Dear Family & Friends,
I guess no news is good news. Nothing significant to report with our continuing operations.
As you know from last week, for those of us out east, the US unit our ANA are working with officially changed out. The 173 Airborne Brigade is an illustrious unit with a strong heritage from the Vietnam War. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, this was the outfit that jumped into northern Iraq to start a second front. This is their second tour in Afghanistan in three years, and we are all impressed with their professionalism, vigor and cooperation. We are proud to work with them.
Often, as a part of the process of winning hearts & minds, we execute Medical Civic Action Programs (MEDCAP). We are fortunate to have a good number of medics and Navy corpsmen in the brigade-team; of the more than 100 US and French serving, 14 are medics and we also have one doctor. These professionals along with the ANA medics give us a great capability to provide health services to the local nationals. The French ETTs with their ANA ran a couple of small MEDCAPs in a province south of Kabul during an operation last week. This coming week, some of the guys will work with our 5th (Combat Service Support) Kandak, which has a Medical Company, to run another MEDCAP out east.
I know that the temperatures have been in the 90's back in PA, and it has been HOT here in the east too. Despite the confluence of two large rivers in Jalalabad, much of the terrain to the west is desert. when the wind is blowing from that direction, even at night, it feels like you are stepping into an oven when walking out of an air-conditioned building. Kabul, however, has been very comfortable in the 80s; it is not too often that you hear a bunch of Pennsylvania boys wishing it was in the 80's.
Don't forget to show the flag on June 14th for Flag Day and Army Day!
GEORGE M. SCHWARTZ
1st Brigade, 201st Corps (ANA ETT)