Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A trip east....?

Life really is interesting and sometimes really interesting things just appear out of the blue.

For the last year I've been trying to make arrangements on my own to go to Afghanistan to do photography. I had lined up media crendials and the paper work to become an "embedded" photographer with the army. The problem was securing transportation. To pay for travel out of pocket is extremely expensive and my efforts at securing a ride over on a military aircraft have not panned out...

So it was with a great deal of serendipity that a call came from an old friend several months ago offering me a paid trip with the army, not to Afghanistan but to Iraq. The friend is a recently retired senior army general who now consults for and advises the army. He told me that an infantry division would be deploying to the oil rich sectors of Iraq in January and that they wanted someone on board who knew the oil business...and the army. My name was suggested. Talks ensued in which I told commanders that I'm not really an expert in any one area, but my strong suit is knowing a lot of people who are so why don't we put together a consulting team of many experts from the differing areas of the oil business. The idea was well received.

So after a call received today, I guess I'm officially a US Army consultant for Iraq. The consultant who is hiring other consultants. We will be hosting, in Midland, a large group of the divisions staff officers and commanders for an "oil business 101" seminar after which we will be on call as the situation dictates in Northern Iraq. Trips over are likely, hopefully very short trips.

Interesting to boot in that the division I'm working with, is the very same one I served in all those years ago.