Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Month 9 Day 14

Notebook Entry
Combined with tomorrow’s

Journal Entry
I was dragging ass in the morning.  I tried to call Suzan but no one could locate the iridium.  I picked up 4 hot trays for my truck and came back.
We moved to FOB Vulcan. Despite their promises that ANA had not provided any fuel for their fellow soldiers. 
We linked up with our Polish escorts.  They seemed pretty decent, but insisted that if we did not want to follow their SOP of sweeping every culvert that two Marine vics take the lead
The kandak commander, to his credit had decided to front-load his slowest vics and to put some key personnel throughout the convoy tomake  sure that they did not stop for food at all of the bizarre, or randomly stop to take naps. We’ll see how they do.
The ANA did not get any fuel despite the time that theMarines put in with the brigade XO to try to procure it. I think that we would have been fine on fuel with just the tankers that they had, but the majo wanted to return t FOB Ghazni and refuel their tanker with CF fuel. They took about 700 gallons of JP-8.
By this time we were an hour late for the time that we said we were going to leave, which was an hour later than I had originally scheduled.  We drove on our merry way out of Ghazni, the traffic out of the base was actually pretty decent and steady.
Just beore we left I got an update from the poles that they heard that a couple guys Maulawi Schafiq and Mullah Nasrat were going to be attacking us at some village called Khad Jan Morad, but they didn’t know the grid of the village and couldn’t point to it on the map, so I reached back to the rct s-2 for support and they were able to find it on SIPR google and send me the grid.
Then boom, the dust in my vic was everywhere and I was asking if everyone was ok.  They were, but that was because the command wire IED hit the major’svic immediately behind us.  It lifted the truck about 3 feet off the ground andwhen it came back down the axles snapped and the shocks broke.  None of the marines were hurt, just some bumps and bruises.  Then we heard the small arms fire off to our left, but we couldn’t PID anyone. Since that Major’s comm was down I had to coordinate support.  I sent in the IED rep, requested air, the QRF and a wrecker.  We got some Hind gunships from the poles in pretty short order, they looked pretty mean passing overhead.  The ANA started running around like madmen, they didn’t even think about the chance of secondary IEDs.  They found the command wire, traced it back to a compound, and questioned the guy there, but didn’t have enough to detain him. 
I was sending updates to the battlespace owner and the rest of the convoy at the cyclic rate, and then the RCT sends me two more messages requesting more information. I can just imagine Maj Hesco back there getting spun up. I told them that they would have to wait as I was orchestrating support from the Battlespace owner. They realized that there was nothing they could do and rogered up to that.
The gunships didn’t find anything damning, nor did the Poles, nor the ANA, so we told the poles to push on without us.  We picked up some radio chatter about how this convoy was being watched and abou how they were observing CF TTPs, but that is it. We returned to Ghazni to spread-load some of our gear and leave a couple of pax behind to stay with the truck.  They couldn’t fix our truck because the usmc uses a different variety than the army and the parts aren’t interchangeable. They would then need to get a flight back. As we were leaving the poles were fighting with the ANA about who should take the lead, the poles were telling the ana that this was their country…
By thitime it was almost 1700. Capt Nowak and I thought we should stay and try again the next day, but that major wanted to press on. So we topped off on fuel mounted up and sped after the convoy.
I got a message from the poles that they were stopping at a COP to rest. It took us about an hour to get there.  When we showed up we found the poles hanging out and smoking. We asked where the ana were and they said they believed they were half-way to Qandahar by now. The ana pushed on and didn’t stop when the poles wanted to, so the poles just let them go.  The poles probably stopped because it was night time and they had already expressed a desire to cease operations after the sun went down.  The Major convinced them to follow us.  We went tearing down the road at about 30 Mph trying to catch up with ourguys.  I messaged all three battlespace owners and told them that the poles let thekandak continue on without CF support and we needed to locate them.  They eventually got back to me that they could see some of the on a security camera and that they were stopped.  This must mean something bad had happened.  The poles didn’t keep up with us in their styker-esq 8 wheeled vics and they asked us to stop, they said that the semi-trailers which were carrying hescos and water for their fobs were following us, they had lost sight and they were worried that they would steal the stuff.  We waited at a polish COP watching flares go off in the distance. After that we just proceeded without our ‘escorts’

polish Vehicle on the left and right of the road, a completely destroyed road where the IED went off under Vic 2
Polish Hind gunship in air support

the blown-up 6x6 MRAP, you can tell how tough they are when you look at the road.  

In the assembly area, getting ready to move

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