14 April 2010

Around Afghanistan

My job here in Afghanistan, in the grand scheme of things, is not very dangerous.

In the simplest terms, I run a military police department in charge of law and order for a base population of over 32,000 US/Coalition forces, DoD employees, civilian contractors and third world country/local nationals who work and live on base.

My team's job is to ensure the safe and secure environment for all other forces who's job is to go out and prosecute the war here in northeast Afghanistan.

Just like any civilian police department, we deal with all sorts of violent crimes (murders/sexual assaults), suicides, illegal drugs, assaults, drunk and disorderlies, vehicle accidents and all the petty little things that pop up on a daily basis. Throw in post-rocket attack operations and distinguished visitor security details and you begin to see the full scope of responsibilities we have.

As Bagram's Provost Marshal (think chief of police), I work for Combined Joint Task Force 82 (82d Airborne Division), charged with all law and order operations in Afghanistan. Unique for two reasons. First, my entire team is comprised of Air Force cops working directly for the Army. Second, being stationed at the same location as the 82d ABN DIV Headquarters element, I have had a unique opportunity to travel to all the law and order dets around the country to evaluate their operations and train them on the ever-changing tactics, techniques and procedures.

These missions have allowed me to see a lot of this country and provided several unique experiences, many of which I have documented in this blog.

On my very first mission back in Nov 09, I decided to take a picture of my daughter--one I had pinned to the wall of my living quarters--with me. I have carried it on me ever since.

In fact, it is one of two pictures I have on me at all times.

On every mission, I have found an opportunity to pose while holding Jenna's picture. To date, she has flown on fixed-wing aircraft over the Hindu Kush mountains, on helicopters skimming the terrain, been a part of several intra city convoys in the country's capital and responded to countless law enforcement situations. Jenna has been to Jalalabad (x3), Kabul (x2), Kandahar, Zareh Sharan, Khowst (just off the boarder of Pakistan), Pol-e 'Alam and of course Bagram.

Below is a collage of our best pictures. The coolest; top left, a hybrid pic (had to take two, then morph due to low lighing) taken in front of Air Force One at Bagram.

Flat Stanley Has Nothing On Jenna

"The Picture"

The other picture, I've carried every day next to my heart. It's of my wife ...

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