Excess Humvees to BAF

My team is still trying to clear up the property book and we have given away or transferred everything possible, but we still have some excess up-armored Humvees to dispose of.  When we merged with the Brigade, our vehicle fleet doubled in size.  We managed to transfer 90% of our vehicle fleet except for two Humvees that aren’t as heavily armored as the other ones.  The closest place to dispose of these Humvees is Bagram Air Field (BAF).  As you already know, BAF is not our favorite place to visit and dealing with the BAF-fites is always an adventure.  Unfortunately, it was a necessary evil to clear the property book and only the BAF-fites could assist us.  We all promised to be on our best behavior, salute the officers, and try not to get upset at the bureaucratic processes in place.

AF Captain and SMSgt secure Humvees for transport.

Since we lacked the proper vehicles to transport the Humvees, we coordinated with our ANA counterparts for a joint mission.  They would provide the tractor and trailer and be integrated into our convoy.  Two of my teammates help secure the vehicles on the  .  The ANA soldier boasted about having more experience and he wanted to chain the vehicles down himself.  That is quite a change for an ANA soldier to step up like that and volunteer his services.

When I walked back to camp, I stopped at the gate to see how Bernie was doing.  The new soldiers who arrived are dog lovers and renamed the puppy, especially after I pointed out the puppy’s anatomy of being a boy… lol.  Bernie was sound asleep taking a

Bernie is taking a puppy nap.

puppy nap between two cement blocks and had his chin propped up on a piece of wood.  He didn’t have a care in the world.

The original plan was for 4 ANA LTVs and the tractor and trailer to join us at 5:20 am to depart for BAF.  I originally tried to go to sleep around 10:30 pm., but my new B-Hut mate has a severe case of sleep apnea and makes choking sounds in his sleep.  If he isn’t bellowing and gasping, then he is talking loudly in his sleep.  I also think he has restless leg syndrome because he constantly crashes into the thin plywood walls.  I last looked at the clock around 1 am and my alarm went off at 4 am.  Fortunately I wasn’t driving and would be the truck commander today.

Afghan men hoping to get hired for the day.

All of my teammates gathered at the MRAPs at 5 am and we prepared for the mission.  The ANA was on time, except they were missing 3 LTVs.  Never did find out what happened with them.  Driving to BAF, we drove through a different part of the city.  In the Pashtun market, the unskilled laborers were crowded at an intersection hoping to get hired for the day.  So

Afghan National Police providing security.

many people migrate to the capital city in hopes of finding a more prosperous life, but quickly find the competition is fierce and the wages are low.  Established Afghan businessmen are keen on maximizing profit by paying low wages to these unskilled workers.  I think they have taken a page from the business models US contractors

Afghan mud-brick house.

are using here in country.  They charge a hefty price, but maximize their profit by exploiting cheap labor.

Security in the city has definitely increased.  The ANP have established more checkpoints and armed policemen are seen throughout the city.  I think as more ANP are trained, this will continue to be the trend.  But the

Tending the sheep.

ANP still has an image problem due to corruption, theft, and bribery.  These issues are constantly being addressed and it will take time to win the people over and for the ANP to modify their behavior.  Hitting passing cars with the butt of their AK-47s only causes resentment among the populace.

After leaving the city, we passed through some smaller towns and more agricultural areas.  The farmers were busy tending to their livestock and the small shops waited on customers to buy their goods or produce.  An

Elderly Afghan man thumbs his prayer beads.

older man sat on a tin box threading his prayer beads through his hand.  I could only wonder if he was a wise tribal elder or just an elderly gentleman who has survived over 30 years of war.

Potholes on road leading to BAF.

It has been quite awhile since our last convoy trip to BAF.  The roads are in much worse shape than I remember and the potholes have spread like a bad disease.  It didn’t help matters that the slack in my seatbelt wasn’t retracting properly.  As a result, I was bounced around the inside of the MRAP like a rag doll.  I’m certain to have some new bruises when this mission ends.  To be cont’d ……..


One Response

  1. […] models US contractors. Afghan mud-brick house. are using here in country. … See more here: Excess Humvees to BAF « Afghanistan My Last Tour Share and […]

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