Saturday, October 6, 2012

Life on the FOB

Living on a FOB (Forward Operating Base) is an interesting experience. A FOB is a secured forward military position, commonly a military base, that is used to support tactical operations. My current location, FOB Sharana, is located in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. Our location is strategically important for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, I really can't tell you any of those reasons. Suffice it to say, Pakistan is very close, and that is not a coincidence.

FOB Sharana is an incredibly active military base. There is a constant hum of activity with all kinds of military vehicles and aircraft (both manned and unmanned aircraft) operating 24 hours a day. There are a variety of military units at FOB Sharana. Some I can talk about, and others that shall remain nameless. The following is a small collection of random photos for your viewing pleasure.

Believe it or not, the Soviet Union used this exact piece of real estate during their failed invasion of Afghanistan. The guard tower and walls you see here were constructed by the Russians. Thanks fellas...

The quality of this gym is amazing considering our remote location. The food is terrible, but the gym is nice.

Speaking of the gym. There is a contingent of Polish special forces here. They like to hang out at the gym and all of them look like this. This is the look I get when I get too close to them.

"I will crush you"

Coca-Cola Zero: Canned in Kabul! I drank it anyway.

This is one of the two "poop ponds." Admittedly I'm not an environmental scientist, but I've yet to comprehend why we have two ponds of "you know what" just festering in the middle of the FOB. I've asked a number of people about this and I just get a shrug of the shoulders and comments like "who knows, it's the army." Apparently, there is a sign by each of the ponds that states "No Fishing!" 

La poop pond. The smell is glorious.

Joe Alderete, our orthopedic surgeon, climbing on the tail of a Blackhawk for no apparent reason. You just have to know Joe. Joe will be leaving us in a few days and he will be greatly missed.

(Photo Credit: Grant Campbell) "Dust Off"departing (minus Joe) after patient delivery.

I would like to conclude this post on a more serious note. Pictured below is an Apache attack helicopter. If you are a bad guy, this is the last thing you want hunting you down. This week, within a 24 hour period, our Apache helicopters from FOB Sharana killed 57 Taliban insurgents. I realize that the news in the US rarely covers it anymore, but there still is a war on. Almost everyday an American loses his or her life here in Afghanistan.

Death from above.
Major Randall Moore, CRNA
1980th Forward Surgical Team
FOB Sharana, Afghanistan

1 comment:

  1. I was at Sharana in 2011 I thought the food was good. It was better than what I got st Fob Zerok.