Friday, June 5, 2009

Get to the Chopper...The Chopper

Arnold is the king of one liners, and since I tend to steal everyone else's lines and pawn them off as my own, this blog entry will be dedicated to Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I had my first trip out of Kabul this week and it was interesting. This past Saturday I received a message from the Aid Director telling me that I needed to get my 'ass to mars' --Mars being Bagram Airfield up north -- to retrieve information on how development funds are being used in the various Afghan provinces. To get my ass there I had to employ the services of Aid's Airforce (yes, Aid has its own Airwing) and had to 'get to the chopper' by 9am. We loaded up on the helo and headed out, but turned around shortly after takeoff because the airbase was closed for a ceremonial changing of the guard. After a few hours we took off again and headed to the airbase. On the chopper it was me, another guy, and two former Royal Marines with AKs (and it was a good flight because they did not have to user their AKs). We landed safely and I was escorted into the base for my meetings.

The meetings went well, and I got agreement from the Lt. Colonel to provide me with the info. If he hadn't agreed to give it up I would have said 'screw you Benny' and gone above his head. After the meeting it was lunch time and I was lucky because 'I eat Green Berets for lunch and right then I was very hungry.' After chow I made the rounds and was introduced to other people involved with Civil Affairs.

After a few hours it was sleepy time. The military was kind enough to put me up in a B-Hut, which is military-speak for a wood shack with eight other guys next to the air fields. Between the 7 snoring guys and the F-18s taking off all night long, I did not get much sleep.

The next day I received a text message from the Director saying that if I did not get the requested data that I was to 'stick around' the airbase permanently. Lucky for me I had the data in hand and headed off to catch my flight back. The most interesting part of the flight was getting to the plane. No one at the airbase had any clue about Aid's Airwing. Ultimately I had to run across the airfield, dodging A-10s, to get to the plane. When I landed at the Kabul airfield I was picked up and taken back to Aid. With the response I got when I returned with the data in hand, you would have thought I was carrying the Holy Grail.

I was so tired after my trip that I made a sign that read 'Don't disturb my friend, he's dead tired,' and hung it on my door. All in all it was good trip and I returned to the compound a hero.

Well I need to plan for my next adventure to the far unknown. Maybe after my next trip I will infuse my blog with Chuck Norris jokes. Did you know that Chuck Norris doesn’t go hunting? Chuck Norris goes killing…hunting implies failure.

Talk to you all later.


  1. Hahaha LOVE the Chuck Norris comment, and the Arnold influence. Glad to hear your first trip went alright.

  2. So....I don't get it....couldn't you just go to the courtesy desk where they have all those volunteers in the spiffy jackets and all the tourist guide books and advertisements and just ask which gate you should go to?


  3. Nick...the hero! Not bad accomplishment for your first trip outside of Kabul! Miss you!