Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mez Trip

I just got back from a trip to Mazar-E-Sharrif (Mez). It was nice up there, but I hate traveling. We took a French C160 up there, and a German C160 back. The Germans are great pilots. The French, not so much, but they are better than the Italians who absolutely suck. Still, wearing the body armor makes the trip incredibly uncomfortable. My butt starts aching from the weight 10 minutes into the flight and there is no room to move around or reposition. You are packed with people on either side and in front of you.

The American base up there, Camp Spann, sucks. it is crowded and uncomfortable. The DFAC was so hot that I was sweating while I ate. All the drinks were warm. There were so few restroom and shower facilities that you have to wait in line. They didn't have a rec area like stone. After work I think the soldiers just sit on their laptops or go to the gym. I didn't get a chance to visit the prison where the CIA agent, Mike Spann, was killed. They have very restrictive travel requirements so we couldn't just borrow a car and drive over there.

The second night I spent at Camp Marmal (also called Camp Mazar-E-Sharif or the Mez airport). That place was pretty nice. It's a German camp. Everything is clean, well designed and build on a grid. It had several cafe's that look exactly like German cafes inside. They are even rude like european cafes and wouldn't accept dollars, only euros. We went to the Norwegian camp inside the base and had a cappuccino there at a pizzeria/cafe. It was very relaxing, sitting on the couch and chatting. You almost forget you're in a war zone. Also, the airport terminal was awesome. It looked nice, the seating was comfortable, and they had dance/techno music playing all the time. Very German. They may not be great battlespace owners, but they sure know how to run a airbase. They make Bagram look like its still being managed by the soviets. Even simple things like loading/unloading the planes was noticeably more efficient than the U.S. airforce.

I'll post some pictures tomorrow when I get a chance to download them off my camera.

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