08 September 2007

Seems like only yesterday part two

One of the things that happened the night of that September, was that the powers to be in charge of the battle group shut down email and Internet browsing. We could receive emails but not sending anything out and the only thing we could browse was the ship's intranet. We still didn't know what was going to happen with us. Rumors were flying hard and fast, the next night at at dinner.
"They are going to start the draft again"
"We are going to be out here for the duration."
"We are not going to be in a port again."
"It was...." and you could insert the name of a known terrorist group or hostile country.
Came into work that night and day shift was glued to the TV like us on nights were. They had accomplished the same thing that we did. Put a minor dent in our backlog of fire control radar gear. I did turn over with the day check supervisor and proceeded over to production control.
"I need 8 hours ago," began the production control Master Chief, "a list of all the major components that you will need to clear all of the exreps off your work loads."
"8 hours ago, then why didn't days do it." someone mouthed off from back of the PC office.
"Because the Washington Naval Yard.."
"I thought it was the Pentagon?"
"Now as I was saying, a message just came through where BuAir and AirLant has ordered a 747 from a contract and it is going to be loaded to bear with all of ours and the Chucky V's maintenance department requirements. So I need you all to scrub your workloads and give me an itemized list by MCN, part number, and how many you need. As it stands right now price is no objective. We are tapping into war reserve cash as of right now."
"Oh and I would like them typed please. Some of you all were successful graduates of Va Beach schools and don't know the Kings English nor how to write it. So type up your lists and drop them off in my box here."
I walked back into the shop and passed out the information to each of the benches. So we all started to scrub our sections of the workloads and started to draft our listings.
Our work center chief walked and started to talk to us.
"Any of you have family that live in either Washington DC or in NYC? If so I need a listing of who they might be and how they are related to you."
So in the middle of trying to get work done we started yet another list.
After working through the lists, my list for the people in DC or NYC was mercifully short. I knew a cousin might still had been living in NYC. The other list took a little longer, I had about 2 or 3 million dollars in parts for seven or eight radar systems that were down from our F-14's and F-18s in the air wing.
After turning all of those in we started to get to work. Try and put a number lower priority parts out and back into the supply system. I decided to check my email, because even though I couldn't send anything I could still receive. Might hear something outside of the normal channels form my hook ups.
The first email I got was from a friend of my back at the beach at Ocean-Banana. He asked how things were out here, and then mentioned how everyone including the two training squads were uploading live ordnance. They were also preparing to stand alert 5. He mentioned that it was strange to be standing alert 5 on the beach and that even the general announcing system for the reveille and retreat was being tested to announce shift of the Alert 5 status. He then closed it out about an ex-gf of mine and how she had broken up with one of our friends for yet another friend.
I got two emails from my father. The first told me that I was being turned around and I was thinking that how did he know that when I didn't even know that. At which the bosun's pipe came across with the whistle to announce the skipper was going to pass a word. Instead of announcing that a message from the commanding officer it was going to be a message from the admiral.
"Shipmates of the Enterprise BG, I just received word from 5th Fleet that we are being turned around and going to steam back north to a defined box up near the mouth of the Persian Gulf. What this means for us is that we are going to be part of the response from the attack on our country by these suspected terrorist group Al Qaeda. I am glad to be here with you all and know that you all are going to do your job to the fullest. Admiral out."
Wow is all that I could think about the email and the announcement. It was then that I skipped the rest of the first message from my father and saw that he had posted the CNN website page stating that my ship had been turned around.
The second message reported that all of my clan except for my cousin who was working in NYC had reported in to some other relative. After finishing up reading those two emails I closed everything out and started to get to work on cleaning up my workload. Push out those parts that the air wingers needed. Myself and another second class petty officer started to form a mini-production line. I was working on circuit cards while he worked on the total components. We had about 10 or 12 radar sets and started to cannibalize them all to make working radar sets. By the end of the shift at the end of the second night and first full shift after the attacks we had pushed out seven of those radar sets. As I walked to my berthing I stopped and looked out the elevator door at as the sun rose over the IO and thought to myself if the world was really going to change for the better. Mainly because the last thing I watched on TV before heading home was a news report from the NBC nightly news of people looking to blame the US foreign policy for this horror and not accept that there are just evil people out there.

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