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ABNAK
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Posted: 10/26/2004 7:49:27 PM
Was there for 38 days back in '86. What a shithole! We occupied a compound on the very top of the island guarding some high-speed communications monitoring equipment that was pointed at Nicaragua (the bad guy in those days). To our rear was the mainland of Honduras and to our right was El Salvador. To our left front, out across the Gulf of Fonseca, was Nicaragua.

We jumped into Honduras from Panama and flew to Tiger Island by Chinook from Palmerola Air Base. We carried basic combat load (7 X 30rd mags) and pulled our watches in bunkers or watch towers. All resupply was by air. If a storm blew in you were IN IT, being @ 2400 ft up. We had those little squad-sized wooden tropical buildings that were open-air. Medic would burn the shitter barrels every morning.

Oh, the memories.......
GUNGUY1911
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Posted: 10/26/2004 7:51:49 PM
I did a Reserve rotation back in the early 90's, Palmerola was renamed Soto Cano at that time! Definitely an interesting couple a months!
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KC-130 FLT ENG
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Posted: 10/26/2004 7:54:22 PM

Palmerola Air Base


Been through there a few times.

Central America....same climate (hot & shitty)as the P.I., but without the off duty entertainment.
ABNAK
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Posted: 10/26/2004 7:55:18 PM

Originally Posted By GUNGUY1911:
I did a Reserve rotation back in the early 90's, Palmerola was renamed Soto Cano at that time! Definitely an interesting couple a months!



Were you on Tiger Island or at Palmerola?
GUNGUY1911
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Posted: 10/26/2004 8:00:12 PM
Mostly Palm, got to "go camping" on Tiger Island for three days(all I wanted) because a finance officer needed to go up to unfuck some poor PFC's payroll. He was in one of the INF companies that rotate regularly through there. The only reason I went was to escort the Finance officer because I was between Company rotations and had nothing better to do!
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PSYWAR1-0
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Posted: 10/26/2004 8:02:06 PM
Never made it there, Was at Soto Cano and spent about 3 months as an advisor to 4th Infantry Bn in La Ceiba.

My memor of Hondo is trying to land my chute between the rows of pineapple plants that was the DZ up in Ceiba.

This one time at Merc Camp.........
captainpooby
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Posted: 10/26/2004 8:06:42 PM
Honduras is a major shithole still. I was there last June and its still fucked up bad as far as crime and safety. I wont go back unless I'm getting paid again.
My sport ate your sport for breakfast.
ABNAK
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Posted: 10/26/2004 9:47:29 PM

Originally Posted By GUNGUY1911:
Mostly Palm, got to "go camping" on Tiger Island for three days(all I wanted) because a finance officer needed to go up to unfuck some poor PFC's payroll. He was in one of the INF companies that rotate regularly through there. The only reason I went was to escort the Finance officer because I was between Company rotations and had nothing better to do!




They were still doing "guard duty" with grunts in the early '90s? Being a grunt myself I would have thought that after Nicaragua had elections and ousted the Sandinistas (what, 1990'ish?) that they wouldn't have a need for Tiger Island. Of course I believe drug ops took over from "commie watch".
ABNAK
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Posted: 10/26/2004 9:50:11 PM

Originally Posted By PSYWAR1-0:
Never made it there, Was at Soto Cano and spent about 3 months as an advisor to 4th Infantry Bn in La Ceiba.

My memor of Hondo is trying to land my chute between the rows of pineapple plants that was the DZ up in Ceiba.





La Paz DZ, not far outside of Palmerola, was fairly open and dusty as I recall. The area reminded me of what a slightly more vegetated Southern California would look like.
PSYWAR1-0
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Posted: 10/26/2004 9:53:49 PM
The guys who pulled duty down in Soto Cano got to jump that DZ, those of us who had to maintain our status(someone forgot to cut 4 jump rule orders) had to jump in Cow Pastures still full of Cows, Pineapple fields ect.

