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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/13/2005 5:15:12 AM EDT
My best friend Mike, left for a 4 month deployment in the sandbox yesterday morning.

Mike has been in 22 years.

He has a wife of 19 years and 2 kids both in high school. This was probably his most difficult deployment ever.

He and I both appreciate your prayers for his safe return.

I'd appreciate any advice from those currently @ Bagram of those who have been there recently.

God bless all our service men and women!



Give 'em hell Mike!
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 5:41:14 AM EDT
Dude, 4 months? That's at most 1 big bottle of Gold Bond and a medium bag of gummy bears.
He will have to deal with some cold though, and I don't envy that. Gotta be rough on kids though, hopefully he'll have some email/phone connectivity.
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 10:25:57 AM EDT
+1 on the cold. He will see snow. It was cold enough to freeze diesel in Kabul last winter. If his job keeps him at Bagram he should be set. The last time I was there (April) they had a decent PX, an Internet Cafe, a BK, pizza place, and a Thai place.
If he's only there for four months, he should be ok. If you're looking to send him something, make sure that he's ready for the cold!
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 3:59:00 PM EDT
Theres fast food, multiple internet and phone places, and two PX's. He'll be fine. If he stays inside the wire, it'll almost be like being stationed stateside.

Silly rules, and fairly safe. I was running missions out of Bagram for about 3 months last year. And yes, hes gonna FREEZE his ass off.
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 11:30:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2005 11:40:13 PM EDT by Garand_Shooter]
4 months? Shit I wish.

I am here now, been here 5 months, 8 left.

Bagram is the best place here, like they have said it is almost like being stateside, we haven't even been rocketed for a few months now. I am here about half the time, and out at FOB's the other. I wish those who bitch about here could go see how our guys live out from here.

Hell, Bagram is like going TDY without beer and sex.

Tell him to negotiaite hard if he is buying anything from the locals, the AF guys seem to have the worst bargaining skills and run prices up for everyone else. The north DFAC is by far the best facility to eat at.

If he needs anything from the Engineers (like another C-17 hauled off on a flatbed trailer) I can hook him up.

Oh, and if the sign on the fence says mines, don't cross it. And if an Army engineer talls you don't walk there, listen to him. BTDT seen what happens when they don't.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 1:07:21 AM EDT
Post some pics of the "base"/ I hear it's changed/grown quite a bit since I was there in December 01.

Advice: Stay on the tarmac.

Sat Photos





I died there on 18 December. I've since recovered.


Army Times
April 29, 2002
Pg. 16

Booby-Trap Might Have Killed EOD Soldiers By Matthew Cox, Times staff writer

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan - A booby trap may have caused an explosion that killed four soldiers near Kandahar before they could detonate a pile of abandoned 107 mm rockets.

The April 15 accident occurred when soldiers of the 710th Explosive Ordnance Detachment from San Diego prepared to dispose of about 250 Soviet-made rockets. The rockets were confiscated from Taliban ammunition dumps in an area north of Kandahar known as "ammunition alley," said Maj. Bryan Hilferty, spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

They were working near the former residence of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammed Omar.

The soldiers were stacking the rockets, by hand, in a pit along with C-4 explosive when the explosives went off. The blast killed Staff Sgt. Justin J. Galewski, 28, Staff Sgt. Brian T. Craig, 27, and Sgt. Jamie O. Maugans, 27, all from the 710th, and Sgt. 1st Class Daniel A. Romero, 30, of the 19th Special Forces Group out of Pueblo, Col.

A fifth soldier, whose name has not been released, was injured in the explosion and is listed in stable condition, Hilferty said.

They are the first EOD soldiers killed in Afghanistan while clearing the countless caches of unexploded munitions that have littered the ground from 20 years of war. Staff Sgt. Matthew Hess of the 744th Explosive Ordnance Detachment died Dec. 18 after he stepped on a land mine at Bagram Air Base.

