Captain Spends 13 Hours Coming Up With Cool Operation Name, 15 Minutes Planning Mission
PANJWAI, AFGHANISTAN — U.S. Army Capt. Mike Aldrich hunches over his makeshift desk at Forward Operating Base Sperwan Ghar. He is the commander of Alpha Company, 1-16th Infantry Regiment, and currently nearing the end of a marathon 13 hour planning session. Functioning mainly on caffeine powders and poorly made coffee, the haggard officer is surrounded by a sea of crumpled notebook paper. On his walls are two white boards filled top to bottom with scratch work.
His job is not easy. In about 20 minutes, one of his platoons will be leaving the wire for an early morning combat patrol with the Afghan National Army. Joint missions like this always receive a lot of attention from higher headquarters, and Aldrich is still struggling to find a cool sounding name that will really pop when he talks about it in the battalion update brief tomorrow night.
“It’s getting down to the last second now," Aldrich says. "At first I was gonna go with Operation Anvil Hammer Sweep, you know, since we’re Anvil …
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