16-Jul-2003 -- Our crew had departed Sustainer Army Airfield (vicinity of Balad and approximately 20 miles (32 km) NNE of Baġdād) in Iraq on a mission to deliver blood supplies to soldiers serving at an airfield in western Iraq. We had departed our airfield just in time to avoid the daily enemy mortar attack and flew west on the sweltering mid-July afternoon. We cruised along the coast of lake "Buḥayrat al-Tharthār" doing a fly-by of one of Ṣaddām Ḥusayn's demolished coastal palaces and delivered our blood supply.
With our mission completed, we decided to fly a slightly different route home, flying northeast and stopping by confluence 34N 43E. As we approached the Confluence we decreased our airspeed and searched the barren, windswept terrain for a landing spot. After spotting a suitable location, we made our approach and landed our Black Hawk helicopter virtually on the Confluence. The Confluence lies just 3 miles (5 km) west of the placid shore of Buḥayrat al-Tharthār ("Lake Chatterer"). After our crew posed for a few pictures we lifted off and headed for Sustainer Airfield, glad that another day in war-torn Iraq was over!