After 23 hours of travel, including an eight hour layover in Frankfurt airport and a surreal flight to the international airport in Kabul, Ward and I are finally in the military slipstream heading to our embed in RC-E.
We're over at the military side of the Kabul and are awaiting a flight from here to Bagram. It's pretty cool to see all the different nationalities here, including Italians, French, Germans and a very cute Norwegian soldier who got a whoop from all the folks waiting in the pax terminal to applaud her birthday (I didn't ask how old she was...always the gentleman, even in a war zone).
With each different military here there's a ton of crazy vehicles, camo patterns and gear. I saw a couple guys who looked like Brits with the new UK MultiCam. I'm also digging the German desert pattern with is digital dappled look. And the French? Very fashionable with their desert duds in the old-school blob pattern.
With all the different troops floating around here, its hard to miss the "international" aspect of the fight for Afghanistan. They may be small in overall numbers, but there are a lot more nations represented here than I ever saw in my three trips to Iraq.
Thank God almost everyone speaks at least some English...
We're supposed to hop a flight to Bagram this afternoon, and luckily there's a great MWR tent here for people waiting for flights. Pool tables, ping pong, free WiFi...what more could you ask for passing through one of the most active combat zones in the world?
We'll check back when we can, but be sure to keep an eye on our quick hits at Military.com's Twitter channel. Now it's time to hit the Thai restaurant next door...Thai!?
SIDENOTE: While Ward and I were a little bored killing time at Frankfurt airport, Tango and Crash used the time wisely to imbibe in the local spirits. Again, Crash didn't want me taking any photos of him in the condition he was in after he got kicked out of the airport lounge for showing the waitress his tattoos (not the obvious ones) but Tango obliged, showing off his knowledge of Pashto by reading the safety card for our flight to Kabul to the Tunisian stewardess. While Tango usually refuses to wear seat belts on any kind of aircraft ('but what if I gotta bug out!?') we brow beat him into complying...but he still refused to put his seat back and tray table up during takeoff (you gotta pick your battles with these hot heads sometimes).