September 17, 2012

What am I doing back here? (Yellowhammering Afghanistan)


How did I end up back in Afghanistan?

The easy answer is: "I'm in the Alabama Army National Guard and these days that means you're just as likely to end up in Afghanistan for nine months as you are doing your one weekend a month, two weeks a year."

But it's not really that simple.

It all started with a phone call in November 2010. Lt. Col. Bob Weakley, who was the team chief of the Alabama Embedded Training Team during my last deployment in 2007-2008, was then the battalion commander of the 1st of the 167th Infantry, the legendary Fourth Alabama. He was in need of a fire support officer because the 167th was in line to deploy to Afghanistan in 2012 as part of a Brigade Combat Team out of Arkansas.

I won't bore you with the various functions of a battalion and the role of the various officers. Suffice it to say that I know a thing or two about fire support. In fact, I would suppose I know more about fire support than anyone else in the Alabama National Guard. It was my bread and butter for 20 of my 26 years in the Guard.

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