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DESTINY SOUTHWEST ASIA – Taking flight

Steve Ranson
Lahontan Valley News

LVN Editor Steve Ranson, who has been in Southwest Asia covering a Carrier Air Wing in the Arabian Sea and Nevada Army National Guard units in Afghanistan, is wrapping up his trip.

Travel day – D-Day to leave Afghanistan. Coordinating travel arrangements to leave the multi-nation base at Kabul has gone smoothly, and the scheduled air flight appears to be set for early evening.

The various legs of this trip are not as along as the military flights that take our servicemen and women home, but the entire trip from Kabul to Fallon will take almost 33 hours … without any delays.

Living here at tent city has been a cultural experience. I have been in the same compound as soldiers from the Czech Republic, Romania and Lithuania. More than 50 nations overall are represented here in one way or another.

Friday was the first “quiet” day I have had since I have been in country, but I did talk with MC2 Olivia Giger, who works in public affairs at NAS Fallon. She is in Afghanistan for a seven-month deployment and will return to Fallon in about four more months.

The rest of today is a waiting game and also the second experience of entering and completing the security gauntlet at Kabul International Airport. It does test one’s nerves and patience. As I mentioned before, those travelers who complain about a full body scan would throw a tantrum over here … but perhaps at the point of a rifle. In the late 1980s as a member of the National Guard, a small group of us were heading from Chile to Panama, but we had a stop in La Paz, Bolivia. After the security check there, I am surprised the guards did not offer their subjects a cigarette after the “screened off” frisking!!