Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Life at Kandahar Air Force base (KAF)

Hi All,

Sorry for the long delay in sending this next post. I have been hit with several rather monumental tasks that had resulted in me and my Chief Engineer having to work literally night and day for several days to accomplish bids which were due, re-organize the engineering group, and set standards for proposal operations. At one 4 day/night stretch we were up well past midnight completing required tasks having started at 6:30 AM.

Besides an abundance of work, I am settling into life here at KAF. I wondered how this period of 'no alcohol' would affect me and besides some desires initially, I feel more clear headed and energetic. They have a gym run by the Canadians within walking distance that I go to at night (when not working). They also have a burger king, pizza hut and subway on the base. My favorite place to get food when not going to the DFAC (Dining Facility for you civilians) is the French PX. Leave it to the French to have fresh made breads, croissants, etc. I enjoy their smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers on a fresh baguette the best.

One night I was invited by some of my new friends from Kyrgyzstan (we have many employees from the former Soviet Union working here) to join them at combat video/audio simulation. I operated a real M16 with fake bullets. I still needed to change magazines when exhausting my rounds and besides several kills/wounds I managed to open it up and shoot down a helicopter!

I was told the Taliban will become much more active as the weather warms (they don't have winter gear). We did receive our first missile strike since I have been here. I heard the sirens, there was a garbled voice over speakers, then a few minutes later as I was working in my office it sounded like someone slammed a door in a nearby building. It landed near a DFAC we just built, no injuries and the DFAC was protected by blast walls.

I have attached some photos of my co-workers and RECON Ranch where we have our concrete and asphalt batch plants, equipment maintenance, etc. I also have a shot of the Predator which is a drone spy plane operated from ground control from some place in the US, believe it or not. Also, fighter jets named hawker harrier which can hover and then take off to just under the speed of sound.

Now for the good news, I will be taking over a runway expansion project at Herat Military Facility. Herat is run by the Italians and Spanish. I understand the food is excellent and they have wine! By 19:00 tomorrow (when the Camp stores open to buy wine) I should be sipping a nice Italian Red.

Be well ...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"I don't think we are in Kansas anymore, Toto"

Well I left arguably the newest most modern city on the planet at 9AM (we are 9.5 hours ahead of ET) Wednesday and arrived in Kandahar Air Base (KAF), Kandahar, Afghanistan at 11:15 local time (1:45 Flight time).

Afghanistan reminds me of Fred Flintstones' home of Bedrock. Lots of gravel, rock, gravily earth tones and the locals live in gravel/rock houses without indoor plumbing, etc.

I will be posting items from time to time and I have the first picture taken from my new Nikon D60 camera. The picture is at our RECON Camp site which includes offices and living areas on KAF. Its basic living here with public restrooms and showers. Shown here is Albert Jacobs, one of our engineering managers from South Africa and Richard Thompson, our top engineer at KAF from the UK.

More to come ...