Friday, August 9, 2013

Month 12 Day 9

Notebook entry
12 reports given, geometries of fire, Suzan argument, maps with Munir, executive officer maps not from intelligence, drivers course switch, Salima here, translate Maj. B broken hand, Gazette.

Journal entry
One thing that I forgot to mention from two days ago was that the two new guys from RCT-5 were out talking about new places to put guard towers to enhance their fields of fire.  The point here is not that it is tactically unsound because they are turning what would be grazing enfilade fire into plunging fire.  The point is that they are already focusing on the wrong thing.  They believe that their security is going to come from new guard posts and walls, not from good partnering across the street.  We thought just the same thing when we came here.  I remember looking at the RCT-7 guys and thinking 'why don't they always have their weapons close at hand.'  This is a brand new war for them.

I got into it with Suzan this morning.  These deployments are just unnatural and I think that any couple with have trouble with them because if you are a coupling of two people, then you will have trouble being without your partner for a year, and you will have an equally difficult time reintegrating upon your return.   I hope that a heated conversation is as bad as it gets.

I worked on mapping with Munir.  I got him to plot grids on a map and find a grid for a point that I picked.  I was proud of him.  While we were in class together the XO came in.  He wanted to know why were were ordering maps for the S3 section.  He said 'they have their own mentors and they can order them themselves.' He's the most professional soldier we've got and he doesn't realize that maps and all things related  to terrain are in the S2's perview.  He did make the right decision about Salim and the driver's course.  He said that Salim knows how to drive, but when I told him that our soldier who is supposed to know how to drive does not know, he made the switch.  He also got into Salim for half-racking out during my class last week.  I like the XO. 

I bade the General adeau and I resisted the temptation to ask him for a medal as he did from the SecDef for his 15 min of interaction.  Not sad to see him go. 

I came back to the tent met with Sgt Salima and one of the new RCT-5 Sgts, they taught Qais some IPB stuff. 

We were all out of linguists because of the leave flight, and I had been working with Munir all morning without one.  Maj Davidson wanted to get some stuff done and I got thrown under the bus by Capt Arthur. 'Tarjimon Abdul can help you.'  Thanks.  So I became the Major's linguist for the next hour.  It is really hard to do.  The last time I did it was in French in Haiti.  It made my head hurt.  We got the perstats from the Bde, GSU, and the RCC.  When we were almost finished with the GSU one of their Sgts came in and the GSU S1 officer spoke up.  'I'd like to talk to you about something serious.  My sergeant went out this morning to monitor the leave flight.  He told one of the officers, Mohammad Naim, that he was not allowed to get on the flight because his name was not on the list and the officer in turn hit him, told him he was going on leave and broke his hand.  He then went to the General, got his approval, had the Gunny put his name on the list and is waiting at the airport right now'  I was taken aback and relayed the story back to them in Dari to make sure that I understood.  Maj Davidson took it for action.  He went over to pull the guy from the flight.  I don't know what exactly happened on the flightline, but when I came back after chow Maj Davidson told me that the guy left on the flight because the General wanted him to go and the LtCol backed him up.  I said "I wonder why the LtCol did that? He doesn't have a relationship to preserve anymore, we are never going to see the general again?"  Maj Neller, the new OpsO spoke up with his school-house wisdom "you can't undermine the General"--Good luck with that, you are not doing your job if you don't undermine someone who is doing something wrong.  Anyway just then the LtCol Bursts in and says "Everyone but Maj Davidson, get out."  OK well, I don't know how that went, but I know an officer who had just come back from leave a month ago assaulted a soldier who was trying to do the right thing, and we failed the soldier.  The guy shoudl be in the hot box, not in Kabul right now, on an $18,000 flight contracted monitored and produced by the American public.  If we can't stand up to a fat little emperor of a General and tell him that there have to be consequences for assualt, leave policy violation, and that he can't use American air with impunity (even if the guy gave him cash to get on), then what the fuck are we here for?  There are no consequences, we are just enablers.  Maj Davidson took the guy to the Combat Surgical Hospital in the afternoon.  He told the docs 'I know they can handle it here, but I feel so bad for the guy, and I want to show him I care and will support people who do the right thing.  

I worked on the Gazette Article in the afternoon. 

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