Sunday, June 3, 2007

Momma Mia

I know you are thinking, how does Pat come up with these goofy e-mail titles? Well, follow me on this one and you might understand. I was meeting with Pat Meriwether (see Pat, I did get you in the update) about his operations at the Central Issue Facility where he issues uniform items and gear to the new Afghan Army recruits. We were meeting with an Afghan Colonel who oversees the supply and logistics for the training command in Kabul. The meeting went well, and we actually successfully used a couple of words in Dari. So after the meeting, Pat decided to give me and Nathan Duffy (he oversees our main warehouse) a tour of the training command. The first area we saw was a dilapidated pool that had not been in use for some time. We learned that this was the pool that the Taliban used when they were executing people. After they shot people, the bodies would fall into the bottom of the empty pool. Thankfully, the pool is closed.
Editor's Note: I found this description of the pool. (

Next we passed through a gate and were greeted by a terrible stench of wet garbage that had been left to decay. I began to wonder what wonderful thing we would see next. We came to the top of small hill where a run-down building stood. It was the bakery where they make all the bread for the Afghan meals at the training facility. Afghan bread is called Naan and we watched as the "bakers" rolled dough into flat, round pieces and then flung them into a fire burning clay oven using a big oven mitt. The dough would stick to the walls of the oven and be removed, after cooking, with a long stick with a hook on the end. I thought, there is no way this could be sanitary, but I tried the Naan anyway. They made a special batch of sweet bread for us and it was delicious. As I looked at the round flat piece of bread, it reminded me of a pizza crust (you are starting to get the title now aren't you) and the three of us thought about how we missed real pizza. It would not be a far stretch to take this bread, add some sauce and cheese and make a mighty fine pizza. So that is our next mission, to get some ingredients and make some pizzas. We even thought we could turn the little bakery into a pizza parlor, we will just have to think of a catchy name, something that translates well into Dari. Perhaps Afghanistan Pizza Kitchen or Papa Mohammad's.

My team is making great progress in all operations. We began doing inventories this week; it's more like a treasure hunt than an inventory process because we keep finding things that we didn't know we had there. The team is working hard and everyone is working well together. I was fortunate to have Chief Armstrong visiting from downrange. Since he wasn't doing anything that day, he agreed to help out with our inventory. We also had more visitors. This week General McNeill (4 star), the Commander of ISAF came along with Major General Durbin, CSTC-A Commander and visited Depot 1. We showed a small display of clothing we issue and also gave them lunch at the warehouse. Then we went on a tour of the warehouse including our weapons area.

In addition to visits there were several meetings to run through various processes at the warehouses. We continue to look at all processes and determine ways to continue the improvement process. We are all in basically the same position, new to the theater and trying to understand all of the relationships and procedures. All our efforts are leading to our long term goal of turning over the operations to our Afghan counterparts and we are making progress.

Back on the homefront, my nieces Kathleen and Elizabeth did get jobs, in fact two jobs each. They will be working catering at USD and working at Legoland. Rebecca has been planning lots of parties and end of the year school events. One of the parties was going to LIPS for Kathleen's birthday. For those in San Diego, you may know LIPS, it is a very unique venue where men dress like women and put on a singing and dancing show. You have to experience it to understand. Editor's Note: This is Patrick celebrating his 39th birthday at LIPS in May 2003. I prefer to think of this as "Mama Mia"!Also WD-40 Company invited Rebecca and the kids to the zoo for the WD-40 family day. I am sorry I am missing it, but I will be back for next year's event.

Until next time, arrivederci, and I hope to have a fine pizza soon.

Peace to you all,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I received the link to your blog from Momma Mia and after reading through the fodder, am wondering what harsher penalty the Afghans must endure than to harbor trigger happy squids. Nice work. Spray em’ with Axe, they probably regard anything clean as offensive.

Hoo Ah. Gordon “Flash” Hartman / UPRR