Remote Special Forces Team needs your Help

As many who have been reading this blog for a while know, my very good friend Scott Kesterson has been multiple times and still is in Afghanistan. He is currently with a small team that as a ODA Special Forces team, is at the tip of the spear. But like most at the tip of the spear, they are at the end of the line.

Scott has contacted me to let me know this team is in need of some help and assistance. What they are looking for is:

 

  • Coffee
  • Coffee mugs
  • Hygiene products
  • Baby wipes
  • Ping pong paddles and ping pong balls
  • Dart Board and darts
  • PS3 Games (BioSock2, UFC, others)
  • XBox Games
  • In addition, if you have been a regular supporter of troops overseas and think there may be something else that a team who is living in a mud-walled compound within a village could use, feel free to send that too. Some of the things I can think of are:

    • water-bottle drink mixes
    • small food items like packs of tuna-fish, flavored crackers, etc.
    • instant-coffee bags
    • socks, foot powder, gold bond powder, etc.

    If you are interested in helping these guys out, please drop me a message at admin@bouhammer.com and I will send you the mailing address.

    1st Bouhammer Roundtable Podcast

    I am so honored to have hosted the first ever Bouhammer Roundtable podcast this last weekend. I am joined on this podcast by two regular contributors to the Bouhammer blog, Mike T. and Scott Kesterson.

    In this podcast, which is actually #13 on this site (not #12 as I stated in the podcast), Scott, Mike and I talk about a variety of topics dealing with Afghanistan. We cover the use of National Guard and the important role they have played in the war, some of McChrystal’s policies and even the current hot topic of the photo by the AP of the dying Marine last Friday.

    As you can imagine, the connectivity from Afghanistan is not always the best but Scott’s connections holds up well until the end of the podcast. I hope you can take some time to listen to the three of us talk about some of the current hot-topic and important issues with Afghanistan.

    Bouhammer Roundtable with Troy, Mike and Scott

    Guest Blogger: Scott Kesterson-Donations needed for COIN Reference Library

    The Counterinsurgen​cy Academy is located in Kabul, Afghanistan at the base of the ruins of the Queens castle. The purpose of the Academy is to teach and expand the doctrine of population centric concepts for operations in Afghanistan, and beyond. The contributions the Academy is making to Gen. McChrystal’s strategy can not be understated, nor can the challenges of implementing an expanded doctrine of population centric operations.

    In an attempt to support the operations of the Academy, as well as the many soldiers that attend and instruct here, I have developed a “wish list” on Amazon.com of books in hopes of creating an Honorary Counterinsurgency Learning Library made up entirely of donations from our communities back home. The intent is to further expand the awareness of culture, methods and operations that promote the end goal of national unity, governance and security for the people of Afghanistan.

    To find the list, all you need to do is log into Amazon.com, click on “Wish Lists” and then on the right side of the page in the search window for “Wish Lists” type in:
    counterinsurgency.institute@gmail.com
    The name of the wish list is: COIN Library – Kabul.

    I am continually being asked about donations for soldiers and items of need. This list, though only in the initial phases of development, is something that will have a lasting use and impact on the soldiers here at the Academy and the students of the Academy who eventually take what is learned here and apply the concepts downrange. If the interest is there to support the soldiers by way of donations, I would encourage you become involved in this effort through Amazon.com. The shipping address is listed through the “Wish List.” If you wish to donate another book for the library not listed on the list, or wish to purchase a book from another source other than Amazon.com, the same mailing address applies. For reference, the mailing address here at the academy is listed below:

    Scott Kesterson
    COIN Academy
    Camp Phoenix
    APO AE  09320

    Thank you all in advance.
    Scott Kesterson.

    Bouhammer at Blog World Expo

    I am so glad to announce that again this year I will be a panelist at the main blogging conference in the country. It is called Blog World Expo. Last year the annual milblog conference was held in conjunction with the expo, and I was afforded the opportunity to be a panelist then. Just to give you an idea on the numbers that attend this conference, in 2008 there were over 280 speakers, over 15,000 in attendance and over 92 million people that watched on the internet.

    This year we moved the annual Milblog Conference back to Washington DC, which we held in April. However Blog World Expo wanted to have dedicated milblog track so there are several panels chaired and ran by milbloggers on the first day of the conference.

