This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Rogers: Barbecue in Kandahar

Shortly afterward, we made our way to a decrepit terminal known as Taliban's Last Stand. Apparently, the Taliban staged a desperate last-ditch defense of the building against American forces in 2001.

This fact, and key safety procedures, were explained in a briefing to all new arrivals. The issue of rocket attacks was quickly addressed, with the "greeter" exclaiming loudly that, "This is a war zone." On hearing a rocket alarm or an explosion, he said, you should lie face down for two minutes with hands over your face and ears and your mouth open (apparently this lessens the risk of concussion). After two minutes have passed, you then seek shelter in one of the myriad concrete bunkers dotting the base and stay put until the all-clear sounds.

The other important safety rule (which I didn't expect) requires everyone to wear a reflective belt at night, reducing the risk of accidents on the base's roads.

Armed with this information and my press accreditation, I was taken to the media center: an army tent furnished with dust-covered desks and beaten-up chairs.

"We don't get many journalists coming through these days," said one of the affable Mississippi National Guard members staffing the center. This perhaps reflects the planned drawdown of U.S. troops from the country by the end of 2014.

Next up was a quick drive around the base with the Air Force captain hosting me during my time in Afghanistan. It seemed like mile after mile of concrete blast walls and countless concrete bunkers -- a low-rise town of 30,000 people that feels strangely reminiscent of the dustbowl. Outside the perimeter wire was an expanse of featureless scrubland, with mountains looming on the horizon.

Finally, I attended a barbecue to celebrate the 70th birthday of the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing, the unit I'm embedding with. The 451st provides a host of critical services in Afghanistan, from Aeromedical Evacuation missions to air drops and troop movements, as well as transporting DVs, or distinguished visitors.

Once the speeches were done, I got a chance to speak to some of the 451st's members about their deployments -- the atmosphere was friendly and surprisingly laid-back. All in all, a normal end to a thoroughly surreal day.

-- Written by James Rogers in Kandahar.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.
2 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $112.92 2.94%
FB $89.73 2.91%
GOOG $637.61 1.43%
TSLA $242.99 8.07%
YHOO $33.69 3.60%

Markets

Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,654.77 +369.26 2.27%
S&P 500 1,987.66 +47.15 2.43%
NASDAQ 4,812.7080 +115.1720 2.45%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs