from the front

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Name: Capt Ronnie Birge
Deployed unit: 455th EOG OL/A, Kabul Afghanistan International Airport
Home unit: 81st Range Control Squadron
Job description: Kabul Air Control Center Liaison Officer (KACC-LNO). As an LNO ensure civil aircraft are separated from military aircraft and ground artillery.

What will you remember about your deployment 20 years from now?
All the different people.

What's the most useful item you packed?
Electric blanket, there is no heat in our living quarters and it averages 25 degrees at night.

What do you wish you had packed?
More pictures of my family.

When did you realize you "weren't in Kansas anymore;" aka your "Dorothy" moment?
When I went to the Chow hall and saw that there were only about 20 U.S. military among the 300 other military members.

What's the best part of the deployment?
Working on a NATO base with all the different nationalities.

The worst part? The smell

What do you do during down time?
I work 12 hours a day 7 days a week therefore, I usually sleep.

What is the first thing you will do and eat when you return? 
I will hug my wife and kids and BBQ a large steak.