Wednesday, March 30, 2005

And On to Uzbekistan

In order to provide logistic support to our entire area or responsibility, we had laid plans to disperse Forward Logistics Elements or FLEs to different parts of Afghanistan. Due to the disjointed nature of our flight arrangements into the country, this dispersal resembled less of the orderly transition and onward movement that we had designed and more of rats deserting a sinking ship when we landed in Bagram. Be that as it may, we now have our people scattered to the 4 corners of Afghanistan and beyond, each diligently executing their assigned logistcs mission with varying degrees of support from the civilized world.

One of these little mission focused nodes is located in Mazar E Sharif in the north central part of the country, an area which has already fallen under the control of ISAF, the NATO led International Stabilization Force. What was billed as a mission to provide some logistic support to the Jordanian Hospital there has morphed into a Jack-of-all-Trades mission for our 1st Lieutenant (promotable) who is running the show there. At last word he was doing everything from air traffic control to dining facility construction, and with the travel in and out of the area intermittent at best, I am now making a herculean effort to get to MeS not only to promote him to Captain, but also ensure that he has not transformed into COL Walter Kurtz and gone completely off the reservation.

In order to get to MeS, you have to start early, bring a thick book to read, and plan on traveling for a few days. I got out of Salerno on a CH-47 which was flying back to BAF empty after bringing in more replacements to our little piece of paradise. After Staying in BAF long enough to remember what Burger King tasted like (or at least a reasonable facsimile) it was a C-130 to K2. Karshi Khanabad is a former Soviet airbase in Uzbekistan heavily utilized by the Air Force and consequently, only technically in a combat zone. Life is good here. Paved roads, white lights at night, running water and flushing toilets in every barracks building. Don't misunderstand, it's still Spartan by most 1st world standards, but it is a veritable Ellysium coming from the dusty Khowst Bowl. More to follow including some great pics as soon as I can get back to the Bucksnort.

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