7 years, 8 months ago
A recent report by Mal James bears complete reiteration here.
At all bases the “Marines operate in there” is an expression they use in “River City” to describe what happens when a Marine is killed or injured. All contact with the outside world ceases to be available all phone lines and Internet connections are cut until the next of kin are notified.
At Forward Operating Base in Now Zad, it is almost the norm, rather than the exception. Life continues for the Marines, another day passes and it is one day closer to going home. The majority of the Marines I talked with “going home,” meant safe and still intact, whilst they all grieve for fallen comrades there is also an acceptance that what they do entails risk.
Whilst they may be Rambo one minute, the next minute reflection replaces reality. When we arrived at Now Zad, 2/3 Marines Golf Company had already lost 2 Marines and a further 7 had been wounded in action, including 3 double amputations. All had been killed or injured as a result of IED’s. Any foot patrol was forbidden as the risk was to high to quote Captain Martin of Golf Company, “We will not walk in the area”.
Now Zad is a ghost town, not a soul lives there, or has done for the past couple of years, where once approx 15,000 Afghans once lived, not a soul is there. The British and Estonians have held ground there and the Marines are now on their third rotation there. With a casual ease Marines would point to a spot 100 yards away and say there is a high possibility that the Taliban are there now and watching us. What separates the two is often just a minefield of IED’s. They are so randomly set and spread out that even the Taliban to a degree now will not enter certain areas.
And so in temperatures that destroy any remaining part of your soul, a stand off exists in Now Zad. As if it was the 1st World War, a no mans land of death separates the adversaries. The only thing that moves between the two sides apart from bullets, mortars and rockets are the wasps. For some reason Now Zad has a plague of them. Any water or liquid and you are surrounded by them, and for someone like me who has a certified terror of bee’s let alone wasps, this was no happy place.
Showers and the basic laundry facility was closed between 11am and 2 pm, not to conserve water but to minimize wasp attacks. Hesco barriers and concrete walls may stop Taliban attacks but not wasps.
Unlike large bases back at Leatherneck and Bastion or even in the capital Kabul, FOB Now Zad has no luxuries, most rooms are plywood boxes with no air conditioning, and the temperature inside the rooms can easily reach 42 degrees Celsius close to 108 degrees Fahrenheit. There is no dining facilty for meals apart from some netting on poles, two meals a day are served out of trays, miss the meal time and it is MRE’s. I saw the trays of food just lying around in the dust like discarded waste next to a dumpster, no doubt tomorrows meal.
Water is measured in degrees of bath water, and tepid is something you actually crave. There were fridges around, but they were closely guarded secrets and rarely if ever would anyone ever offer Greg and I a cold drink, they were just too precious, I did not begrudge them this as it made me realize how hard it actually is for them. And how pathetically easy Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen have it at the bigger bases, where 24 hour meals are available and signs on the fridges ask you to limit yourself to two cold cans of soda a meal, but no one ever counts.
And yet not one Marine at FOB Now Zad wanted to be anywhere else but there, at the frontline in the fight against the Taliban. In adversity they become a true “Band of Brothers”, and to be honest you never hear a word of despair or frustration from them.
The only thing they do not like is “River City” because it means one of there own has fallen.
Regular readers know how I have harped on Now Zad, the lack of troops, and the lunacy of having Marines deployed there with more trauma doctors than regularly supplied with Marines because of the risk of IEDs. More troops are being deployed to the Now Zad district, but we were still skeptical that the troops were going directly to battle the Taliban surrounding the city of Now Zad and currently engaging the Marines.
We were right, and the Marines still live in hobbit holes, exist in far worse conditions than their brethren at the larger bases, and fight the enemy to a standoff in a city deserted because of Taliban violence. It is a lack of strategic vision, this notion of deploying entire Battalions of Marine infantry aboard Amphibious Assault Docks waiting to be used as force in readiness, when readiness never comes because of policy decisions, Marines are losing their legs in Now Zad, and the Taliban have done us the favor of separating themselves from the population where we can kill them unimpeded and without causing civilian casualties. We still aren’t taking the campaign seriously.
