Sunday, July 29, 2007

A House Not a Home

This week I continued learning how CJ4 works and discovered what all of my responsibilities are here. This involved many meetings and some visits to our various operating locations. I am starting to get the hang of things around here in the office and around Camp Eggers in general. Much of what we have to do to improve operations at CJ4 is to clarify roles and responsibilities between the internal divisions. I am leading a small team of people to do just that, and documenting some of the processes we perform. So far it is going well and it is really helping everyone to learn what each area does and the challenges they face each day. I am confident we will have things humming along in a few weeks.

Now a little bit about Camp Eggers. Camp Eggers is a military base in Kabul located near the US Embassy and the President of Afghanistan's Palace. The camp is named after Capt. Daniel W. Eggers,
a US soldier from the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina, who was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) along with three other soldiers on May 29th, 2004 near Kandahar.

The base, or Camp as the Army calls it, is a maze of buildings all labeled by "House" names. For example, my office is in Eagle House, we also have the Rose House, Liberty House, Justice House, School House, Pool House (yes that's its name, but there is no pool), Jail House (that place rocks), Out House (it has a very funny smell) and the Big House (you don't want to go to that place). OK, I was kidding about the last three. It is pretty funny how every building has a name with house. I live in a place called Pena House, and it is right next to one of the very few building that is an exception to the naming rule - it's name is "Motel 6". It is named that because it looks like a motel. Besides I think, albeit more appropriate, Roach House was taken. So Pena is my house. I dare not call it my home, but for the next nine months it is where I will live. Camp Eggers is building a new complex on the base with housing for all the folks who live off base. I know they will all be happy to move on to the base, thus avoiding the traveling back and forth from "safe houses".

The base has all the basic ammenities such as a gym, dining facilities, post office, laundry facilities, and a small exchange. One thing this place does have, that Camp Phoenix lacks, is greenery. There are actually trees and grass in many parts of the base, whereas Camp Phoenix was all concrete and rocks. It does make a difference to see some trees and grass in a desert environment.

One of the funny things military people notice at Camp Eggers is the amount of high ranking personnel here. There are many Generals, lots of Colonels/Captains (O6's) and bunches of Lieutenant Colonels/Commanders (O5's) on the base. I would not say it is as many as the Pentagon, but it might be a close second. Just in my Directorate we have 10 - O5's with 2 more on the way. We are obviously a bit top heavy; its amazing any work gets done. Actually, we have a great group of people who are not afraid to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Back on the homefront, the kids are involved in summer activities. Thomas has been going to to Magic Wizardy class and Pirates on the High Seas class. Madigan is in First Grade World.
(Editor's Note: Madigan also lost her first tooth last week.)This coming school year we will have a Third Grader and a First Grader... and they will both be on the same school hour schedule. Rebecca is happy to finally have one drop off and one pick up at school a day. My nieces, Kathleen and Elizabeth, only have a short time before they return to college. They had a rough week as their car's transmission went out. They did get the car fixed and are praying it will last for years to come... or at least long enough for the trip back East. Rebecca is still working hard at her job and at home, I wonder how she does it all, but she is doing great. By the way, if you want to see pictures of Rebecca with John Stamos (mentioned him last week) go visit my blog.

Peace to you all,

No comments: