“Armyisms” and Ban on Ammonium Nitrate

Army SFC in gunner's turret.

For the past 8 ½ months, I have written about my experiences, observations and opinions of being Air Force while being assigned with the Army.  Admittedly, I have chided them on some of their processes and in turn, they have apprised me on some unique Air Force peculiarities.  Of course, the outer planetary SNAFUs

Army SFC puts on gunner's harness.

experienced at Bagram Air Field still top my list, but today I encountered another one at Camp Phoenix.  As a result, I have coined my own term for these inimitable processes that make you scratch your head and stare in bewilderment.  From now until departure, I will refer to these as “Armyisms”.  Now don’t get me wrong, I value my Army brothers and would take a bullet for them, but some of their procedures have me perplexed.

Today’s mission was to travel to Camp Phoenix and turn in some up-armored HMMVWs.  We have too many vehicles and not enough people to sustain such a large fleet.  This was also a good opportunity to give our new teammates some driving time behind the wheel.

View of Kabul outskirts.

As such, I have been resigned to sit in the back of a MRAP as a dismount.  It was also an opportunity for me to take some pictures of the daily activities.  Even though we hit a concrete barrier before departing the base, I did not take a picture of it.  I think the new driver felt embarrassed enough and didn’t need to memorialize the event.

We cruised through the city with no problem.  The market area was back to normal and if you weren’t aware of the latest attack on Kabul, you would have never known the difference other than some additional security personnel strategically positioned throughout the city.  But I did notice more women returned to their habit of not wearing their burqa.  Based on my reader’s

Large mosque in Kabul.

comments, I wonder if there was a correlation on the day of attack.  I made the observation of more women were wearing burqas leading up to this particular day.  Perhaps it was pure coincidence or the weather is warming up again and this restrictive garment is rather warm to wear.

After arriving at Camp Phoenix, we took care of some administrative business and I tagged along with our ETT leader to their supply store.  He wanted to pick up some office supplies.  For this purpose, he is treated like the commander for the supply account and he authorizes members of the team to shop there.  But today he was doing the shopping.  He presented the clerk a letter showing he controlled the account

14th century ruins in Duralaman.

and funds expenditure for this particular account.  The clerk did not have a signature card on file for him.  Despite my leader’s attempt to understand, the Army clerk requested a signature card from him.  Now here is the kicker.  The signature card is normally signed by him as the commander authorizing other teammates to shop there.  But this time, the

Darulaman (Kings Palace) destroyed during the civil war after the Soviets departed.

clerk wanted a signature card authorizing him to shop there and signed by him as the authority.  So in a nutshell, he is signing a card authorizing his self to shop there.  Can you say Armyism?  I wonder if he has the authority to deny himself from shopping there? LOL

Afghanistan bans Ammonium Nitrate fertilizer

President Karzai issued a decree banning the use, production, storage, purchase or sale of Ammonium Nitrate.  This chemical compound has been used in 95% of the homemade bombs responsible for killing coalition forces and innocent civilians.  The farmers use it as a fertilizer on their fields and crops.  Now they have 1 month to turn in all of their stock of Ammonium Nitrate or face court action.  They are being directed to use Urea Nitrate instead.  The only problem with this fertilizer, it’s more expensive than Ammonium Nitrate.  Earlier this month, NATO and Afghan forces confiscated 10 tons of Ammonium Nitrate in the Kandahar Province.  Last November, they took possession of 250 tons of the suspect fertilizer in Kandahar.  The hope is this will decrease the amount of raw material readily available to construct deadly IEDs.

While a dismount (window licker) in the MRAP, I took a few pictures of what I viewed through the back and side windows of an MRAP.  Some of the pictures are rather clear, despite taking them through several inches of ballistic glass.


2 Responses

  1. In civilian life we describe your “armyism” as “clerks with a check list”. It is evidently becoming an epidemic.

    Love reading your blog; you give us insight we never have. Stay safe.

  2. to quot “Delta Bravo Sierra” (there’s strange…and then there’s Army strange. keep your eyes open for any burqas uses. it’s a ” fact” that folks on the inside hear things. stay safe.

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