Posted on | December 25, 2010 | 29 Comments
I got no business being online, having arisen yesterday morning around 0800. Got all the duffel bags loaded into the truck (old school working party-style) around 1300 Christmas Eve and bussed over to the Air Force Base in Kuwait. Another working party unloaded truck, and whisked the duffel bags onto three pallets for for shipment. We boarded the C-17 in late afternoon, and got it underway for Bagram.
The load of sailors occupied rows of seats five abreast facing forward, and seats along the sides facing the centerline.
We arrived in Bagram around 0100 Christmas morning. We had to break down the baggage pallets and get the bags moved to another staging area. Slightly below freezing temperatures. In a briefing room, the NAVCENT forward staff collected our official orders and welcomed us to the area.
“Are you sick of hearing ‘huuu-aw’?” asked the Master Chief. (‘Hurry Up And Wait’, the Army mantra.) A chorus of agreement from the room. “Tough shit. You’re going to hear it a lot more.”
The briefings died down around 0230, and we took time to applaud one of our own, who, it turns out, was arriving to be the new NAVCENT Admin Officer.
Oh, and we had a 0700 muster for our brief flight southeast to Kabul proper. No point in trying to locate a place to sleep. So we went to the USO, where the WiFi was notional, the computer room a sauna, and an atrocious Eminem flick was playing.
The galley (dining facility or DFAC in Army-speak) opened at 0530, so I wandered through the dim, weird world of Conex boxes and temporary shelters for some entirely predictable military chow.
Seven o’clock rolled around, and we were moving the duffel bags to a new staging pallet for a trip on a Kentucky ANG C-130.
I called my sponsor on DSN, and he allowed that getting a ride across town from Kabul International to our current location on Christmas was going to be tough.
We got in around 0830, and the joint nature of the area was brought home by a company of French infrantry occupying the terminal. It later turned out that they were standing by to greet the French SECDEF.
A supply corps Lieutenant, possessed of nearly Stacy McCain-esque persistence, managed to finagle a couple of cars to fetch him, me, two others, and our crap. Details are murky, and I’m not sure I want to know.
Thus, after a solid 24 hours of travel, we made it to Kabul.
I would like to thank a special someone who really made all this possible: