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"Deployment" is over, upgrade to Aircraft Commander is complete and we are moving again?!

Wow! I typed this out about a month ago, but never published it. 6 months of the back and forth deployment in the C-17 is done. To which we did all the deployment work, but we get no deployment credit. Don't get me started on that haha.. BUT I ended the "deployment" finishing my upgrade to Aircraft Commander. That means I am now in charge of the aircraft when we fly it around the world. I am so happy to have that off my plate. I feel thankful, happy; yet, sad and depressed. Not sure how these all fit in once sentence. The past month coming off a crazy schedule and dealing with personal events has really put me in a state that I am not familiar with.

I think this was because it wasn't a typical 6 month deployment. It was 30-45 day trips with about 4 days in between at home. I am very thankful to have had a few days in between here and there, but when you are flying around the world and swapping time zones you never get the rest you need. I was constantly sick and sleep deprived. My creative energy feels like it died the past few months as work consumed pretty much every moment of my time. Being in upgrade is stressful and honestly exhausting. Every single decision or action is being evaluated and analyzed. Every flight, every day. On the clock and off the clock. Are you a good enough pilot? Are you a good enough leader? Can you safely lead a crew of 6-10 people around the world for weeks at a time?

You are constantly getting feedback- which is great (I love feedback), but it can definitely start to weigh on you. We worked 80-90 hour weeks back to back to back. Some weeks we were sitting in Germany and only flew 10 hours. Other weeks we were timing out with 56 hours of flight time in a week (not including alert sequence (3+45), on-load and off-load of cargo etc) and hardly getting any sleep. We were working 24 hour straight days- back to back. Yet, sadly I have just accepted this as normal. All that to be said, we live in a constant state of limbo. So when I got home I felt weirdly disconnected that I wasn't leaving again. Also, weirdly disconnected that everyones lives moved on while I was gone. You have to reacquaint yourself with those around you. It is hard to write into words what that is like. BUT again here are a few photos from the deployment, mostly of our stop over in Andoya, Norway with an all girls crew! Tough times, but also really fun times too.

Also, Brandon and I moved in December so I am still figuring out our new living situation. I am finally starting to feel better to get my butt up and get going. I am 4 weeks into my Ironman training, 4 weeks into my Masters program and working on house projects when possible. 2 weeks ago we snuck away to see Taylor Swift on her first leg of the European Eras Tour in Paris! It was amazing.

Last big news is that we found out we are moving!! Unexpected, but two weeks ago my commander pulled me in to talk about this moving cyce. I ended up volunteering for Columubs, MS and I am truthfully pretty happy about it. In MS I will be an instructor teaching new students! I am excited to have some time back to myself to work on small projects, eat healthy and not be on the road all the time.

I hope you are all doing well. Excited for what the future holds!

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hi friend, thanks for stopping by!

I'm Jen. My husband calls me Jenny Lou, that's where the blog name comes from:) I am a cargo pilot in the Air Force and in my free time I love to create, write and be with my girls & people.

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