Rockets and Red Flares
Every day, from about 8am to about 4-5pm, most of the Somali population went about their business, going to markets and many hundreds of locals working for the UN in capacities such as drivers, cleaners and in various other jobs going about their business. At the port we employed hundreds more labourers loading and unloading the ships.
Due to the lack of mechanised container handling equipment, it was like watching a harbour scene from the days of sail. But as long as we had a crane and about twenty people per container, we could unload, if sometimes quite hazardously, in regards to workplace safety.
The Australians worked well in amongst the local people due to our open and positive approach. Sometimes I would see a fully armed US Army person trying to communicate with the locals or the ‘boys’. The problem was, when you were carrying an M16 assault rifle, you weren’t looking too friendly and communicative.
We on the other hand often carried nothing more dangerous, than a Swiss Army knife in my pocket, in my case anyway, so on most days that meant that we all got on pretty well.
I remember one incident however, on a ship we were working on, when I couldn’t find my US Army colleague, a young female Army captain, I’ll call her Flower. I feared for her safety and ultimately went and got my team and we armed ourselves. We returned to the ship in question to do a search, suspecting foul play by the Somalis.
Erroneously as it was, because the ship’s captain, who could be described as a big fat greasy pig of a man, had apparently tried to detain her in his cabin while she fended off his approaches. So in I come to save the day, I actually levelled my weapon in his general vicinity, ironic as it was the first time I’d ever got the weapon up on aim. The captain learned a lesson in manners and Flower was rescued unharmed.
Title: Not A Real War
Author: Paul Longley
Genre: Military / Historical / Biography
This book describes the experiences of the author whilst serving with the Australian Defence Force with the United Nations Mission to Somalia in 1993.
The author is a former Royal Australian Navy officer
Author Website: http://notarealwar.com/