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Kwajalien Atoll - Marsahall Islands


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Ok so this a long shot........ but anyone been there, worked or lived there??? The Merrimack job is still possible but so is this one.

 

 

 

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Even the bustle and bright lights of downtown Majuro or Ebeye can wear thin after a few minutes. Dusty and bleak — Imagine a desperate W Texas town well off the Interstate but with a tropical lagoon. Have an exit plan. I had a sailboat so could cruise around inside the atoll where the little islands are very nice.. Majuro has a relatively busy cruiser YC for part of the year when they migrate up to escape the off-season S of the Equator. And there is some diving to be had. If you can mingle with the locals you might get some visits to interesting remote places or fishing trips. Weather is nice. Civilized.

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Having been in the Seabees and being deployed to Diego Garcia, Chuuk Lagoon and Adak, AK it's best to embrace the whole island lifestyle work and play, and forego the drinking or rather the excessive drinking part of those who refuse to embrace remote island lifestyle. That would probably be watersports, kayaking, sailing, power boating and fishing. if the waters are safe for surfing, windsurfing or kiteboarding. Many can't stay away from the full party lifestyle - if one chooses that route, best to keep the drinking part in check.

On Diego Garcia for instance everyone in our company got shitfaced, falling down drunk every night, except for three of us. Two who were total teetotalers and myself who would partake in food and a few drinks, enough to get a buzz, and watch over everyone so they didn't hurt themselves to badly. I'd learned on New years in Port Hueneme the previous New Years, getting shit faced drunk with my brother who drove up from the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, that one really hurt themselves drinking like that - and found no need to hurt myself like that again. 

When I was there, life on Diego Garcia was more similar to a penal colony then today's vacation resort. I'd expect Kwajalein atoll to have all the amenities of a first class vacation resort  today. During my time there - island life - talk centered about partying every night and the daytime heat. Many of the Seabees just out of high school - becoming young men from their life and death adventures on Diego. At that time they all hated the place, but I believe it changed all of them, most guys off of Diego Garcia could handle most anything thrown at them on Adak.

The few things the guys talked about - was long hard hours in the sun during the day and then the last evening's party - which was just about every night. Drugs and booze were cheap and available. Stationed on any other Seabee base, if a Seabee got caught with just a joint more then once, and they got kicked out of the Seabees and sent to the fleet. To this very day I still cannot believe the Federal Government and US Navy turned a blind eye to the drugs and booze on Diego Garcia, then sent everyone to Bangkok for R&R. Some said they thought it was part of a government experiment studying how young men can survive addictions and sexual diseases.
 
Luckily they survived - I hope all my fellow SeaBees are as lucky. What's more surprising is that everyone I knew from back in the day in the Seabees is still alive, with the exception of one, and he'd still be alive, if he learned to stop partying and drinking hard.
 
We didn't have women on Deigo Garcia like they did on Truk or Adak. A decade and a half after I was there they started having women. A lady officer friend later stationed there wrote me. "I had heard rumors about prostitution on Diego before I got there (and was told, as an officer, to be on the lookout for), and that was confirmed by an enlisted female who worked for me. On a previous tour, she was among the first females sent to the island. She told me that during that tour, her roommate, “Patches,” was a comely young lass, probably the best-looking girl on the whole island. The roommate decided to make extra money by taking advantage of her status and "service" only khaki and above. She charged a maintenance fee to interested parties, and then they could schedule in with her. Right before she left the island, she pulled her roommate aside and said, "Look at this." Her checking account balance, not her savings account, which could have been substantially higher, had a balance of over $29K (and this was the mid-80's.) Sooo, all those rumors you heard about prostitution on the Rock were true"
 

"A good portion of the women stationed on the island were lesbians, too. (Some were great friends and looked out for me, so I’m forever grateful and lifelong friends.) I had to think that it was a great irony that DG finally got women after X number of years, and so many of them had no interest in men whatsoever!"

