Sunday, April 19, 2009
We have just returned from Kandahar Air Field, one of the largest bases in Afghanistan, in the volatile southern city of Kandahar. It is the birthplace of the Taliban, and was the hometown of the infamous Mullah Omar. Violence is an everyday occurrence in Kandahar, and stabilizing that region will be key to a successful outcome in Afghanistan.
President Obama recently announced an increase of 17,000 troops in this country, and most of them will be heading to Kandahar. The media have now begun to focus on Kandahar, and we traveled there to plan for the many upcoming embed-journalist requests. Working with large numbers of media requires a tremendous amount of coordination. Where will everyone sleep and work while waiting to be embedded with various units? That infrastructure does not now exist in Kandahar, and building a much-needed media-operations center, while important, will take time.
On a lighter note, Kandahar Air Field is an exciting place. After traveling to all the major bases in this country, I was surprised to learn that this one has more recreational activities than any other place, including beach volleyball, outdoor spinning classes, and even a hockey rink for the Canadians. Finally, what would a military base be without fast food!
Posted by Adam Clampitt at 9:56 PM