Training in the Czech Republic for deployment to Afghanistan.

Can you guys believe it’s May already?? Life needs to slow down just I bit I think!

I’ve been wanting to tell you guys about Chris’ trip to the Czech Republic for about a month now. As I was searching for the photos I realized it was all the way back in March! I feel like I barely blinked and April came and went! Poof! Gone! But I’m still going to tell you about his trip anyway, because it was pretty cool.

So here it goes.

Once upon a time NATO sent Chris to the Czech Republic for a week for Civilian Pre-Deployment Training. That’s right. Pre-deployment. As in pre-deployment-to-Afghanistan. Apparently sometimes working for the military means being sent into a war zone, despite not actually being in the military. He’s most likely be going in 2014. Bummer. In a weird twisted way though it’s kind of exciting. I mean…Afghanistan will forever be in the history books. and Chris will get to be there! Especially since Chris won’t actually get sent to the really crazy combat zones, so he should be fairly safe.

“Fairly” is the key word there. Hence why he had to go  to a week of vigorous training. Because even though he’ll be “fairly” safe… there’s apparently still the risk of roadside bombs and civilian hostage situations. Eep!

He had a blast though! They learned a bunch of survival skills, escape and evasion techniques, how to find and destroy mines, how to deal with chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear warfare, radio communication skills, and kidnapping and interrogation survival. They simulated a whole surprise civilian kidnapping and hostage situation and everything! Oh.. and it was all in the snow and freezing temperatures. Chris came home a bit roughed up, but definitely feeling mighty hardcore.

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Searching for “mines”

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I love a man in uniform!

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Chris and his coworkers.

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Socks hanging to dry in the barracks after a hard day of tromping around in the snow.

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The barracks.

At the end of the trip, Chris got to spend a day exploring Prague! His thoughts after his time in the city: “We definitely need to go back and see more of it!” Ummm… ok!

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Behind Chris is a lady in a dress, leading a donkey with a carrot hanging from a stick. Just another day in Prague… ?

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(Click for a better panorama!)

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6 Responses
  1. Mom says:

    Chris might be in Afghanistan in 2014? That’s wild. I never in a million years thought you and Michael would, one day, have shared experiences in a place so remote. And to go to Prague! I love traveling, vicariously, with you. Thanks to both of you for documenting your travels with photos.

  2. Jon says:

    Luckeeeee! :-)

  3. Christine says:

    I met a boy the other day also go to Afghanistan in which I exclaimed.. “Awesome! I had a dream last night that I lived there and it was AMAZING!!!” …which was not the response he wanted to hear since he also had no choice. He will be on the warfront though. I almost learned my lesson.. but I am still excited for Chris is a sick/strange way. It looks like such a beautiful and interesting country.

    • ChrisandChelsea says:

      Chris is actually pretty excited too! Although he might be confined to the base, which would be a bummer. But still… Lots of adventure :)

  4. hobbler says:

    Afghanistan is either mind numbingly boring or boring. That’s the worst thing. It all depends on what base you’re going to be at, too. Since you’re a NATO guy you’ll probably end up someplace “decent” and I’ll hate you.

    Also, since it sounds like you haven’t deployed anywhere before, I’ll give you some advice:
    #1 NATO troops are more likely to shoot things to ribbons than Americans, so you’ll be fairly pretty safe.

    #2 Italian/French/Ukranian drivers on base are more terrifying than rockets and more likely to hit you.

    #3 There’s not much more terrifying than the 3-5 seconds after an incoming alarm. The booms are a good thing to hear because it means it already blew up so you’re good.

    #4 The safer places are usually the worst ones to be at because everyone is convinced they’ll be blown into oblivion in about .3 seconds. When a (1, singular) rocket does hit the other side of base, it’s complete panic and stupidity. God forbid anything hits within 500m, You’ll hear people talking about how close they were for the next week. This is more prevalent at larger bases.

    #5 Kandahar is terrible.

    #6 Don’t buy bootleg Beats or DVDs.

    #7 Air travel here is fairly pleasant but can get bumped/cancelled at any moment due to weather.

    #8 Parts of this country are breathtakingly beautiful, but the locals are shifty. Be friendly and open, smile a lot, but be standoffish about your personal life/work beyond vague generalities. Shred or burn anything with your name/personal information on it, not for your protection but to ensure it isn’t used to track down your family members. That’s about the only safety briefing thing I’ve followed religiously.

    If you’ve got anything more specific or want to know something about specific areas ask your cousin Josh about how to get in touch with me. Been here for a year and a half, Iraq for 3. Enjoy!

  5. Dad O. says:

    Don’t remember anything about “deployment” in the pre-nup.

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