Today was one of those days that was busy as hell, but then was over rather quickly. The good news was that power was restored to the school, which meant the soldiers were in better spirits, and, most of all, that we could run the simulation for these guys.
Chapter 1 - The Flying Circus
This morning we had a couple of British Officers join us for the day. They wanted to look at our facilities and see about how they could work a battle simulation exercise for the Iraqi Staff College's BN/BDE Commanders course. I am not sure how familiar anyone is with British Officers, but I think that it is a requirement that you ACTUALLY have to talk like you're a member of Monty Python. These guys had me rolling on the floor laughing (actually doing it, not just typing that over used rofl) all morning long. I actually felt like a front seat at the Hollywood Bowl or something. Their sense of humor, coupled with mine and a few of my contractors, made for a very fun morning, in spite of the next two chapters.
Chapter 2 - The Spaghetti General
We had been expecting the new deputy commander, a Major General from Spaghetti-land, I mean Italy. However, we saw his vehicle take off, so we assumed that he blew us off, and would not be visiting. Anyway, I was about a paragraph and a half into chapter 3 when he finally showed up and saved me from a potentially embarrassing situation. Anyway, this new General, who gets to wear a full beard, I might add, just wanted to pop in for a visit. His deputy is a Brigadier from Great Britain who is also rather funny to listen to. So the whole time he is giving a little bit of history and context to the school, I can't help but pay attention to nothing but holding back laughter...he wasn't even cracking any dry British jokes or anything...I had had just been wound up into a British Humor frenzy that anything spoken with that accent was going to get me to crack up. The tour went well, and his English was surprisingly good for an I-Tie (Cheap Eurotrip reference). He left happy, and I was now exhausted from holding back the laughter.
Chapter 3 - The Inquisition
Just after we thought that The I-Tie General had blown us off, up rolls an Iraqi Brigadier. He speaks better English than most soldiers I know. My Brigadier is on leave, so when he starts heading back to his office, I should have been a bit suspicious. No one, I mean, NO ONE, ever goes into my Brigadier's office when he is not there...unless it is VERY important. So we go and make the necessary introductions, and I begin to tell him about the simulation, and the class we had going on when he showed up. He starts into some questions about my Brigadier...That is when the "Danger Will Robinson" alert starts going off in my head! This is an "Investigation." Meanwhile, one of my soldiers comes to get me because the I-Tie has doubled back and come to visit. Turns out, this Iraqi Brigadier is there to take statements against my Brigadier. Not to worry, there are a bunch of Iraqi commanders that are being investigated...mainly because some soldiers that have been attending these schools have relatives in high places and they don't like the fact that there is never power in the barracks, as if the commander can do anything about it.
Chapter 4 - Lunch with Monty Python
I am not sure what we were joking about at lunch, but suffice it to say that at this point, all it took for me to laugh was to hear a British accent. We had a great time at lunch, but I am still baffled at what we talked about. It must be the heat. ...They did get real American Diet Pepsi in at the PX, so I bought a case.