Logistics aside, I was glad to have a sizable operation and challenge to keep me busy up to the end and to make my last mission "outside the wire" a memorable one. After a year, I can now look at a "CONOP" (concept of operation) and not only actually understand it, but point out the flaws it might have. For example I caught one submission that planned a helo landing in a space that could probably accomodate the machine, but would result in a huge rotorwash (the high winds generated by the air the helicopter blades are pushing down to generate lift) which could have easily damaged nearby facilities, and at a minimum would redistribute a good bit of the nearby volleyball pit as it got hit with hurricane force winds.
Anyhow, we had developed a very solid CONOP, and the commander took the further precaution of adding extra assets just to have additional help available, just in case. A wise man.
My only beef with the plan was that it required me to meet up at 0500 even though we didn't actually leave the base until closer to the much more civilized hour of 0700. I knew there were reasons for this, but even if my greensuiter pals were just trying to ruin my beauty sleep, complaining about an "SP" is on the list of cardinal sins for civilians in a war zone, so I stifled my groan and tried to give my snappiest "Roger That!". For the record - I think that SP means Start Patrol though I'm not entirely sure. It means the time when you and your stuff best be at the appointed place or you instantly become "that guy". Like many military expressions, I'm pretty confident I'm not the only guy who couldn't give the exact translation but uses it anyhow, including as a verb, as in we are "SPing" in 5, meaning "rolling out".
My Wheels at the SP point
the most expensive and uncomfortable ride around, but they got the job done