Massive Picture Update

These are a bunch of pictures I have taken over the last month. The ones starting with sleeping bags and ending with the shot out the back of the Chinhook were all of my trip to Darzab. The rest are pictures around camp over the last 60 days. Enjoy!
Looking out across the Camp

 This is the view from a spot on camp looking south towards the mountains. The area in the background towards the right hand side of the picture is where the last Mounted Charge of Modern Warfare took place…for now.

Major James Christie and I at German Re-Unification Day

James and I work together in RSC-N and we had this picture taken last month at Camp Marmal.

 
 
These were our sleeping arrangements in Darzab. I did not sleep on a cot. Im the guy in the green sleeping bag ;-).
 
 
This was a standard morning Darzab. The Germans had an instant tea mix which felt good with the boiling water we had and then fresh naan along with german marmalade. Not a bad deal. There are Swedes, Germans, and Americans in this picture.
 
 
We saw a lot of this all around the area. These were two boys who herded sheep.
 
 

 
I noticed some donkey’s that were being used for transport and paid some kids $10 to borrow them for a few hours.  This was so we could get the boss to ride them to an OP that was about 300M above our COP.
 
 
VICTORY(Sort of)! Col Calbos was kind of to have his picture taken but he wanted no business riding the donkey up the mountain. And frankly I dont think the donkey did either!
 
 
The below picture is from the OP above Darzab.
The above picture is more of the view.
 
The below picture was our going away dinner that we paid for in Darzab. Naan, Rice with Lamb, and shiskabobs with lamb. A good warm meal after 3 days of MRE’s.
Four days of dirt, no shaving, austere conditions and patrols. Good times!
 
Flying out of Meimana on our way back home

Briefing General McGuinness

 

I briefed BG McGuinness last week on what the FSD does.
 
And here is a standard meeting. We all look thrilled. And yes I am texting.
Office Meeting

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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On what I do and the “streak that must not be spoken”….

I wanted to shed some light on exactly what I do over here. I am the Logistics Officer for Regional Support Command – North. We are in charge of all Logistics Development for the Afghan National Security Forces (Police/Army/Border Police/Air Force) in Northern Afghanistan.  We work to build up and make sustainable the logistics processes within the Afghan Security Forces so that they can “do it on their own”.  We work in an area that is 2500km across and covers the Bactarian Deserts (yes, I have seen camels with two humps) to pine forests of the Hindu Kush and the Pamirs. The area around here can be very bad as it is where 1-87 is right now out in Baghlan to wander around downtown MeS and not worry about much. 

I sit at the foot of the Hindu Kush right next to a mountain referred to as “The Bear” in the book the “The Horse Soldiers”. In what was probably the last mounted charge in recorded history occurred only a few miles south of where I sit.   

I work for an Army Colonel who has been a grunt for the previous 28 years and is trying to indoctrinate me into the Army way of life.  Hence, us going on patrol in downtown Darzab and me “humping” a 80 lb ruck through a tepid LZ.  It’s been a great experience.

In other news the Fightin’ Texas Aggies have decided to do something that they havent done in a while. Win Football Games. I am beginning to treat this streak we are on as one does when a pitcher is throwing a perfect game, dont talk about it.  With Nebraska this weekend and a “Bottom Has Fallen out” t.u. to end the season the Ag’s are looking at a possible 6 game winning streak to end the season, when was the last time THAT happened. If we get a little bit of luck our away we might even be able to sneak into the Big 12 Championship. The talk right now is that this like 1984 all over again.  Those were heady days for the Ag’s.

Good Stuff from a deployed Army unit…

These guys are few hours down the road from me. I recommend you browse the site a little bit.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/world/battalion.html#/1-87

I didnt think it had been a month…

So, its been a while since I made my last post.  Time flies by when your having fun!  

Earlier in the month I went to Kabul and got to hang out with some old friends from LRO School at a Logistics Conference for the ANA.  The conference was productive but it was weird being at a place where there were brick buildings, night clubs, sidewalks, streetlamps, asphalt…When you are in a place like Spann for so long you get used to your surroundings being gravel, plywood buildings, and a complete lack of MWR.  I mean, they had a Thai restaurant and massage there!!! WOW.

Last week, we made a trip to Darzab and worked with the ANA at an isolated Combat Outpost (COP).  It was a good trip hanging out and marching around. It was a coalition effort with Swedes, Germans, and Americans working together.

Col C and Col K meet with Local leaders

  My focus was working with the local ANA to identify what sort of logistics they had and then working to get them the stuff they need.  The ANA have done a pretty good job with thier limited supplies and given thier isolated location. But we can do more as mentors to make sure things get better for them.

Patrol through Village

I had a chance to walk through the bazzar and see some of the locals and taste some of the food. Overall, it was an awesome experience and I am glad I was able to go.

Downtown Darzab

Looking back through the town towards the mountains

Woah, Red Beard!

Last Evening

A Commanche Moon

When I was a kid my dad used to tell me that on nights when the moon was full and the sky was clear the Commanches used to raid settlements across the Republic.

When you are in a warzone and you realize the enemy uses the exact same method it provides new meaning on what it would have meant to live as a frontiersmen 150 years ago.

the things you acquire….

I now have a Soviet RPG Launcher in my office. I think I will figure out a way to make that my primary weapon on future convoys.

Busy…

Been busy the last few days.

The elections are being held in Afghanistan in a few days and with it all the drama that follows. My boss tagged me to be in charge of ANA Logistics Development in Northern Afghanistan…so…yea. I’m busy.  I try to coordinate and solve problems with Norwegians, Swedes, Finns, Germans, Belgians, Croats, Macedonians, Contractors, Civilians, Corps Of Engineers…etc…etc…etc… Its funny in a way because trying to communicate with these guys via email/phone can be difficult and is totally based on a person’s profiency in English! Compound that with the fact that large parts of this area have thier cell phones turned off after 6pm by the Muj!

Its a real challenge, but I love the work so far!

This is a good article on Northern Afghanistan…

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/09/13/from_bad_to_worse