Transition: Kabul to Kandahar

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August 10th 2009
Published: August 10th 2009
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Staging all the vehicles for departure
-10 days till Afghan national elections.

The Georgia National Guard (48th)deployed record numbers of soldiers to Afghanistan-most of them took over ARSIC East, the eastern portion of Afghanistan encompassing the regions occupied by Illinois national guardsman. Unfortunately, our rip-out date was extended a few weeks so we could provide support out west while waiting for the 82nd to come in and take over. After the Georgia guys arrived in Camp Clark, I flew to Gardez and then to Kabul, where I settled at Camp Blackhorse for 7 weeks training and mentoring a new crop of Afghan soldiers, the 207th RCC (Route Clearance Company). From there we formed a 200+ vehicle convoy and drove from Camp Blackhorse by Kabul, to Camp Stone in Herat province next to the Iranian border, a journey along the ring route that circles much of Afghanistan. Our path covered much of the southern portion of the country, and we had to stop at a number of camps along the way, refueling and getting resupplied.
We were originally in our vehicles for 30 hours. A couple of ANA fell asleep while driving, resulting in a vehicle rollover and I had to medivac one ANA soldier. The temperatures

ANA cargo
were consistently in the 110 degree range, and I constantly reminded myself that before arriving in this country, all anyone talked about was the potential frigid weather we would encounter. We left Kabul on July 28 and arrived in Herat on August 9th. These pictures cover the trip to Kandahar-I will upload the rest of the pictures covering Kandahar to Herat in a couple of days.

While I was at Camp Blackhorse, on July 7th, SPC Chris Talbert was killed when his vehicle struck a bomb in Herat where I am headed. Chris was a fellow medic out of my unit in Marion, Illinois. I met his parents at Fort Bragg in November during a break in our deployment training-they were the only ones that I know of to make the drive from Illinois to North Carolina. I cannot imagine what they are going through right now.

Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


the local wildlifethe local wildlife
the local wildlife

the local wildlife
Leaving KabulLeaving Kabul
Leaving Kabul

Leaving Kabul
IED craterIED crater
IED crater

Remnants of IEDs were seen mostly on the stretch between Kabul and Kandahar
Housing outside KabulHousing outside Kabul
Housing outside Kabul

Housing outside Kabul overlooking ring route

a few miles outside of Kabul

surveillance blimp outside of Gazni

Local stripmall in kabul

We had to detour around a bridge that collapsed after IED took it out.

Heading into sandstorm outside of Kandahar

ANA checkpoint as we resupplied at Gazni

They load as much as they can on anything that moves

Headed into Qalot

Another IED hole

12th October 2009

it is nice that you remember our son. thank you.
14th October 2009

Your welcome and my condolences-he took pride in what he did and is missed by many.
13th January 2010

Blog of the year 2009, in the Middle East/photography category
Check this out. :)

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