Sunday, November 11, 2007

Arrival at Ft. Riley, KS


I have arrived at Ft. Riley, KS.. It’s a very beautiful post- General Custer was here in the early 1900s. This is home to big Cavalry history and their are still CAV facilities- many large great buildings made of limestone from the nearby Kansas River.

After administrative check-in for a few days, my class was moved to a similated FOB (Forward Operating Base) which are what our forces put together when we are oversees in a combat zone.. it is camp with just about everything needed; arms rooms, DFAC's (dining fac's), barber, training facilities.. Our lodging is 40 man open bay rooms with bunk beds and wall lockers- holy cow I thought this stuff was done in basic training. We do have wireless connectivity so I do have a connection to the outside world and I did a Windows Live conference w/ family today.

I am on a MiTT which means Mil Transition Team- these teams act as advisors/ trainers to foreign Army's. It is part of our natl strategy to make Iraq and Afghanistan's security forces self sufficient. With an eventual troop draw-down this advisor role will continue on for some time. I am scheduled to be on a advisor team in Kabul, Afghanistan.

I have met and continue to meet many interesting people; Officers and Enlisted, from Army Air Force, and Navy- My team is a 'mature' group of I'd guess my age and many smart guys.. One charactor is a West Point grad lawyer f/ Dallas, our leader is a Major and Ranger from Puerto Rico- a great guy.. I am fortunate and comfortable being MOBd w/ my team- I don't know how they came up w/ a slacker like me.. Life has been mostly getting lots of equipment- much of it very cool- you almost feel like RoboTron when you have it all on. I am issued a M9 (9mm pistol) and a M4 (rifle). It would be fun if I was getting ready for a paintball game w/ it all on- it also weighs geez I'd guess 75- 100 lbs when all on. I was shot up w/ all kinds of shots the other day- and more to follow.. Anthrax- our medic said: ya, many GI's have issues w/ that one....

My initial duties in training as the Communications Officer is to facilitate 'add-on' training for our language training- mainly Dari- a form Persian. Later I will get into communications equipment (Satellite and HF) and I may be working some web items for communications w/ families..
More to follow as I get integrated and more time..
I will be wearing the 1st ID (Infantry Division- The Big Red One) patch for my deployment patch which is a great unit in American history..

Mark, MAJ M

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