Made a visit to KAF (Kandahar Air Field) today.
One of the things about being on a non-DOD contract is that you are usually not located on a FOB or base like KAF.
Today, I went over to KAF to take a mail handler's course so our people can get mail - you have to have the course to be able to pick the mail up now on KAF.
The funny part is going to KAF is different now as I don't live there. For about 4 months, I was downtown in a secure compound in Kandahar City which was interesting as we were living in the middle of town.
Yeah, dangerous and there is some serious risk but for the most part, we were not bothered by anyone while we were there. It was different and also allowed us to get to know many of the people in Kandahar City.
Now, we are staying at a private camp which is right across the way from KAF but not the same as KAF.
So yesterday was different as it was the first time in over 2 years that I got to eat DFAC ( Dining Facility) food at Luxemburg. Luxemburg serves European style food. They have redone the place but it looks basically the same. The food was about what you would expect but as long as someone else is cooking it, I am glad to have warm food rather than MREs.
Made a PX stop and saw the usual stuff so not much has changed there - PX had a certain amount of Christmas stuff on display. Ho ho ho - Merry Kandahar Christmas.
KAF is still as dusty as ever but the place will be downsizing over the next 2 years - the military announced that the troop levels in Afghanistan will be down to 10,000 total troops by the end of 2014. Seeing as there is 30,000 people on KAF, that means some serious downsizing moving forward. I can't imagine what KAF or Bagram will look like when there is so little troops - there will still be many civilians in support but the idea of only 10,000 troops providing security will be a challenge.
Only time will tell. For now, I am glad that things are going along as they should. Too many others are facing economic security back home and long term unemployment. I would rather deal with work overseas in a warzone than the trouble many are facing back home.
2013 will be here shortly and hopefully, those in Washington DC will do the job we pay them for instead of acting like the high priced prima-donnas they really are. Many people's livelihood and security depend on Pols doing what they should. A New Year's resolution for all of them would be to stop overspending and start thinking like they care about the outcome of their actions, not just getting re-elected.