"But women were not the only ones who were gay on the island. [I have since read an excerpt from Randy Shilts’ “And the Band Played on” where Diego Garcia and Tinkerbell have a passage.] One of the designated boyfriends was a merchie, we’ll call him “A,” who was a pretty proficient windsurfer. He offered to take me out tandem with him one Saturday. I'd had duty the night before and still had to work a half day, so I was really tired when I met him at the marina. Being the "extra person" in the tandem set-up, I just hung out on the end of the board while A maneuvered around. It gave me an opportunity to see, up close, what needed to be done. Pretty soon, we noticed that there was another windsurfer taking the same tacks and jibes that we were. It turned out to be another merchie that A only knew vaguely. The guy called over, "A, you're the only person I know of who takes a crew with him to go windsurfing!" Kind of cute, but whatever. So, after we're finished, we break down the board and take it back to the marina office. We're sitting out front of the cashier's cage, and I have my head down as I'm really dragging. All of a sudden, the other merchie, let’s call him “Paul”, comes up and starts talking to A. I can't recall the exact words, but as I listened, I suddenly realized that the guy was "hitting on" A. The nerve!! In front of me - his obvious date!! After a bit, the guy wandered off, and I told A, "You know . . . that guy was hitting on you." A was shocked and disbelieving. Oh, no, he told me. I had to be mistaken. Okay, I shrugged. Of course, being Sat, that night was Brit club night. I was off dancing with someone or something, and the guy, Paul, comes up to A again. He says to A, "Boy, if the music stays this good, I might just have to ask you to dance." At that moment, A realized that I knew what I was talking about, mumbled, "I better go find Lisa," and left (and then told me what had just occurred.) So danged funny."

"Women of officer status were so scarce on the Rock that the Filipina waitress and I were generally the only females in the O Club on any given night. After I'd had my bike ride, swam, and gotten cleaned up, I usually missed chow hall hours. I was in BOQ 9, next to last room on the end, 2nd floor, right next to the O Club, so it was a 1 minute walk over. For $2, I could have a plate of pancit and get free ice tea and free popcorn. As soon as I would walk through the door, the blender would start up making strawberry daquiris for me (I think that I'm personally responsible for burning up at least 2 or 3 blenders.) Mike, the civilian lead over at the CEC group, would order me a daquiri and cue to the music system to play Mickey Gilley's "But You Don't Know Me" and then have me slowdance with him while he gazed into my eyes and sang the lyrics. It was a little routine we went through at least once per week, no kidding. Harmless fun (and he was one of the few men I would allow buy me drinks or food; I was very careful to pay my own way.)"

"I went to the O Club one night when one of the carrier’s airwings had basically taken over the place. I’d been warned off going to the Club that night by my CO, but I could hear music playing, there was nothing, as usual, on AFRTS, and I was bored. How much trouble could I get into?? When I walked into the place, it looked like a scene out of a movie: people gyrating every which way, swinging from rafters, etc. When the guys caught sight of me, a big cheer went up. There was actually another female in there, a civilian. Drinking games were underway. They were doing their own version of carrier landings whereby a participant would get a running start on the upper level of the bar and then leap off the stairs to land on the arms of guys formed in two lines to catch them. The person landing on the crossed arms would then be flipped up in the air from his belly, and, hopefully (but not often), land upright on his feet. [I heard later that several people had been seriously hurt doing this, including a few broken limbs.] [The Island O’s version of carrier landings was to ice the length of the wooden bar down. Thus with a slick surface, a participant would fling him- or herself down the bar sliding the entire way until ones feet were caught by the “wire” – a towel stretch across the bar towards the end, held on either side by a person. Occasionally, a participant would forget to keep his/her heels up (knees bent while in the supine slide position) and miss the “wire” and go sliding completely off the bar and onto the floor.] I agreed to participate in the carrier landings on the condition that they would not flip me. They were all happy with this, and I made several landings. I had several different squadron stickers slapped onto my clothing. Very quickly, it was near closing time, and the poor guy who was shore patrol showed up to usher everyone onto their school bus and down to the landing to catch their launch back to their carrier. I asked the guy rather sardonically, “Who did you piss off to get this duty?” “I volunteered for it,” he said. Well, he seemed like a nice guy, so I helped him with the herding of drunk aviators out the door and onto the bus. The bus sat idling for a few minutes, and the guys were calling out, “Lisa, we loooovvvveee you!” Then, as the bus sat for a bit longer, the call outs changed to, “Show your tits! Show your tits!” Not happening."

 
"I'd recommend reading up on the amenities, and determine if they'd pleasure you enough. Of course there's internet these days on most  remote locations - just make sure you don't have to pay an arm and a leg for the service. Go down there with a heads up attitude, obey the do's and don't's, and don't buck the in-place system and Army, Air Force & Navy regs. Most importantly have fun, laugh and enjoy life."
 