This one time at Merc Camp.........
GUNGUY1911
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Posted: 10/26/2004 10:04:15 PM

Originally Posted By ABNAK:

Originally Posted By GUNGUY1911:
Mostly Palm, got to "go camping" on Tiger Island for three days(all I wanted) because a finance officer needed to go up to unfuck some poor PFC's payroll. He was in one of the INF companies that rotate regularly through there. The only reason I went was to escort the Finance officer because I was between Company rotations and had nothing better to do!




They were still doing "guard duty" with grunts in the early '90s? Being a grunt myself I would have thought that after Nicaragua had elections and ousted the Sandinistas (what, 1990'ish?) that they wouldn't have a need for Tiger Island. Of course I believe drug ops took over from "commie watch".

I believe the "guard duty" had more to do with the territory disputes than anything else, but there was still some sort of commo station up there. This was in 91 and 92.
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Jeep29
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Posted: 10/26/2004 10:04:41 PM
I was there for six months back about the same time you were there. Remember those wonderful Hueys that used to buzz in and out? That would be us. We also supported the Sphinx, a naval ship doing a similar mission off of the coast of Nicargua, and the mission in El Salvador. San Salvador was a trip. We could look up on the volcano from the safe house at night and watch the firefights between the El Sal Army and the FMLN. Ah, the good old days.

We lived over on Camp Black Jack across from the JTF-B side back when it was Palmarola. Had some pretty great times in Cumeagua and Tegucigalpa!

About 6 years ago I was deployed to Nicaragua for six months and couldn't help remember when these folks were the bad guys and now were were drinking beer with them and screwing their sisters.
Lumpy196
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Posted: 10/26/2004 10:08:12 PM
[Last Edit: 10/26/2004 10:08:49 PM by Lumpy196]
oops

Would John Wayne be having this conversation?

Its the right and duty of every American Man to own and be proficient with a rifle capable of going to war.
GUNGUY1911
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Posted: 10/26/2004 10:17:45 PM

Originally Posted By Jeep29:
I was there for six months back about the same time you were there. Remember those wonderful Hueys that used to buzz in and out? That would be us. We also supported the Sphinx, a naval ship doing a similar mission off of the coast of Nicargua, and the mission in El Salvador. San Salvador was a trip. We could look up on the volcano from the safe house at night and watch the firefights between the El Sal Army and the FMLN. Ah, the good old days.

We lived over on Camp Black Jack across from the JTF-B side back when it was Palmarola. Had some pretty great times in Cumeagua and Tegucigalpa!

About 6 years ago I was deployed to Nicaragua for six months and couldn't help remember when these folks were the bad guys and now were were drinking beer with them and screwing their sisters.

When I was there, Black Jack had been renamed Camp Pickett for the 228th helo shot down by the FMLN. Col. Pickett and one other of the aircrew were executed, the other died on impact I believe. Comyagua was a hoot, but better times were to be had in the Gooch, or San Pedro Sula.
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ABNAK
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Posted: 10/27/2004 6:36:19 AM

Originally Posted By Jeep29:
I was there for six months back about the same time you were there. Remember those wonderful Hueys that used to buzz in and out? That would be us. We also supported the Sphinx, a naval ship doing a similar mission off of the coast of Nicargua, and the mission in El Salvador. San Salvador was a trip. We could look up on the volcano from the safe house at night and watch the firefights between the El Sal Army and the FMLN. Ah, the good old days.

We lived over on Camp Black Jack across from the JTF-B side back when it was Palmarola. Had some pretty great times in Cumeagua and Tegucigalpa!

About 6 years ago I was deployed to Nicaragua for six months and couldn't help remember when these folks were the bad guys and now were were drinking beer with them and screwing their sisters.




Joint Task Force Bravo (JTF-B) was who we deployed from Panama to be attaced to while in Honduras. IIRC any grunts coming in-country were assigned to JTF-B. Yeah, I remember the Hueys. I believe the call sign was "Gunshot" right?

