WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2012/2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/92498

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Page 59 of 203

dr. richard ehrlichman left: The Boeing C-17 military transport that flew the unit to Kabul, via Ireland and Kuwait; below: Camp Phoenix housing, affectionately dubbed "Lego Land"; bottom: Dr. Ehrlichman on convoy in an MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle) Infantry Brigade," he says, "with most of the enlisted men in their twen- ties, most of the company commanders in their mid thirties, the senior staff in their forties, and I, certainly, the oldest one in our unit at age 57." The road to Afghanistan required several detours to ready the 182nd for combat-zone duty – a course title that had not appeared on Ehrlichman's syllabus at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. First came special trauma training in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, followed by orientation in Fort Benning, Georgia. "There, you get your weapons qualifications and all of your equipment," Ehrlichman explains. "That includes cold and warm weather gear, sleeping bags, gas gear, chemical gear, and a medic bag." From Georgia, the Guardsmen and women boarded a cavernous C-17 transport to a US base in Kuwait where they became acclimated for several days to the bleak weather. The final leg carried them to Bagram Air Base in Kabul, followed by a 15-minute chopper lift to their multina- tional "Camp Phoenix" (British, French, Bulgarian, Canadian, Romanian, German, Mongolian, American). There, corrugated box-like housing awaited them, promptly earning it the title "Lego Land." 58 The deployment was not lengthy – about four months – but in that time the unit was kept busy with its charge of providing security for various military outfits in Kabul, including the 3,000 troops at Camp Phoenix and the headquarters of NATO and ISAF (International Security Assistance Force). The latter was attacked in the fall and the base in the spring. Both times, the unit responded. Weathering Kabul In a city of six million, Ehrlichman quickly got the lay of the land. "Kabul is like LA," he says. "It's situated between two branches of the Hindu Kush Mountains, so it sits in a bowl. With numerous vehicles, WellesleyWeston Magazine | winter 2012/2013

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