 
 
 

 

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2 hours ago, boomer said:

Having been in the Seabees and being deployed to Diego Garcia, Chuuk Lagoon and Adak, AK it's best to embrace the whole island lifestyle work and play, and forego the drinking or rather the excessive drinking part of those who refuse to embrace remote island l

 
"I'd recommend reading up on the amenities, and determine if they'd pleasure you enough. Of course there's internet these days on most  remote locations - just make sure you don't have to pay an arm and a leg for the service. Go down there with a heads up attitude, obey the do's and don't's, and don't buck the in-place system and Army, Air Force & Navy regs. Most importantly have fun, laugh and enjoy life."

 

 

any Boeing 777-200ER's there?

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A work friend grew up on Kwajalien. She said it was idyllic for a pre-teen girl, they had outdoor movies every night and the missile tests to which her dad was assigned as a contractor were a neighborhood event. She told me much the same about alcohol that Boomer writes here, abuse was common.

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Is that the floating fickle finger of fate?

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2 hours ago, Willin' said:

Is that the floating fickle finger of fate?

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A memorial of the initial landing spot for Reindeer Station - reflecting the general consensus of the place -  erected shortly after January of 1971 - where a reconnaissance party from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 40 waded ashore on the atoll to confirm planning information and carry out a preliminary survey of the beach landing areas. Reindeer Station

In early March a 50-man party from the same battalion and from Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 as well as other specialist personnel arrived by the LST USS Vernon Country, and was followed by an advance party of 160 men from NMCB-40. These Seabees then constructed a temporary Seabee camp, water and electrical distribution systems, a dining hall, laundry, refrigeration and storage facilities.

Following that, they were to begin building a Navy Communications Station and enough runway by July 19,1971 to land a C-130 Hercules. Up to this time, Diego Garcia had been a relatively unknown tropical atoll whose only industry was copra.

The concrete batch plant pictured above came from Cam Ranh Bay. Disassembled by a NMCB 5 detail Buford, loaded on the LST USS Vernon Country, then shipped to Diego Garcia where the same detail Buford reassembled the batch plant. I was with detail Buford. The rest of NMCB 5 who had been deployed to Vietnam for five consecutive deployments and the last full NMCB in Vietnam, were in the jungle of Thailand building the "Rose Garden",  the Royal Thai Air Base Nam Phong in Nam Phong District, Khon Kaen Province - thank God we didn't have to go there, as it was much more miserable then Diego Garcia. We spent another couple of weeks loading C-130 with construction materials, generators, pumps, piping to the "Rose Garden," or to Da Nang then on to the "Rose Garden", in what was the largest airlift since the Berlin Airlift, shipping supplies left by our troops in Vietnam from four air bases to the "Rose Garden", which only amounted to about a quarter of the materials and supplies we left in Vietnam. Then flew to Thailand, where we met and boarded the USS Vernon Green for Diego Garcia. After erecting the batch plant, our detail went to Buna, Papua New Guinea aboard the LSD USS Monticello to install wells, and water systems for the village, then on to Chuuk Lagoon to install more water systems, build a little school house and a dispensary, then back home to Port Hueneme.  The Rose Garden

Seabee Battalions including Naval Mobile Construction Battalions 1, 5, 10, 40, 62, 71, 133, Amphibious Construction Battalion 2, Seabee Detachments and Seabee Details continued to rotate through Diego Garcia through the 70s and into the 80s building the base. However enough was built of the of the Naval Communications Station, Diego Garcia, for a commissioning, which was conducted two years later in March of 1973.

A few more significant historical notes about BIOT (British Indian Ocean Territories) as follows:

Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia, was commissioned and established as the senior United States Navy command on the island on 1 October 1977. Eventually enough coral runway was built to land something bigger then a C-130 Hercules, that in 1981, the Naval Air Facility Diego Garcia was commissioned. It was decommissioned in 1987 and its responsibilities returned to the Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia.

In 1980, the United States Navy established the Near-Term Prepositioned Force of 16 ships. Then NTPF became the Afloat Prepositioning Force (AFP) and eventually Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron Two (MPSRON 2) consisting of 20 deep-water pre-positioned logistics ships anchored in the lagoon.

On 26 March 1982, five women were assigned to the Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia. Prior to this assignment, no women had lived on the island since those on the plantation in 1971.

