This is an old post that I had made private due to the Military.
My holiday has commenced. I woke at 5 a.m. to grab a ride with the SECFOR. Got to the Herat airport shortly thereafter. I was supposed to fly with Kam Air to Kabul. As I was waiting for my flight, fortune smiled on me. There was an Italian PRT flight preparing to depart for Kabul via Chagcharan. PRT flights are run by NATO. Mostly Spanish or Italian. This flight was scheduled to depart at 0800. So I was excited to be getting out early and without the hassle of flying with Kam Air.
The Kam Air flight was supposed to depart at 0900. I’m guessing that it probably landed in Herat at 12 noon. Typically late.
I signed up for the PRT flight. We departed at approximately 0900. The aircraft for Kam Air hadn’t shown up yet.
During the flight, a rather ancient Afghani fellow sat next to me on the flight. Apparently, he had never flown before. I had to buckle his seat belt for him. During take off and each time we hit turbulence of any sort, this fellow reaches across and grabs the seat in front of him and white knuckles it. It was a little humorous. I felt sorry for the guy though. He was pretty frightened. Once we landed, he jumped to the ground and wouldn’t let go of the aircraft.
So now, I’m in Kabul. I need to get pages added to my passport (again). Monday, I’m off to Dubai.
A few days later, I’ll be standing in front of the Taj Mahal with my brand new Olympus e-Volt SLR. Awesome.
As an aside, I have to wonder why everything that involves the US military is such a hassle. With US Mil Air, you have to sign up 3 days in advance. You need two copies of your orders. One must be “officially” stamped. Then you must show up 4 hours early for your flight to get manifested with the “officially” stamped orders and ID Card in hand. Then stick around for four hours waiting for the aircraft to show or be cancelled. They collect all ID cards as you are manifested. In order to board the aircraft you must wait until they call off your name and return your ID Card. When you land, they collect you ID Card again. You have to wait for another 30 minutes to an hour to get it back and your bags may take an hour.
NATO PRT. I showed up expecting to take a commercial flight. Asked if I could hop on the PRT flight. They said sure and took my name down on his list. I waited about two hours and boarded the aircraft. 90 minutes later, I was in Kabul. I exited the aircraft. A German ground controller escorted us off the tarmac. He asked who was continuing on to other destinations and told the rest of us to have a nice day.
Bureaucracy. Idiocracy. US Mil Air.