Friday, November 26, 2004
Had an interesting week to say the least. Started out early Monday with a helicopter trip to Herat. We were going out there for a "three day tour". The mission was to attend a grand opening of a National Army Volunteer Center and to scope out Herat. The trip, in a Russian built Mi-8 helicopter was uneventful. We spen Monday Afternoon touring Herat, checking out the recruiting center and attending a lunch hosted by the governor of the province. Tuesday was also good. We attended the recruiting center grand opening, had another local lunch, and had time to see more of Herat.
Wednesday, the fun began. We got up, loaded up the helo and took off on a three hour trip. About 90 minutes into the flight, the pilots (Russians) informed us the weather is not good and we are going back to Herat. Fine. About an hour later, I notice the helo is getting ready to land...in the middle of nowhere. We set down in a pretty good dust storm and waited for it to pass. About 30 minutes later, we take off and return to Herat. OK, no trip to Kabul that day.
Thursday morning, we do it again. We take off and get about half way out, and once again, we return to Herat. This is getting ridiculous. So we refuel, and decide we can go to Khandahar, and then to Kabul, this way, we can avoid the highest mountains. We finally take off, enroute Khandahar. That flight is uneventful, and we land at approximately 1700 (about 12 hours after we got up).
So we had Thanksgiving dinner at Khandahar. Unfortunately, I had the mother of all migraines and could not eat dinner. Instead, I went to sleep at 1900, after getting some extra strength Tylenol.
Today, we got up early once again, and loaded the helo. After an uneventful flight, we finally returned to Kabul. I never thought I would be happy to be here.
Pics to follow.