In 1985; the new port facilities were completed and the USS Saratoga (CV-60) was the first aircraft carrier to tie up. The USS Saratoga was docked at the island when it was called away to respond to threats by Lybian Leader Momar Kadaffi and the "Line of Death" in the Gulf of Sidra (also known as the Gulf of Sirte). The carrier left its port while many of its 4500 sailors were still on the island, which subsequently had to be airlifted via helicopter as the ship made its way to the Mediterranean. The Saratoga spearheaded the assault on the African Nation.

The Strategic Air Command began deploying Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bombers and aerial refueling aircraft to the newly completed airfield facilities in 1987.

Following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, three ships of COMPSRON 2 sortied, delivering a Marine Expeditionary Brigade to Saudi Arabia for participation in the Gulf War. Other COMPSRON 2 ships offloaded the ammunition and fuel on Diego Garcia that were required for the American bomber fleet that deployed to the airfield. Subsequently, B-52G bombers flew more than 200 17-hour bombing missions over 44 days and dropped more than 800,000 short tons of bombs on Iraqi forces in Iraq and Kuwait. One of the B-52s crashed from mechanical failures just north of the island with the loss of three of its six-man crew.

Beginning on 7 October 2001, the United States again commenced military operations from Diego Garcia using B-1, B-2, and B-52 bombers to attack enemy targets in Afghanistan following the attacks on New York City and the Pentagon. On 12 December 2001, a B-1 bomber was lost to mechanical failures just after takeoff from the island, but the crew survived and was rescued by the USS Russell (DDG-59). Four B-2 Shelter System Extra Large Deployable Aircraft Hangar Systems were erected at Diego Garcia to support the bombers' operations. Combat operations resumed in the spring of 2003, with MPSRON 2 sortieing to the Persian Gulf for the Iraq War, and bombing operations began again, this time against Iraq.

AFAIK Bomber operations ceased from Diego Garcia on 15 August 2006.

 

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@boomerThanks for the stories!! Pretty crazy... but perhaps happened 40 years ago. I'm sure it's still the wild west so to speak. But my job would be with a house and my wife can come with me so not so rugged. I just wonder about current amendities that they have now? Sounds like a bit of bit of struggle there.

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42 minutes ago, DaveK said:

@boomerThanks for the stories!! Pretty crazy... but perhaps happened 40 years ago. I'm sure it's still the wild west so to speak. But my job would be with a house and my wife can come with me so not so rugged. I just wonder about current amendities that they have now? Sounds like a bit of bit of struggle there.

Looking at the current amenities this morning -  with things to do from sailing to scuba diving, it shouldn't be to bad - especially since you can bring your wife.

58 minutes ago, Ventucky Red said:

Spent some time at Pt. Hueneme did ya?

30 days of "muster & make it" after deployment, followed by school on base and FX field training at the Broom Ranch, and expeditionary training with the Marines down south at Camp Pendelton Expeditionary Forces training center. While staying away from the local Port Hueneme/Oxnard/ Ventura young ladies, whom were looking to lasso a mate and have kids with. The on base golf course which was mostly 50% bare of grass and so flat you couldn't roll a ball, wasn't nothing to write home about - however, there was some decent sailing out of Channel Islands Yacht Club as well as 60 miles south out of Marina Del Ray - but there was no way I would consider keeping up with the two fisted Olympic style drinking of the locals around the greater Channel Islands/Port Hueneme/ Oxnard/ Ventura area. The AIr Show at Point Mugu was pretty good for a Naval AIr show, almost but not quite as good as the AIr Show at Nellis AFB in Vegas

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1 hour ago, DaveK said:

@boomerThanks for the stories!! Pretty crazy... but perhaps happened 40 years ago. I'm sure it's still the wild west so to speak. But my job would be with a house and my wife can come with me so not so rugged. I just wonder about current amendities that they have now? Sounds like a bit of bit of struggle there.

What's a house job?

The boomtown for that island was apparently when Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, etc., tested the missile intercepts there, I think using the old Nikes and the then-new intercept missiles. I believe the island was chosen because they could get a decent spread of the test missile on one end and the intercept missile on the other.

