Thursday, August 20, 2009

132.8 Degrees Fahrenheit

Today was the hottest Forward Operating Base Warhorse has experienced this year. The thermometer at the Public Affairs office, our base of operations, pegged the maximum temperature at 132.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Needless to say, nobody here - not even the soldiers - had experienced heat that severe before.

You may be wondering what it feels like to be outside at that temperature. The answer, as best I can approximate it, is that it feels as though you're inside a sauna that doesn't have any walls. The heat pushes its way into everything - your clothes, the water you're carrying, your body armor, the vehicles (which get too hot to touch without gloves)... everything. There's no escape.

It also really makes you understand why it's not a good idea to enter a sauna fully clothed, with body armor and a helmet to boot.

Still, there are ways to deal, and the funny thing is that it's not entirely unlike the way we deal with extreme cold in Alaska. Stay hydrated, dress appropriately, don't go outside unless you have to, and monitor your core temperature very closely. The soldiers of the 1-25th Stryker Brigade have learned these lessons well themselves - every vehicle going outside the wire has a cooler stocked with ice water and Gatorade for those riding inside.

When we get back to Alaska, it's going to be below freezing at night. It will take some getting used to for us, but even more so for the soldiers who, for the past year, have made FOB Warhorse their home.

1 comment:

  1. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 08/21/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.