22 February 2010

Comm Check

We all tend to take for granted the reliability of electronic communications when we want them. It's nice to simply write a quick e-mail, make a phone call, send a text or even post on a blog.

I will admit, having access to the Internet (specifically hotmail and Skype) over here have made things easier. But being in a third-world country, you quickly learn access is one thing, reliability is something completely different.

It is only during the times when it takes 30mins to type a short e-mail (becoming the norm lately) or when Skype calls get dropped 3, 4, 5 times in a span of 10 mins do I get frustrated. Not a bitch mind you. Things are light years ahead of what Dad had to deal with in another time; another place; another war.

As I was walking around the other day, I saw this and took a picture. Speaks for itself.

Won't tell you how long it took me to post this entry...

16 February 2010

Finding Religon

Indirect fire attacks are common here. Basically the little mountain men lob 3 to 6 rockets at a time at us on a random basis. You can either worry about it, or accept it as a fact of life.

We choose to accept it as something we have no control over. Two positives: 1) they use old Russian rockets; and 2) because they are old, they are not as accurate.

Every now and again you hear about amazing and bewildering events that defy explanation. I responded to one the other day.

In this case, one of the rockets found its mark. God was definitely present and the soldiers in this hut are all singing His praise. Flight path took it through the roof and two walls before exiting via the floor, detonating 6+ feet under ground. It missed one of the sleeping soldier's feet by about a 1/2 a foot.

The soldier was to rotate back home the following day after his 1-year tour. Thankfully he did, albeit with wood splinters as a reminder and a new found faith in God.

Pics in order: Roof, Wall, Floor, Detonation Point

09 February 2010

What Have I Learned?

We hit our mid-way point last Thurs. 90+ and a wake up and hopefully we will all be back home safely.

During the first 90 days, I have seen and experienced a lot of things, from the hilarious to the tragic. My people have done phenomenal things to advance the mission we have been given. We have all sacrificed a lot, personally and professionally. I am thankful for the opportunity to lead my team. They are true patriots.

So, what have I learned? I know while we cannot control what we will face on a daily basis, we can count on each other to make it through anything. Simply put, we do what we are suppose to do; selflessly take care of each other.

This deployment has made me a stronger leader. A stronger person.

"God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And the Wisdom to know the difference."

03 February 2010

Ask And You Shall Receive

Since our arrival in country it was evident we would have to resort to what just about every SF unit has to when they deploy ... scavenge & scrounge for supplies.

To date, my Airmen have not only "procured" needed supplies for our daily missions, but resorted to what AF SF are good at--self help. They started with the armory, building weapons & ammunition racks. Before guns were stacked on the floor and ammunition was literally kept in zip lock bags. Now, weapons are arranged by owner with ammo stored next to them.

Next they completely redesigned the law enforcement desk, tearing out the piece-meal furniture and constructing a solid wooden U-shape command and control counsel. Amazing work, complete with routed edging and finished counter tops.

All this done during their off time.

So, the other day I mentioned in passing how it would be nice if I had a desk that actually fit in my office. Current one was so big it took up half the office, leaving little room for equipment, let alone to maneuver in. My chair would slam against the wall every time I stood.

I got to work this morning and here is what I found. They even built a bookshelf to hold the printer, computer tower and all the other stuff that use to clutter the desk top. Impressive.