First time in Hondo was in '84 and we were on the mainland near San Lorenzo and Choluteca (SW Honduras) down near the border with Nicaragua. We stayed at the Honduran Army base at San Lorenzo.
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Posted: 10/27/2004 7:04:46 AM
My unit at Bragg was sending us down a handful at a time for 6 month rotations back in the 80's. Spent my 6 months mostly at Palmerola in '85. I loved it. I remember flying into Tegucigalpa, and this guy comes over in civvies, and introduces himself. I don't remember his name, but he was a SP4, whose entire job was to meet people like me at the airport, and transport us to whatever remote site we were going to. Had a full size van to use, wore civvies all the time, and was living there in the capital.
PSYWAR1-0
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Posted: 10/27/2004 10:03:37 AM
There is a really good book written by an Intel Officer about life in Hondo during the 80s. Cant remember the name for the life of me. But it was good enough that I kept the book.
This one time at Merc Camp.........
Jeep29
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Posted: 10/27/2004 7:13:11 PM
[Last Edit: 10/27/2004 7:33:19 PM by Jeep29]


When I was there, Black Jack had been renamed Camp Pickett for the 228th helo shot down by the FMLN. Col. Pickett and one other of the aircrew were executed, the other died on impact I believe. Comyagua was a hoot, but better times were to be had in the Gooch, or San Pedro Sula.



I was assigned to A Co 1-228th Avn in Panama from 96-98 and anyone going to the board had better know the LTC Pickett story since he was the first Bn Cdr. In 91 their blackhawk was downed and Pickett and the crewchief, PFC Dawson, were shot. The other pilot, CWO Scott died in the crash. I don't remember if they were shot down or if the aircraft had a failure.

I was last in Hondo in 99 and Camp Pickett is basicly in ruins. Sad.

Edit to add: Forgot to mention that I served with Pickett when he was a Major. He was the Task Force XO when I deployed with Task Force Southern Eagle II to Honduras. I can't say he was the best officer I ever knew, but he was far from the worse and deserved better than to be shot by a bunch of third world assbags.
ABNAK
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Posted: 10/27/2004 9:43:13 PM
[Last Edit: 10/27/2004 9:45:38 PM by ABNAK]

Originally Posted By Jeep29:


When I was there, Black Jack had been renamed Camp Pickett for the 228th helo shot down by the FMLN. Col. Pickett and one other of the aircrew were executed, the other died on impact I believe. Comyagua was a hoot, but better times were to be had in the Gooch, or San Pedro Sula.



I was assigned to A Co 1-228th Avn in Panama from 96-98 and anyone going to the board had better know the LTC Pickett story since he was the first Bn Cdr. In 91 their blackhawk was downed and Pickett and the crewchief, PFC Dawson, were shot. The other pilot, CWO Scott died in the crash. I don't remember if they were shot down or if the aircraft had a failure.

I was last in Hondo in 99 and Camp Pickett is basicly in ruins. Sad.

Edit to add: Forgot to mention that I served with Pickett when he was a Major. He was the Task Force XO when I deployed with Task Force Southern Eagle II to Honduras. I can't say he was the best officer I ever knew, but he was far from the worse and deserved better than to be shot by a bunch of third world assbags.




If you were in the Avn BN in Panama then you were across the field from my old unit on Ft. Kobbe. I was in the Airborne BN there. At the time it was the 2/187th Inf but after I left Panama (Dec '86) it was later changed to the 508th I believe.

Oh yeah, the good old days---O.D. green slant pocket jungle fatigues!
Jeep29
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Posted: 10/27/2004 10:38:13 PM

Originally Posted By ABNAK:

Originally Posted By Jeep29:


When I was there, Black Jack had been renamed Camp Pickett for the 228th helo shot down by the FMLN. Col. Pickett and one other of the aircrew were executed, the other died on impact I believe. Comyagua was a hoot, but better times were to be had in the Gooch, or San Pedro Sula.



I was assigned to A Co 1-228th Avn in Panama from 96-98 and anyone going to the board had better know the LTC Pickett story since he was the first Bn Cdr. In 91 their blackhawk was downed and Pickett and the crewchief, PFC Dawson, were shot. The other pilot, CWO Scott died in the crash. I don't remember if they were shot down or if the aircraft had a failure.

