Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Off to Afghanistan

We all have things in our life that has a profound effect on us and that we are proud of. One of those moments was the year that I spent in Afghanistan. I was a member of the 489th Civil Affairs Battalion in Knoxville, TN and soon after 9/11/01 we were notified that we would be the first Civil Affairs battalion from the Army Reserve to deploy.

I had joined the battalion in August 2001 after spending 6 years on active duty and a couple of years in the IRR where I did nothing. My primary reason for joining a Civil Affairs unit at this time was due to the fact they were part of the Army Special Operations Command and had money for some good missions and good training. You would get to actually go do Army Training or to other countries for good training.

After 9-11 I was soon on my way to Fort Bragg, NC for training at the JFK Special Warfare Center. To quickly train more civil affairs officers this course was shortened to two weeks. The course is now 9 weeks long and much more thorough. I completed the training and started a new job. We knew we would deploy just not when the date would actually be. So I was only at that new job for about 6 weeks before we got the deployment notification.
We were at Fort Bragg for about 6 weeks before going on to Afghanistan. During this period of time we conducted a lot of different training. The most difficult training was taking part in part of the SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape). We did not have time to take the entire course nor were there enough slots. However, the survival training we got was first class.

We continued with Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) training, shooting our weapons, some advanced weapons training, and in addition to combat training we practiced our civil affairs skills. We met with members of the Department of State, some NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), and conducted area studies for the areas of the Afghanistan that we would be operating. In addition, conducted liaison with member of the special operations community we would be replacing. I even got 15 minutes of fame on the local Tennessee News.

Then we packed up all our stuff and headed into the unknown


Rainmaker said...

I'll be interested to hear the next segment in this.

Thanks for your service!

kodiacbear said...

Hey Kevin, first I would like to say a very heartfelt thanks for serving and secondly, thanks for posting!!