Last night I was set up on the edge of the road in
the center of the roadblock as fire support for the searches. I was
dozing between searches, lying on the pavement behind my C6 machine
gun. Suddenly I awoke to the sound of exploding tires and was
blinded by the lights of a speeding truck trying to break through the
roadblock. I grabbed my weapon and rolled off of the road just as
the truck rolled over my position. Behind me, two of the troops
opened up with warning shots above the vehicle. Miraculously the
trucks breaks started working at this very instant and the truck quickly came to a stop and the driver scrambled out apologizing for
his failed breaks. We ended up stopping and searching 35 vehicles yesterday and last night
and only found one rifle.
We closed down the roadblock at seven this morning and headed south
into Bulo Burti to the Italian camp to pick up an aid convoy.
The Italian camp is much better laid out than our own. It has only
one perimeter surrounded by a high birm topped with sandbags.
Outside there is a 15 foot wide minefield then two rows of
concertina. I bet they do not have problems with intruders.
We are set up in several compounds, one per unit. This was done
not for security or defense, but so that the REMF's and senior officers
could set up their positions around the abandoned buildings that they have
had repaired for their offices and sleeping quarters. Our compounds
are also square instead of a proper triangular defensive position which is
more secure and requires fewer men to defend. Then to top it off,
our camps face each other, so if we ever had to defend ourselves we would
be firing into our other camps.
The aid convoy consisted of 8 military trucks and
17 Somali trucks loaded with food and medical supplies destined for the
CARE compound in Beled Weyne. Escorting the convoy was a slow and
tedious affair with the Somali trucks only able to do 30 km's per hour and
constantly breaking down or getting flat tires. It took forever, but eventually we made it to Beled Weyne and dropped the convoy
off at the airstrip. Only one kid threw rocks at us going
Passing by the refugee camp I saw Iifra on the side of the road.
She saw me and ran after the carrier calling my name. She looked
happy and healthy. I am glad I saw her again, I was worried.
In fact I was looking for her as we drove through, I just wish we could
By the time we returned to camp I was sun fucked. We spent
the rest of the afternoon cleaning the support weapons, then stood
down. I got a care package from Nicki today. It had enough gum
in it to last a year and several different spices. It was better
than a birthday present. Daren also got a care package of 6 Kokanee
beer. What an awesome day!
We have been overrun by camel spiders. We killed three in the
tent tonight and many in the other tents. 31A also killed another
scorpion and a green centipede about five inches long. We put two
camel spiders together and they fought to the death. Within a half
an hour, the winner had eaten the other in the entirety, including the
They are strange creatures, not really spiders. They have ten
legs, two eyes and their four mandible like jaws are more like two sets of
claws attached without arms. WO Bradley says they are only called
camel spiders by the locals and that they are also called sun scorpions,
The preventive medical tech is supposed to be coming tomorrow to
spray. I hope it works and they don't rebel and eat him (or me
during the night!)
17 March 93
Today I am going to Mombasa on
R & R. Everybody who is going was anxious to get going
this morning, packing kit, showering, repacking kit, waiting... Time seemed to crawl waiting for
noon. At twelve we turned in our weapons, got our leave
passes and passports, then finished packing. At one we lined up for a
pay parade and finally left for the airstrip at about two
where we are sitting waiting for the plane which is delayed.
In the last 24 hours, 2 Cdo got 2 kills. An ICRC guard fired at
one of the troops, so they wasted him. They also captured 4 guys in
their wire last night. They left them tied up overnight, but one of
them woke up dead. They say it was a brain hemorrhage or
On the plane to Mombasa we played pass the ace for 200 ksh ($5 Cdn) a
pop. With 10 guys playing, the pot was pretty sweet, but there was
harsh competition. Of course, I lost! It did make the
trip go quicker though and besides, it was fun.