I had less than a third of the missions via air here in Kosovo than I did in Iraq, and most of the missions I flew here were simply TF AVN taskings, and didn't have anything directly to do with Religious Support Operations.
(One could make the case, none the less, that since one of the missions of Army Chaplains is a 'ministry of presence', I was conducting that mission each time I flew. That might be stretching it, however.)
Ever since coming into the Army, and especially once I took my first ride on a Blackhawk (as terrified as I felt that day in Iraq), I'd wanted to work with an Aviation unit. Now that I had the opportunity, I thought I'd avail myself of every chance I got to be with Aviators as they did what Aviators do.
Before the 25MAY10, I'd never used night vision goggles before, as I may have mentioned. Now that my flying with TF Aviation is over, I've logged 31.8 hours of NVG time. Not bad for six weeks, eh?
Moreover, I've got a total of 41.1 hours of daylight flying (some of which probably could count as "night, unaided", but I decided not to differentiate, seeing as this really doesn't count for anything real).
That means, then, that I'll go home with a grand total of 72.9 hours of flying around Kosovo in helicopters.
There was at least one pilot here who didn't have that much time over the course of the deployment, let alone over six or seven weeks.
What a blast!
I love my job.
Blessings and peace to one and all,
Fr. Tim, SJ