September 24, 2012

Out of Maiwand

By Storypainter at Ramblings From a Painter | As the title to this post says, I am out of Maiwand.  Now I'm at Kandahar Air Field, or KAF, for a few days.  I'm overdue for a post here because things have been a bit busy.

In my last post, I wrote about putting together a sort of pass-down book on the district.  I finished up what could be done with the book on Wednesday and sent it out to all those who might need it.  The final version was a whopping 67 pages long.  It's written so that my teammates, both military and civilian, can continue to add to it, change it, re-arrange it, and do whatever needs to be done to keep it updated.  I felt good about the project - it was the kind of thing I wish had been available when I first got there.  Finally, I felt like I'd done something to contribute to the effort.

Another thing that I said in the post was that the Afghan security forces were very capable and could do a good job if the government gives them the resources they need.  The day before I left Maiwand, something occurred that illustrates this.  A convoy was moving from one of our bases in the district to another.  All the drivers and the private security team were Afghans.  Just outside the first base, they were ambushed by the Taliban, who shot up the trucks and set a number of them on fire.  The drivers and security forces ran off.  Some Afghan police responded to the call and swooped in.  One of them ran up to an MRAP that had a burning front tire.  While under fire, he jumped in, started it up, and drove it all the way to our base (several miles) to keep it out of Taliban hands.  That, my friends, took guts.  I walked up to the vehicle the next morning and saw the shredded tire, smashed window, and ping marks from all the bullets.  Who says the Afghans aren't brave?

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