Camp Marmal, a base camp near Mazar-e Sharif was truly a beautiful location with a wonderful Star Wars bar like quality to the atmosphere. Soldiers from Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Croatia, Norway, and even Latvia are stationed at the northern Afghanistan base camp. A Hungarian 1st Lieutenant was our POC at the camp and did a great job. We even received a beer garden ration card - althought we could not use due to not being allowed to drink in a combat zone (USA Only). The Germans are considering such a rule but have not enforced one yet.
One of the best things about the base camp was the dining facilities. One is German and one Norwegian. The French butter and bread was something that I will really miss from there. Most of the military at the camp is German and a 1 star German Army office commands all othe the northern NATO Afghansitan mission from there. Some of the German I learned from playing soccer with the German Air Force in El Paso came in handy. I still know several phrases like hi, bi, left, right, and a few more expressive ones too! I had the chance to ride outside of base camp with the Germans in Armored Mercedes SUV's. It was a tight fit with all of our gear on. One of the first things I saw was a group of Afghan children playing soccer !!
Here are some photos of the base camp and surrounding area. I just finished an article about the area and will provide a link witht the article in my next post
Early morning view outside of my tent!!
Convoy outside of base camp with German and Hungarian military.
Two German soldiers share a cigarette in the early morning at Camp Marmal.
NATO vehicles are lined up at Camp Marmal.
Me standing in front of an M-ATV (MRAP all terrain vehicle). They are made specifically for the rough terrain and narrow raods of Afghanistan.
M-ATV's discharged at the Mazar-e Sharif military airfield.
A German armored security vehicle.
My tent at Camp Marmal.
My humble cot at Camp Marmal.
U.S. Air Force teams discharge M-ATV's from an aricraft.