    I am honored and flattered to be sitting on a panel called Getting The Picture:  What’s Next for Milblogs? The description of the panel is below.

    Audience demands and demographics are changing.  New technologies are emerging that, according to some, make blogs as much dinosaurs as print technology.  What does the future hold for milblogs?  Come join a panel of milbloggers and social media gurus as they discuss the future of milblogging.

    I am sitting on this panel with some very esteemed bloggers and good friends. With me on this panel is my partner-in-crime on YouServed.com Blog and Radio show, CJ Grisham. Also my very close friend and brother-in-arms, Scott Kesterson who writes several blogs and is the director and film-maker of the acclaimed documentary, At War. The highly respected Scott Henderson from www.mediasauce.com is also sitting on the panel with us. Last, and certainly not least the panel is being moderated by my good friend and MilBlog Master, Matt Burden from Blackfive.

    There are many panels over the three days, and I encourage you to click on the graphic below to learn more about the conference and see the entire schedule. However the milblog track is what is close to my heart and besides the panel I am on, the others are ; They Also Serve:  Spouse Bloggers, Best Milblogs You’ve Never Read, Milblogs:  Not Your Standard News Source. You should check out the breakdown of the other panels and see if your favorite milblogger in going to be on a panel at www.warriorlegacyfoundation.org/?page=BlogWorldExpo

    If you are going to attend or live in the Las Vegas area, be sure and drop me a line at admin@bouhammer.com and let me know.

    You can follow the Blog World Expo on Twitter at www.twitter.com/blogworld

    bug

    UPDATE of Gardez Situation from Scott Kesterson

    This morning I posted an urgent update about this story with links to PJ Tobia’s blog. Here is another update from Scott to me along with several pictures.

     

    Eight suicide bombers attacked Gardez today. Two detonated themselves, four were killed by Afghan forces before being able to detonate their suicide vests, and two escaped. The Afghan forces performed brilliantly. They received intel early in the day and were able to minimize the damage from the attacks. Unfortunately, four Afghan soldiers were killed in the process, but civilian casualties were minimal to none. Following the attacks, patrols were dispatched to attempt to find the two bombers that escaped.

    The attack, by tactical considerations, was a failure for the Taliban. Their inability to effectively fight the Afghan and Coalition Forces has left them with tactics that try to instill fear in the populous. Three to four hours following the attacks, I drove through the markets with the 203rd Corp Afghan Army SGT. Major, and the markets were full and busy. This was a good day for the Afghan forces.

    WARNING- GRAPHIC PICTURES BELOW

     

    1_US forces in Gardez

    US Army forces patrolling downtown Gardez

     

    2_Govenor's mansion

    Dead attacker outside of Paktia Province Governor’s Mansion (notice BLUE BURKA laying next to him)

     

    3_Traffic circle near ANP HQ_2

    Gardez Traffic Circle near Afghan National Police HQ

     

    4_ANP headquarters

    Dead Insurgent outside of Afghan National Police HQ

     

    5_NDS guard shack

    National Directorate of Security (Afghan FBI) building Guard Shack

     

    6_NDS

    Dead insurgent outside of National Directorate of Security compound

    URGENT- Live Reports from Gardez Bombings

    PJ Tobia has talked to Scott Kesterson who as many of you know is in the Gardez area. Scott gave PJ a live description from on the ground of what happened in Gardez today.

    Gardez was one of 3 cities in eastern Afghanistan where Government buildings were simultaneously attacked.

    “There were multiple bombs targeted at the NDS (National Security Directorate, Afghanistan’s NSA) the governor’s mansion and Afghan National Police headquarters in the district….”

    Read the rest at the link below

     

    http://trueslant.com/pjtobia/2009/07/21/live-report-taliban-launch-coordinated-attacks-in-e-afghanistan/

    Bouhammer Podcast 12 – Scott Kesterson update

    It has been a while since Scott has given us an update from Afghanistan. In this latest episode we talk about progress he has seen, some of the reasons why he has been so busy, GEN McChrystal’s new policies, and the missing US soldier among other topics.

    This podcast runs approx 35 min.

    If the player above does not work, CLICK HERE to LISTEN