Monday, May 13, 2013

Month 9 Day 12B-13

Notebook Entry 20110513
30km long convoy, kandak commander sleeping, theory of constraints, Ministry of Interior guy traveling with us.

Journal Entry
The croats trained our guys on artillery and on some of the eastern block weapons.
We tried to leave at 2200.  The staff from CFC came out to try to pursh them out of the gate. We were half-way through kabul before all of them came out, and all of theway outside of the provice before three vics decided to leave and try to catch up with us.
Our escorts were ok, but they were regular army guys, they weren’t very proficient at using their BFTs Maj Valquist continued to be the convoy commander and I continued to lead convoy.
There was some drama getting out of the gate Maj Valquist got into it with the kandak S-3.
While we were all traveling together the convoy extended to 30 km. once the sections broke apart, the lead element was over 30 miles away from th trail. A few of theAfghans got off track in the city and went their own way.  The army guys went to chase them up and eventually got them back on track.
We had several mechanical problems throughou the trip. One of theHMMWV drivers fell asleep and ran into the back of aninternational truck.  That blew his radiator and added another 30 min to our already hour-long maitenance stop. Yunis the escort commander from5th kandak punched the Lt who was in command of the vic in the face.
We kept trying to shuffle thekandak along, but they were stopping for chow, randomly stopping to rest and just generally uncooperative.  The trail element was in particularly bad shape by theend because the Afghans will pass any slow vehicle, to include ones in their own convoy. At the end of theconvoy we had th dump trucks towing otherdmp trucks the towed HMMWVs the rangers towing rangers. I brought this up with the major and suggested that we could never really exceed the speed of our slowest vic, so there was no point in racing ahead at 25MPH when there werevics in the back thatcouldn’t keep up. We would ulitimately need to stop and wait for them to catch up.  He said this was not the ditch that we are going to die in and moved on.  This is actually a pretty major problem, when the trail element gets that far away from the lead, there is no way to support them. The Afghans in the rangers up front didn’t give a shit.  They just knew that they wanted to go, and to go fast. I snapped some pics of the kuhi nomads and some of the sleeping afghans on the way.
I also saw another suspicious suv traveling with us.  I approached the car with my cover man, asked who he was andhe showed me his paperwork he was with the ministry of the interior (the cops) driving in an armored land cruiser, and had hopped in the the convoy to travel in our security bubble.  The kandak commander told him it was fine, but he didn’t bother to tell us.  We are not just providing security for the ANA anymore, now we are providing  it for the whole of the Afghan government.
Once we made it to Ghazni we had to deal with the Brigade XO for this brigade.  This guy had an orer in hand saying that he was supposed to support this kandak with all of the fuel, water, food, and maintenance that they needed.  He said that food would not be a problem, but that fuel was going to be an issue, he claimed that they only had 5000l of fuel total and that the 11000l that I calculated we were going to need was simply not there.  He promised that he would give 100l to the big trucks and 30l to the small ones. We left at after that. 
We  went to the polish base, ate some chow and almost everyone passed out.

Probably one of the few bits of green I saw in this country. Maybe this is what Babur loved

The head of our long convoy, Army 'escorts' behind me

Kuchi Nomad's Tent

Exhausted Afghan Soldiers sleeping in the back of their trucks 

It seems like others had fought and left before...maybe there's a lesson there. 

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