as the detachment engineering officer on C-130s.
So I was essentially out there with
a small team of technicians, a very small team actually,
supporting a number of aircraft.
And it was challenging conditions,
obviously sand with the engines.
When you're joining fine particle sand
and heating it up to crazy temperatures,
it causes some specific problems in maintaining the engines.
So we had a constant battle in terms of keeping them clean
so that the engines wouldn't overheat
and the aircraft could perform its job.
We were also able to prepare the aircraft
to do numerous airdrops, so they would drop
water and supplies out to our troops
and the American troops out on the ground,
but I was really focused at Kandahar base
and my focus was purely on the aircraft
and the people under my command
to make sure that they were safe,
to make sure that they were content,
as much as you could be in that environment,
so that we could get the best out of the airplanes.
For me, as an ex-engineering technician,
up to that point having never touched
an airplane since I commissioned,
it was also the perfect opportunity for me to get involved.
Because we were such a small engineering detachment
that we didn't have lots of people to do individual tasks,
so it meant I could literally roll my sleeves up
and get involved again, and that was everything
from engine changes, which we had to do numerous times
in theater, right through to doing raw changes.
So Hercules has got a cargo handling system on the back
that allows you to put palettes on
and if you're in the airborne delivery role,
to push those palettes out onto parachute.
So we were constantly changing the floor layout
on those airplanes, and again,
I was able to get involved with that.
To help my technicians essentially to get the job done.