The Warzone Intern
College: College of Business
Majors: Aviation Logistics
I had been working domestically as an Emergency Medical Technician while studying Aviation Logistics at UNT. The company I worked for, Onsite Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), is a U.S. Government medical contractor that sends other contractors to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, and a few other countries around the world. Onsite OHS has been providing medical services to the southern half of Afghanistan for almost two years now and they had never had Logistics personnel to create an efficient supply chain in country, until another man and I went to work. Just a few short weeks after finishing the May semester, I found myself learning about what to do in case I was put into a hostage situation in war torn Afghanistan. I had to write a letter to my friends and family if something were to happen to me, I felt as if I had to face my own mortality. The next thing I knew I was on a sixteen hour flight on my way to Dubai, then on to Afghanistan to enjoy a nice summer vacation with temperatures at a breezy 125°F in the shade. I was on my way to do my little part for the war on terrorism, however small it may be, I was going to help.
My mission was to create an efficient supply chain to supply all of the Forward Operating Bases (FOB) and Combat Operating Bases (COB) with medical supplies from my base at Kandahar Airfield (KAF). One of the reasons that an education in aviation logistics was so useful in this case, was the fact that all supplies in the country moved via air. This was done for the advantage of speed as well as the safety from Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s) and enemy ambush, which are dangers that plague over land convoys. Even though I spent most of my time inside a secure military installation, we still had to worry about the ever present threat of rocket attacks. Some of the days, my co-workers and I would spend hours inside a bunker just waiting for the all clear siren to blast. Those hours that we would spend in the bunker were the perfect time to meet new people from all around the world. I personally met people from at least twenty-four different countries, even though there were over seventy different countries represented on my base alone. Sometimes explaining that Texas alone was about the same size as Afghanistan was a little difficult and some things would get lost in translation, but overall it was an incredible international experience. By the time my internship was over, I had visited a few FOB’s and was able to see the Logistics process from start to finish. When I started my internship, most everybody there had no idea what Logistics was, but by the completion, everybody knew just how vital an efficient supply chain can help all around the world.
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