 424 Sqn patch.
good job.......
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  #5  
Old 27 Jul 12, 20:15
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tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500]
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centurion40 View Post
I may have crossed your path Pierre. I was a CIC officer with 18 RCACS. We'd take the cadets to 14 Wing every year. A visit to 413 Sqn was always a favourite stop.

We did give tours regularly to the firehall; pointing out e-exits and engine fire extinguishing points, etc...
And I do remember giving a few tours to cadets that visited.

I must point out that of the 21 years I spent in the military(16 of those in Search & Rescue) I always thought of 413 Sqn as the high point of my career.
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  #6  
Old 27 Jul 12, 20:47
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  #7  
Old 31 Jul 12, 21:07
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tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500]
tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500]
And now the first of the stories I promised.

In 1995, as a part of the "Open Skies"( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_Open_Skies ) initiative, I was tasked to be crewmember on a CC130 equipped with a SAMSON sensor pod for flights over a number of European nations.

Our route would take us from Greenwood,NS through the following locations: Reykjavik, Naples, Budapest x2, St Petersburg, Oslo, Gander and back to Greenwood.

Night #1, Reykjavik: Very cold, grey and sleet falling almost horizontal. I've heard it's often like this. Before going into town and checking into our hotel (no American barracks for us ), we decided to have a few drinks and kill time. Things began to get interesting as I quickly won $140.00 on the slot machine. Of course, since I won, I had to buy all the guys(and 2 girls) a round. Gets a little steep buying a round for 20 people .
Yep, this was gonna be a good trip .

Night #2, Naples: After an uneventful flight south over Europe, we landed at Capodichino Air Base in Naples, Italy. This is a US Naval Support facility for the US 6th Fleet. While waiting for the fuel bowser, we whipped out our cameras and started taking pictures of our Herc. Two US Navy security personnel quickly showed up, seemingly out of nowhere, and proceeded to firmly request that we put away the cameras. Although we argued that we were taking pictures of our own aircraft, that didn't seem to matter to them. Oh well.
Once we fueled the aircraft and put her to bed, it was time to head into town and check into the hotel. Now if you've never had the opportunity of driving on Italian roads, you would be wise to pass up the chance; that is if you value your life. This was the most terrifying 20 minutes I have ever spent in a vehicle. At one point, while passing through a tunnel, our driver was leaning on his horn because the Moped in front was only going 75km/h. Perfectly unruffled, the Moped rider proceeded to squeeze himself between the tunnel wall and our mini-bus while we passed him at a sedate 90km/h. This Moped couldn't have had any more than 2-3 inches clearance on either side. Insane.
We checked into our hotel (Hotel Miralago) across a six lane street from the beautiful Bay of Naples and the Isolotto di Megaride. While standing on the room balcony debating about where we were going to eat, we saw a long line of people (mostly incredibly stunning Italian women) and decided that we would eat there.
It turned out to be the Canta Napoli, a great ristorante with good food and even better service. We all ordered our own pizza.
Our CWO(Chief Warrant Officer) ordered a pepperoni pizza and when it came, there was no meat on it. He called the waiter back and demanded some pepperoni on his pizza. The waiter duly returned with a fry pan and dumped the contents on the Chief's pizza. Little did the Chief know that pepperoni in Italian is "peppers". Once all the confusion was cleared up and the Chief got his salami , the waiter treated us to a masterly display of balance which consisted of a variety of wine bottles and forks. He even got the little 11-12 year old girl, sitting next to our table with her family, in on the act. After numerous bottle of wine had been drank, we said our goodbyes leaving a generous tip to the waiter and also the little girl next to us.


To be cont'd........
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Old 09 Aug 12, 14:53
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Glad you got a "round the worlder" before you left.....I spent my last 7 years in Trenton on the Hercs and the Boeings and any of the guys "getting
out" could put in for a last trip.

