02/07

(Saturday 1510). Time to relax, drink and enjoy the free time...NOT! I better start studying for the exam that we have this week.
Yesterday I screwed up in the orientation race. I simply couldn't find some of the posts. I was running through thick forests, swamps that got me wet up to my knees and mud up to the ankles. Anyway, we haven't got the results yet, but I think I placed somewhere in the middle.
In just over a months time, I'll be starting flying school, and to be honest, I simply can't wait! I'm so excited. As you may know, you have to pay for your first ride in the aircraft at flying school. It's called the dollar ride where the student pays the instructor $1. Some just pay a $, while others make something out of it, where they decorate it with private female parts and small pictures of aircraft. So now I'm starting to prepare mine. I bought a nice dollar bill about 3 months ago and now I'll begin to decorate it soon, probably next weekend...but I won't write anything about it in here, since it's top secret.
However I promise to take a picture of it when I'm ready.
Oh well, that's it for now, take care!
/Stephen

 

05/07

(Tuesday 1840). We had a long day yesterday...we finished just past 2300. Today we finished at 1530, so it feels more like a normal day. It's good with some free time after a hard day's work.
The exam is on Thursday, so there's not much time left for studying. However I'm through all of the stuff now, so I just need some 'last minute brushing up.'
In just over a month we'll be starting flying school. It's going to be so great! Oh well, I'm off to get some food with the guys...and then it's off to digging into the books.
Catch u later...
/Stephen

 

10/07

(Sunday 2115) Back at the base after a nice (and warm!) weekend.
Tomorrow we're off on our last exercise. According to the weather forecast, it's going to be 5 days and nights in scorching heat. Anyway, the exercise is going to take place at Aalborg air base, which is about 100km North of Karup. The good thing about the whole thing is that we're going to be working in close collaboration with an F16 squadron over there, so it's going to be interesting. However, being the last exercise and all, the instructors are going to make sure to make it hell for us. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter, so it's good that we can see an ending to all of this.
I packed my back pack, and to be honest it feels a bit too light. I didn't even take my sleeping bag with me this time. It's a bit of a gamble, but with the weather forecast in mind, I don't think I'll be needing it...let's hope that the weather stays good.
Oh well, I'm off to do my last home work and then off to bed. G'nite all. Next time I write will be around Friday/Saturday.
/Stephen

 

16/07

(Saturday 1455) Last exercise over...and it feels good! It was hard, yet not as hard as we had expected.
Today I got a surprise when I opened the mail box. I got the welcome-letter from the RDAF Flying School. It includes the schedule for the first week and a CD with some facts and figures, which I haven't looked at yet. Jesus, this is real! I can't wait to slip into the flying suit and start learning about military flying. A tear or two will be shed on the first flight, but that's just me.
Today I also got some pictures that I had ordered, which will be used to decorate my $1 bill for the dollar ride.
On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we have the final exam in group leading. I am up as the very first one on Monday morning after the little 'lottery' that we had. So on Monday at 1025, I'm basically finished with my sergeant education! Then all I have to do, is help the other guys on their exam on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then next week we have a bit of administrative work to do, deliver our equipment back and then the promotion ceremony on Friday.
So now I'm off to relax and enjoy the day with Sara, and tomorrow I'll prepare for the exam.
Have a nice weekend!
/Stephen Galucci

 

17/07

(Sunday 1215) Just finished uploading some pictures to the website. Yesterday I browesed through the CD which I recieved with the welcoming letter from the flying school. It's basically made in the same format as the RDAF flying school website, with a few changes and useful info.
By the way, the RDAF flying school website can be found on www.flyveskolen.dk
Here there will be a student's diary updated daily by different students (in Danish!). Apart from that, there will also be alot of pictures of us and our doings. This doesn't mean that I will stop writing in my own diary, right here, in English, of course! So stay tuned and let me share the time of my life with you all.
We're going to be 22 students on the team. Most are from the Air Force and then a couple of guys from the Navy. About half of us will have the rank of Sergeant (including myself) and the rest are already 1st Lieutenants. The reason for this is that they've already been through the 2 years of RDAF academy (officer school).
It's going to be great to meet all the new guys. We're going to have to work together as a team, help eachother, yet compete for the first place at the same time.
Now I'm off to do my last effort with the sergeant education. As you know, I have my final exam tomorrow, so I better be prepared.
/Stephen

 

18/07

(Monday 1235) Just finished my last exam...all went well.
So now I'm sitting in the computer room and printing some information about the T17, the aircraft which I'll be flying when I start flying school. There's ALOT to be learned...and it has to be done in a very short time. So I better do a head start and take advantage of any information that I can find.
Oh well, I'm off to my quarters now. I have some paper-work that I have to finish and some other things to take care of.
Take care now!
/Stephen

 

18/07

(Monday 2245). Yes, it's a bit late, but then again...who cares?! The next 3 weeks I don't have to think about going to bed early or having bad conciens about not doing so.
We just had a relaxed evening, for a change, with some pizza, beer, a movie (Die Hard 3) and a few games of pool. Pool is a fun game to play, but much better if you play for beers. Today I won 4 beers over Viggo and 1 beer over Anders, hehe.
Every time that Viggo loses, he asks if we should play double or even. Then if he wins (best out of 3) we even the beers, but if I win, he ows me double the amount! So basically that's why he ows me so many beers. Man I'm thirsty right now!
Oh well, that's it for now. Catch u later, stay tuned. More pictures will be uploaded this weekend. If you can't see any updates in the picture gallery, press F5 to refresh the page...
/Stephen

