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What's it like in Afghanistan?

Discussion in 'US Army Forum' started by Biscuitsjam, Dec 3, 2007.


  1. mikeg81

    mikeg81
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    In KAF the Dutch and Brits had wet messes. Of course, signs posted on them that if any Canadian soldier was caught in one, said soldier would be sent home. I'm guessing that would be the same for you guys...?

    Back on topic...

    Where is the American AO? I saw alot of 10 Mtn Div at the start of my tour, then 82 Airborne at the end.

    I should amend what I said about Kandahar Airfield. It was OK to be back there for a bit. Getting a B.K. Whopper was nice break from the rations, and I prefered your PX Greenbeans to the Tim Hortons coffee(I don't even drink Timmies back here in Canada). I still prefered to be out in the FOB where our guns were at. Once we got established there, more stuff got shipped out; Sat-phone, internet, showers, field kitchen.

    Guess it all has to do with where you go/how long you are going to be there.

    The ANA I saw were pretty eager to learn. We would let the search the locals(under supervision, of course). One group was pretty jumpy...I saw them use an RPG for a warning shot.

    I don't trust the ANP as far as I can shoot.
     

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  2. ks farmboy

    ks farmboy
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  3. deadday

    deadday
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    ???????



    drew
     
  4. mikeg81

    mikeg81
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    Uh...did I annoy someone?
     
  5. deadday

    deadday
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    Was wondering the same thing.... *shrugs* Maybe he's a fobbit and upset since we're badmouthing KAF?





    drew
     
  6. ks farmboy

    ks farmboy
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    thats the closest thing to hell that i could find to describe afghanistan.
     
  7. deadday

    deadday
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    Hell? Afghanistan is a beautiful country...Just a little backwater, and in desperate need of a steady, caring government, and a massive attitude adjustment among the populace.





    drew
     
  8. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam
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    Getting off the plane in Kuwait, we wondered if that place were hell. We did our trainup in winter in cool weather, and it had just reached comfortable spring temperatures back home. We got off the plane into insane heat to which we were not even remotely acclimatized. It was also the middle of a week-long sandstorm. Based on the weather and the barren terrain, we joked that Kuwait was "hell" or at least "purgatory."

    At our first base in Iraq, we were at one of the hottest sectors in the whole country. Our sector was a dumping ground for mutilated corpses and we regularly saw civilians get killed by insurgent attacks. Plus, our living accomodations were very poor (no phones, no internet, no air conditioning, no regular showers, no reliable laundry, long hours, etc.). We joked that our sector in Iraq was a "hellhole."

    On the other hand, I came home with my life, all my fingers and toes, my sanity, and everyone I was close to.




    When you say that Afghanistan is hell, what exactly do you mean? Is it the weather, the terrain, the living accomodations, or the presence of the enemy? The worst thing for me being deployed wasn't any of those things, it was just being away from home for so long, without freedom or privacy.

    Please explain.
     
  9. Broylz

    Broylz
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    i got back from Afghanistan in April this year. spent 6 months there, got called home for e-leave, got injured getting mugged while in transit home and couldnt get back to my unit.

    anyway, the short time i was over there, we were along the Pak Border and our mission was to advise the ANG, AP, and ABP forces. we also went into Pakistan to train the PakMil how to do proper vehicle searches because we caught a cople VBIEDs and Suiscide bombers from their side of the bridge. my platoon shared a FOB with the ASGs that protected the FOB. yup, we were solely protected by the Afghans. no issues though. they were the first to respond when we got rocketed, even though nothing was close enough, and they also did TCPs for us and such. most of our time was spent in the local villages giving food and medical aid to the locals. most of the APs were always "out" when we go there to patrol with them doing "Poppy Eradication" even though the poppys were still everywhere. maybe thining out the competition.

    most of the missions are going to be very political. its going to suck compared to Iraq, been there too. If you are used to the Green Zone, BIAP and MSR Tampa, my old stomping grounds, then you will think that Afghanistan is a crappy hole in the world. i know there are a few decent places but i never saw them. the roads were actual riverbeds and noone drives on them when it rains. we actually ceased missions when it flooded around us.
    as far as the "bigger bases" that i went to, it was JAF and BAF. they both left alot to be desired but it kept the basics covered. make sure that family and friends send you most everything you need or want. mail was taking about 2 weeks when i was there.
    as far as skirmishes, we had quite a few VBIEDs and suiscide bombers. there were only a couple actual firefights that hapened in our zones, but they were all attacks on the APs or local distric centers. their VBIEDs were not as advanced as they were in iraq so not nearly as much damage but with irans help it will likely get worse. there were ongoing airstrikes and firefights pretty regularly north of us i heard on the TacSat fairly often so i guess we just got a good spot.
     
  10. Broylz

    Broylz
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    i left fort riley in february for OIF 1 and returned to fort Dix in Feb also. it was still about 110 in Kuwait when we lwft to come home and 4 in NJ. talk about shock.
     
  11. tc556guy

    tc556guy
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    B'Jam, have you had further intel on whereabouts you'll be winding up? Seems like I'm doing a clockwise rotation of the country. I started out in Kabul, wandered South to Kandahar, then Bastion, then Lashka Gar, and on to Shouz. Who knows where we'll go from there.....
     
  12. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam
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    We learned a lot about our mission...

