Sunday, March 3, 2013

Month 7 Day 3

Notebook Entry
Combined Staff Meeting

Journal Entry
Yesterday I tried to train Rafi on MoD 14s, supply requests. Filling out that single page took the better part of 3 hours. I showed him the appropriate parts of the manual in Dari and looked up the part
numbers for him. It was all mystical to him. He has been in the Army  for 8 years and has never filled out a supply request form. He really did try hard to learn yesterday and I was proud of him. I showed him
the weekly progress report that I was going to show to the General and  he wanted me to omit the two days where he slept in, didn't show up and actively tried to prevent training. I'm I will be honest about what you do for good and bad. He conceded. HE said that he thought he woudl be gone by the time that I made it back. I gave him a hug and we parted.

I packed up my daypack and my laptop case with the stuff that I was going to need for the trip. The day packs seems to be just the wrong size.

Our flight was supposed to leave in the afternoon. I was belting out 'ain't nothin gonna break my stride' at the top of my lungs and then my flight was delayed. That broke my stride. We had to do the obligatory evening meeting with the staff and then ship out at 1900. I did get to catch an Afghan truck burying itself in a 2 foot ditch because the driver didn't know how to use 4-wheel drive. I chalked it up to inexperience, most of these guys have not been driving very long.

We had another drug pop, LCpl David Cloud on the 2nd so while we were prepping to leave Maj Valquist was explaining to Capt Arthur that he was going to have to sit fire watch. I wonder if the Major is going to sit any duty...

The flight actually left a little bit early. It was a C-130 the Marine pilot didn't seems to know anything about parabolic curves, he went up, immediately snapped the nose horizontal to the deck, then when it was time to descend he pushed the nose hard until it felt like we were in free fall. This is accentuated by the fact that you don't have any backrests in C-130s.

Arrived in Qandahar. It remains the odd little third-world base that we left it. A web of power lines on cement poles directing electricity to destinations unknown. The base is still as active and oddly cramped as it was when we were here six months ago. The Marines are all anxious waiting to go home, some waiting to see family some waiting for the coalition females to look less attractive (ugliness is only a plane-flight away). The Brits are waiting for the end of their three months so they can go on leave, the Canadians are waiting for
Stephen Harper to pull them back. The rest of the coalition members goals are as obscure as their languages. They go to whatever staff job they have, go eat at the French, Luxemburg (their chow hall is probably bigger than their country), or British chow halls use their immaculate gym with BSky and euro-pop playing and then return return to their berthing. I wonder what they think of this. If they are just waiting out their time hoping to get a better deal from the US out of NATO. The Afghans are here too this is the 205th Brigade, the
one that has been around for over 5 years now. Ostensibly much more prepared and trained than our guys. We pulled to a stop on our movement to our berthing and a couple of afghan vehicles drove by, as
the Afghan HMMWV slowed both it rear doors swung out and stopped jarringly perpendicular to the vehicle. The Afghan driver continued, oblivious. So this is what you get after 5 years of drivers courses
from us, nothing.

Went to sleep in a crinkly tent wondering whether this was all is my head or if things were as they seemed-exactly the same as when I left. We are not getting anywhere.

Help me, I don't know how to drive!

Edited to Add:

I know that my movements are a little jumpy, I go from one place to another, but I could not write about events in the future for fear of security breaches.

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