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Unread 04-14-2011, 05:22 PM   #1
SGTJimbo
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bath, MI
Posts: 1,015
"Vacation" update from sunny Afghanistan

Its been a while since I have posted so I figured I would give a little update.

Seems like I have been here forever even though its only been almost 8 months. Weather is starting to warm up here, mid to high 80's and for some reason the sun just seems a lot hotter here than back home at 80. Kandahar is the dustiest place on earth I swear. One of my interpreters came out of his room the other day and said I f*cking HATE Kandahar. So I guess I don't feel so bad when an Afghan hates it more than I do!

A little bit on what I have going on over here. I am the NCOIC of a 28 man training team working with an Afghan National Army (ANA) Corps Logistics Kandak (Battalion). I have soldiers from Active Duty, National Guard and Army Reserve. I was lucky enough to get all of the "problem children" from our battalion. One thing about all of them, they have heart, and they work their asses off. First I had to train my own team on convoy operations so we started running escort missions. I have spent a lot of time in a turret behind the ma duece watching and taking notes. Next we moved onto the Afghan Logistics system and training in general.

We have trained the ANA on some basic soldier skills, weapons training, NCO leadership, drivers training, maintenance, supply and convoy operations. Imagine doing drivers training for a 7 Ton International truck with some soldiers that had never driven (a few had never even ridden) in even a car before.

Recently we took them on their first real convoy outside the wire. They actually paid attention in training and did an amazing job. I actually see some hope and progress. It has made the last 8 months of BS (mostly staff!) worth it. Seeing the confidence of the Afghan Soldiers after they successfully did one of the most dangerous things you can do in this country (and in non uparmored vehicles at that). We have a ton of convoys scheduled with them in the upcoming months, which means I get a lot more time in the turret outside the wire

We are also teaching some Afghan National Police in everything from weapons training, drivers training, maintenance and warehouse operations.

I am scheduled to be home in August, but am seriously considering extending for 6 months to see more of what I have put into motion come to completion. I am pretty lucky, my OIC is very hands off, he tells me all the time that training is an NCO thing, I am going to stay out of it. I pretty much get to run my own show and so far it is working out well.

I told my soldiers from the very beginning, it is our job to train them so they can put us all out of a job and let the Americans go back home. You my friends are changing the world. It may only be a small corner of it, but you are changing the world.

So other than my two weeks in June for leave I may not have much seat time, so when you hit the twisties, enjoy it for me. I am living vicariously through all of you!!

(and btw, I am in serious need of a track day)

Here are some pictures.


Me in my "office"


Gotta plug monster!


Bringing the Kandak from Kabul to Kandahar


The ANA's first IED (ok thats just the hole but you get the idea)


More IED holes along the route


Me in front of my gun trucks


Yep, people actually still live there.

Here are links to my other pictures.
http://s407.photobucket.com/albums/p...ghanistan_2010
http://s407.photobucket.com/albums/p...ghanistan_2011

I will try to post some more pictures as time goes on, but the internet here sucks ass, so they take forever.
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Unread 04-14-2011, 05:33 PM   #2
flipf4ipilot
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Washington Twp, MI
Posts: 3,787
Thanks for sharing and doing what you do. Be safe out there.
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Unread 04-14-2011, 05:56 PM   #3
curveman
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Manchester
Motorcycle(s): Ducati 900 Super Sport
Posts: 976
Big Thanks from my family!!! Keep it coming. Great photos
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Unread 04-14-2011, 07:53 PM   #4
MilleArp
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: just N of Detroit
Motorcycle(s): 2009 K1300GT, 2015 S1000R
Posts: 4,304
Big thanks for posting up! You look like an SX podium guy holding that Monster up! "I'd like to thank my sponsors, Monster, Ma-Deuce, Humvee..."

Can't begin to imagine what it's like to teach someone how to drive when they've had zero exposure. Most us guys rode bicycles, minibikes, maybe even a go-cart at a local track, with Dad in an empty parking lot in the family sedan when you were 10-12-14...

Sounds like the work you're doing is truly reaping rewards, I can understand your desire to stay and see how it all turns out, and to make sure it stays on course. But then, you'd be picking sand outa yer 'taint for a few more months... tough call...

,

Last edited by MilleArp; 04-14-2011 at 08:00 PM.
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Unread 04-14-2011, 07:55 PM   #5
Zepp
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Dexter, Mi
Motorcycle(s): 10 Concours 14 ABS, 09 Yamaha R6, 04 Gsxr 750
Posts: 2,631
Thanks for sharing Jim. Thanks to you and all the troops for what you're doing and the sacrifices that you're making

The pics are great!!! Please be safe over there, we all look forward to the day that you and the troops can come home.

Thanks buddy!!! As always, if you or Beka need anything, please do not hesitate to let me know
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Unread 04-14-2011, 09:52 PM   #6
Penthos
The Human Google
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: tween here 'n there
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zepp View Post
Thanks for sharing Jim. Thanks to you and all the troops for what you're doing and the sacrifices that you're making

The pics are great!!! Please be safe over there, we all look forward to the day that you and the troops can come home.
One big helluva +1.
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Unread 04-15-2011, 02:07 AM   #7
dcrpd
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Flushing, mi
Motorcycle(s): 2005 gixxer 6
Posts: 1,851
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word bro ill have some beer waiting for you, cause i got some waiting for me. stay safe man!
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Unread 04-15-2011, 09:21 AM   #8
Paragon
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Asheville, NC
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Posts: 5,853
In the field, I'd rather have a platoon of "problem children" than of "garrison superstars" any day

Stay safe over there!
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Unread 04-15-2011, 10:19 AM   #9
SGTJimbo
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bath, MI
Posts: 1,015
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paragon View Post
In the field, I'd rather have a platoon of "problem children" than of "garrison superstars" any day

Stay safe over there!
Absolutely! They are awesome. My merry band of misfits.
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