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32

THE WEIRS TIMES, Thursday, April 22, 2010

NOTES FROM AFGHANISTAN – PART TWO

hand. Several men were standing near the bazaar, eyeing us intently as we approached.

Camp Leatherneck

by LtCol Michael Moffett, USMCR

Weirs Times Columnist

NOW ZAD, AFGHANI-

STAN - - Corporal Kyle Green radioed the Lima Company compound com- mand post that our four- person patrol had moved “outside the wire.” He and fellow corporals Ara- na and Rodriguez were ac- companying me on a little tour of the village of Now Zad. Until recent weeks, the community had been a deserted ghost town, surrounded by mines and built up areas where the Taliban had dug in for a rare linear confrontation with Marines and coalition forces. Following Opera- tion Cobra’s Anger, the Tal- iban had been displaced and former residents were

While out on patrol in Now Zad, Marine Corporal Christina Arana poses with a gaggle of Afghan youngsters. Cpl. Arana had been working in the aviation ordinance field when she took advantage of an opportunity to support the USMC’s Female Engagement Team initiative.

coming back to their old homes. A bazaar had re- opened, and we headed

in that direction. Green, Arana, and Rodriguez car- ried locked and loaded

M-16’s. I had a Beretta M9 pistol in my holster and a digital camera in my

M.MOFFETT PHOTO

LtCol “Fighting Joe” Ken- ney proved to be a gra- cious host at the Ameri- can Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. He’d been serving as military liaison there for almost eleven months, and had devel- oped numerous contacts. I interviewed several peo- ple at the embassy and at the nearby Afghan Minis- try of Defense. I also vis- ited General McCrystal’s ISAF compound where I interviewed Marine Brig- adier General Kenneth McKenzie, who was with “Stabilization Operations.” After a few days, it was time to get on with my field history mission and travel to the rapidly expanding Marine Corps base known as Camp Leatherneck, in Helmand Province. I took a C-130 trans- port from Kabul Airport to

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