Saturday, November 30, 2013

A cavalry troop discovers a different war than the one it trained for

A cavalry troop discovers a different war than the one it trained for
Stars and Stripes
By Steven Beardsley
Published: November 29, 2013

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Traveling through this dusty city inside the windowless belly of an armored vehicle, Pfc. Mike Forgach opened his eyes, shifted in his seat and turned to the sergeant standing through the ceiling hatch.

“Want some downtime, sergeant?” the young mortarman asked. “I’m getting bored.”

The sergeant declined, saying he needed to monitor the radio, and Forgach, with hours to go in a routine convoy and little chance of dismount, closed his eyes and drifted back to sleep, his mortar tube stowed in a nearby rack.

If the front lines in Afghanistan are often elusive, they’ve felt especially distant for L Troop, 3rd Squadron. In the three months since being posted to Kandahar Airfield, one of the largest military installations in the country and a hub of the coalition’s approaching combat withdrawal, its soldiers have rarely set foot outside their base and have yet to see much of the enemy.

The war grinds on around them. Reports about it reach the troop like dispatches from a distant front. Insurgents attack police checkpoints, trade gunfire with Afghan soldiers and plant bombs outside their compounds.

Older soldiers marvel at how much has changed since their last deployment. Younger soldiers wonder what happened to the war they trained for in the spring.

“I think they feel like maybe this was misrepresented to them,” Capt. Craig Nelson, L Troop commander, said of his soldiers. “But I won’t apologize.”
read more here

No comments:

Post a Comment

If it is not helpful, do not be hurtful. Spam removed so do not try putting up free ad.