Michael's Dispatches

Afghanistan: Security Raised at Kandahar Airfield

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16 May 2009

As the troops swell in and the desert mercury rises, contractors are told to wear body armor on base and carry their IDs at all times.

See this email from a military contracting office to contractors:

From: IDR-TCMC-Office Manager
TO:[Distribution list including contractors.]
Sent: Saturday, 16 May, 2009 4:52 PM

Greetings all;

The security state at KAF has been raised. Please ensure that all contractors at KAF, including visitors and transit personnel comply with the following instruction.

The security dress state has changed to wearing Combat Body Armour and carrying Helmet when outside a hardened structure. Inside they are to be readily available.

There is also now an additional alarm sounding which is a warbling alarm, and is the warning of a Ground Attack and all personnel should move inside a building and await further instructions. Instructions for Op ***** which will cover this procedure will be disseminated in the near future. All contractor personnel are to ensure that they carry their ID on them at all times.

Further information is available from the TCMC if required.

Game on,

In response to this email, a contractor emailed to me today:

“Nobody from my company will be able to comply with this.  How can you pour slabs in 45C heat with body armour?”

The contractor followed up:

“I just cannot believe the incompetence of those coming in this new surge.  You would have thought that after almost 8 years, someone would know something about the place.  I have never seen anything like these people.  They don’t know any provinces, districts, or even where the hell their new bases are supposed to be.”

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