TERROR PLOT ON THE FOB |
October 24, 2011
Name: Major Mark Duber
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Milblog: Warbird Doctor Diaries
Yesterday at morning report we learned of an unknown hidden danger within the borders of our FOB. A cell of approximately 13 insurgents somehow infiltrated the confines of our base as local Afghan national workers over the last year; two of the insurgents even made it to a fortified secure location. An intelligence tip focused on two insurgents initially which then opened up to the larger group. The insurgents plan was a coordinated attack within our FOB for maximum casualties. We were not informed of the specifics but know the Afghans involved were apprehended and their terror mission was debunked.
When I first arrived to the FOB months ago I was extremely suspicious of everything, and my senses were peaked. Over time they blunted as the feeling of security increases from days of monotony. If thirteen plotting insurgents can make it on this base without notice, a reevaluation of security measures is in need. My wary will restart the process of questioning everything, and my fellow team has indicated they are doing the same. Barbed wire, large foreboding walls, armed guard towers and gates apparently are not enough. Internal tension and security measures have changed to a noticeable level here and I would assume the same is occurring throughout the theater.
After an exposed terror plot and temporary loss of electrical power on the FOB, my promotion ceremony eventually took off. About ten individuals from higher command came in addition to members of both my team and Charlie Company. Joe J introduced me to the crowd and then I gave an impromptu speech. It was a memorable experience, being promoted in theater; an event that I will carry forever. Being a member of the U.S. army is an honor in itself, but when you compound this with the heroes I work with on a daily basis this honor is elevated beyond expectation.
If there was one less-elevated note of yesterday it was that my family could not be there with me; especially my wife Melissa, who was promoted to major in the U.S. army yesterday as well. Melissa is an emergency medicine doctor for the U.S. army at Fort Knox. My wife and I have lived parallel lives since we started medical school together. We accepted the military scholarship and were commissioned to second lieutenants together, went to medical school together, were promoted to captain together, were together during residency training, and stationed at Fort Knox as staff physicians together. If there was ever an example of soul mates we would be the definition. We are by far stronger together than apart, and our dreams are one and the same (Disclaimer: a few minor exceptions exist).
For the record, I am the senior major, as I was promoted 8 ½ hours earlier; eastern standard time is behind Afghanistan time. Somehow that fact will not fly in our household; call it a gut feeling. I think my wife will just consider me a major pain in the ass; domestic business as usual in the Duber household.
P.S. Congratulations on your promotion, beautiful.