 

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8 hours ago, boomer said:
We didn't have women on Deigo Garcia like they did on Truk or Adak. A decade and a half after I was there they started having women. A lady officer friend later stationed there wrote me. "I had heard rumors about prostitution on Diego before I got there (and was told, as an officer, to be on the lookout for), and that was confirmed by an enlisted female who worked for me. On a previous tour, she was among the first females sent to the island. She told me that during that tour, her roommate, “Patches,” was a comely young lass, probably the best-looking girl on the whole island. The roommate decided to make extra money by taking advantage of her status and "service" only khaki and above. She charged a maintenance fee to interested parties, and then they could schedule in with her. Right before she left the island, she pulled her roommate aside and said, "Look at this." Her checking account balance, not her savings account, which could have been substantially higher, had a balance of over $29K (and this was the mid-80's.) Sooo, all those rumors you heard about prostitution on the Rock were true"
 

"A good portion of the women stationed on the island were lesbians, too. (Some were great friends and looked out for me, so I’m forever grateful and lifelong friends.) I had to think that it was a great irony that DG finally got women after X number of years, and so many of them had no interest in men whatsoever!"

A friend was in Diego "Fucking" Garcia a couple years ago, he reports that the regular bar was kind of dull, but there is apparently a sizeable gay population on the island of imported labor from the British connections on the Indian Ocean, now with a full-fledged gay bar and a house rock band.

The donkeys have apparently taken over so much of the island that they now use gates to keep them out of the resort area.

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1 hour ago, boomer said:

 but there was no way I would consider keeping up with the two fisted Olympic style drinking of the locals around the greater Channel Islands/Port Hueneme/ Oxnard/ Ventura area.

Why Siur....  I say I do resemble that statement, and I am very much obliged for your compliment. :lol: 

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10 hours ago, Point Break said:

Having stopped over at Midway for fuel (8 hours) I would have to say…..even being a obligate waterman…..it would get old…..

Yes that is a concern I have.....

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14 hours ago, mikewof said:

 

A friend was in Diego "Fucking" Garcia a couple years ago, he reports that the regular bar was kind of dull, but there is apparently a sizeable gay population on the island of imported labor from the British connections on the Indian Ocean, now with a full-fledged gay bar and a house rock band.

The donkeys have apparently taken over so much of the island that they now use gates to keep them out of the resort area.

Back when I was there 50 years ago. The gay population wasn't prevalent in the service, in fact if you were gay, that was good for a discharge. In fact one of my high school classmates who was a "Nuke" submariner, claimed to be gay so he could get discharged, because he hated the submarine service so much.

Looking at the private Facebook group command pages, it's fairly obvious there's more then a few gay civilian personnel. Most of the imported personnel are Filipinos, many of whom are under contract and send money home to support their families. This does not sit well, with the displaced Chagos population, whom originally populated the island, and aren't allowed to work on the island.

The donkeys were always on the island, and a fence to keep them on the plantation side of the island was erected in the 70s. The Coconut Crabs are all over the island.

13 hours ago, Point Break said:

Having stopped over at Midway for fuel (8 hours) I would have to say…..even being a obligate waterman…..it would get old…..

Having landed on Midway in a P-3, and having lived on much larger islands, Midway would suck way worse then Kwajalein, by about a factor of 3. Though I knew people who actually liked Midway, my thought on Midway isn't printable. It would suck to live there though, with a total size of 2.4 square miles.

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29 minutes ago, boomer said:

Back when I was there 50 years ago. The gay population wasn't prevalent in the service, in fact if you were gay, that was good for a discharge. In fact one of my high school classmates who was a "Nuke" submariner, claimed to be gay so he could get discharged, because he hated the submarine service so much.

Looking at the private Facebook group command pages, it's fairly obvious there's more then a few gay civilian personnel. Most of the imported personnel are Filipinos, many of whom are under contract and send money home to support their families. This does not sit well, with the displaced Chagos population, whom originally populated the island, and aren't allowed to work on the island.

The donkeys were always on the island, and a fence to keep them on the plantation side of the island was erected in the 70s. The Coconut Crabs are all over the island.

The gay nightclub on Diego "Fucking" Garcia was apparently for the Philippine contractors, from his description it seemed to not be used at all by the service members. I got a pretty neat challenge coin from the USS on DFG. The photos looked nice enough, but it seemed small. I have friends on Palau, American Samoa, Saipan, Kiribati and Tokelau, those all seem livable from the photos ... maybe someday when I retire I can load up the slowest cruiser I can find and pay them all a visit.

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4 hours ago, DaveK said:

Yes that is a concern I have.....

I think it really depends on your personality. The guys stationed there….some were going crazy…..a few said they really liked the predictability and solitude. I’m middle of the road…..don’t need a ton of external stimulation….but I was pretty sure it wouldn’t work for me.

