Work together, play together
The life of a linguist or other electronic warfare specialist was far from normal. It all began with an exhausting work schedule consisting of four Swing Shifts, four Mid Shifts and, finally, four day Shifts. After those twelve days, the Flight enjoyed a three and one half day break before heading back to work again. The time between each shift was a difficult ‘hang’ period, which resulted in the (in)famous ‘Hang Parties’. These parties began after work in the dorm room of one of the flight members. Fueled by lots of alcohol, they were a good way to unwind and still stay awake to make the transition to the next shift more tolerable.
All the flights, Able, Baker, Charlie and Dawg, followed the same routine, and this for two years for single airmen and longer for married airmen. Outside of work the flights organized other off-duty activities such as sports and trips to West Germany and Western Europe. A trip to the ‘Zone’ as West Germany was called was often a needed change of scenery for soldiers and airmen stationed in West Berlin.
Trips to the Rhine, Oktoberfest, Switzerland or the Tulip Festival in Holland helped to relieve the siege mentality of West Berlin.