Reflections of a Cold War Warrior – Continue the Mission

Continue the Mission is the fifth in a series of Reflections of a Cold War Warrior written by Steve Traywick. This series provides a rare behind-the-scenes view of what a recruit in the military experiences in the transformation from boy to warrior; from a kid next door to a man who was willing to give his life to keep you free. His first three posts, Every story has a beginning and this one is mine, Reflections of a Cold War Warrior, Reflections of a Cold War Warrior Being There, and Reflections of a Cold War Warrior – Duty are great reads!

Author: Steve Traywick

“If you mess around and inadvertently cross the border and the East Germans pick you up, we don’t know you!” Squadron border briefing

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Prior to taking over border duty, the entire troop had to sit through a border briefing. The briefing was primarily for new guys that had never been up to the border before. It consisted of a slide show of the East German border troops, their towers, the fence, their vehicles and aircraft.  We were not to try to speak to the East Germans. We were not to make any hand gestures such as letting them know they were number one. If we did and they got a photograph of it with our name tags, we would be in hot water.

When a troop had border duty there was always something going on. Chances were that if a trooper wasn’t pulling tower duty, ops duty, gate-guard, roving guard or standby squad he was out on patrol. There were two types; jeep and ‘air insertion’.  Jeep patrols were run out of OP Alpha day and night regardless of weather. Continue reading