Spent some time in 9 Hgr (424 Sqd.at the time), before I went to 10Hgr ,and knew and jumped with a few of the PR legends....Bill W, Sandy B, Chuck C, Andy A.( but this was long before your time)...My original trade was "rigger" airframe but in the "old" airforce you could get all sorts of courses IF you were willing to give your own time so I got a jump course and qualified Military Freefall Parachutist/Jump Master also "clearence diver".......knew a "fitter" who was EOD/Clearence diver qualified and another rigger who attended sniper school,plus another armourer who was jump qualified, MFP/JM same course as me...plus a lot more....dont know what the service is like now

Was "old" Brit Army (Para) 54-57 then switched to RCAF/CAF till '78....served Can,(Green wood, Cold Lake,Trenton, The Arctic ), France,Germany,Sardinia, Middle East,Africa...done exchange duty with other NATO outfits and got "loaned" to the Italian Navy at one stage when we had lost a number of CF104,s ( long story)...Worked on CL28 Argus, Buffs, Caribous, Falcon, CF104's, B707, C130..Got about 45 hrs backseat time in our CF104 Duals. and a lot of 130 F/E time....Have Brit,Can, French jump wings, nearly had German wings but teh weather fouled things up.., belonged to a "weird" outfit and did some "funny " things that are not talked about.........traveld alot of detachments met a lot of good guys/girls ( some a---holes as well) but it got too much being "away" ( 20 days of the month)but my wife (god rest her), a German girl put up with me , but I pulled the pin and went work for the civvy airlines as i had my AME rating ...better pay, came home most nights.....but even then I got "loaned" to other airlines as "line engineer" with rateings on 10 aircraft..but I would take her with me once my son went to university.........After the airlines I still do some contract work in Europe and stay in touch with my wife,s family........

Have a good retirement and I could tell you some tales of Italian pizza and what the Italians regard as topping....

PS...My photo is probaly on a wall in Trenton someplace.....

Evening Watch on a boat on the Med....

Last edited by Bow; 09 Aug 12 at 15:13..
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Old 15 Aug 12, 22:07
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tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500]
tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bow View Post
Glad you got a "round the worlder" before you left.....I spent my last 7 years in Trenton on the Hercs and the Boeings and any of the guys "getting
out" could put in for a last trip.

Spent some time in 9 Hgr (424 Sqd.at the time), before I went to 10Hgr ,and knew and jumped with a few of the PR legends....Bill W, Sandy B, Chuck C, Andy A.( but this was long before your time)...My original trade was "rigger" airframe but in the "old" airforce you could get all sorts of courses IF you were willing to give your own time so I got a jump course and qualified Military Freefall Parachutist/Jump Master also "clearence diver".......knew a "fitter" who was EOD/Clearence diver qualified and another rigger who attended sniper school,plus another armourer who was jump qualified, MFP/JM same course as me...plus a lot more....dont know what the service is like now

Was "old" Brit Army (Para) 54-57 then switched to RCAF/CAF till '78....served Can,(Green wood, Cold Lake,Trenton, The Arctic ), France,Germany,Sardinia, Middle East,Africa...done exchange duty with other NATO outfits and got "loaned" to the Italian Navy at one stage when we had lost a number of CF104,s ( long story)...Worked on CL28 Argus, Buffs, Caribous, Falcon, CF104's, B707, C130..Got about 45 hrs backseat time in our CF104 Duals. and a lot of 130 F/E time....Have Brit,Can, French jump wings, nearly had German wings but teh weather fouled things up.., belonged to a "weird" outfit and did some "funny " things that are not talked about.........traveld alot of detachments met a lot of good guys/girls ( some a---holes as well) but it got too much being "away" ( 20 days of the month)but my wife (god rest her), a German girl put up with me , but I pulled the pin and went work for the civvy airlines as i had my AME rating ...better pay, came home most nights.....but even then I got "loaned" to other airlines as "line engineer" with rateings on 10 aircraft..but I would take her with me once my son went to university.........After the airlines I still do some contract work in Europe and stay in touch with my wife,s family........

