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Kit Up! is Going to the 'Stan

Kit-Up-to-Afghanistan

The posts have been spare, the topics pedestrian, the pace slow -- but it's all been for a good purpose.

I apologize for the minimal throughput here folks over the last week, but it's all been a result of my preparations for an embed with U.S. forces in Afghanistan starting May 11. Military.com editor Ward Carroll and I will be spending three weeks in-country -- we are planning to embed with 3 BCT TF Rakkasan in eastern Afghanistan for two weeks, then zip down to RC-S and spend some time with the Marines for a week.

Our plans are "carved in Jell-O" so to speak, so we don't know which specific units we'll be hanging with, but we're due to go first to Salerno to get an idea of what's going on before we push out to the bush.

As some of you might know, I was in Khost for three weeks in 2004 and am anxious to see what's changed (or stayed the same, for that matter)...When we swing south, we're going to try to link up with the Marine Osprey squadron stationed at Bastion. I thought that would be a cool idea since I embedded with the squadron in Iraq for a few days back in 2008.

We've been really lucky to have linked up with a few companies that have helped us with gear and other logistics. Blackhawk! scored us a full load out of equipment for our trip, including everything from body armor (the STRIKE vest is SWEET!) to tactical pants (Ward got something like six pairs). We got hooked up with International Training Incorporated for some "pre-embed" preparation and our good friends at American Technologies Network hooked us with some night vision equipment and helmet mounts. We also got some sick shades and goggles from Wiley-X.

We're going to be sporting HD video cameras that shoot killer video and stills and we'll be primarily posting here at Kit Up. But be sure to check out a customized landing page for all our embed content and our other blogs like Defense Tech and Under the Radar for posts of the gizmo and gonzo ilk. And, oh yeah, we'll also be posting to Military.com's news, Facebook and Twitter page.

I'd like to use this opportunity to reach out to Kit Up! readers and get some "editorial input" on story ideas, gear picks, unit recommendations and things you'd like to know more about. Please post some comments on this thread to let us know what you want to see and where you'd suggest we go. The way we see it, you're call coming with us!

PS -- And don't be surprised if things look a little different around here in the next few days...We're doing a redesign of the page for a better look and user interface. Stay tuned...

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