KABUL, Afghanistan -- From aviation to transportation, Nevada's citizen-soldiers have answered the call to serve in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Flying into Kabul before mid-day showed a unique city from the air, one that reached for miles in a bowl shadowed only by more snow-capped mountains that I saw surrounding Forward Operating Base Shank. Although some haze gripped Kabul's foothills, the clear skies afforded me an opportunity to take aerial photos of Afghanistan's capital. When I stayed in Kabul last year, the first day in country was spent traveling the city at night en route to a hotel located in the center of this home to more than 2 million people. Befriended my an American contractor and his staff, they invited me to stay at their hotel until morning when I could catch a flight from Kabul to Kandahar aboard a civilian airliner. The second trip, which occurred almost two weeks after my arrival, took me to the military side of the Kabul International Airport for two days.
My arrival this year has been much different as my flight from FOB Shank came directly to a base outside Kabul where the 593rd Transportation Company has called home since summer.
In perhaps a first for the Nevada Guard, two units serving the same time in theater actually linked up. Captains Mike Bordallo of Bravo Company, 189th GSB Aviaiton and his counterpart, Curt Kolvet, of the 593rd extended handshakes and shared some of their experiences. Both captains have done an excellent job in leading their soldiers in a war-time environment.
While I have discussed the 189th in previous dispatches, the 593rd performs convoy operations in the capital region by moving people and/or supplies. This is truly a company representative of every corner in Nevada with guardsmen coming from Las Vegas, Elko, Winnemucca, Fallon, Fernley, Reno-Sparks, Carson City, Minden, Truckee and McGill, a small town north of Ely in White Pine County.
This afternoon was dedicated to speaking to as many soldiers as I could including a Sparks mother who drives one of the convoy trucks. Their stories show the uniqueness of each and every guardsmen deployed to Kabul.
Sunday is usually not a busy day for the 593rd, but the week becomes busier once Monday arrives when missions aer handed down to the transportation company.
LVN Editor Steve Ranson is in Kabul now to report on Nevada guardsmen serving with the 593rd Transportation Company. Ranson, himself a retired National guardsmen/U.S. Army reservist, just spent a week with Bravo Company, 189th GSB Aviation at FOB Shank.