 

22/07

(Friday 2125). Last weekend before sergeant graduation. Last Wednesday we had the last few guys going for their exam, and I was in charge of the enemy forces. My job was to lead a group of 4 'enemies' and try to make life a bit harder for the group leader during his exam. It was good fun to plan our little battle every time a new student came to the exam.
Anyway, now it's all over. Everyone passed the exam, so the spirit is up. That's it for now. Tomorrow I'll probably upload a few more pictures from the airshow.
/Stephen

 

26/07

(Tuesday 1655). We had the terrain-sports day today. It was good to do something physical again...not because we had missed it or anything, but it feels good afterwards...or something.
Anyway, we almost all got the bronze award for completing the tasks in good time without too many mistakes.
The tasks were a 6km orientation race, distance estimates by eye-measuring and precision hand grenade (fakes of course) throwing.
Then on the way back everyone behaved like children: In the back of the lorry, the guys were pouring cold water down eachothers necks to wake them up during the long trip home.
Tonight, in an hour actually, we have our final party, where we're going to grill some good food and drink a beer or two, until we black out or fall asleep. Our instructors are invited, and we have agreed to get them drunk.
That's it for now...catch u later.
/Stephen

 

27/07

(Wednesday 2055). Today we cleaned our weapons for the last time and then delivered our personal weapon (the M/96) back. I had mixed feelings about delivering her back. But first let me define the expression mixed feelings: Mixed feelings is when your mother-in-law drives off a cliff in your brand new car.
Tomorrow we'll deliver our M/62 LMG for the last time. It's going to be great to get rid of that pile of metal junk... no mixed feelings here!
Today we also had our last staff interviews, with our class leader. It's great that it's all over soon. I got some good feed back from the instructor and some very nice words. However I only placed 13th in class, but I'm ok with it.
Yesterday, as you know, we had our final party together, where we also invited our 3 closest instructors. We had a great time (and a few beers...) To my surprise I found out that they had been reading my online diary for quite some time, but never mentioned anything about it until yesterday. It's good that I didn't write anything bad about them!
Oh well, if you're reading. Thanks for these 6 months...you made sure that I'll never forget them.
/Stephen

 

27/07

(Wednesday/again! 2130) Flying school is getting closer, 11 days to be exact! It still feels strange, however it's starting to really click for me, that this is real. It's hard to explain in words. It had always been a dream for me, and it seemed and felt like it would always just be a dream. And now, suddenly, the dream is turning into reality and it's simply so unreal to me.
I think I'm off to bed now. I'm rather behind with sleeping, so I better start catching up. Apart from that, I still feel abit slow after all the drinking last night. I guess you all know the expression: 'the day after the night before...'
Good night all!
soon to be sergeant Stephen

 

28/07

(Thursday 1500) We just got back from our new quarters, which we'll be using during our time on flying school. Now we have our own room with all the facilities. It's going to be great to be able to study in peace.
In the building we also have a kitchen and a living room with a bar...including all kinds of aviation books and posters of naked women - It's going to be great!
Yesterday evening we sewed the remaining awards, which we have earned during the course, onto our uniforms in order to get our class picture taken today.
We delivered our LMG this morning, for the last time of course. Afterwards we put on our best uniform and took our class photo.
So all that's left now is to recieve our families for the ceremony tomorrow. Then we have a week off where we have time to recharge. I'll also use alot of the time to start reading and refresh the things that I have learned from my earlier flying experiences. I want to be on the leading edge of the class...actually now we don't have any choice. Statistically only about 40% of us will make it through flying school, so it's important and necessary that I am in the best third of the class, all the time. I can't wait to start! That's it for now. Now I'm off to take a nap before Sara comes.
/Stephen

 

30/07

(Saturday 0930) My instructor asked me after the ceremony yesterday: So who won the battle? He was talking about the instructor-students battle. Well, the instructors always win, but yesterday we all felt like winners, including myself.
So the battle has been won, however the war has only just begun. We have a long way to go and this was only just the beginning.
On the way home I got an SMS from an unofficial but reliable source with a surprise... This person knows what flying name I'm going to have at flying school! My name is going to be GEA.
At first I was rather disappointed, however now I'm getting used to it...oh well, I guess there's no other way around it.
During the speech, the General addressed us pilot students and said: Now you have a hard education ahead of you, so hard that sometimes 'good enough' is simply not good enough! In some of the exams, 99% correct answers will fail you. Only 100% will allow you go on to the next step...
Now I'm off shopping and printing some pictures for my family. They'll be happy to get them.
catch u later...
/Sergeant Stephen GEA Galea

 

31/07

(Monday 0050) Another sleepless night. I'm so excited about starting flying school that I simply cannot close my eyes at night. It's good that I have a week off before starting. Hopefully it'll help me to cool off a little bit before 'hell breaks loose.' When we start I cannot afford to not sleep at night. I'm going to be needing every available minute of rest.
Today I was out running and spent some time studying emergency procedures for the T17. There are alot of them, and they all have to be learned by heart. 'Learning by heart' is my new best friend.
I can't wait to slip into that flying suit. As you know, it's a tradition to sleep in it the first night on the day that you get the suit...I think I'll be sleeping in it every night.
Now I'm going to do some surfing on the net and maybe upload a few more pictures to the gallery.
That's it for now.
/GEA