Live from Kabul International Airport: the front end of an embed


Dan Lamothe sends his first blog entry April 3 at KAIA Tent City in Kabul, Afghanistan. Kabul International Airport is the Marine Corps Times team's first stop on the long journey to Helmand Province, Afghanistan.(James J. Lee/Staff)

KABUL, Afghanistan — Good evening, friends. After a long odyssey that included two long commercial flights and a stop in Turkey, photographer James Lee and I have made it to Afghanistan.

That’s step one. At some point in coming days, we will make the move to Camp Leatherneck, the sprawling forward operating base in Helmand province that is home to thousands of Marines and the headquarters of I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). Then it’s on to infantry units in the northern districts of the province.

Early impressions? The military side of Kabul International Airport — KAIA, as the troops call it — is a dusty, multinational outpost, but it has a variety of creature comforts that we won’t be seeing later in this trip as we find our way to the countryside. I just poked into the recreational center here, and it was filled with troops from several countries playing ping pong, watching movies and emailing their families.

J. Lee and I split a pie from Pizza Hut this afternoon, then caught up on some much needed sleep. We’ll have much more here on Battle Rattle in coming days.


About Author

I'm a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.


  1. The Marine Moms of 1/7 Dog Company appreciate what you are doing and we wish you a safe journey. Please give our love to our troops and tell them “socks and TP are on the way”!!

  2. I am so happy to hear that you will be with 1/7!!! Praying God will be with all the boys out there and hopefully will hear some news from about H&S Co. Thank you Dan for reporting.

  3. Raymond Torres on

    Good afternoon my brother is In 1/7 animal Gilbert Hernandez and I have several friends have many in baker Charlie and one in dog take care and pass on my prayers if possible. Thank you

Leave A Reply