0800 local Mogadishu, Somalia.

The pipe-hitters are all jammed into a small masonry room in the airport terminal building, ready to sort of hear the morning intel report from New York Sam. NY Sam was born in Lebanon and raised in one of the Burroughs of NYC, though I am loath to admit I don’t recall which.

NY Sam was as Arab-looking as they come and ripped like crazy as physiques go for intel weenies. I’ll venture to say that NY Sam got rudimentary respect just for that reason from the pipe-hitters. That and the fact that he was smart as hell and didn’t take crap at any level. And then there was his thicker-than-thick New York accent that served to intimidate somewhat.

The intel briefs were really such a wash; the noise was so, so, so overwhelming. Just outside on the tarmac were American C5A heavy transport aircraft, Russian Antonov heavy transports, C-130 Combat Talons, and AC-130 Spectre gunships. None of them ever shut down their engines; they just screamed nonstop like banshees ALL THE TIME!

Threat of Indirect Fire

They were not allowed to shut down because of the threat of indirect fire from downtown metropolitan Mogadishu. The Skinnies routinely dropped mortars on us whenever they thought they had figured out how to aim their tubes; that is, without either moving them closer in or farther back to find their range. The transports landed, off-loaded, and flew away as fast as they could. Nobody wanted another Khe Sanh.

KC-130H burns on the Khe Sanh combat base airstrip after impacts from mortar fire.

“We should fuck with them and keep moving the airport back and forth,” suggested Samuel Booth Foster from my own five-man assault team that only ever had four men.

Chill-D just blinked at Samuel, thinking him to be a miscreant for suggesting that one could indeed move an entire airport back and forth just to confuse some Somali gunners. He only thanked his lucky stars that he had NOT been born with the same mental deficit that Samuel Foster had.

“A four-man assault team was better than five men anyway…” Sam had once postulated, “…we won’t be stuck with that awkward odd-man-out when it comes to ballroom dancing.”