Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blood and Guts

Being a part of the Security Force assigned to protect Nuclear Weapons Convoys was an honor.  You didn't get assigned to this team, you competed for it.  Well at least when I was doing this back in the early 1980's.

As I stated in the previous articles in this series, the Convoy Team consisted of Fire Teams.  On the ground our vehicle of choice became the Peace Keeper Armored Car.

Peace Keeper Armored Car.
With run flat tires and a bullet resistant shell and windows, the Peace Keeper was an upgrade from the standard pickups we used to use.  As with any upgrade there were "issues".

One issue was how the armor was attached to the main chassis of the vehicle.  Any rough treatment would end up with the body falling off.  There was a misunderstanding concerning the winch.  Since it had a winch we thought the vehicle could go off road.  It can't, and the winch was not nearly powerful enough to pull the 5 ton vehicle out of anything. 

Since a convoy consists of machines, at some point in time it will break.  When an important vehicle broke down we would set up a National Defense Area.  This is a temporary area that becomes important Federal Property.  Our team practiced setting these areas up and managed to do so in just seconds. 

The Mission

On one mission I was assigned to one of the Fire Teams that followed directly behind the Weapons Van.  The Weapons Van had an issue with its brakes, so we had to stop the convoy and set up a National Defense Area until it could be fixed, or replaced.  My Fire Team immediately raced ahead of the convoy where we would block traffic. 

I jumped out and ran up the road a short distance and began to stop traffic.  The first vehicle I stopped was a tractor trailer with a couple from Canada.  Behind them were several smaller cars.  The couple in the vehicle looked at me in astonishment.  I could understand the look given the fact I was dressed in full battle gear, but they just kept staring at me in amazement.  I was sort of puzzled.

That is when my Fire Team Leader came up and said, "Hey you have blood streaming down your face!"

I touched my hand to my face, and sure enough..blood was streaming down my face from the crown of my nose.  The night prior to the Convoy the nose pads on my glasses had broken, and getting out the the vehicle I remember my helmet hit the top of the door.  I guess that had jammed the sharp point where the nose pads connected into my nose.  It didn't hurt much, but I guess it did add a certain charm to the situation.  I smeared the blood around a bit to make it more dramatic and carried on.

Blood scares the hoola hoop out of people.

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