I was last in Hondo in 99 and Camp Pickett is basicly in ruins. Sad.

Edit to add: Forgot to mention that I served with Pickett when he was a Major. He was the Task Force XO when I deployed with Task Force Southern Eagle II to Honduras. I can't say he was the best officer I ever knew, but he was far from the worse and deserved better than to be shot by a bunch of third world assbags.




If you were in the Avn BN in Panama then you were across the field from my old unit on Ft. Kobbe. I was in the Airborne BN there. At the time it was the 2/187th Inf but after I left Panama (Dec '86) it was later changed to the 508th I believe.

Oh yeah, the good old days---O.D. green slant pocket jungle fatigues!



Ft Kobbe it was. It was one of the best kept secrets in the Army. Co-located with the Air Force, across the creek from the flagpole, all the little brown honeys you could possibly ask for, and a short hop back to CONUS on one of several MAC flights leaving every single day. Who could forget the dozens of chicas lined up to get into the NCO Club at Ft Clayton and you could sign in any six of your picking. And of course, eveyone had a "maid". I LOVED Panama.

Wasn't this a thread about Tiger Island?
kg4ajk
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Posted: 10/28/2004 12:17:54 AM
[Last Edit: 10/28/2004 12:28:18 AM by kg4ajk]
I was at Ft. Kobbe (590th TAMC) from 9-82 to 9-84. I got to go TDY to Honduras to work on a UH1 ( if i remember it was 396 PATCHES) that got shot down. Had a good time for the 2 weeks i was there.I got some pics of a C130 broken in half on the runway.Was told that it was a CIA aircraft that landed hard in the fog.At Tagusagalpa they still had a couple of F4U CORSAIRS in their AF.It was kinda like going back in time.

Jeep29 you must have been in the barracks by the poyo palace. I still dont know if they were serving chicken or buzzard.
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Posted: 10/28/2004 12:25:25 AM
If I recall correctly, the Salvadoran army used some vintage Korean War jet for close air support (not effectively, I might add). It was a jet with wings that were straight (not delta) and had large fuel pods on each end, but I can't recall the name of the jet. But, the FMLN and Ortega lost, so I guess it ended up alright.
kg4ajk
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Posted: 10/28/2004 12:32:51 AM

If I recall correctly, the Salvadoran army used some vintage Korean War jet for close air support (not effectively, I might add). It was a jet with wings that were straight (not delta) and had large fuel pods on each end, but I can't recall the name of the jet. But, the FMLN and Ortega lost, so I guess it ended up alright.



One of these would do a low pass over the runway at Palmarola every day around noon and barrel role on his pull out
ABNAK
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Posted: 10/28/2004 6:33:21 AM
At the bottom of Tiger Island (we were at the top) was a Honduran "navy" base that was supposedly a front for the spooks (CIA) to run ops out of. One day a patrol of Castillian-looking guys (not the usual mestizo looking ones) wearing weird cammies came up a trail and I was in one of the guard towers with an M60. I called for them to halt and got on the radio to get one of our Spanish speaking NCO's to come up and see what they wanted. They wanted to see our OIC and therefore wanted into the perimeter. Our NCOIC told them fine, but you can't bring your weapons into the compound. They left one man sitting on the trail watching their weapons in full view of my tower. He lit a cigarette and squated down as I kept an eye on the situation until his buddies were escorted back outside the wire. Never did find out why they came all the way up there but it was kinda weird, given all the shady shit going on back then in that region.
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Posted: 10/28/2004 2:15:57 PM
[Last Edit: 10/28/2004 3:19:38 PM by c-wheeler]
Friends and I drove from the U.S. to Honduras in 1986 to explore a huge river cave. We also went to the south part of the country to look at a karst area. In the south part of Honduras, near the Nicaraguan border U.S. Military were building roads, or maybe airfields. There was a guy in civilian clothes roaming the streets of this town with an M16 who didn't want to talk to us. He appeard to be from the U.S.

On our way out of Honduras we saw U.S. Military enlisted personel riding in the Honduran equivalent of a Mexican peso truck. The officers had a rental car. They did not appear pleased that we observed them.