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22 hours ago, Point Break said:

I think it really depends on your personality. The guys stationed there….some were going crazy…..a few said they really liked the predictability and solitude. I’m middle of the road…..don’t need a ton of external stimulation….but I was pretty sure it wouldn’t work for me.

Well the thing that would be nice is riding to work on a bicycle in shorts and flip flops instead of being pissed off in traffic. And if I could leave the island every few months then I could get a recharge possibly. It may be that or go live somewhere cold like New Hampshire. The Kwaj also have a newsletters which seem to make is more fun than not. 
 

https://www.smdc.army.mil/Portals/38/Documents/Publications/Hourglass/2021/05-22-21Hourglass.pdf

 

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29 minutes ago, DaveK said:

Well the thing that would be nice is riding to work on a bicycle in shorts and flip flops instead of being pissed off in traffic. And if I could leave the island every few months then I could get a recharge possibly. It may be that or go live somewhere cold like New Hampshire. The Kwaj also have a newsletters which seem to make is more fun than not. 
 

https://www.smdc.army.mil/Portals/38/Documents/Publications/Hourglass/2021/05-22-21Hourglass.pdf

 

In DAGO you are welcome (by the goubermint) to 

 ride to work on a bicycle in shorts and flip flops 

In Fucking Traffic

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5 hours ago, DaveK said:

Well the thing that would be nice is riding to work on a bicycle in shorts and flip flops instead of being pissed off in traffic. And if I could leave the island every few months then I could get a recharge possibly. It may be that or go live somewhere cold like New Hampshire. The Kwaj also have a newsletters which seem to make is more fun than not. 
 

https://www.smdc.army.mil/Portals/38/Documents/Publications/Hourglass/2021/05-22-21Hourglass.pdf

 

That was a good little newsletter. I didn't realize that there are so many lifelong Kwajers there, I assumed it was mostly a defense contracting island.

Are you actually struggling with this decision between New Hampshire and Kwaj? On one hand you have a place that is slightly different from every other place in its own uniquely-same-thing way. And on the other you have the foundations of an experience of a lifetime.

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16 minutes ago, mikewof said:

That was a good little newsletter. I didn't realize that there are so many lifelong Kwajers there, I assumed it was mostly a defense contracting island.

Are you actually struggling with this decision between New Hampshire and Kwaj? On one hand you have a place that is slightly different from every other place in its own uniquely-same-thing way. And on the other you have the foundations of an experience of a lifetime.

So what's your point??? I could go work in NH on magnificent shit or work in Kwaj as a mechanic on telescopes

 

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3 minutes ago, DaveK said:

So what's your point??? I could go work in NH on magnificent shit or work in Kwaj as a mechanic on telescopes

I didn't realize there were different jobs. Are you an astronomer? I imagine the that the light occlusion and pollution is near minimal in Kwaj.

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23 minutes ago, DaveK said:

Not sure why I ask life questions here....... but I do

Because you value our input?

I get it now though, it wasn't clear to me from the thread ... in New Hampshire you would find the work exciting, in Kwaj not so much. I'm going to assume that your wife is "neutral" on this? I doubt she wants to move to Kwaj. Very few spouses would, I'd reckon.

Unless she is REALLY into wanting to move there, your life there is going to be exhausting, trying to keep your wife from going out of her mind with Mary Anne and Ginger and these islands ... in my limited experience there is always a labor shortage of people who know how to jury-rig stuff. Tomorrow you're fixing telescopes, before you know it you're fixing everything else. You'll probably like that part, but your days will fill up faster than you could possibly imagine with work and it will put a strain on your life.

If you get to work on sweet ass stuff in the Northeast, and enjoy all the year-round stuff that there is to from boats to skiing, I suspect you wouldn't regret that choice.

And not to complicate your choice here ... but the contractor who offered you a job on Kwaj, is it Raytheon? If so, the "telescopes" will eventually move from optics to quantum interference sensors for the missile test range. It's probably straight up Iron Dome stuff like they used in Israel against the Hamas rockets. If your offer in NH is for something other than a defense contractor, grab it, defense slowly burns out of your soul, it's a hard life.

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1 hour ago, DaveK said:

Not sure why I ask life questions here....... but I do

There really are some very impressive resumes here. Worth casting the net. You just have to sort through the shit along the way. I’ve learned a bit here and paused a moment or two to reevaluate. Sorting is the key but often worth the effort. 

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I once worked with a guy who described his boss as absolutely brilliant 10% of the time and completely full of shit the other 90%. His job, as he described it, was to figure out which 10% was the gold. 

