Michael's Dispatches

Afghanistan: Security Raised at Kandahar Airfield

16 May 2009

As the troops swell in and the desert mercury rises, contractors are told to wear body armor on base and carry their IDs at all times.

See this email from a military contracting office to contractors:

From: IDR-TCMC-Office Manager
TO:[Distribution list including contractors.]
Sent: Saturday, 16 May, 2009 4:52 PM

Greetings all;

The security state at KAF has been raised. Please ensure that all contractors at KAF, including visitors and transit personnel comply with the following instruction.

The security dress state has changed to wearing Combat Body Armour and carrying Helmet when outside a hardened structure. Inside they are to be readily available.

There is also now an additional alarm sounding which is a warbling alarm, and is the warning of a Ground Attack and all personnel should move inside a building and await further instructions. Instructions for Op ***** which will cover this procedure will be disseminated in the near future. All contractor personnel are to ensure that they carry their ID on them at all times.

Further information is available from the TCMC if required.

Game on,

In response to this email, a contractor emailed to me today:

“Nobody from my company will be able to comply with this.  How can you pour slabs in 45C heat with body armour?”

The contractor followed up:

“I just cannot believe the incompetence of those coming in this new surge.  You would have thought that after almost 8 years, someone would know something about the place.  I have never seen anything like these people.  They don’t know any provinces, districts, or even where the hell their new bases are supposed to be.”


# Mary 2009-05-17 04:54
As white roses signaled the unity of the global jihad, our troops are being sent to Afghanistan to be picked off. They cannot "win" in the conventional sense. Jihadists know our country's history and will revel in making us like the British and they are the rebels/Rangers who will pick our troops off. Then, how will we protect our homeland?
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# Bill 2009-05-17 13:42
I have had the misfortune of dealing with contractors that have the "know it all" attitude reflected above. If they would worry more about doing their job than how hot or uncomfortable the line at the DFAC will be...they would probably cost the US tax payer 50% less of what they do now....or tell them to go home and get another job.
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# Scott Dudley, CDR, USN ret 2009-05-17 16:06
Odd that Petraeus would bring troops in who were clueless. Have we learned nothing? That is a leadership problem at the brigade level. IF the contractor is correct, we need some new leadership there.
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# Rutger 2009-05-18 11:33
It sounds more like that contractor means the Afghan government/military.

I assume he is overstating it though. One cannot seriously believe that the leadership of the new troops coming in do not know where their target provinces are. Perhaps some of the troops, but not their officers.
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# Sean Caskie 2011-02-11 22:17
Sounds like the contractor making those comments was Steve S. He makes me laugh every time. The best part is, he's almost always right.
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