April 4, Kandahar, Afghanistan
Unfortunately we’ve had to move from our FOB in the South Panjwai area back to Kandahar Airfield (KAF). I’ll state that we did this under protest as our goals cannot be attained back in the confines of the main base and to date we’ve received nothing but support and encouragement from the leadership on the FOBs. This was a logistics issue only and after it was explained to us (a couple times) we packed up our belongings and waited for the Combat Logistics Patrol (CLiP) back to KAF.
Our trip in was via Chinook was fast and efficient: the trip out was via road-move and it was hot, long and bone-rattling. Canada uses ‘people-pods’ to move troops on the ground in southern Afghanistan and its best to describe this mode of transport as odd. We’ve moved about a fair bit in the back of LAVs and TLAVs which are confined but with the hatches open, provide some relief. The people-pod is a sealed, armoured sea-can on the back of a large (24 ton?) truck (Mike B will be sure to correct my truck-ignorance). Basically you’re sealed into a large can on the back of a truck, on convoy from the FOB back to KAF. I can’t give specifics but the ride ranges from 2-6 hrs… Oh, and the air conditioning in the tuna-can was broken and Shaun was having an active bowel day. Yes, it was that kind of trip.
Shaun did not enjoy this ride and in all honesty, neither did I. The poor Airforce SSgt beside Shaun REALLY didn’t enjoy the trip but again, that probably had as much to do with the smell coming from Shaun as the boat like motion of the pod. We had a short stop at another FOB and managed to get into KAF late the same day. Our handler Sgt R met us at the depot and got us to our lines which we’re really thankful for as we had no idea where we had landed. The Public Affairs group here runs a tight ship and thanks to people like the good Sgt, we’ve always had somebody here to point us in the right direction when we hit the ground all discombobulated.
We ended out day with a walk on the boardwalk. It’s a bit surreal to be out in a FOB at the start of the day and having chicken strips in a TGI Fridays at its end. Welcome to Afghanistan.