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1 hour ago, IStream said:

I once worked with a guy who described his boss as absolutely brilliant 10% of the time and completely full of shit the other 90%. His job, as he described it, was to figure out which 10% was the gold. 

We used to say it was digging through the pile of horseshit because you know there is a pony in there somewhere……

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16 hours ago, mikewof said:

I didn't realize there were different jobs. Are you an astronomer? I imagine the that the light occlusion and pollution is near minimal in Kwaj.

No not an astronomer, just an optics guy who has lots of waveguide experience..... like heads up displays.

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Hell, I'd give it a go. Got to be good fishing there.

But there's two things I've learned about wild-assed adventures in my life.

1. The fantasy is always better than the reality.

2. You need to have a bulletproof exit strategy in case it turns into a shitshow.

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3 hours ago, DaveK said:

No not an astronomer, just an optics guy who has lots of waveguide experience..... like heads up displays.

The life of a defense contractor in Kwaj versus the life of an engineer in NH. Best of luck. If you pick the smaller company, would they give you some kind of employee-ownership options? I know Raytheon ain't having any of that.

I remember the chapter on weveguides in the Jackson E&M textbook, that shit blew my mind. Too difficult.

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On 5/31/2021 at 11:00 AM, DaveK said:

Ok so this a long shot........ but anyone been there, worked or lived there??? The Merrimack job is still possible but so is this one.

 

 

 

kwaj.jpg

You haven't mentioned the length of the contract nor the travel home bennies. A contract of 2 years or more should come with some bennies. If they pay your way home or to some other place you wanna go a couple times a year for R&R it makes a small tropic isle a lot more tolerable. Also, are they moving you there and back or is that at your own expense?

I took an 18 month contract to an island once and they paid my move over and back so long as I stayed for the duration. If not, moving expenses were all mine and  that turned into an unwelcome anchor.

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22 hours ago, mikewof said:

The life of a defense contractor in Kwaj versus the life of an engineer in NH. Best of luck. If you pick the smaller company, would they give you some kind of employee-ownership options? I know Raytheon ain't having any of that.

I remember the chapter on weveguides in the Jackson E&M textbook, that shit blew my mind. Too difficult.

Wave guide math is pretty simple with 3 basic equations. Snells Law, Fresnel equations and diffraction equation. All basic algebra. 

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18 hours ago, Willin' said:

You haven't mentioned the length of the contract nor the travel home bennies. A contract of 2 years or more should come with some bennies. If they pay your way home or to some other place you wanna go a couple times a year for R&R it makes a small tropic isle a lot more tolerable. Also, are they moving you there and back or is that at your own expense?

I took an 18 month contract to an island once and they paid my move over and back so long as I stayed for the duration. If not, moving expenses were all mine and  that turned into an unwelcome anchor.

They had not mentioned if there is a contract term. They did call me this morning to confirm that job is approved and they will make an offer. So what happened to your 18 month gig? Did it go sour?

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If it's a short term contract, pack your bags and add a different type of chapter to your bio!

Friend of a friend moved to the Cook Islands working remotely as a wealth/estate manager. Very athletic, water sports focused couple, they lasted 2 years and packed up shop back to the mainland...

YMMV

 

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24 minutes ago, DaveK said:

Wave guide math is pretty simple with 3 basic equations. Snells Law, Fresnel equations and diffraction equation. All basic algebra. 

I like algebra, and I was okay at Snell's and diffraction . But the stuff from Jackson on wave guides mostly started from the Poynting vector; extract the real parts into matrix, then apply Green's Identity, apply boundary conditions to the differentials and then find each of the modes for the extractable ones, and then use perturbation of the boundary conditions for the rest and then finally group theory on the resonant cavities.

It was a right shit-show and I didn't understand much of of it. But one neat result was that the surface of the Earth or the surface of the ocean, and the Ionosphere essentially form a resonant cavity, and then that giant waveguide pretty much operates similarly to optical fibers, obviously with shorter wavelengths and variation in the dielectric.

It's all critical with Iron Dome type stuff, because the tolerances on the those intercept missiles has to be tight, so even a slight change in temperature or humidity will change the multipole resonances of the atmosphere and then the spectra needed to get the intercept to the missile needs adjustment or the intercept will miss the target ... like hitting a bullet mid-flight with another bullet ...

I would have probably still have to work on all that stuff, but as luck would have it, I found a typo in an order of magnitude or a resonance in a published paper, and after that they let me switch to desalination.

