Dear Family & Friends,
We are just a few days away from beginning the first step in our five steps home, and there is more good news: our first step is the move to Camp Phoenix and it looks like we will only spend a couple days there. There is even the possibility that we will skip a whole step, which would speed up the process of bringing us home.
All of the guys are in good spirits and doing a great job in preparing their replacements despite the weather. Earlier in the week, we had three straight days of snow, leaving about a foot on the ground here. In some of the mountain passes, however, it was more like three foot, and blowing winds created higher drifts. Since then, the sky has cleared, but the temperatures plummeted, so ice is a real hazard around the camp.
On the 6th, we had a visit from MG Robert Cone, who is the commander of the Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan. He handed out some awards, and spent some time to get to know our unit and what we do. In a web conference later that night after the visit, he told his commanders how very impressed by our advisory team and our ANA brigade. He called the ETTs the unsung heroes of this war.
Tomorrow is pretty much the last day on the road for our guys, except for the moves that we will have to make to eventually get on our flight out of country. I am rather certain that we will be making a stop in Kyrgyzstan like we did on the way here, so the next time I'll write will be to let you all know that we are safely there.
GEORGE M. SCHWARTZ
Team Leader/Senior Mentor
1st Brigade, 201st Corps (ANA ETT)