Thursday, April 24, 2008

Off to the port city of Cartagena

So I'm writing this from a seat on the C-130 flying back to Bogota. Let me back up so you are filled in for the day.

We were up at 5:45 a.m. and pulling away from the hotel at 6:45. The Wednesday morning destination was the historic walled city of Cartagena, about a 90-minute flight from Bogota. A bit of a bumpy ride and tight seating, but no surprises. We arrived and headed straight for the Colombian Naval Base and Coast Guard Headquarters. There, the JCOC group received operational briefs, as well as tours of two naval ships, one of them being a historical sailing ship.

Next we headed into the old walled part of the city for a quick tour and about 30 minutes of shopping - something this group does not get a lot of time to do as we keep them fully engaged in learning about the DoD mission in the region. The tour part was rather short, as the group really wanted to take advantage of this rare chance to gift shop. So what did we do? Of course, we adapted and overcame - and got the shopping done. About a half-hour later, we re-boarded the buses and headed back to the airport for the C-130 flight back. And that brings us all up to date!

Did you know? - that we have been giving many of our JCOC participants the opportunity to ride in our aircraft cockpit jump seats? Yes, we rotate jump seaters and we are trying to give maximum opportunities so the JCOCers can observe firsthand how our air crews operate these aircraft.

More later!


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