Well, I got one big project out of the way. Although I have had several smaller projects completed during my first seven months in UAE, this is the first big MILCON (military construction). The project is a 2.5 mile aboveground pipeline that will allow aircraft fuel to be delivered, safely and efficiently, from outside the base with tanker trucks, to the US side of the base. This project is one reason why I have not been able to take time off, miss my planned European backpacking trip, and miss out on my fourth straight attendance to Munich's Oktoberfest.
From this past Saturday until yesterday, we had been conducting testing and commissioning of the new pipeline. It passed all the testing, including hydrostatic pressure. The last batch of test was to test the quality of fuel being received at one end to ensure that the pipeline is clean, free of debris, weld slags, and other particulates. After running fuel into the line for most of the day yesterday, the third sample of fuel tested late in the afternoon met the AF quality requirements for aircraft fuel -- less than 1 gram of particulates per liter of fuel.
There are a few minor items left to be done, but they are unrelated to the operations of the pipeline. I will turn over the new pipeline to the AF by this Saturday. It should take about two weeks to completely finish the project and for the contractor to demobilize from the base. What does this all mean to me? Vacation time. I just purchased my airplane ticket to visit the Philippines from 28 Oct to 8 Nov. I plan to visit a friend in Germany and check out Berlin, and Krakow and Warsaw in Poland during late Nov to early Dec. I should be in Seattle between Christmas and New Year. There is a 4 or 5 day UAE holiday in the middle of Nov. I may even venture out to Cairo or another Middle East location during that time.
Fun times ahead.