When I was deployed it was my job to go to the various construction projects we were in charge of throughout the province of Kapisa, Afghanistan. Our team’s goal was to go to each project once a month. For a majority of our projects, we did this, but there were a few projects that were in dangerous locations and the risks did not outweigh the benefits so we relied on our local national engineers and/or pictures of the construction site to do inspections.
One of the districts in Kapisa was in Taliban control and we were unable to visit the two projects we had there. These projects were started long before our arrival and it is possible when they started the region was more stable and projects were possible. As it was near the end of the projects we no longer could go to the sites regularly. We did not start future projects in this district because it was a difficult place to go. Projects needed to be in stable regions and that is what we told the leadership who lived there. The two projects we had were a road and a mosque repair. My counterpart was able to go and inspect these projects about halfway through our deployment. She was the brave one, the one who always volunteered for the more risky missions (somehow I’m the one who ended up getting shot at). So she spared me from going into Alassay on a joint mission with the French.
It ended up being a surprisingly uneventful trip for the Americans. The meetings and site visits went well and after an overnight stay, it was time to head back to the Forward Operating Base. The French-led the Americans out and followed up behind. There was a valley that gave the enemy the advantage the team would have to go through to get home and as the French were traveling through my team could hear the gunfire and were ready for the fight, but then they entered the Valley and the gunfire stopped and they rolled on through. No shooting, no noise, nothing.
It was a strange occurrence and gave me reassurance that they knew my team was there to put up a fight if messed with. I guess they choose a different target.
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