Archive for July, 2009

What’s new?

Posted in In country on July 23, 2009 by jetgwot

Let’s see. Last week, Admiral Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff flew into Ramrod to give out 5 Purple Heart Medals and meet the troops stationed here. It was great to meet him and almost everyone got coined by him personally.

On Sunday, the Ramrod Chapel held its first baptism. Some things you never expect to see out here, and that was definitely one of them.

Since then, I’ve been out on a couple humanitarian missions and another small mission involving a tunnel we thought was being used to store weapons. Turned out it was a cooking pit and a tunnel to get under a main road.

On the way home from that mission, we came across a civilian convoy that had just been ambushed. Five trucks had their tires shot out and then set on fire. Only one driver was injured. The Afghan drivers were taking U.S. supplies to the Marines in Helmand. Too bad they didn’t make it there. Our battalion was able to help secure the area until we could safely remove the remaining two containers. We then dragged the burnt out trucks off the road. It took almost 10 hours to finish clearing the highway. All this after being up since 1 a.m. in the morning for the previous mission. Needless to say, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and crashed as soon as we got back.

Enjoy the pictures. More to follow.

OP Hem Tunnel (21)

OP Hem Tunnel (55)

Humanitarian (154)

Humanitarian (94)

Humanitarian (74)

Humanitarian (41)

Humanitarian (25)

Humanitarian (4)

Baptism (4)

Ambush (61)

Ambush (40)

Ambush (8)

Ambush (6)

Admiral Mullen (107)

Admiral Mullen (106)

Admiral Mullen (46)

Busy

Posted in 1 on July 21, 2009 by jetgwot

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I’ve had the busiest week since I got here. I’ve got some great pictures to post of the Soldiers and Afghans. I’ll be back in a few hours to load them up. Talk to you soon!

OPSEC

Posted in In country on July 13, 2009 by jetgwot

I’ve gotten a few posts from families and friends concerned about mentioning Soldier’s names on this blog. I’ve went ahead and taken most of the references to any of them off of here. Years ago, we were not able to mention last names of anyone deployed. Since then, the DoD has changed their policy.

Whenever we write any articles about the 1-12th, we include names and even hometowns of the Soldiers we write about. Typically, I’ll send those articles and photos back to their hometowns in hopes the local newspapers will pick them up. At a minimum, they are sent back to Fort Carson to be published. I recently loaded some photos of a couple of our Soldiers on their first major operation. I’ll probably be posting the link on here, but it includes some of their names as well. I wouldn’t go about putting full addresses out there, but you will see their names. If you look online at all of the branches of Service, you’ll see deployed photos and articles identifying Soldiers.

But, in the future, feel free to send me a private message and I’ll look into getting a message to a Soldier here at Ramrod or updating you on what’s going on.

Ramrod Q’s of the week

Posted in In country on July 9, 2009 by jetgwot

So, I’m opening up my blog to any questions you might have about FOB Ramrod, the surrounding area, the 1-12th Infantry Regiment or just about daily life in general. I have to take a quick trip up to Kandahar AirField for a few days, but I’ll answer any questions while I’m away. I know a lot of Soldiers families and friends are keeping up with this blog; and they just might have some questions about this place that I haven’t thought to cover.

On a side note, I received an overwhelming response from folks back home that would like to send care packages to our troops here. I’m going to get with our first sergeant and see what he recommends, but I think the best way to do it is to address it to our first sergeants here to disseminate to the Soldiers as they see fit. They know who might be “left out” and they can better distribute the packages than I could.

I’ll get back to you on that. For now, shoot me your questions and I’ll have an answer for you as soon as possible.

It’s the care from the package that matters

Posted in In country with tags , , , on July 8, 2009 by jetgwot

It doesn’t matter what’s in it. In fact, it’s more of the thought that counts. And, if you haven’t yet, finish reading this, go to the store, buy some “stuff” and send it off to whoever you know out here.

When you are deployed, receiving a care package is like waking up and realizing it’s Christmas. As soon as we hear the helicopter, or mailcopter as I like to call it, we dash to the connex and wait with eager anticipation of a care package. Alright, maybe we don’t dash their, but we certainly briskly walk to it.  Like I said, it doesn’t really matter what’s in it. It just means a lot to know someone was thinking about you stateside.

A church of my parents sent me about 20 letters thanking me for my service and praying for my safety while I was here. It was so thoughtful and made my day. I was sitting in the chow hall when someone walked in and handed me a bundle of letters. I felt loved.

So as much as that Soldier might tell you he doesn’t want you to send him anything — do it anyway. We can’t get anything much of anything in this dustbowl, so even if you raid your pantry and throw in some granola bars, some fig newtons and a box of cereal, it will make their day — possibly even their week.

Flyleaf

Posted in In country with tags , , , , , on July 7, 2009 by jetgwot
Flyleaf in concert at FOB Ramrod

Flyleaf in concert at FOB Ramrod

The band Flyleaf touched down at Forward Operating Base Ramrod July 5 to the delight of hundreds of Soldiers and civilians. The band held a meet and greet with the Soldiers and then went over to the Canadian Artillery side of the base and fired off several 155mm illumination rounds. They can shoot up to 40 kilometers away with pinpoint accuracy.

After that, they held a two-hour concert on our makeshift stage directly between the chapel and our Rocky-style gym. It was a great time and a much-needed morale booster for everyone here. Who would have thought in Southern Afghanistan that we would be listening to an internationally known “Christian” Rockband?

The band left early the next day, but they stayed after the concert to sign everything from scraps of paper to Soldiers shirts. I’m sure we’ll see some of the items being auctioned on E-bay.

I’d like to personally thank Flyleaf for coming out here. For two hours no one thought of fighting, or worried about their next patrol; they just stood their smiling and singing along with a band who wanted to show their appreciation for all the military does. Thanks Flyleaf!

Flyleaf

Flyleaf

Flyleaf

Flyleaf

1-12th’s first operation

Posted in In country with tags , , , on July 6, 2009 by jetgwot

The 1-12th Infantry Regiment conducted their first operation in the Maywand District area late, last week.

An Afghan girl

The battalion moved out at night using night vision goggles to guide their way. The goal of the mission was to disrupt insurgent activity and to uncover any enemy caches. We also met with village elders to discuss their needs and help determine we can help them stabilize the area they live in.

The overall mission was successful. We did have a couple of heat casualties, who were quickly given IVs and taken by medevac. The long walk back in 100 plus temps certainly played a toll on everyone.

Last night, the Christian Rockband, Flyleaf, came out for the day and met with troops, followed by an hour-long concert. I’ll post some of those pictures later today. They definitely were a boost to morale out here.

A quick nap

Troops on patrol

Meeting with village elder

Can we play?