After all of my initial qualification training was complete I had the opportunity to go to Spain for about two weeks in June of this year. We were supporting the whole Libya situation. I had a blast in Spain. The flying was actually a lot of fun and I learned a lot. The flights probably averaged around 8 hours or so, so the days were very long once you add a few hours on the front and back for briefings and paperwork. Since the whole thing was a NATO operation we had to work very closely with pilots and tactical air traffic controllers from other nations. I have to say that it was very difficult to understand what the French where saying. The neat part was that a lot of our receivers where from other countries as well. We saw a bunch of different types of fighter jets, and heard a lot of different accents. It is cool to see how everyone can come together and get the mission done, even though we come from different countries and different training programs.
As for Spain itself…..it is an awesome country! Luckily they didn’t have any restrictions on where we could go. As long as we were there at step time, and ready to fly no one cared where we went. The second week we were there I rented a car with a couple of other guys and everyday after our flight (we flew through the night and a lot of times would land around 7 or 8 am) we would hop in the car and explore southern Spain. We made it to the rock of Gibraltar, which was amazing. We saw ancient cathedrals, castles, and whole cities painted white. There is so much history in Spain. I loved it. I know a little Spanish, so I ended up being the translator for our group wherever we went and enjoyed brushing up on my Spanish skills.