In an effort to keep my postings shorter, I know, I can get pretty long winded sometimes, I'll try to limit what I write about. With that said, here goes. Oh, I also only have about 15 minutes to draft and post anything I want to write about this time.
SGT Aaron also has a blog page. While he didn't write much about Shelbystan, he wrote a good piece about our trip over. Here's the link to his page if you want to read his version and see the pictures he posted. http://afghan-adventures.blogspot.com/ You can also see his lovely wife and daughter. We had them over for home-made ice cream Sunday night of our leave and got to meet them. Cute family.
Aaron, Steve, Ken and the majority of Team 2 - our Shelbystan team - are going to be stationed at the same location as me so I'm happy about that - oh wait, I already told you guys that.
Anyway, we came down for the day to meet with our ANA (Afghan National Army) counterparts as well as our coalition counterparts. Since I am not replacing a JAG, I've got a few minutes before we leave and go back to Phoenix.
I'm excited about my job because I get to make it up. There's no written SOP (standard operating procedures) so I get to create my own. I get to work with and mentor my ANA JAG counterpart and assist him in implementing the new military justice system that has been established. A big part of what I'll be doing is dealing with corruption issues - things like stealing fuel, building supplies, etc. I'll be able to work with our forces and the ANA forces to try and curb the corruption that has plagued the Afghans for centuries.
Camp Blackhorse is a small base within the ANA base. We're told that it serves the best food but it's still food bought at Sysco and warmed up. I mean, how good can that get?
I'll be sharing a room with a LTC Scott Flannery. The rooms are designed for 4 people but for now, it will be just us. I haven't seen my actual room yet as the lock was broken and they were getting it fixed, but I saw another one that should be like mine. I'll have quite a bit of space for my own stuff as well as a corner that has a small couch and TV. I'm told that we can invest and purchase a cable box so we can get the Armed Forces Network directly into our room. May have to look into that.
The latrines are real bathrooms with hot and cold running water and it's all indoors. The toilets are real porcelain toilets and believe me, that's a real luxury when you've been using port-a-johns and make-shift bathrooms out of shipping containers. I think life will be good here.
There's no PX here and only a small coffee shop so I should be able to curtail my spending a little. Camp Phoenix is close and there are convoys going up there every day so I should be able to get most anything but will just have to wait a day or so in extreme cases.
This area is surrounded by mountains. It reminds me so much of Utah. We were told that would be the case and it's true. I'm sure once they get snow on them, I'll really be homesick.
Since I still don't have my Army computer yet, I haven't been able to download pictures. Once I do, I'll get them posted. When I looked at Aaron's page, I saw that he inserted video into his. Actually I knew that he had I just haven't had the time to learn how to do it. I'll have to have him show me as I've got lots of small video clips that I can put in here.
Anyway, I've gone on long enough for this entry, plus I'm almost out of time.
Later, I'll regail you of things we learned today.
Oh, most importantly, here's my mailing address in case you want to send me cool stuff or delicious home-baked goods, etc.
Send things to:
Robert Church (Don't put my rank on anything)
APO AE 09320