Monday, October 24, 2011

Deployment is a Blur...

Working 12 hours a day (all through the night) 7 days a week makes everything a blur. The weeks are represented by the significant events (either personal, work or significant events).

Like the time that insurgents ran a VBIED against one of the nearby FOBs, big enough that even though the site is more than 2 miles away it sounded like it was hitting my own FOB (no one was killed in that attack).

Or the fact that my Brothers Wife finally delivered my new niece (I have 4 brothers, we are not quite sure how to deal with a little girl).

But the most notable memories are the ones where I head outside the wire.So far I have been have outside the wire twice with our ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces, that includes their Army, Border Patrol, and Police). They are advised mostly by the Romanians (which makes sense since their technology level and tactics are better suited to Russian styles and technology) via the OMLT system.  I visited the main Army base for the province, seeing how their maintainence works and in general meeting their personnel.

The second trip was more important for me, as we headed to Alexander's Castle (according to local lore the Castle was built by Alexander the Great.  While that claim is uncertain and unvalidated, it is a key point for the city of Qalat and has been for centuries (for the British, the Russians and now to a latter degree American, though we have no personnel stationed here). We got to meet the Communication Company that is located at the Castle and is the center hub for ANA communications in the region.  I was struck by how professional and dedicated to serving their country, they really were proud to serve the Afghan people and of their accomplishments to date. We had tea (so makes one very Afghan experience) and then also took in the sights at the Castle (the views were awesome, the commanding views makes it very clear why this is such a key terrain point. While taking in the view I also got another very Afghan experience, as we saw an IED go off in the distance.

Outside of that trip my time passes by in dribs and drabs.  Working out, sleeping, the weekly Lobster and Steak meal..  I have watched more TV than I have ever watched during my time here, as I work I often have a show running in the background.

In some ways technology is great as it allows you to be aware of everything that is happening back home, but it also can leave you frustrated since you can so easily see everything and yet know that it is so far away....

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