Saturday, May 18, 2013

Month 9 Day 18

Notebook Entry
Three Towed vehicles, no fuel, burned out clutch, flat tire, no troops and no contacts, Push to ramrod no return, escorts, improvised explosive device, airstrike, light machine gun, two vehicles return, doctors comments, no card no fuel.

Journal entry
The day actually started with a wake up call at 2300 on the 12th after a sleeping pill and four hours of sleep
We prepped the trucks without incedent tried to head to the Afghan camp but were prevented from usin the gateby the local national rent-a-cops that were guarding Lidnsay.  None of them spoke English, so I spoke to the in dari and told them to call the mericans, they were not able to do that either, they tried to call the Afghan COG by this time I was fed up and went to the BDOC. They admitted that the security guys were a problem, no shit.
We get to the ANA the Major wants  them in two sticks, the fast one with the Amry and the slow mechanical trouble prone ones with the Marines.  We make it so.  Shock despite avin 14 hours with the fuel truck they have nt fueled everything up. They had a couple of negligent discharages to include a SAW going off. They also managed to slip in three vehicles that were being towed despite explicit instructions o trailor them back. We get about a mile down the road wih the second stick and two trucks reak down. One is a dump truck with a burnt out clutch, the other one was a dump truck as wel but it required a wreker to pull it back.
We aren’t even to our first turn in Kandahar when the ANGLICOCO vic says it has a tire puncture that the CTIS can’t keep up with. They turn back.  I try to contact the battlespace owner and they tell me they have no contacts at Qandahar airfield, they had just done a RIP an apparently all institutiona memory is lokst for them during a RIP, our guy are basically one their own.
The Army takes a wrong turn in Qandahar  not a huge deal because it is still early.  I make one wrong turn, try todo a u turn ad the Afghans behid me get ou of their trucks start wandering around an lok exasperated.  I screamed at them in Dari to get back int their trucks, like the could do beer, whatever.
WE passed a couple of major engagements, one with army helos swooping like black flies over some enemy position and destroying it about 2 km south of the road. There wer also a bunh of liht machine  guns marked along th rout on the BFT, it was not a nice morning.
We make it to ramrod ad the second set of escorts are nt ready, we tell the that th Afghans already took off and they bettermake sure they are not shot to hell.  We asked the previous set of escorts to rtrn to pick up our Marine ics in Qandaharo that we could meet the minimum ic requirement.  Their higher told them no.  The major tol the wide-eyed army guys that we weremoving no matter who we pis off with the two vics we have.
Logically this didn’t make much sense the two vics on the othe side of Qandahar could just as easily have ome to us as we go to them, pick them up and return. I realized as much and my Doc said as much. I snapped at the doc and told him that this is what leaders of mries d, there is no way that Maj Valquist was going to let his guys see danger without him being around.  Besides we would get two more chances to dance with the TB.  He quietly said he didn’t want to dance with theTB.  Despit the fear I felt a couple days before, on this occasion, I was excited to go bac, as was the Gunny and so was the major.  This was real bravery.  Going through a wild city wth half the vics you are supposed to have in the middle of the day with no support.  As we moved along though I started to wonder if it was just reckless. Especially driving as we were at 50MPH staying tight on the ass of an ana convoy o foring some vics off the road.
We made It throughgenerally without incedent, just a few more marks on the BFT.
We madeit toKAF and the guys were just getig finished with the trucks, we ried to get fuel for the return, but we didn’t have a fuel card, so they gave me shit and I had to go ccall an army sgt first clas to get JP-8.  Really how disconnected are you from the war when atruck full of stinky Marines roll up in and MRAP askng for gas ad you question their credentials.  The contractors were just doig their jobs, I understand, but if there were less contractors to try to steal fue, then thi wouldn’t be an issue
We had a fantastic lunch at the Movi chow hall sutited up and did th third trip across Qandahar for the day.  Arrived in LNK almost without incedent

our long convoy lined up on the road between Qandahar and Lashkar Gah/Leatherneck

I was told this was a line for job applications
Qandahar streets

The road out of Qandahar to the west

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