Have a good retirement and I could tell you some tales of Italian pizza and what the Italians regard as topping....

PS...My photo is probaly on a wall in Trenton someplace.....

Evening Watch on a boat on the Med....

My original trade was also "rigger" airframe tech.
In the mid-late 90s, they amalgamated AF, AE, IE, SS and AWS into AVN tech while IS, CS and RS amalgamated into AVS tech.

Retirement has been awesome.
My one complaint I guess would be that civilian organizations wont officially recognize my military courses and quals. It all worked out for the best though. I'm going back to college this fall courtesy of the government.
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  #10  
Old 15 Aug 12, 22:56
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tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500]
tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500] tigersqn is a jewel in the rough [500]
Nights #3 & 4, Budapest: Once we landed and were able to get into town, we checked into the Hilton Budapest, located inside the walls on Castle hill on the Buda side. When we got to the room, I was treated to a breathtaking view of the Danube with Chain Bridge in the foreground and the Hungarian parliament buildings on the Danube shore in Pest.
A few of us went to a small restaurant stuffed into a back alley across from the hotel. This place looked like an old bombshelter or ammo storage bunker. As we entered, I noticed that we passed the kitchen on the way down into the dining area and remember hoping that there wouldn't be a fire in the kitchen or everybody would be trapped.
The next morning, a group of us decided to partake of some shopping in the commercial district of Pest. We stayed there most of the day and didn't get back to the hotel until later in the evening. After an exhausting day, the bed looked very inviting indeed.
The real action in Budapest happened at the airport just before we left.
The CWO (Chief Warrant Office) decided he wanted a smoke and made his way into the airport infield to have one. That was all fine........until he decided to make his way back. Once he stepped over that yellow line, he was barred from coming back unto the tarmac and was stopped by some airport security from returning to us. After much haggling and discussion by the mission commander, we recovered our CWO and were able to leave Budapest for a long flight to St Petersburgh.


To be cont'd..........
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Old 17 Aug 12, 15:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigersqn View Post
My original trade was also "rigger" airframe tech.
In the mid-late 90s, they amalgamated AF, AE, IE, SS and AWS into AVN tech while IS, CS and RS amalgamated into AVS tech.

Retirement has been awesome.
My one complaint I guess would be that civilian organizations wont officially recognize my military courses and quals. It all worked out for the best though. I'm going back to college this fall courtesy of the government.

Strange!!....When I went to the civvy airlines my qualifications were accepted on the spot....maybe because I had an AME rating at the time, later on I got an FAA A&P (US) then a Brit CAA.....and then again my interviewing team (3) were all ex-airforce....at least half of our Line and Maintenance crews were ex-service.......airforce and navy from all over Can, Brit, Amer, Russian, French, Philipines, Angola, Uganda, India, China (Tiawan) etc,etc, a real Heins 57 group with a lot of experience.......so you should have fitted in ok.....guess you ran into the wrong guy......anyway you are ok,,,as the saying goes " when one door closes and other opens",,,,So go back to school ( College) and do yourself proud ..but Please!! not as a Social Worker......

PS...One day i will tell you about prominante politician traveling with us in a C130, who managed to **** everybody so much we left his suit case etc on the runway in Beriut...the locals got to dress very well......

Keep the faith and...... Per Ardu Per Astra....

Last edited by Bow; 17 Aug 12 at 15:53..
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Old 17 Aug 12, 16:08
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Strange!!....When I went to the civvy airlines my qualifications were accepted on the spot....maybe because I had an AME rating at the time, later on I got an FAA A&P (US) then a Brit CAA.....and then again my interviewing team (3) were all ex-airforce....at least half of our Line and Maintenance crews were ex-service.......airforce and navy from all over Can, Brit, Amer, Russian, French, Philipines, Angola, Uganda, India, China (Tiawan) etc,etc, a real Heins 57 group with a lot of experience.......so you should have fitted in ok.....guess you ran into the wrong guy......anyway you are ok,,,as the saying goes " when one door closes and other opens",,,,So go back to school ( College) and do yourself proud ..but Please!! not as a Social Worker......

