From the front

  • Published

Capt Paul Tinker
Deployed unit:  MNC-I / C3 Reconciliation and Engagements
Home unit:  36th Electronic Warfare Squadron / EWF (SEAD Flight)

Job description:
Work with a multi-national / multi-department / multi-services staff to support Iraqi Reconciliation through the development and assessment of Key Leader Engagements (from local Sheiks all the way to Gen. Petraeus and PM Maliki). 

Provide direction and guidance for Divisions to create an environment in which the Iraqi people can return to a life in which they do not fear going about "normal" things. We do this primarily through promoting security, job creation, encouraging a transparent and legitimate political process, and when necessary, separating the reconcilable from the irreconcilable.

What will you remember about your deployment 20 years from now? 

What's the most useful item you packed?
"Dri-fit" undershirts. The new winter weight ABU does not mix well with the heat. Go figure. Sunglasses are a close second.

What do you wish you had packed?
My wife. Seriously though, some type of scarf to keep the dust out of my nose and mouth.

When did you realize you "weren't in Kansas anymore;" aka your "Dorothy" moment?
Diving for cover due to "indirect fire". Then realizing it was just an MP siren. I hurt my shoulder...and ego.

What's the best part of the deployment?
Job satisfaction. Best part is working with the other services, as well as other countries. We're all teaching each other how we operate and using the best techniques from each to get stuff done. Very impressive array of highly motivated people.

The worst part?
Losing my goggles out of a helicopter because no one told me I was in the "hurricane seat" and they thought it would be funny.

What new survival skill have you learned?
1. Using every pocket available to me on my uniform.
2. Re-learning every rank of every service. Navy needs to get with the program.

What do you do during down time?
Running and perhaps a cigar here and there. Also read and catch up on sports back home.

What is the first thing you will do and eat when you return?
Hug my wife and have a beer.