Itâ€™s really hard to believe my mobile public affairs team and I are at the end of our deployment here to Camp Leatherneck in Southern Afghanistan. It has been an exciting, fast paced and unique deployment for all of us. Now that it is almost over, it seems like just yesterday we landed here tired, anxious and ready to work. Living on a Marine base and working for the Army has had its own challenges for this all Air Force team. We have met some great people and served with some awesome members from our sister services and coalition forces.
During our time here, we taught basic public affairs lessons in video, media, journalism, and public affairs operations and advanced photo techniques. We implemented a â€œtrain the trainerâ€ program in order for the 215th Maiwand Corps, our Afghan counterparts, to be able to teach new soldiers and their outlying brigades as they continue on with their mission. The team helped the Afghans create a weekly newsletter and provided basic computer training to help them with this task. We assisted them in developing command messages and had them sending out timely news releases several times a week telling their story to the Afghan public. Most importantly, we built some really special relationships and met some wonderful people while here we will miss mentoring and working with all the Afghan National Security Forces members we came in contact with.
Looking back through our six months here we would like to reminisce and share a few things with everyone.
Things we will miss: Packages from home, USO shows, caramel frappes from the Green Been, tax free pay, daily PT, Sunday brunch with omelets, sweet potato fries, Rocky, Yamma, and all the other interpreters who worked with our team and made our mission possible. The ANSF members that we trained and worked with, most especially Crazy Zazy, and the all Regional Support Command professionals that we have met here.
Things we will not miss: Mice in the classroom, using bottled water to brush our teeth, dust, showering with our shoes on or walking 300 yards to the bathroom at midnight when nature calls, carrying a long gun, no cell phone reception, no happy hour, working seven days a week, Sunday night building cleaning parties, and last but most important being away from our loved ones who supported us from afar.
Sayings we wonâ€™t forget: â€œYou know what Iâ€™m saying?,â€ â€œWhatâ€™s on the schedule boss?,â€ â€œDFAC 5 or 6?,â€ â€œCome on Meow,â€ â€œClear, Clear,â€ â€œYouâ€™re killing me smalls!,â€ â€œWhose got the radio?,â€ â€œItâ€™s not innuendo Wednesday!,â€ â€œItâ€™s like Groundhog Day,â€ and â€œYou need to be nice!â€
I had great people to work with that made being away from home a little less stressful and my deployment in a joint environment more enduring.
Home this is MPAAT â€¦ We are leaving Leatherneck for home station â€¦ Roger- OUT.