Posted by: Dude in the Desert | February 16, 2010

15 Feb 10

today was my first mission outside the wire at my new home…it was awesome, but I froze my ass off …first off I rode in the back of an open hummer with my 240B pointing out the back of the truck …the mission was to go out to the “range” to fire off all the big guns and make sure everything was sighted in and operating properly…the “range” was an old Russian military camp…a 10 acre area at the foothills of some mountains with a few old abandoned buildings…I think it was around NEGATIVE 10 degrees the whole day… the sky was an awesome clear blue, but the ground was ice and snow, it was a really sunny, crisp, beautiful day to be out on the slopes boarding and hangin out with a nice hot apples cider–with alcohol, of course… but, that wasn’t in the cards for us …we went out with a bunch of US military and some Afghan National Police…we cruised thru the town and kept our aggressive posture up while waving at the kids…it seems different than my last FOB–people around here don’t seem as friendly or accepting as they were around the other FOB…of course, last time I was with a team that built schools and clinics and the whole mission was to win the hearts and minds…that’s not really our mission here …there is a PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team) here in the area, but that’s not our job…after rolling thru the town we got out into the mountain pass…there was nothing but snow, ice, rocks, mountains, and the one lonely paved road cutting thru the creases in the tall points of rock…we came to a stop and were trying to figure out if the MRAPs would make it down this snow-covered dirt road…we decided it was good enough …the road wasn’t too bad because it was frozen solid…if it was warmer out it probably would have been mud soup…we made it thru with no problems and entered this mud-hut village… all the men stood or squated along the sides of the buildings or along the road while all the kids ran toward the road and waved at us…well, most of the kids…some kids just stood there watching us roll by…we got thru the village and came to a big open area going into what used to be a Russian military camp…the building looked 50 yrs old and they were all abandoned and falling apart…the radio towers and watch towers clearly marked it as some sort of military compound…we stopped the trucks and took a look around …we secured the area and couldn’t see another living being within 10 miles…it looked to me like something out of old movies that were set in Siberia or something …large mountains to one side and about 50 miles of flat land to the other side that ended with some more tall mountains…all of it covered in ice and snow with biting cold wind blowing form the mountains…the wind had blown the snow into small divits and hills that looked like white caps on the ocean…after deciding we were in the right place we sent the ANP to clear the buildings …they all crept up like a SWAT team about storm a drug house like you see in every movie or tv show…except they had on old desert uniforms and carried AK47s…after 7-9 minutes they came walking out with chunks of wood so they could start a fire to keep warm …it was funny — one of the Army guys with us asked what they were looting in the forst 10 minutes of us being there …we explained that it was jsut fire wood …I guess these guys knew it was gonna be cold and we were gonna be out there a while …we were there all day shooting every kind of specialty weapon you can carry without having a tank or aircraft or ship…if it can fit in a normal vehicle we had it there and fired it–many many times …we found this little tin shack thing that was our primary target…it was about 100 meters away and big enough to hit with most hand held weapons…we all fired all kinds of things …including but not limited to : AK47, M16A2, MK47, minigun, LAW, Carl Gustav, PKM, .50 Cal, 240B, SCAR heavy, Barrett sniper rifle, M4 shorty/conventional, M203, 9mm pistols, a 6-shooter semi-auto grenade launcher, and probably some others..there were lots and lots of weapons out there…I can’t explain all the weapons listed, it would take too long…look em up on the internet…it was awesome…I had a great time and didn’t really mind the freezing cold…of course, the ride back was pretty crappy…before we left for the day we had to clean up the area… this consisted of blowing a hole in the ground with some demolition explosives, throwing the stuff in, and blowing it all up with some C4…on the ride back there were the same locals watching us cruise by, some kids waving, some just staring…we got back and the cook had us some awesome grub cooked up…after filling my belly I headed to my room and basically crashed out…I was so dehydrated I down 3 bottles of water and went to bed–didn’t even have to get up in the middle of the night to pee…I was still dehydrated this morning…I’m good now, but it’s surprising how you can not sweat all day and be in subzero temps and still get dehydrated…anyhoo…that’s about all I got for now …I’ll throw up some more pics too…love you and miss you all



  1. I love hearing about your expeditions, and you are so descriptive that I can picture what you went through…but the best part is that you made it back to the FOB safe and sound. The little girl is very cute…all dressed up and no where to go. It’s a shame that that kind of living is the only life she knows, and will probably ever know…but she’s probably happy anyway. Be safe! OOL

  2. yes, mommy– she did seem like a very happy little girl — sometimes ignorance is bliss, and good like that

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