PS...One day i will tell you about prominante politician traveling with us in a C130, who managed to **** everybody so much we left his suit case etc on the runway in Beriut...the locals got to dress very well......

Keep the faith and...... Per Ardu Per Astra....
That's probably it. I never got my civvie AME rating.
I was able to get hired as an unlicenced AME, but that meant at about 2/3 the going salary.

I have an interesting story about a general who wanted his luggage placed on a specific Herc. Under the 1 man/1 kit rule, we should have left it for him, but being the nice guys we were, we duly placed it on the aircraft he pointed out.
Problem for him was, they took a different Herc for their trip. Never did find out what he wore for the next few days.
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Old 18 Aug 12, 15:49
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That's probably it. I never got my civvie AME rating.
I was able to get hired as an unlicenced AME, but that meant at about 2/3 the going salary.

I have an interesting story about a general who wanted his luggage placed on a specific Herc. Under the 1 man/1 kit rule, we should have left it for him, but being the nice guys we were, we duly placed it on the aircraft he pointed out.
Problem for him was, they took a different Herc for their trip. Never did find out what he wore for the next few days.
Yeh!! seen the same....As we used to say "never **** off a guy in Movements as you may go to Ottawa but your baggage will go to Outer Mongolia".....and I have seen it happen......Always make friends in Supply, Accounts, Movements and at least one bar tender.....
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Old 15 Sep 12, 11:43
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Night #5, St Petersburg

And so our approach to Pulkovo airport, just south of St Petersburg, begins.
The first thing I noticed on the approach was how grey and bland everything was. This would turn out to be much different once we got into the city, which is quite the most beautiful I had visited.
In any case, we landed and "put the plane to bed" before meeting up with the cultural attache from the Canadian consulate in St Petersburg. After clearing customs, we made our way to our hotel, where the manager met us and guided us up to the second floor. Much to our surprise, there was a table full of filled champagne glasses placed there for our benefit. The cultural attache pointed out that the consulate usually booked rooms at the Nevsky Palace Hotel, but had put us up in the Grand Hotel Europe instead, and the managment wanted to impress in order to get more bookings from the Canadian government. We lucked out.

After our short drinking binge , our passports were collected and we were told that they would be returned in about 2-3 hours after processing. The mission commander informed the manager that we wished to do some shopping ASAP. Our passports were returned to us within the hour !!
All I came out with from the shopping trip was a bottle of Vodka to add to my collection.

That night we managed to find a nice little Irish pub and met a goodly portion of the Hotel reception staff there. We ended up partying with them most of the night. Breakfast the next morning was an absolute feast. A table laid out with smoked sturgeon, caviar, several different kinds of ham; in short, almost every delicasy you can think of.
We made oour way back to the airport to prep the plane for takeoff, but on the way we stopped at Pobedy Square and had a group picture taken of us standing before the Monument to the Defenders of Leningrad.

We were prepping the plane for departure when a customs agent shows up accompanied by 2 armed soldiers. She went through our passports with a fine tooth comb and even wanted us to remove a rivetted panel from the aircraft so she could check in behind. After explaining to her that we would be seriously delayed in our departure, if we were to grant her request, she let us carry on with our preparations. There was 2 hours wasted !!

While all this was taking place, I noticed the most unusual ice-clearing techniques I had ever seen. The Russians had trucks mounted with jet engines blasting the taxiways clear of ice with the exhaust. I've provided some pics below. We were told that they also use these machines to de-ice aircraft; I can almost hear the rivets popping from here !!

We finally got airborne for the next leg of our journey. A night in Oslo.


to be cont'd
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