Friends and family-
The process of going to work in Afghanistan began Monday with a new hire package and a book 2 dispatch at Local 613. There are six new hires including me. They are from San Antonio, St Louis, Chatanooga, Everett, and Atlanta. The physical requried us to travel to the Ft Benning area for the most complete physical I have ever had. I received 8 shots including typoid, hep a and b, tetanus-diphtheria, and TB test screen. I was also given EKG, hearing, full blood anylysis for heart screening, and HIV test. Several applications were compromised and those fellows will try again.
Army training included a 10 hour SERE course. Survival Evasion Resistance Escape. This provided the means to manage a capture scenario. I now have a better understanding of what our troops are prepared for. While the likelyhood of any ISI employee encountering such threats is minimal, the training is required for civilian contractors entering the theater. It was an eye opener for me and gave me a new appreciation for our troops. I am certain my appreciation will grow.
Tomorrow (Feb 3), we will receive our employee and base ID, this should complete the Army required registration. It is an intensive and exhausting paperwork maze. Friday evening we depart for Dubai for an overnight and leave Sunday on a military transport to Bagram air field. Amazingly, while writing this, I sit watching a revolution explode in Cairo, Egypt, the city appears to be on fire. I cannot help but wonder what the future holds for this region.