KABUL, Afghanistan — An Army officer in Afghanistan is very lost this afternoon, Duffel Blog has learned, and is hoping to find his security detail as soon as possible.
“Ermm … Yep. Fuck. I don’t know where I am,” Maj. William Spencer reports, scratching nervously under the shoulder strap of his empty plate carrier. “This place is real big.”
Spencer, a requisitions officer out of Ft. Bragg, is on his first deployment to Afghanistan. “To anywhere, really,” he adds. He is tasked with assisting civilian contractors with providing arms and equipment to the Afghan National Army 201st Corps. The assignment involves bi-weekly trips out of his office to an ANA compound on the outskirts of Kabul. For those trips, he is assigned three infantry gun trucks with six dismounts as a personal security detail. Today, he is unsure where his protection detail has gone.
“I haven’t actually seen any Afghans,” he says. “I ride in the back of the truck so I can’t really see out. But there’s been a lot of green-on-blue stuff going on. So it’s good to be safe.”
Spencer inspects the padlock on a shipping conex, trying several of the loose keys he keeps in his cargo pocket before giving up and moving on to a different container. He taps on the next padlock with his clipboard, says “mm hmm” and moves on.
“But seriously, where the fuck are those guys?” Spencer stares, obviously shaken, down a long line of shipping containers. “They’re always telling me not to go too far, but I’ve got so much work to do sometimes I forget. And I don’t think this radio they gave me has any batteries.” He gestures at the Harris radio in his other cargo pocket. “Err… I guess I turned it off after I spilled coffee on it. Didn’t want to get electrocuted.”
Returning briefly to the previous padlock to write down a number on his clipboard, Spencer wonders aloud where he might have put down his helmet and walks in a different direction to “check something real quick.”
“Yeah, he’s right behind that conex,” Spc. Eric Hernandez, a sniper-qualified paratrooper from an infantry scout platoon says. “This place is totally walled off, and we have crew-served [medium machine guns] with overlapping fields of fire on every entrance and exit. Sometimes he’ll start wandering toward the street like an autistic kid, so we’ll have someone run up and kind of shoosh him in a different direction. Easiest deployment ever.”