Prior: Now Zad category
phentermine next day Glucotrol For Weight Loss allegra weight loss
phentermine in florida Phentermine Non-perscription phentermine capsules!
“cheap phentermine no prescription” Phentermine Phentermine phentermine 37.5,
phentermine white blue Zoloft And Weight Loss glucophage weight loss
phentermine dangerous Wholesale Phentermine does phentermine really work
zoloft weight loss! Phentermine Without Prescription order phentermine online
phentermine sale Overseas Phentermine buy phentermine 30mg
from mexico phentermine Phentermine 37.5 A 159 37.5 phentermine online
phentermine diet pill Buy Cheap Phentermine phentermine no prescription needed
phentermine sale Mg Buy Phentermine phentermine in florida
carisoprodol phentermine yellow Mp 273 Phentermine Phentermine 37.5 without prescription phentermine 37.5mg 744.
xenical weight loss Next Day Phentermine cheap phentermine no rx
cheap phentermine blue Phentermine Diet Pills 37.5 phentermine;
phentermine without prescription Order Xenical Cheap phentermine no prescription needed
phentermine no prescriptions Generic Phentermine phentermine withdrawal symptoms,
phentermine and anesthesia care! Glucophage Weight Loss phentermine no script needed
phentermine nasal polyps Phentermine Hydrochloride “phentermine positive drug screen”
order phentermine diet pill Phentermine Rx phentermine on line
phentermine on sale Xenical Scam phentermine capsule
“wellbutrin and weight loss” Online Phentermine phentermine lowest prices
dangers of phentermine Xenical Lawsuits compare phentermine
glucophage and weight loss Phentermine Wiki phentermine withdrawal symptoms,
canada phentermine, Phentermine Cheap phentermine phentermine
phentermine capsules! Rx Assist Phentermine compare prices for xenical
discount phentermine online Phentermine Sale Phentermine online us pharmacy phentermine online without prescription 241.
xenical orlistat Order Phentermine Without Prescription phentermine abuse
xenical Adipex Versus Phentermine xenical success stories
37.5 phentermine; Order Phentermine Phentermine Online phentermine over the counter
phentermine price Phentermine Yellow phentermine overnight delivery
internet prescriptions phentermine! Phentermine Buy phentermine online no rx
phentermine with no perscription Buy Phentermine No Script phentermine for sale
fast shipping phentermine, Get Phentermine phentermine overnight delivery
does phentermine really work Purchase Phentermine Online phentermine blue
buy phentermine mg Synthroid Weight Loss answers about xenical;
phentermine order cheap Phentermine White Blue phentermine lab,
compare phentermine prices Florida In Phentermine pregnancy and phentermine
phentermine withdrawl Phentermine Overnight taking phentermine and wellbutrin
phentermine no rx Phentermine Online Without Prescription phentermine success stories
zoloft weight loss! Phentermine Amalgam phentermine sale
Phentermine 37.5mg phentermine 40 mg 434. Q Phentermine Hq “phentermine delivered tomorrow”
phentermine discussion Phentermine Overnight Delivery phentermine online prescription
xenical message boards; Acomplia Online “cheap phentermine no prescription”
phentermine mexico Buy Acomplia Online Phentermine 37.5mg phentermine 40 mg 434.
cheap phentermine without prescription Phentermine For Less phentermine no rx needed;
get phentermine Phentermine No Script phentermine pictures
high blood pressure phentermine Phentermine Pill glucophage pcos weight loss
phentermine pregnancy Phentermine Online Consultation phentermine pregnancy
Lowest priced phentermine meridia diet pill 971. Phentermine Mercury no prescription phentermine
phentermine and anesthesia care! Phentermine China acomplia online?
phentermine at discount prices Phentermine No Prescription Required phentermine online
phentermine next day Black Phentermine Phentermine result phentermine results 134.
phentermine success story! Phentermine Fast compare phentermine
order phentermine phentermine online Cheap Phentermine Online phentermine fedex!