An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the most recent explosion. While few details are known, a possible cause may be that the rockets were booby-trapped before being abandoned, said Maj. Erik Stor, the senior U.S. combat engineer in Afghanistan.

"There is a technique in this country of booby-trapping munitions," Stor said. "That possibility exists only because that has been a precedent that has been set in the past."

American EOD troops have run into booby-trapped munition caches before, but have always detected signs of tampering before accidents like this could occur, Stor said. Some of the more common signs include exposed wiring or an appearance that the artillery shell or rocket has been dismantled and improperly re-assembled, he said.

"These guys are trained to look for things like this," Stor said. "Even if it looks suspicious, even remotely suspicious, EOD is trained to back off.

"It was a very solemn day around here. We all felt the pain. Terrible. It was a terrible loss of life."

Disposing of explosives has always been a high-risk job, but the recent deaths of these four soldiers shocked the EOD community here and sent a sobering message that their job is far from over.

"We are all quite shaken," said Capt. Rob Mitchell, commander of the 744th EOD, which operates in Bagram. "We would like to know the roots of the cause, since we deal with this on a frequent basis."

The 710th has been in Afghanistan since October, charged with clearing explosives from what the United Nations has described as one of the world's most heavily mined countries.

The unit arrived Jan. 23 at the Kandahar Airfield after operations in the north and searching caves in the Tora Bora region. Over the next few months, the unit's soldiers destroyed ordnance ranging from old Soviet fuel-air bombs to unexploded bombs dropped by U.S. pilots.

"We've done detonations almost every day we've been here," 1st Lt. Kevin Wynes told an Army journalist last month. "We can't get rid of all the stuff that's out here."

Wynes stepped in as interim commander when Capt. Keith Nelson stepped on a bomb fuse in February and injured his foot. Nelson has since returned to command, said Lt. Col. Howard Rudat, deputy commander of the Army's main ordnance group in Georgia.

Back at home, the unit's primary duty is to help Southern California law enforcement authorities defuse military explosives.


source

Good old press/media: as reliable then as they are now.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 2:56:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2005 3:03:27 AM EDT by Garand_Shooter]
We have all the mined area fenced and marked now, but the advice is always.

Walk on the pavement,
If no pavement, walk on the gravel
If no gravel, walk on the cleared path
If no created path, find another route

If you are outside the wire, painted rocks are the standard here for marking, We can't use anything else as it will be stolen, and it is the method used before we got here. Stay away from painted rocks.

And listen if an Army Tells you not to walk somewhere... some AF EOD learned that the hard way.

From the AF he shouldn't be aorund too many danger areas although some areas adjacent to the tarmac and runawy are yet to be proofed.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 9:16:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2005 10:09:13 AM EDT by pathfinder74]

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
We have all the mined area fenced and marked now, but the advice is always.

Walk on the pavement,
If no pavement, walk on the gravel
If no gravel, walk on the cleared path
If no created path, find another route





A lot of the area on the other ide of the flight line was sketchy. We had a cleared area where we did demo ops. Outisde of that there were two way to know if an area was mined: sticking a probe in the ground... or step on something.

The locals were NOT the most reliabe source for what areas were and were not mined. Sometimes we wondered if they were lying when they said an area wasn't mined so they could watch us walk into it.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 9:57:15 AM EDT
Over half of the far side is done now, the area where all the aircraft berms were is a huge connex yard. We (my BN) are clearing more ground faster than any unit before us...in fact at the halfway point we have already done more in our tour tha the two previous units combined.

The only thing you can trust from a local is watching where he actually walks........
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 10:09:48 AM EDT
Did they move all of those old jets that were laying around there?
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 11:36:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SlimHazy:
Dude, 4 months? That's at most 1 big bottle of Gold Bond and a medium bag of gummy bears.
He will have to deal with some cold though, and I don't envy that. Gotta be rough on kids though, hopefully he'll have some email/phone connectivity.





How's things going over there for you?

'Bout ready for some more gummy bears?

