Monday, August 31, 2009


I’d like to Congratulate and recognize the Warwick Police SWAT Team. They competed in the Ct. SWAT Challenge last week. It was their first attempt in such a completion and they placed 10th out of 37 teams from all over the east coast. Most of which have competed before. High marks in Hostage Rescue and Vehicle Assaults and nothing below top 20. Impressive.
I would say former team but I believe that once you’re SWAT, you’re always SWAT. Good job guys.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Driving around the city a couple days ago, we drove right by a woman sitting in the middle of the road, asking passers by for money. On the way back, she was gone, but this boy was in her place. I can only assume he was under her burkha. This is a familiar sight in the city and often the woman will be holding a baby. Sorry for the quality of the photos, they were taken through a dirty window while speeding past.
As for the elections, there have been no significant incidents reported in the City and surrounding areas. It seems that heightened security measures are paying dividends. However, it is expected that as soon as the preliminary election results are published, supporters of Dr. Abdullah (the main opposition candidate) might take to the streets to protest on what they perceive as massive election fraud. Dr Abdullah and other candidates have publicly accused incumbent President Karzai and his camp of widespread fraud. Possible violent protest demonstrations are possible.
The start of “Ramadan” (Islamic month of fasting) may also have a significant impact on security countrywide. During Ramadan which started on 22 August 2009, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset in a spiritual exercise that teaches discipline, self-restraint and generosity. They also pray for forgiveness for past sins, guidance and try to purify themselves through self restraint and good deeds. However, in Muslim tradition it is also perceived as a month of jihad, a month in which Allah grants military victories to his believers," says a report by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
This is your eye in the sky reporter, Gern Blanston, coming to you live from Afghanistan.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


So I’m back on Mars. Left Boston Tuesday on Lufthansa, which by the way, is a great airline. Good food, nice flight attendants and a new plane. Flew to Frankfurt then on to Dubai, which is a nice airport. They’re giving away a car, like a lot of places do. But not many places give away an Aston Martin and a V-Rod. Also a Porsche and a Lamborghini. Nice. Then I had a nice leisurely breakfast, Irish at the airport’s Irish Pub. Not very healthy, but when I get back to work, it’ll be back to 2 a days. Then it was onto Kabul. I would suggest Safi to Kam-Air any time. Landed, got through passport control and back to the base no problem. Just a feeling, but at the airport and during ride through Kabul there was a weird vibe, like a collective breath being held. Waiting for something. I can only put it towards the elections and the outcome, which are still pending. Be more comfortable when I get my guns back.
It was great being home, well when I say home, the US, because of my cross country tour, twice, numerous times, various parties and little sleep. It was nice and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Maybe staying longer. Tick tock though. Its ticking and if you keep busy it flies, right?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

August Vacation

Sorry I haven’t been on in a while, I’ve been in travel/vacation mode. After spending about a week at the range, located on the Afghan Army base, which by the way, is littered with old Russian Tanks, my journey went something like this….(wavy lines, smoke…fade to flashback).
I got a ride from our security guys last Tuesday morning at about 6:00 am to the airport. Boarded the local aircraft for the two and a half hour ride to Dubai. After clearing customs and immigration I had to decide what to do for the next fourteen hours. If I took the advice of some of my co-workers and took a cab to explore Dubai, I would have to lug two back packs, (carry-on’s) for the day. Plus I would have to stay away until about two hours before the flight. Anyway, I opted to stay and explore the Dubai International Airport. Did some shopping, had a beer or two the Irish Pub, watched a couple movies and took a nap. There’s a Hotel in the Airport that offers rooms by the hour, not what you think, its for weary travelers to freshen up. There’s also a spa that offers amenities which I used. For $16.00 you can use a private room that has a shower and steam room. It was a nice way to freshen up before the transcontinental flight. Around midnight Tuesday, we boarded and settled in. I had gone for the economy plus upgrade and it was worth it. A little more leg room and a little better service. After two meals, 5 movies and a couple naps we arrived in DC at about 6:30am Wednesday. It was nice to be back in the US and I grabbed a USA Today and a Dunkin Donuts Coffee. Ah.. Americana. Got on the next plane for the four and half hour ride to LA. The family was already out there, enjoying the sunshine on the left coast. Forty hours after leaving my room, I arrived in Los Angeles.
So that’s where I am now, relaxing, chillin and not having to worry about my sectors of fire. Big election coming up and I wish the guys back there safety and smooth sailing.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Noises under the bed...

Heard a noise under my bed and thought it might be a creature. Now, I had heard that there were some big bugs and weird rodents over here, but I wasn't expecting a little Afghan guy.

Actually, it was one of the workers putting blocks under my bed to raise it up, for more storage options. (Wonder what he thought when he saw the flash).