Dear Family & Friends,
It's pretty much been business as usual for the team in the east. The days have stayed warm and hazy, and in the late afternoons, the winds often pick-up and we have little dust storms, but not as bad as we have had in Kabul.
Those of us running back & forth or around Darulaman have had to put up with a lot of road construction. There is an amazing amount of (US-funded) construction going on. Part of the US doctrine here is to build roads to help extend the reach of the government, and it is a successful strategy. People are grateful that they can get around so much easier, and government services can get to them more often too.
In the east, the US unit that we partner with is changing out. A brigade from the 10th Mountain Division (out of Fort Drum, NY, where we frequently go for Annual Training) is in the process of leaving, and a new unit from Europe, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, is relieving them. The whole process will be complete in a couple weeks; they will no doubt be looking to us and our ANA counterparts to help with continuity.
A little history about the Jalalabad compound where the temporary headquarters is now. We are staying in an old Afghan army fort, and before the war, it was a Taliban stronghold. The attached picture shows the old tea house that was the last known residence of Osama bin-Laden.
Enjoy the holiday weekend, and please take a moment to remember our fallen comrades,
GEORGE M. SCHWARTZ
1st Brigade, 201st Corps (ANA ETT)