Saturday, August 24, 2013

Month 12 Day 24

Left Dwyer this morning.

I could really feel the excitement from the new guys about going.
They were ready to get their first taste of combat, and Lt Love kept
talking about combat action ribbons.  I was not feeling the same.  I
just wasn't feeling right about going.  I was worried about a couple
of spots on our route that were pretty useless to go through, and were
dangerous, but the LtCol wanted to go through them anyway.

We went to Marjeh in the morning. It has really hollowed out since the
Marines have left.  They built a massive OCC-D for them, a center
where all of the different security entities can come together, but
there were only about 6 guys in there.  Similar to the CCOC. I dropped
off some IR strobes to the British Legacy guys and let Lt Siegel come
in on a white horse so to speak and deliver them.

We then moved to Fiddler's Green.  The Kandak mentor team had just
returned.  They were trying to move a few of their soldiers around the
battlespace from one position to another.  when the soldiers arrived
at the new postion and found out that there was no A/C, they decided
to just leave and come back to the headquarters and deal with their
upset commanders.

We moved on to Nawa. I saw a couple of fake 'graves' on the side of
the road as we were making our way to the fob, they were clearly
markers for IEDs. We walked through the new combined COC here as well.
 It is a huge artifice, but none of the Afghans are in the giant
offices that we built for them.  It looks great on a tour, but there
is minimal work actually being done here.  They did have one success a
few days ago, the Afghans from one of the PBs snatched up a few
Taliban driving by after they were told by the CF they were coming.
We talked to the kandak mentor team in Nawa.  They were having some
problems with the contracts to build the permanent facility here in
Nawa.  The bricks are low quality, the electrical is fucked, and the
mortar is wrong, but these buildings are far from sub-par by Afghan
standards. By that measure they are great, but some Navy Chief from
Leatherneck wants to pull them all down because they don't look like
American ones.  What do you want American buildings, or buildings
built by Afghans?  This is as good as it gets.  The other funny thing
that came up in conversation was that When the Kandak commander, Gul
Ahmad talked about building the new jail he said
"I only want two rooms one for detainees and one for my soldiers."
I guess this was immediately following an incident where two of his
soldiers dressed up as civilians, tried to shake someone down, but one
of the civilians said
"Hey, why do you have ANA boots on?"
The soldiers fled and the civilian told the battalion commander, to
his credit he locked them up for a couple of weeks.

Had milkshakes at dinner-yum.

The day ended with the “Blue Collar Comedy Tour” Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engval, Larry the Cable Guy and one other dude.  It was low brow humor most of the time, but really good natured even with the occasional bodily function joke.   By the end, my cheeks were hurting. 

When I stood up to return the DVD the Major, LtCol and Gunny were behind me and Josh.  Maj Davidson asked me.
“Isn’t it past your bedtime?”
“Yes, but I make exceptions”
“This is like vacation, eh?”

“Basically, the chow is better, there is no work to do, there is a huge TV, free stuff and a big gym.  That’s a vacation if I have ever had one.”

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