Friday, March 1, 2013

Month 7 Day 1

Notebook Entry
No reports given, Rafi PowerPoint, and Google Maps training, Regimental Combat Team here for class, Decision not to fill sustainment, Black Hole Presentation General

Journal Entry
Had CCOC [Combine Combat Operations Center] watch in the morning. Rafi worked the day prior in my absence and tried to come up with a good presentation that in his mind mimicked the one that he had seen me do for the General. He had clearly worked hard on it, but it looked like something that a second grader had come up with, lots of squiggles and bright colors. He knew that it wasn’t really up to standard, and wanted my help-VICTORY. I told him that it was fantastic and that would be more than happy to help him. I gave him a copy of my presentation, he said he would plot the SigActs on it. The internet is currently down for the Afghans because MEF [Marine Expeditionary Force] tightened up the firewall and they have basically kicked the Afghans back off the network. I showed Rafi how to use Google Maps on my computer. He found his house. He went into a long speech about where he lived, how close it was to the river that separates Afghanistan from Tajikistan, he showed me the village just north of him where Ahmad Shah Massoud, a legendary figure in Afghanistan was killed. He showed me an old castle, a hill were he would go to ‘drink whiskey’ on hot summer nights, the small Islands in the Amu Daria, where the smugglers transport drugs from Afghanistan and alcohol in. All the while he was learning how to navigate the map. All of Google's tools are so intuitive that just like an American he figured it out quickly. Thank you Google. The gunny then decided to play a joke on him while I was gone and tell him that the volcano in our AO [Area of Operations] (Rafi oddly thought it was a tornado, or maybe Dr Noori screwed this up) was actually a black hole, a singularity from which no light could escape. Dr Noori, the linguist a real piece of work an Afghan ‘doctor’ who worked as a pharmacist in the US and uses more English words when speaking in Dari than I do acted like he knew exactly what the Gunny was talking about. Salim and I went to the General to tell him what we did in Nawa. Salim came in and said we went on a couple of patrols, taught a couple of classes, it was no big deal. I’m like dude, really, I just briefed you about what to say and you get stage fright from this pompous little Mongol. Ah well, I told him what we really did and how we would appreciate his help pushing the kandak commanders to do patrol debriefs.

The Ministry of Defense in their wisdom has decided not to fill any of our supply requests. They will only field gear for new units, not existing ones, even though we were only created last year and are not up to Tashkil on equipment. Thanks. Its not like my guys break stuff at the cyclic rate (we just had an electrical fire yesterday that burned out the fuse box because they were plugging space-heaters into the sockets and leaving the doors open). This shit is all Magic to them. They have no idea how anything works. They are fucked when we leave.

That's 210 thousand liters of diesel fuel in one bag.  Wow, I can't imagine the gas bill.

The nascent Afghan National Air Force.  Terrifying, simply terrifying for all who fly it. 

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