Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Growing up, I read some military history. One book I remember, well the topic but not the title, was on north Atlantic convoys during World War II. One of the stories that stuck out was of a convoy celebrating the Fourth of July. It was, in today’s vernacular, a coalition convoy. I don’t remember details, if some allies were stationed on each others’ ships or if it was just a mixed fleet of protecting warships, but I remember trying to imagine myself amongst Americans celebrating the Fourth with the British. Twenty-five odd years later I was able to celebrate the Fourth with some RAF officers.
In May 2013, I deployed to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia with its own Facebook page. None of my predeployment training mentioned that it was an undisclosed location. At the time, Al Udeid was practically Davis-Monthan Forward so everyone knew where you were going. It wasn’t until I arrived at the ‘Deid that I was told it was undisclosed and not to mention where I was. Then Secretary of Defense Hagel visited us in December 2013 and it was officially disclosed.
In my division, our deputy was an RAF officer and we had a NATO liaison who was RAF. It was a great experience to work with the British and learn from them. There was playful banter between us. The Christmas picture was hung in the office and the Brits enjoyed talking about their empire days.
Before July, one of the guys ordered a bunch of red, white, and blue decorations. They arrived in time and on the third, some of us stayed behind at the end of the day to decorate the deputy’s desk. It was glorious, with streamers, bunting, and little flags. He took it in stride the next day. I’m sure he was expecting something.
The boss let us off a little early that day. We met in one of the rec areas to eat pizza and watch a movie. The NATO liaison came in wearing a Union Jack as a cape. It felt like family members kidding with each other. All in good nature and at the end we went off to work together. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any pictures of the day.