Chris Dilley, Airman, Photographer, Firefighter March 25 2013, 2 Comments

I'm constantly trying to find the positives in our, 'have it now', 'everything is news,' electronic world that we all live in.  The negatives of our virtual world are glaringly obvious.  Posts of the dinner you shared with your girlfriend and the endless recounts of the daily workouts are certainly the most mundane and negative outgrowths of Facebook and Instagram.  The electronic monitoring of our friends and acquaintances seems excessive and at times obsessive, but there are positives and here is one opportunity I would never have had without Facebook.  

Shortly, after Brian and I launched our company, we got a shout out from Chris Dilley, a Florida firefighter and a veteran who was deployed with the 165th Airlift Wing out of Savannah, GA--working overseas in support of the troops. Being friends with Chris on Facebook, I was able to see his occasional status updates and his stunning photos.  I've still never met Chris in person, but those posts helped me to feel and see, even if only partially, what he was doing overseas.  We kept in touch and when he returned I asked him if he would share a few photos with Hook & Irons Co. documenting his time there.  The attached photo essay is a revealing glimpse at one of the cogs that make the military machine run.  Chris, thank you for the photos.  

Welcome back. 


I am assigned to the 165th Airlift Wing in Savannah Ga, part of the Georgia Air Guard, but we were there with Reno, Nevada Air Guard and active duty & Air Force reserve from Wyoming & Colorado.


 Maintenance.  Fixing an issue as troops board the aircraft to move around the war zone.


 A very low shot of a Reno C-130.




 Myself & MSgt Tim Kraus flying to Iraq.


 Tim and I, Baghdad airport control tower in the background.




 Baghdad International Airport, Iraq.



 Destroyed armored vehicle. We believe that this was a Iraqi BMP vehicle that was destroyed during the first Gulf War circa 1991.


 Shop photo of the electricians.


 Photo of me inside one of our C-130's. I volunteer with the Orange Park Fire Dept (they are a 1 station dept in the middle of Clay County).  The fellas sent me some stuff while I was deployed and a few dept stickers, which I placed in random places. If you look on the overhead you can see the dept sticker.



 The USO tour brought the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders out for a visit before Christmas.



 This is what a empty cargo bay of a C-130 looks like. I took this one at night with a long shutter exposure.



What its all about. Loading supplies for the war effort. This is a typical day for us, a few pallets of gear and some passengers to move into & around the war zone.


This is a shot of some night maintenance on the #4 engine.  Portable light carts used everywhere for night lighting. The guy in the far left of the image is MSgt Tim Kraus, a full time guardsman and a volunteer firefighter buddy of mine. He volunteers with Bulloch County, Ga.


This C-130 is from Wyoming. It's one of the MAFFS modified Hercules that is tasked in the summer with aerial firefighting out west. This aircraft was airborne on 9-11 and flew blood and other medical supplies from the west coast to NY after the terrorist attacks. It's nose art is slightly weathered, but it's still pretty moving.


 A rare creative moment that I shot of a worn prop with the state markings in the background.



I bummed some USAF bunker gear and went into the burn building for a round of interior fire photos during a training burn. Felt like a baked potato.  The photo next to it is not a typical sky.  I had to capture that rarity.