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Why, it's time for The Prodigal Son to return from the deserts of the Middle East for a short stint to be with his with kids and hoist frosty malted beverages with friends, 19 AUG through 02 SEP, THAT'S what time it is!!!1 :shock:


Spraying soon from a venue near you, with more crazy pics and wacky stories of life on a US Army Forward Operating Base in a contingency operations theatre of war than you can beat out of a Bedouin's camel blanket, it's SOBO!


Stay tuned for details, check your local listings, not available in all markets, some restrictions apply, not intended for small children, batteries not included.

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Ema's heading out on R&R to her home country of Bosnia on the same day I'm headed to the States, so there's some pretty happy people on the right side of the pic. Curtis just got back from a month of R&R in the Rockies and Paris, so he's got a while to go now before I grant him any time off.


Three days and a wake-up! :brew: :brew: :brew:




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"The boys are back in town, the boys are back in town..."


Things I have missed a lot: pizza and beer, rare steak and dry red wine, and Planet Killer mai tais.


The thing I have missed the most: my little ones. Seeing them very soon for the first time in 5 months. Can't wait...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey greetings, all! Sorry it's been so long, but I've been pretty busy after returning from R&R about 3 weeks ago. Life in my little corner of the world is pretty quiet...


But things have definitely gotten more interesting since the end of Ramadan about 6 weeks ago. Rocket attacks have been on the uptick since the end of Ramadan, and ground (suicide) attacks are up sharply in the last couple of weeks. You’ve probably seen that on the news, to be sure. A wave of insurgent activity against the Brit base (Camp Bastion) was what you probably saw on the telly recently, because that’s where Prince Harry is currently stationed and the news of attacks against Bastion and FOB Leatherneck (adjacent) is all the rage these days. I guess the Talis think it would be a big news event and create a surge in their suicide fighter recruitment quotas if they were to take out Harry, the Crown’s Boy Redcoat, as stated here from Wikipedia:


On 7 September 2012, Captain Wales as he is known in the military, arrived at Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan as part of the 100-strong 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment, Army Air Corps,[46] to begin a four-month combat tour as a co-pilot and gunner for an Apache helicopter.[47]


On 10 September, within days of arriving in Afghanistan it was reported that the Taliban threatened Captain Wales' life. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid spoke to Reuters and was quoted as saying; "We are using all our strength to get rid of him, either by killing or kidnapping," and "We have informed our commanders in Helmand to do whatever they can to eliminate him." [48][49]


So life here on FOB Walton (or Walton Mountain, as I like to call it – Goodnight, John Boy...) is still pretty quiet and pastoral, but I am due to rotate to a new base in the next couple of days. All of the work and Change Orders that I was sent here to complete at this HUB are now done, so I’ve essentially worked myself out of a job here at Walton Mountain and its surrounding FOBs. So rather than go back to the States to a dismal economic future, I’ve opted to stay here a little longer. So I accepted the invitation for an identical position at another HUB, called FOB Pasab, and will continue the work that I’ve come to enjoy so much. Pasab is a much bigger base than Walton, and it gets hit pretty regularly as a result of its size. Just this past week, my Project Lead over there tells me that they were hit three different days in the last week with incoming rocket rounds. The week before that they were hit every day for a week straight. So things will start heating up for me in that regard after this week when I rotate to Pasab. I’m not really looking forward to going there, for obvious reasons, but I still need the money, and I actually like the work.


I don’t get to travel around in a way that allows me to "mingle" with the locals much (although I did get to "talk" to a grizzled old dude with an AK-47 - we compared beards :) ). Now, all of my travel is by helicopters to other FOBs where I have projects going on. Ground convoys are no longer a very popular mode of travel since about 2 months ago. And I limit my contact with the locals that are allowed on the base, since it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to know which ones are spying for the Taliban, or which ones actually are Taliban in sheep’s clothing.


Do y'all remember the pictures on the previous page, about 3 months ago, of the destroyed DFAC? Those four insurgents that managed to bring explosives on to that FOB back then were day-workers on that FOB, and had been employed in that capacity for several months before they smuggled ordnance onto the FOB and blew up the dining facility. It was late at night, so no one was inside it and therefore no Westerners were killed, and all four insurgents were summarily afflicted with acute cases of high-velocity lead poisoning very quickly after they were discovered. But it goes to show you that it is unwise to trust the locals very far, if at all. So now I keep a healthy distance from them, and put concrete walls and/or earthen berms between me and them. And no, no helo I have been on has taken direct ground fire (as of this writing). That may change, given the current climate here in Helmand Province and my upcoming move to Pasab...


And we are indeed pulling troops out as we speak, and I have de-scoped (aka dismantled and closed) one FOB already. And I am in charge of de-scoping two more FOBs as I type this. So we are indeed leaving here, supposedly by the end of 2014. For me, tomorrow (02 OCT) will mark the halfway point in my little tour. Six months down, six more to go. I feel just great, have never gotten sick once yet, and am still doing better than terrific, and hope that you guys are getting a lot of Indian Summer climbing in.


That’s the sitrep, today, 01 OCT 2012.


Hope all is well with you and yours in your little corner of the world.

AFG out. :wave:


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Stay safe out there

is it possible to stay safe in a place where the very people you're purporting to help are raining metal down upon you on a regular basis?


i'm all for sobo getting some gobmint patronage slung his way, but couldn't we at least employ him someplace better?


happy to see you're well, sir :)

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  • 1 month later...
I thought I'd bump this to wish Sobo a happy 60th birthday. I trust that all is fine, though its been pretty quiet on the Sobo front for the last month...


Off - you're a bit off on what birthday this is for dear Sobo. :shock: At least according to FB ;) But maybe that'll drag him onto this thread to correct it! BTW, I heard back from him a week or so ago. He said he's not getting on cc.com much these days.

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