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来自阿富汗战场的电子邮件之四

已有 6711 次阅读 2008-9-4 10:26 |个人分类:往事如云|系统分类:海外观察|关键词:阿富汗战场| 阿富汗战场

Hello Everyone!

 

  Hope all is well and I'm still alive and well, thank goodness.  Some nights ago we took several indirect fires to our forward operating base.  It occurred in the middle of the night and next thing I know, I'm jumping out of my bed (wearing only shorts and t-shirt) and running to the nearest concrete bunkers for protection.  It happened so fast I didn't even have time to put on my body armor. 

 

  We're still busy trying to fight off the Talibans.   We're seeing the enemy changing their tactics and are starting to blow up bridges in an attempt to disrupt our freedom of movement and supply lines.  A couple weeks ago, they blew up 4 bridges along our main supply route (MSR).  Additionally, the enemy is also trying to attack more of our bases through vehicle suicide bombers (VSBIED), a new technique, tactics, and procedures (TTPs).  We've dealt with VBIEDs before but not insurgents strapped with explosives driving up to our bases and then blowing themselves up.  Now we have to adjust our fighting to these new TTPs.  It makes it difficult because we are very stretched thin in terms of the number of combat forces we currently have to sustain the fight in Afghanistan.  Perhaps the enemy has figured this out, which is probably why they've increased their activities in recent months.

 

  For this update, perhaps many of you are wondering what is it that I do out here in Afghanistan besides vacationing and getting a good tan? J Well, thought I'd take this update to share with you my role during this deployment.  As a member of Task Force Castle (an engineer brigade), we are the senior engineer force and have responsibilities for all engineering efforts that occur in the entire regional command in Afghanistan.  Our area of operations (AO) stretches all along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Since we are the best military in the world, we also get the most hot spot AOs to operate in Afghanistan too. Lucky for us.

 

  For my specific role, I am assigned to the staff of the commanding general as the brigade S-5 Civil-Military Operations officer.  In this capacity, I am responsible for all civil-military operations that go on in our AO.  I have direct liaison and work closely with local government leaders at the provincial and district level to provide humanitarian assistance to the local populace and assist them in building their country in the areas of development and governance.  Development projects that we are working with the people of Afghanistan are constructing bridges, schools, hospitals, training centers, etc.  A major initiative that w e are working with the Afghans is to produce a skilled labor force that will teach them construction trades which will allow them to work on our construction projects, thus putting an "Afghan" face to the projects vice US forces, thus showing their willingness to take control and build their own country.  The end state of this initiative will allow them to become a self sustaining independent Afghanistan with a sustainable economy, thus allowing our military forces to go home.  That is pretty much my mission here during this deployment.

 

  Attached photos, 1- With the help of my interpreter, I am discussing the progress of our bridge construction project with the contractor.  2- As a principal staff officer, I am briefing the general on civil-military operations matters during his commander's update brief. 

 

  Until my next updates.

 

  -Michael






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