In Guatamala all the banks had armed guards. A small branch rated a guy with a shotgun. A bigger bank had a squad in jungle camo with M16s. We could hear automatic weapons fire from our hotel on Lake Altitlan at night.

On the way home a Mexican traffic cop tried to extort a 20,000 peso bribe ($40 at the time) from me. I refused and eventually escaped. When I got home I wrote to the Mexican Ambassador. Silvano Gonzoles and his buddy were sent to prison for extortion. The Mexican Embassy returned the altimiter they stole from our truck, proof that the Mexican took action based on my complaint. I like the Mexican legal system, it's treated me right.
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Posted: 10/28/2004 3:17:46 PM
[Last Edit: 10/28/2004 3:18:11 PM by Rip_Roarin_Wacko]

Originally Posted By KC-130 FLT ENG:

Palmerola Air Base


Been through there a few times.

Central America....same climate (hot & shitty)as the P.I., but without the off duty entertainment.



Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!You mean you didn't get to visit the quaint little town of Comayagua, located just down the road from Soto Cano AB (formerly Pomorola AB) for some of the....shall we say...local attractions?

Man, you missed out. As I recall, a beer was about a buck and a shot of leg was $5-10.

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Posted: 10/28/2004 3:35:41 PM

Originally Posted By kg4ajk:

If I recall correctly, the Salvadoran army used some vintage Korean War jet for close air support (not effectively, I might add). It was a jet with wings that were straight (not delta) and had large fuel pods on each end, but I can't recall the name of the jet. But, the FMLN and Ortega lost, so I guess it ended up alright.



One of these would do a low pass over the runway at Palmarola every day around noon and barrel role on his pull out



The base commander had an F-86 that he used to hot rod around.


The Honduran AF had some OA-37's we gave them.
osprey21
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Posted: 10/28/2004 3:46:06 PM
Not stationed there but... I was in Amapala in 73-74, and that's all I'm saying.
ABNAK
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Posted: 10/28/2004 10:03:04 PM

Originally Posted By osprey21:
Not stationed there but... I was in Amapala in 73-74, and that's all I'm saying.




Amapala was the only little town on Tiger Island, right? Near where the "navy" base was IIRC.

From what I heard the Marines used to pull duty on Tiger Island before the 193rd Inf Bde out of Panama took over responsibilty for guarding it. There were 2 infantry battalions in Panama at the time. Usually a reinforced platoon at a time was tasked out for JTF-B and Tiger Island specifically.

The first time we went to Hondo in '84 we landed at a dusty airstrip in San Lorenzo. We were going to conduct some "joint training" with the Honduran army about 5 miles from the Nicaraguan border but stay at the San Lorenzo encampment. I remember that there was some kind of "exclusion zone", i.e. a certain distance American troops were allowed to get to the border but no further. At any rate, when we landed and off-loaded our shit, the C-130 taxied a little further down the airstrip and stopped. A U.S. made sedan pulled up to the plane and some dude wearing only khaki shorts with jungle boots and hat (no shirt) while toting a CAR-15 got out and walked up to the window on the pilot's side. After a brief exchange he got back in his sedan and drove away while the plane took off. Weird shit in those days!

In the spring of '86 (just before our Tiger Island deployment) our battalion in Panama was put on alert one Friday night because the Sandinista's had launched an Easter offensive against the Contras. They had actually crossed the Honduran border in a few instances in pursuit of the Contras base camps, which apparently Washington regarded as a big "no-no". I think Ronnie was just looking for a reason to pummel Nicaragua. But the Sandinistas were smart and pulled out of any Honduran territory quickly.

kg4ajk
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Posted: 12/5/2004 12:32:02 AM
[Last Edit: 12/5/2004 1:06:15 AM by kg4ajk]
kg4ajk
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Posted: 12/5/2004 12:47:33 AM
Trying to post pictures but all i get is red Xs. How do i get the pictures to come up.
ABNAK
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Posted: 12/5/2004 8:28:44 AM

Originally Posted By kg4ajk:
Trying to post pictures but all i get is red Xs. How do i get the pictures to come up.




