I did a briefing shortly after arriving home from Afghanistan about my deployment on a PRT. This is a five-part series giving a little extra detail about what I did while I was deployed overseas and where I was. This is all about the province of Kapisa.
If you missed Part 1: Defining a PRT start here.
I deployed to Kapisa, Afghanistan from Feb 2010 to Nov 2010:
Kapisa is one of 34 provinces in Afghanistan. It is located in the northeastern part of the county. Northeast of Kabul, East of Bagram. The capital of Kapisa is Mahmood-Raqi. It is one of the smallest provinces (about the size of Rhode Island) in Afghanistan and is the second most densely populated province (Kabul is number 1).
It is located east of Parwan Province, south of Panshir Province, north of Kabul Province, northwest of Logman Province.
Kapisa has Seven Districts.
Mahmood Raqi (capital), Nijrab, Tagab, Alasay, Kohband, Kohistan I, and 2. We lived in the lower portion of Nijrab, we had projects located in every district. The northern half of the province was safer (mainly Tajik and Pashai), the southern half was not as safe (mainly Pashtuns). The terrain was made up of mountains and valleys. Our Forward Operating Base (FOB) Morales-Frazier was surrounded by mountains, which did not make it a great military position, but was in a beautiful location. The FOB was pretty small and travelers came to visit via convoy or helicopter. We shared the FOB with French and Afghan forces.
The main source of income for people who lived in Kapisa was farming. The pomegranates were a special breed because they had such small seeds. There were also a lot of wheat and corn crops throughout Kapisa. They also had a problem with poppy crops (heroine). The people who lived in Kapisa still lived in a very rudimentary way. They lived in mud huts and at the end of the harvest, the thing I remember most was all the corn laid out on the roof to dry. It was as if I was transported back in history. The people of Kapisa were mainly friendly. Children loved to interact with us and they especially liked it when I would take off my helmet and show them my long blonde hair.
On all my missions throughout the province, I was able to visit their government buildings, hospital and university. It was a cross between a world that was moving forward and a people stuck back in time. Concepts from America were foreign and the people would have to make choices on how to protect themselves in a dangerous environment with hopes of moving their country forward. They all had lived a very hard life and it was easy to see the sadness in their eyes. I wished we could have done more to help the people, but we had limited tools and time.
Population: Approximately 364,000
The next part of the series is focused on what I did as a Civil Engineer. Read Part 3: PRT Civil Engineers