People who think BFE is out in the middle of nowhere have never been to BFU.
Not much to this place. Nuclear blast-proof aircraft shelters, cracked Soviet concrete taxiways, plywood buildings, shipping containers, tents. Reminds me of North Fort Hood.
The streets are named for streets in Manhattan. The first action of Operation Enduring Freedom was staged out of here three years ago. It is still an important transit point supporting the GWOT further south. I’ll probably be through here again on my way back to the world. This installation is my introduction to this theater. They have a real nice Internet Cafe, airconditioned and not dusty at all.
Shorts are a no no here. Host nation sensitivities to display of bare naked legs, even male legs.
Saw a gray fox at a picnic table at the Green Beans Coffee not 10 feet from where I was standing my first morning there.
We sat in briefings all day, then just waited around for a plane ride. Our luggage came in from the capital city on a truck, and we had to unload it and drag it through the sand and gravel to our tents. Those little folding dolly carts that roll so well on the airport linoleum ain’t worth a crap in gravel.
The folks going to Bagram got their ride early the next morning. The Kandahar folks got told to pack up that afternoon. Built the pallet under the supervision of a real laid back Air Force Sergeant. Footlockers on the bottom, then duffel bags, then carry on bags, then sleeping bags, strap down the net, then tear it all apart because somebody who thought he was going to Kandahar is now going to Bagram and his stuff has to come off the pallet. Give up your ID Cards and get on the strange looking 20-seat Japanese bus. Sit on bus an hour. Go back to Transportation. Wait. Get back on bus. Get on C-130. Sit. Watch while the pallet, now sitting on the C-130’s loading ramp, is torn apart again to get somebody else’s stuff off. The Loadmaster is not laidback. After four and a half hours of trying to be gone, we leave.
Red nylon webbing for seating. I fall asleep. When I wake up the interior of the aircraft is darker than a bag of assholes. No lights at all. Pitch black. Land at Kandahar after about two and a half hours. Kandahar is not very impressive in the dark. It is not that impressive in the daylight, either. Walk off the ramp and get on another little Japanese bus. The Terminal Building has been condemned. We go to a plywood shack that serves as the terminal now. Forklift brings our pallet. We tear it down and get our stuff. White Mercedes truck comes. The bed is five feet off the ground. We must load our gear on this. Taken to a big white barn tent full of empty cots. Welcome to Candyland.