Yeah he'll have some contact, but they're telling him AND his experience is you work 18-20 hours a day for the entire 4 months.......
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 11:42:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
4 months? Shit I wish.

I am here now, been here 5 months, 8 left.

Bagram is the best place here, like they have said it is almost like being stateside, we haven't even been rocketed for a few months now. I am here about half the time, and out at FOB's the other. I wish those who bitch about here could go see how our guys live out from here.

Hell, Bagram is like going TDY without beer and sex.

Tell him to negotiaite hard if he is buying anything from the locals, the AF guys seem to have the worst bargaining skills and run prices up for everyone else. The north DFAC is by far the best facility to eat at.

If he needs anything from the Engineers (like another C-17 hauled off on a flatbed trailer) I can hook him up.

Oh, and if the sign on the fence says mines, don't cross it. And if an Army engineer talls you don't walk there, listen to him. BTDT seen what happens when they don't.




Thanks for the reply GS and thank's for your service.

Can I IM or e-mail you about some more in depth info about Mike. I figure it'd be nice if he had a good source of knowledge the day he touches down. Maybe you'd be willing to show him around?

His wife MAY even post here.....she is reading.


Link Posted: 9/14/2005 10:50:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bvmjethead:

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
4 months? Shit I wish.

I am here now, been here 5 months, 8 left.

Bagram is the best place here, like they have said it is almost like being stateside, we haven't even been rocketed for a few months now. I am here about half the time, and out at FOB's the other. I wish those who bitch about here could go see how our guys live out from here.

Hell, Bagram is like going TDY without beer and sex.

Tell him to negotiaite hard if he is buying anything from the locals, the AF guys seem to have the worst bargaining skills and run prices up for everyone else. The north DFAC is by far the best facility to eat at.

If he needs anything from the Engineers (like another C-17 hauled off on a flatbed trailer) I can hook him up.

Oh, and if the sign on the fence says mines, don't cross it. And if an Army engineer talls you don't walk there, listen to him. BTDT seen what happens when they don't.




Thanks for the reply GS and thank's for your service.

Can I IM or e-mail you about some more in depth info about Mike. I figure it'd be nice if he had a good source of knowledge the day he touches down. Maybe you'd be willing to show him around?

His wife MAY even post here.....she is reading.





Sure, go right ahead, I will IM you the email I check most often here.

I can show him things most AF guys don't ever get around, maybe even take him for a walk in a minefield we are clearing (the safe portion of course, when clearing is NOT going on)
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 3:11:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:
Did they move all of those old jets that were laying around there?



Yup, most are long gone with a few being moved soon from the close side. The big AN-12 with the tanks for undercarriage is still here, but its days are numbered as well.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 7:34:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:

Sure, go right ahead, I will IM you the email I check most often here.

I can show him things most AF guys don't ever get around, maybe even take him for a walk in a minefield we are clearing (the safe portion of course, when clearing is NOT going on)




Thanks very much, I'll shoot you his e-mail addy as soon as his wife get's it to me.

Thank you sir for your service, I am praying for you.
Link Posted: 9/18/2005 5:33:09 PM EDT
I really need to finda contracter to go back to Afghanistan after I get out of the Army in 2 years. Of course with a trip to Iraq in the middle.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:50:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tallbill:
I really need to finda contracter to go back to Afghanistan after I get out of the Army in 2 years. Of course with a trip to Iraq in the middle.



I've already got two offers to come back. It is tempting for the money, and I would never leave Bagram for these so it would be none of the risk for 3X the money.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 1:58:14 PM EDT
My brothers at bagram right now, hes got about 30 days left. Hes a civi fixing the plumbing for Hamid Karzai.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 5:50:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/19/2005 5:53:04 PM EDT by setlab]
Thanks for posting those really nice AIREAL photographs... call for fire anyone?
Link Posted: 9/24/2005 8:58:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By setlab:
Thanks for posting those really nice AIREAL photographs... call for fire anyone?


Umm, those are old photos widely available on the net.


Google Earth has much better and more recent imagery.



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