Well, I'm now on day 5 of traveling! Yesterday, Monday, we arrived at Manas, Kyrgyzstan around 4 in the afternoon. We had to leave the luxury of our first-class 747 seats and face the harsh reality that was awaiting us. 44 of us volunteered to help with baggage detail as we were promised to be the first to in-process. 3 hours later, after handling every piece of luggage from the belly of our plane and loading two 40 foot semi trailers floor to ceiling then unloading them again, we realized that promise turned out to be empty... everyone else had long since finished in-processing.
Record low temperatures and 9 inches of fresh snowfall had kept us from getting here on schedule, and as it turned out, it had kept several other units from being able to leave here too. Many troops process through this base before going into Afghanistan from all branches of the military. It got down to 2 degrees farenheit last night, which is a pretty bitter feeling when you have to walk everywhere... to chow, billeting, bathrooms, etc. While we were doing the baggage detail, several of us stood right under the 747 near the landing gear; there are hot air exhaust vents that exit the planes duct system... it was like standing in front of a giant hair dryer!
We are staying in large canvas covered metal framed temporary buidlings with huge open bays of 350 bunkbeds and 700 other troops... I'll try to get a picture. We were issued some of our gear before heading to Afghanistan and we should be getting on a plane again tonight (if the weather holds up).
I'm doing well, but I'm weary from all the traveling and I'm ready to get somewhere that I will be for more than a few hours; it will be nice to get settled somewhere. Sleep has been a scarce luxury; all in all, I've only spent 8 hours in a bed over the past 5 days! Looking forward to some quality shut-eye.
My next posting should be from Afghanistan... so I'll tell you all about it when I get there.
Bye for now.