The Airborne Timeline

Oh the places we never thought we'd go

The Possibilities of Shipping Containers

Afternoon all.  It is about 4 pm over here at lovely FOB Warrior.  Actually, there is very little loveliness aside from the stars at night and the mountains on a clear day.  Everything else is brown.  most days, even the sky seems brown becuase the dust covers everything.  There is dirt/dust EVERYWHERE!  On everything.  It finds its ways into the seams of uniforms, rear molars, ear canals…anything and everything.  I have been working with my platoon out on the flightline or the airfield and the constantly landing helicopters only serve to swirl the dirt directly at face level.  There is no escaping.  But aside from the inescapable earth, things are fine.  We are safely to our last stop in Afghanistan nearly 10 days, 5 plane rides, multiple bus rides, hours spent waiting at passenger terminals, at least a combined 2 miles of bag lugging, and a helicopter ride later.  Welcome to FOB Warrior. 

We are taking over from a Polish task force that seems to have low hygiene standards with the exception of their vehicles.  Those they wash daily, despite them immediately getting filthy again because of the dust, and they are the most careless drivers.  I have never seen someone reverse a 5 ton truck hanging out of the drivers door, foot on the gas, no hands on the steering wheel, and not looking the direction the truck is traveling.  Since their operations ceased a few months ago (the Polish Government quashed their combat operations after 5 soldiers died in an IED attack), they seem to have taken up sunbathing and trashing the base.  We are waiting for them to leave in order to do some major renovations and make the FOB more livable. 

I am currently living in a tent with 19 other females on cot bunk beds, if you can imagine it.  The tents are overheated and overcrowded, but it is somewhere to sleep.  Most bathrooms are porta potties, and there is one set of showers for all the females.  They did open another chow hall today.  Food is actually pretty good for mess hall food.  There is cut up fresh fruit in the morning, a good cereal selection (they even have soymilk!) and some vegetables.  There are no snacks available really, so please send some goodies for my soldiers! 

Our work right now involves manual labor and construction.  Military intelligence sounds very brain and desk oriented, but we have to build the facilities to properly store the classified material and get the systems set up as well.  My platoon has had to claim part of the airfield, move a ton of rocks, level and grade a path, and lay down metal runway sheets.  It is slow going and we still have a long way to go.  The biggest issue is Material Handling equipment, basically earth movers, bulldozers, cranes, bucket loaders, etc.  Everyone fights over them, and the local drivers aren’t always into working.  Our containers of equipment arrive by local trucks (called jingle trucks because each driver decorates his truck almost garishly with colorful paint and bells) and much of my day is spent wandering around trying to find my equipment.  We are all lobster red in the face from the sun, with big raccoon eye tans from our ballistic sunglasses.  Winter went straight to summer. 

It truly is amazing what you can do with a shipping container.  Ship things obviously, but some have doors and people live in them or make them offices.  Some are bathrooms and showers.  Some are so snazzy it is almost comical. 

All in all, things are fine.  I can’t wait to come home of course, but we have a lot to do over here.  Love to everyone!  Hope yall are well! 

 

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Shalom Yall!

Shalom from Afghanistan everyone!  After a few days of travelling, I have made it in country, although I am still far from my final destination and have no idea when I will actually make it there.  The flights over were long, and the one into Afghanistan felt like a roller coaster.  The landing was especially like the coaster Dungeon Drop (for those who remember the glory days of Astroworld), where you seem to drop for a minute and come to a screeching halt.  C-17s actually have pretty good brakes, thankfully.  I am currently on my top bunk of the second transit camp we have been to, something akin to a nice refugee camp or horribly overcrowded summer camp.  Everything is tents and shipping containers, including showers, toilets, and dining facilities.  Being a nicer air base (join the Air Force, they always have the nicest stuff and most amenities), there are tiny wooden stands for pizza hut, subway, and a larger hut for Green Beans Coffee. Everyone here is either on their way out or waiting for flights to their final destination.  Living in this peripatetic manner is obnoxious, to say the least, but the base here will be much nicer than the one I am headed to.  The pervading mood here is frustration:  everyone wants to move on.  We want to get to where we’re going and do what we came to do…not sit in a tent and wait.  Such is the Airborne Timeline.  They say the waiting to go is the worst part of a deployment…let’s hope they are right.

More to follow!

From Here to There

Hello Yall!  Welcome to The Airborne Timeline.  Blogging is new for me, and yes I did get the idea from my precious sister Rachel (lonestarsquared.wordpress.com if you haven’t checked it out!).  For once in her life, she may have been on to something.  I am unsure of the connectivity situation where I am going, but when I do get a chance, this blog will be the best way to reach all of yall!  Time is something I will definitely not have a lot of…neither are showers apparently.

I promise to try and write here as much as I can!  And do the same with showering…

 

My address is currently:

Hannah R. Rosenthal

B Co, 1BSTB, 1BCT, 82D ABN

APO AE 09323

If you want to send something to my entire platoon ( I have about 17 guys, hoping to get a few more), replace my name with TUAS Platoon.  Anything and everything is greatly appreciated!

 

This is a very short post, and I apologize for that, but I am counting down the hours and still feel like there’s a million things I need to do!

 

I miss yall very much and cannot wait to come home again!  Here’s to adventure!

-Hannah

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