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3 hours ago, DaveK said:

So what happened to your 18 month gig? Did it go sour?

Yeah, but it was no one's fault but mine. Had I researched the limited and very expensive housing I probably wouldn't have stayed but took their money to cover moving expenses on island and didn't want to have to refund it if I quit, as so many others had before me.

Also, having limited opportunities for outside activities and high density living took it's toll, as well as a few conditions of the contract weren't honored by my employer.

We wound up staying 26 months because my wife was making great money waiting tables during the tourist season. My liver thanked me when we finally left.

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3 hours ago, Liquid said:

If it's a short term contract, pack your bags and add a different type of chapter to your bio!

Friend of a friend moved to the Cook Islands working remotely as a wealth/estate manager. Very athletic, water sports focused couple, they lasted 2 years and packed up shop back to the mainland...

YMMV

 

We spent 5 weeks in Rarotonga once. It was as close to heaven on Earth as I could imagine, think of Hawaii maybe 75 years ago.

By the end of 5 weeks we were hella ready to leave.

If I ever had to choose a place to end my days as an oldster on the way out and boredom didn't bother me any more, the Cook Islands  would be a strong contender.

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45 minutes ago, Willin' said:

We spent 5 weeks in Rarotonga once. It was as close to heaven on Earth as I could imagine, think of Hawaii maybe 75 years ago.

By the end of 5 weeks we were hella ready to leave.

If I ever had to choose a place to end my days as an oldster on the way out and boredom didn't bother me any more, the Cook Islands  would be a strong contender.

Well I am, like a lot of guys here, getting older so a sleepy place seems good to me. So do you like living in Maine? I've always lived in Texas or a short stint in Cali. So no cold weather experience for me.

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22 minutes ago, DaveK said:

So do you like living in Maine?

We absolutely love it here, it's where we should have been born, it just took us 50 years to get here. Moved here from California 21 years ago. You really should try sailing up here some summer if you get the chance.

Winters do get a little long now that we're not skiers and don't have many outdoors sports to keep us moving though. Weeeellll, there is toboggan and runner sled racing, but you can't really consider them sports if you're drinking while you do them, can you? 

Hopefully once the pandemic restrictions end we can stretch our legs and start doing some traveling to break up the cold months.

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8 hours ago, mikewof said:

I like algebra, and I was okay at Snell's and diffraction .

...

Says the guy who has no clue what integrals and differentials are.

Sure, Mikey. I bet you were "okay"

- DSK

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4 hours ago, Willin' said:

We absolutely love it here, it's where we should have been born, it just took us 50 years to get here. Moved here from California 21 years ago. You really should try sailing up here some summer if you get the chance.

Winters do get a little long now that we're not skiers and don't have many outdoors sports to keep us moving though. Weeeellll, there is toboggan and runner sled racing, but you can't really consider them sports if you're drinking while you do them, can you? 

Hopefully once the pandemic restrictions end we can stretch our legs and start doing some traveling to break up the cold months.

Who needs winter sports when you can have winter religion ...

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44 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Says the guy who has no clue what integrals and differentials are.

Sure, Mikey. I bet you were "okay"

- DSK

Yikes one of my obsessed fans followed me out of P.A., sorry about that, thread.

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9 hours ago, mikewof said:

Yikes one of my obsessed fans followed me out of P.A., sorry about that, thread.

De nada, I'm just acknowledging all your hard work and accomplishments. Your mom is the one who owes us all an apology

- DSK

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19 hours ago, mikewof said:

It's all critical with Iron Dome type stuff, because the tolerances on the those intercept missiles has to be tight, so even a slight change in temperature or humidity will change the multipole resonances of the atmosphere and then the spectra needed to get the intercept to the missile needs adjustment or the intercept will miss the target ... like hitting a bullet mid-flight with another bullet ...<YouTube of FTM-44 deleted>

Amusing merger of my official life and my screwing around life.... My guys were onboard the shooter for this event.  We are responsible for the Navy testing of things like this.  I do quibble with part of MDA's video, though - there is no such thing as a "Ballistic Missile Defense Destroyer".  Navy builds DDGs for many missions; one of them is BMD.  But that's not why we built the ship.

The Money Distribution Missile Defense Agency sometimes loses sight of that.

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6 hours ago, BrianM v2 said:

The Money Distribution Missile Defense Agency

Damn.

True, but ... damn, one of those things that all the downstream recipients dare not say.

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