Archive for September, 2009

Posted in In country with tags , , on September 29, 2009 by jetgwot
Gettin' in touch

Soldiers take advantage of the Canadian's wireless internet. At night, it's like a cluster of fireflies as everyone fights for connectivity.

The line for lunch and dinner typically averages 30-40 minutes. If you don't wait in line, you run the risk of getting no food at all.

The line for lunch and dinner typically averages 30-40 minutes. If you don't wait in line, you run the risk of getting no food at all.

My tent

My tent

EOD bomb team on a British Operation

EOD bomb team on a British Operation

EOD on patrol

EOD on patrol

Tank power

Tank power

Our first sandstorm at Wilson. Lasted close to 4 hours.

Our first sandstorm at Wilson. Lasted close to 4 hours.

Chinook leaving Canadian base

A Canadian tank with an awesome backdrop at a base 20 minutes from here.

A Canadian tank with an awesome backdrop at a base 20 minutes from here.

Back at Wilson

Posted in 1 on September 27, 2009 by jetgwot

So, I’m back at Wilson. Just a quick day trip to Kandahar and back.  I have to say, the lamb kabob and naan bread was absolutely delicious. Followed up by a green bean coffee, and I was set. Then I returned here … it’s not so bad. Internet is working, for now.

Net: I was asked if we could use another volleyball net. The one we have here seems to be in great condition, so for now, we are ok on that. Apart from snacks, I have to say, it’s the little stuff you wouldn’t think of that will go a long way.

Thanks to some new friends of mine, I received a frisbee, small football, baseball (the soft kind) and other misc toys. That’s the kind of stuff I wasn’t expecting, but honestly, I’ve found myself throwing those things at my roommates and going outside to throw frisbee just to relax.

I think the best method for picking out stuff for Soldiers is to take a child shopping with you. Let them pick out some stuff and send it. You won’t be to far off with what will make a Soldier’s day out here.

I hope everyone is doing well. We are finally getting situated and the Battalion is going to be doing some really exciting things in the Zhari District. I’ll fill you in later on the details.

A much-needed update

Posted in In country with tags , , , , , on September 26, 2009 by jetgwot

Hi everyone,

Let’s start off with today. I’m at Kandahar for a day to resupply on the necessities. We were running low on laundry soap and other essentials. I was hoping to pick up a small fridge, but they only had 220V fridges. No benne! Oh well. Warm water it is.

MAIL: So, all mail is being redirected to Wilson. If you Ramrodded it, don’t worry. It’s been showing up here at Wilson. For future reference, just switch FOB names and keep the rest the same.

Life on the FOB so far. Well, a new chow hall has opened although the Tuesday menu has stayed the same. Which means nothing but cereal, soup, and scrounge-a-meal-on-your-own. I hear rumors that the Tuesday famine might be changing. We’ll keep our stomachs crossed until then.

Some interesting news. I’ve arranged for Good Morning America to come out and cover the battalion. I can’t give exact dates, but I will be posting the dates that they will be shooting live the day or morning of the shoots. Keep an eye out for it, you’ll probably see some Soldiers you know on the show! Pretty cool, I thought so too.

What else can I tell you about the FOB. Oh, ok. We have a sand volleyball court. Typically you’ll find teams playing in the early evening when things cool off. The Canadian wireless internet is hit and miss — and from what I hear, is soon going to be a complete miss. Hopefully our S6 (comms) shop will have the MWR computers hooked up soon. Until then, we are fortunate to have the wireless.

Phones: Currently, there are no DSN phones to use unless Soldiers ask their company commanders to borrow their office phones. It’s in the works and routine calling should be available soon. So, it’s not that your hubby or wife doesn’t want to chat — they just don’t have the ability to do so.

Work: Things have been slow transitioning to the new FOB. Soldiers have been busy building their tents and making this “homey.” They are trying to clear a field for football and soccer and a running track should be grated soon. (We hope)

I’ve got some new pictures to post, but my camera is back at Wilson. I return shortly and will have some new ones to post.