Can anyone host the pics? I'd be interested in seeing them.

kg4ajk, what are they pics of (and when)?
kg4ajk
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Posted: 12/5/2004 9:53:33 AM
They are pics of the CIA C130 broken in half at Palmerola and a bunch of T28s there and one of the F4U corsair at Tagusagalpa. Also a CH47 at Ft Kobbe Panama. I can email them to you if you want to post them.
AlaskaJohn
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Posted: 12/5/2004 1:00:46 PM
IIRC (from Eric Haney's book about Delta) there was a facility used to monitor maritime
traffic in the Gulf de Fonseca. I wonder if this was the facility at Tiger Island? It was used
to monitor and intercept drug and weapons traffic.

I spent some time in Honduras in 86, 87, and 88.
ABNAK
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Posted: 12/5/2004 7:20:08 PM

Originally Posted By kg4ajk:
They are pics of the CIA C130 broken in half at Palmerola and a bunch of T28s there and one of the F4U corsair at Tagusagalpa. Also a CH47 at Ft Kobbe Panama. I can email them to you if you want to post them.



Unfortunately I don't have the ability to post them either.

Ft. Kobbe is where I was stationed (the Airborne Infantry battalion across the ball fields from 210 AVN).
ABNAK
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Posted: 12/5/2004 7:23:51 PM

Originally Posted By AlaskaJohn:
IIRC (from Eric Haney's book about Delta) there was a facility used to monitor maritime
traffic in the Gulf de Fonseca. I wonder if this was the facility at Tiger Island? It was used
to monitor and intercept drug and weapons traffic.

I spent some time in Honduras in 86, 87, and 88.




Yeah, it was probably from the "naval base" at the foot of Tiger Island in the town (the ONLY town) of Amapala. Never went down there myself but saw plenty of shit coming and going out of there.
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Posted: 12/5/2004 7:40:27 PM





just-mike
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Posted: 12/5/2004 8:52:27 PM
ABNAK: Which company?
do you remember Ssgt Ron "the missing" Lenk?Last I heard,he was the mayor of Veracruz.
Old moatengator here myself, I got to go on a couple of field trips.
IM me, we might know each other.
kg4ajk
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Posted: 12/5/2004 11:54:49 PM
Sub-MOA thanks for getting the pictures up.How did you do it or what was i doing wrong.I'm kinda new to posting pics.
Sub-MOA
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Posted: 12/6/2004 6:15:23 AM
[Last Edit: 12/6/2004 6:20:10 AM by Sub-MOA]

Originally Posted By kg4ajk:
Sub-MOA thanks for getting the pictures up.How did you do it or what was i doing wrong.I'm kinda new to posting pics.



kg4ajk, the picture host you were using intentionally makes it difficult to link images from there to external sites like this one. I followed your links back to the site you had them hosted on and hosted them on a site that I run. Then I linked them to this page.

In the future you can host images off of imagestation.com by making links to the images with the <url> tag instead of the <img> tag and clicking the links will take the person to the page with the picture hosted on it. (That’s about the only way to get imagestation to work)

If you ever want those pics taken down off my server, PM me and I will delete them. Happy to be able to help.
ABNAK
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Posted: 12/6/2004 9:24:19 PM

Originally Posted By Sub-MOA:
www.SubMOA.com/f604dc43.jpg
www.SubMOA.com/f604d2da.jpg
www.SubMOA.com/f604c631.jpg
www.SubMOA.com/f604b959.jpg
www.SubMOA.com/f6049a0d.jpg
www.SubMOA.com/f604a6df.jpg




Holy shit!!! That last picture of the Chinook has "Radar Hill" in the background. Ran up that SOB MANY times! Oh my, the memories.....
kg4ajk
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Posted: 12/7/2004 10:13:42 PM
ABNAK
We probably crossed paths several times if you were there before 9-84.Had some of the best times of my life in Panama. I only did 3 years but i dont think i could have had a better duty station then i did.