Sunday, May 29, 2011

May 29, 23:00

US base Marmel in Mazir E Shariff. This is the view facing south towards the Hindu Kush range. Mazir E Shariff is about 50 miles from Uzbekistan and the base is run by the Germans. It is very tidy here and the potatoes are boiled just right. No soda pop. 

May 29, 21:50

ANA soldiers at Base Thunder Pakitia Province preparing for afternoon prayer

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May 24 23:00

Claude and I at Base Lightning in a southern provice. We were there to perform an assessment of the existing power plant and to survey the site for an upcoming expansion. Claude is a French Canadian from Burlington Vermont, we get along well.

May 24 22:30

My life.

May 24, 06:00

Bill. He lives under the power plant operator' shed at Solerno. Bill eats chicken, beef scraps and mice. He looked to be a little over 3' and had generally cheerful disposition. Scary fast.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

May 12 06:30

Nightfall at BAF. About this time you can hear the Muslim call to prayer which is broadcast from loudspeakers at the prison mosque. It can be heard for miles and is an eerie reminder of our surrounding.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

MRAP  (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) Caiman. 10 passenger that strikes fear in even the most stoned Taliban fighter. While not the largest, this one weighs in at 40k lbs, that's 8 Suburbans. The latest version comes with the Crow 2 weapons system that eliminates the need for soldiers to ride in the turret.  Much like operating a video game, it features a  body heat locator that allows troops to hunt insurgents day or night using 50 caliber, grenade launcher, or the M249 squad weapon. It's hard to miss one of these rolling by with a 4" tailpipe, they sound like a tank coming up on you. The bottoms are V shaped to deflect the IED charges that destroyed so many Humvees in Iraq. With roll flat tires these are designed to move out of ambush situations after roadside bombings. DOD has ordered over 10k of these spending billions to properly protect our troops.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

May 7 18:20

Some of my riding buddies and I are out on an adventure. That's me on the far left. Nice group but a little jumpy,  hoping we get past that. Minus the Kalishnakovs, these boys are not to big on personal riding protection.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2 21:00

This east facing view is just beyond our housing area and shows what remains of old Bagram city. Most buildings were bombed by Soviet forces to the point where little remains. Often we see nomads and their herds out there. It is a little unnerving watching them knowing how much of the area is mined. Bin Laden was killed today and there are protests outside the gates in response to that action. We celebrated with ice cream sundays after dinner. Islamabad is 200 miles from here.