Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Month 9 Day 8

Notebook Entry
Cipher from the Ministry of Defense, cell phone, Qandahar Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive device and threat empty. Use of Blue Force Tracker. Keeping Nice things from Aghans. Remain-over-night Qalat.

Journal Entry
Went to the 215th corps HQ Unis got a cipher from the Corps HQ but it did not say what it needed to. It said that 17 pax [people] and 4 vics [vehicles] needed to be supported with chow on the way to kabul, it made no mention of fuel, maint, or any other useful thing that they might need nor did it mak any mention of the 500pax that were coming back down and the 130 vics that they would be bringing with them. I was not happy. The major and I went back to speak to the ANA [Afghan National Army]  OpsO [Operations Officer] about it and they promised that there would be a new cipher. The we also got the corps guys on it so they will be tracking when it is appropriate.

On the way out they told us to let 3rd brigade know that we were coming through their ao [Area of Operations] on the way by so they could provide support. Really, guys these are your subordinates and you are standing five feet from your coc [Combat Operations Center] and they all have cell phones and so do you. You shoud call your own guys. Unis forgot his cell phone on the way out and we had to hold up the convoy to get it.

The tripswent pretty well . it was pretty fast traveling with a small convoy and on blacktop we tried to keep it going at about 40 Mph.

The only hiccups were in qandahar we got a tip from the ana [Afghan National Army] that some bad hit had one down in Qandahar the day before, so I sent a BFT [Blue Force Tracker] message back to the rear. They confirmed that there had been 7 simultaneous attacks the day prior. When we got to qandahar there was a major roadblock on the way in. Gunny, my gunner heard 1 shot of SAF [Small Arms Fire] but couldn’t PID [Positively Identify] we found out why once the army directed us around. There were two ieds that they had just found about 100m away from an engagement spot. I could tell because the army actually uses the bft and puts enemy on there as well as friendly, nice idea. They blew one in place about 150m from us and shredded the back of a little hatchback then let us through. I saw a mass of vics [Vehicles] on hwy one on the bft up ahead I asked for clarification from the army guys. They said that they were in the middle of a firefight and that commandos were clearing the building. I asked for permission and then took us one street over. The place was really reminiscence of Haiti, the small open sewers. The little bit of greenery bravely holding on to the brown soil. It was really odd to drive through there. The entire city was dead. All of the shops were closed the only people on the street were cops and military.

Once we made it out of qandahar and started to hook up the eastern side of the hindu kush things started to look a lot better. There was natural greenery. The peoples houses didn’t all look like shit. In fact with the mountains in the background it looked down right bucolic and nice.

As we moved to the edge of zabul the buildings changed we started to see some of the old ghaznavid architecture. Some of the little towns though smaller than they once were were clearly maintained much better than the stuff further south. Once we made it into qalat the buildings actually started to look decent, not like the run-down stuff in the south.

When we made it to eagle/apache the ana had a little trouble getting on, but the army 1stSgt in charge of billeting told me that they had already unpartnered one ana kandak and that the whole base we are staying on is about to be taken over by the 2/205

Maybe I am wrong. Maybe this is possible. I wonder what makes this different than helmand.

The 215th Corps Headquarters building, they lived better than the Marines, as it should.

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