    Our Brigade is going to be a part of Task Force Phoenix, and we'll be scattered across multiple FOBs and firebases, probably. Much of the brigade will be assigned to ETT teams, which will consist of a small unit (squad? section?) attached to Afghan army or police. The ETT team will be responsible for providing training and going out on patrols with the guys they are tasked with.

    I'm not sure of the breakdown, whether we'll be 100% ETT teams in our Squadron, or whether we'll only have 50% of our guys in ETT and the rest on tower guard and such, or.... As I understand it, ETT teams are usually top-heavy with rank, though they still need lower-ranking soldiers for driving and gunning. I should be a (combat experienced) junior E-5 by the time we deploy, so I'm not sure how that effects my chances of being on an ETT team versus something else.

    So far, they haven't told us anything about which region of the country we'll be going to. Just about every month, our leadership brings in Afghanistan veterans to talk about their tour, and they've all served in different places over there. I don't think our leadership even has a clue which part of the country we're headed to, and the lower ranks probably won't find out until after we've already arrived.

    Task Force Pheonix could put us in the south, east, west, or north...
     
  13. tc556guy

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    Ah, Ok. I'm part of TFP now. Yeah, expect to be spread across the country. You'll be dropping a lot of guys into PMT teams and ETT teams as you said. FDD and IDR are big here for the current police mentor missions. If you are back around kabul, PMT is no big deal. If you are in the West....well, lets say there isn't a lot of policework going on in the West. Or....you could be a Fobbit and never leave Phoenix.

    Enjoy the chow while you're at Phoenix; I haven't had anything as good since I left. You'll know you aren't in Kabul anymore if you run into the oversized female Brit Meat Nazi Cook at Bastion: "one meat product per tray!". To think I had to wait two months to see another caucasian female after seeing her ......
     
  14. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam
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    What do you think the odds of getting on an ETT/PMT team? I'll be a newly-promoted (hopefully) E-5 when we deploy. I've been to Iraq once before, and I'm in a combat arms MOS (cavalry).

    Is your unit putting entire companies/battalions into ETT teams, or are they only cherry-picking soldiers for that job? Are most of the ETT guys higher ranks?
     
  15. tc556guy

    tc556guy
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    Its a good chance. i was on the first round list for PMT because of my civilian job, but by the time they got around to filling second and third tier requirements, they were picking anyone they could get in a combat MOS. I hear that ETT teams in various areas are still very short-handed, so I have every reason to believe that you could get on one of those teams if you made your interest known. Don't LIE about your experience; we had a guy do that and he hurt the mission ebcause it was too late to backfill by the time the deceit was found out.
     
  16. GreenBeret1631

    GreenBeret1631
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    Here's an interesting article on the attack where 9 were KIA

    Joint al Qaeda and Taliban force behind Nuristan base attack
    By BILL ROGGIOJuly 14, 2008 9:03 PM

    Yesterday's deadly complex attack on a joint US and Afghan outpost in Nuristan province was carried out by a large, mixed force of Taliban, al Qaeda, and allied extremist groups operating eastern Afghanistan.
    Sunday's assault occurred just three days after 45 US soldiers, likely from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and 25 Afghan troops established a new combat outpost in the town of Wanat, which straddles the provincial border between Nuristan and Kunar. The troops had little time to learn the lay of the land, establish local contacts, and build an intelligence network. The fortifications were not fully completed, according to initial reports.

    A complex attack:

    The assault was carried out in the early morning of July 13 after the extremist forces, numbering between 200 and 500 fighters, took over a neighboring village. "What they [the Taliban] did was they moved into an adjacent village - which was close to the combat outpost - they basically expelled the villagers and used their houses to attack us," an anonymous senior Afghan defense ministry official told Al Jazeera. Tribesmen in the town stayed behind "and helped the insurgents during the fight," General Mohammad Qasim Jangalbagh, the provincial police chief, told The Associated Press.

    Link:

    http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/07/joint_al_qaeda_and_t.php
     
  17. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam
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    What are "second and third tier requirements?" Are those low-ranking vehicle drivers and such that don't take an active role in leading training?

    Did your battalion all stay within the same region of the country? Did they mix different units together to make the teams?

    What happened to the guys that weren't picked for an ETT or PMT team?
     
  18. GreenBeret1631

    GreenBeret1631
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    Soldiers recount deadly attack on Afghanistan outpost

    By Steve Mraz, Stars and Stripes
    Mideast edition, Saturday, July 19, 2008

    Soldiers recount deadly attack on Afghanistan outpost

    Ben Bloker / Stripes

    Spc. Tyler Stafford, 23, a soldier from Company C, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), recounts the hours-long fight that killed nine of his comrades as he recuperates at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

    Ben Bloker / Stripes

    Spc. Tyler Stafford and Sgt. Jacob Walker talk about the attack.

    Everything was on fire. The trucks. The bazaar. The grass.
    It looked surreal. It looked like a movie.

    Link:

    http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=56237
     
  19. tc556guy

    tc556guy
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    They did an initial canvas of the Brigade for anyone who had a law enforcement background for the PMT teams. Once we were already picked and on our way, they decided they needed to draw additional bodies from our Company to round out other PMT teams.

    Our Company, let alone any higher element, is spread around the company from ARSIC North to ARSIC South to ARSIC West and Kabul itself.

    Our guys who are not doing PMT are doing Secfor, PSD, etc in various regions of the country.
     
  20. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam
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    Thanks. How big are your teams, by the way?

    We should be arriving sometime in the spring (May?) Any chance that we'll be relieving your unit?
     
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