The third base that we visited yesterday, was by far the craziest.
Camp Bala Hissar has one mission, to monitor and protect the Aerostat balloon. It looks like a small blimp that hovers over Kabul, and is fixed with high res cameras and surveillance equipment that is operated by civilian defense contractors. This 'balloon' helps our troops keep track of possible targets, and allows an overview of the city day and night. I heard that it's a 25 million dollar balloon! You should see how big the helium tanks are for this thing!!!
This base is built into the side of a mountain in Kabul. The top of the mountain is protected by Afghan National Army troops, who work hand in hand with the US soldiers.
Let's just say, they are not used to having a woman around... Especially a woman like me!
The US troops that are in Bala Hissar right now, are half Mass troops and half from Alabama! This place is a cultural melting pot, and it works! They are very isolated fro the other bases, and are completely self contained. They build everything on base themselves, including the basketball court!
The hoop is a perfectly bent piece of rebar! These guys have skills.
The most amazing part of this base, is what it's named after. Bala Hissar, is a 1000 year old fort that was designed and built by Genghis Kahn, and the ruins of this fort still stand right above the camp! Check out some of these pictures. It's so amazing here. With the amount of unrest that this area has seen over the last 1000 years, it is unbelievable that these walls still stand! They just don't build things like this anymore!
We had to take the toursist shot! The views here are unlike anything that I have ever seen!
And even though you are surrounded by beauty, there are still obvious reminders of the destruction that this area has seen over the years!
This is where you would have lived, if you were a high ranking officer in the time of Kahn! Not too bad!
This is a lake bed, that is filled naturally at certain times of the year by runoff from the mountains. This entire area, was designed by Genghis Kahn himself. There is irrigation tunnels, and aqueducts that move the water around the village. And we spent 15 billion on the Big Dig???
And even thought this is a 'War Zone' the kids still play like every other kid, in any country in the world.
Here are some more pics of the surrounding area.
Click here for more historical informationn on this amazing area of the world!
Thanks to the guys of Task Force Yankee for a great day!