Rainy Days and Armyisms

Rainy day.

Lately it has been rather dreary due to the sporadic cold rain showers we are receiving.  Today is the third day in a row we have received intermittent rain.  The farmers are not complaining as this has been an extremely mild winter and Afghanistan is still experiencing another drought season.  For the city dwellers it’s a double-edged sword.  The rainfall helps quell the choking dust, but at the same time due to poor drainage, large puddles form and the layers of dust form a muddy paste where it flows.  I also find it interesting that even when it rains, not many Afghans use umbrellas to stay dry.

AF TSgt tightening fuel cap.

For us, a little bit of rain doesn’t deter the mission.  Our timing coincided between light showers and allowed us to inspect our up-armored vehicles and fill them with fuel.  We were preparing them for our next mission for which I would be convoy commander again.  We planned to visit Kabul International Airport (KAIA) first and then travel to Camp Phoenix next.  The roads were still muddy from all of the rain and the locals were gathered at the side of the road waiting on buses and taxis.  My Captain

Muddy day in Kabul.

was practicing good COIN by not splashing the citizens as we drove by.  I couldn’t say the same for the local traffic as they weaved in and out of traffic trying to get that one or two car length advantage.  Often you feel like you are participating in a race as cars dodge in and out for the lead.  Driving huge MRAPs, we have the biggest advantage of being the largest vehicle and armed with mounted machine guns is also very persuasive.  It’s quite a deterrent and vehicles pull off and get out of our way.  We also swerve in and out, but it’s usually due to large potholes, traffic stopped in the middle of the road, broken down vehicles, donkey and horse carts, or bicycles and pedestrians who don’t think twice about running in front of our convoys.

We dropped off our teammate at KAIA and he was smiling because he was flying back to his home in Colorado to start his 2 weeks of R&R leave.  We didn’t stay long there and quickly departed.  We were only a ½ mile out of the gate when one of the up-armored Humvees radioed me that they were having mechanical problems.  Something came loose on the vehicle and was almost dragging on the ground.  That something turned out to be a drive shaft.  As a result, this slowed our convoy speed down to 15 mph.  Fortunately we didn’t have to travel very far because Camp Phoenix was only a few miles away.  So we putted along the highway until we reached Camp Phoenix and turned it into vehicle maintenance.  Once again I have to give kudos to the vehicle maintainers there.  They were able to fix our vehicle the same day.  We also learned our mechanics were at fault for using the wrong size washers on the bolts allowing the drive shaft to rock free or something to that effect.  I don’t proclaim to be a mechanic or understand all the inner workings of these components.

It’s been several weeks since I had an opportunity to mail anything out.  I kept missing the specified camp day when they accept items here (once every two weeks).  Tomorrow is the wife’s birthday and I wanted to send something special to her.  Well actually her birthday is every 4 years since she is a Leap Year baby.  So when I am old and gray, she will still be celebrating her teenager birthdays …. lol.  Anyhow, one of my teammates was mailing out some personal effects too.  The post office personnel inspect the boxes and contents before they are mailed.  He was trying to mail out some

Rubber magazine holder.

rubber attachments and they were disallowed.  These rubber holders attach to a weapon magazine.  But according to Camp Phoenix policy, you are not allowed to mail out weapon associated items.  I have to put this one into the category of “Armyism.”   Recall this is the phrase I coined for processes unique to the Army that make me scratch my head and fail to understand the logic in it.   I fail to see the harm of mailing out rubber made items associated with a weapon.

It was still morning and my teammates would experience two more “Armyisms” before the day was over….to be cont’d …….


One Response

  1. Yeah it boggles the mine don’t it. 🙂

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