Oh, we have a 30-45 minute wait for chow everyday. Why, you ask? Because they typically run out of food and if you don’t get there early, you usually end up with the scraps. Which, for those of us that could stand to lose a few pounds, it isn’t such a bad thing!

Alright, send me any questions you might have. Take care and I’ll be posting more frequently as long as the internet connection sticks with me.

Despite low supplies, tent almost built

Posted in In country on September 14, 2009 by jetgwot

So after four days, our rough tent has transformed into our new living quarters for the next few months. Despite an immense wood shortage, we managed to scrounge, beg and pilfer enough wood to complete our floor and frame out our rooms. I’ll take some pictures tomorrow to give you a better idea of our living conditions.

Now we wait for AC. But, at least we have a roof over our head and a bed to sleep in.

Tomorrow, I plan to build some shelving, a barber chair (I cut a lot of the guys hair on the FOB — we don’t have a barber), and put up a sun shade on our palletized porch. Good fun.

Then, unfortunately, I’ll have to hang my carpenter’s hat back up and go back to my real job. Not that I don’t love it; I’ve just been having a lot of fun building.

Anyway, have a great night and thanks for your comments. It’s always great hearing from you guys. Oh, yesterday was my 27th birthday. I didn’t get a cake, but i pretended to blow out candles on the fruit salad I had for dessert.

FOB Wilson

Posted in In country on September 12, 2009 by jetgwot

So here I am, at Forward Operating Base Wilson in the Zhari District. First off, for those of you worried about some of the Soldiers that may have moved here and won’t get there mail. Don’t worry, it is being redirected, it will just take a bit longer. I would make sure you verify if your Soldier has moved before you send anything else.

I can’t give too much information right now on our move to Wilson, but you’ll be hearing more about it in the next week or two. For me, living here is a bit different than Ramrod. We have some Canadians here (for the time being), and thankfully they have wireless internet. Which, is what I’m using right now. Unfortunately, when they leave, so does the internet. Hopefully, we’ll have something set up so that the Soldiers can communicate back home. They don’t even have phones hooked up for most of the Soldiers yet.

This is a very tiny FOB and we are in the process of expanding it. The past couple days have involved me building my tent from the ground up. I moved in tonight, but we have yet to get AC or proper electricity. Supplies are low and we are like alley rats trying to scrounge up some material to build what we need.

Chow: Currently, the Canadians are cooking until they leave. Some of our Echo Company Soldiers help them. For the most part, it’s awesome. Great salads (even salmon) and they do great barbecues. For whatever reason, they don’t serve food on Tuesdays. We’ll have to see how that plays out. For lunch, they have salads and leftovers from the night before. For some reason, I think I’m losing weight.

I’ll fill you in on life at the FOB as the days go on. As a head’s up. If you know a Soldier is here, and you want to send him a package, just change the name of the FOB from Ramrod to Wilson. The rest stays the same.

Getting colder

Posted in In country on September 9, 2009 by jetgwot

Well, the weather is finally cooling off a bit. In fact, at night, I find myself looking for my fleece to put on. Of course, cold for us is usually about low 80’s, high 70’s, but our bodies have adjusted to 110 plus temperatures so this just feels plain cold.

Moving on, our battalion is actually moving on to another FOB (Forward Operating Base). I can’ t give much more detail than that right now, but I will soon.

Another bit of news. I’ve been posting some articles and images to this website, click here.

Go there to check out the latest news and info from our Battalion.

Battle-focused PT

Posted in In country on September 5, 2009 by jetgwot

As dawn began to break on the horizon, more than a dozen support and personnel Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment found themselves out from their desks and in full “battle rattle,” on a dirt track at Forward Operating Base Ramrod, Sept. 4.

Complete with body armor and combat boots, these Soldiers were part of what Maj. Korey Brown, 1-12 IN executive officer, likes to call, “Team building.”

For the complete article, click here.