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ITO: Authorizes travel Kuwait to BAF

A staffer submitting paperwork for Afghanistan received ITOs that includes (apparently) permission to fly milair from Kuwait to Bagram, skipping over Kabul International. How recent is this? We’ve traveled that way in the past, but it always seemed to be a logistical mess requiring multiple levels of permission.

4. Media who have been authorized to embed by ISAF PAO may use this ITO to travel unescorted within the LSA of Ali Al Salem, Kuwait, and between Kabul International Airport (KAIA), Kandahar Airfield and Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Media are not permitted to conduct interviews, gather information or images or perform any news reporting while unescorted by an authorized public affairs representative.

by M. Scott Mahaskey at 2011-03-09 16:16:29 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

That’s great. I’ve heard it happening before as you mentioned but not formally being the new norm, as of ten months ago it wasnt. Saves a lot of money not having to fly commercial from Dubai to Kabul or Dubai to KAF/BAF via DFS. One drawback is you could wind up sitting at Ali Al Saleem for a week waiting for a flight due to weather, full flights, etc.

by Bill Thomas | 09 Mar 2011 16:03 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
I recently flew from Bastion/Leatherneck to Al-Udeid/Qatar on US Air Force transport, with a Qatar visa that I’d been instructed to get by USAF personnel. Once at Al-Udeid, it turned out that my passport, ISAF embed credentials, and Qatari visa were not sufficient to clear Qatar immigrations, so a very helpful AF NCO put me on a military charter flight to Dulles/DC, which saved me a plane ticket home – but once back in the US, I found some very anxious correspondence from public affairs in Afghanistan about my “unauthorized” travel, and a bill for $4000 for the flight. Ultimately, it turned out that the same bureaucratic hang-ups that made me “unauthorized” to fly also made them “unauthorized” to bill, so the charges were dropped.

anyway, moral of the story, just because you’ve got the paperwork, doesn’t mean it’ll fly. and the US military is seriously getting fleeced for intercontinental troop transport.

by teru kuwayama | 11 Mar 2011 19:03 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
For starters, anyone who has been to Ali Al Salem will tell you how terrible that place is. I know it like the back of my hand and I truly wish I did not. I’ve been stuck there more times than I can count getting my visa renewed and towards the end of my embed I was having smokes with contractors outside my tent who told me they had been stuck there for two weeks and possibly going to be stuck there longer…soldiers and marines had been stuck there also for weeks because no flights were going out…..but they were coming in! That base clogs up extremely fast and if you are lucky you will get a flight, but with all the troops coming in and out of Iraq/Afghanistan it is brutal. Most of the contractors I talked to were going to jump in a cab and buy their own ticket home or to Afghanistan. It’s great if they offer that, but if I make a trip to Afghanistan I will probably try to skip it….unless they get a better system working there.

by Nigel Gray | 12 Mar 2011 02:03 | Sarasota, Fl, United States | | Report spam→

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M. Scott Mahaskey, Director of Photography M. Scott Mahaskey
Director of Photography
Washington, D.C. , United States ( DCA )
Bill Thomas, Photographer-Videographer Bill Thomas
Nyc , United States
teru kuwayama, I/O teru kuwayama
New York , United States
Nigel Gray, Taker of Photos Nigel Gray
Taker of Photos
Sarasota, Fl , United States


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