Monday, November 14, 2011

November 13 2000

Some heavy duty electrical installations going on here. Check out the temp power cables on the ground. That's 4 conductor 500 mcm tray cable.Those that know can feel the pain of bending that cable on a cold  morning.
       The 1000kw gensets associated with this service  have 48 cables in each plus grounding conductors. At $50/foot the 1500 feet laying here begin to add up. Panels, cable, and much of what you see installed here arrives by 747 freighter. The cost just to ship a 1500 pound reel of cable is staggering. Costs include army security, and contracting oversight,  each part and piece is handled 10 times before it is installed. One 747 round trip is over $1m.
     One structure of 400 on one base of 740. This is a tiny piece of the expenses in this country. Lets not forget about the bases in the former Russia, Kuwait, UAE, Dubai, Germany, and Turkey. The list goes on and on. It is staggering. Re-fueling tankers fly 24/7 overhead. 

Nov 13 2130

This little dude is just sunning himself. He will make a mighty fine snack for the starling types here. Photo taken at UXB demining camp. 80 degrees. This week Afghan President Karzai is convening a Loya Jirga in Kabul. Some 2000 are expected to attend, meeting in tents. Afghanistan's relationship with the United States will be discussed. The Taliban has warned those planning to attend, violence can be expected. The Taliban has published the security plans for the meetings letting would be attenders know that their safety is not secure. Violence expected but no more than the Revolutionary War. It is good to see self determination being show even if it does not always go the way we would like it.

Nov 12 1900

Nov 12 1830

My friend Eric (from Michigan) and I, waiting on concrete for this massive genset slab. Coffee time. 70 at 9am

Nov 10 2110

Nov 10 2100

A convoy of jingle trucks from Baluchistan. These are sort of a Middle East version of the Cubans 57 chevy. I can't imagine what it takes to keep a 1950s era Soviet truck on the road but this convoy had 15 of them, nearly identical. No AC.  75 today.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November 4 1800

Serious about security in the south

Friendly stray on COP. These "pets" are discouraged, many carry rabies.Yikes

Typical transport to assessment projects

It is now beginning to really feel like fall with lows in the 40's and soon into the 30's. Terrible violence in larger cities coming primaraly from Haqqani network. These attacks are primarily directed at officials, Afghan police and Army units. Often there is collateral damage to civilians. The Taliban has announced a plan to keep civilians out of the attacks. Last week yet another female suicide bomber  in Kandahar,  figure that out. The Taliban has seemingly nothing to offer that gender, another example of religious brainwashing. 208 days.