Hello from the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s Detachment 52 of the Operational Support Airlift Command stationed here in Afghanistan.
As the commander of this unit I have had the honor to work with true professionals. As a small unit of six warrant officers and one noncommissioned officer, we bring with us a large amount of aviation experience. We are a small part of a joint task force here at Bagram Air Base and are providing support piloting a C-26 operation for distinguished visitors.
Being part of a larger task force only emphasizes how lucky and proud I am to command a unit with the wealth of experience that Detachment 52 brings to the table. Our daily operations include flying critical military and civilian personnel around Afghanistan. This includes personnel from more than 48 different countries.
The flying can be challenging because Afghanistan is an austere environment at best. The combination of terrain, mountain weather, and the high elevation airfields make every mission unique no matter how many times you go to the same destination.
A short flight here in the country can take you from mountains to desert and just about everything in-between. The landscape here is beautiful in the most rugged sense of the word.
The other interesting thing about flying over Afghanistan is the distribution of the population. No matter what type of terrain you fly over you will see small settlements dotted all over the country. You will see small settlements with mountains and deserts in all directions for 100 miles with no road in site. These are definitely some hearty people here in Afghanistan. We are having a good time executing our mission, but we are eager to get home.
I would like to thank my Soldiers, each of whom have contributed immeasurably to our success. I would also like to recognize our families whose packages, emails and calls keep our spirits high so far away from home. We look forward to seeing them soon.