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Helmand PRT & FEMA Build Trailer Parks for Afghans
(B-B-C News) “Schools, sewers and roads will not be sufficient,” Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team Spokesperson Capt. Lisa “Poon” Poniatowski “Our mission is to help the Afghan government deliver governance and improve development across Helmand Province. The distribution of manufactured homes for every Afghan that wants one will be a critical force multiplier in counter-insurgency efforts throughout this and other provinces.”
Though the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Helmand Province is a multinational effort comprised of military, civilian and NGO personnel from the UK, Netherlands and Estonia and led by the UK, substantial numbers of US military personnel are involved.
Lt. Gen. Charles Gordon Algernon, putative commander of all US military personnel assigned to PRTs and Embedded Training Teams (ETTs) in Helmand, has good things to say about the idea—and the NCO who came up with it.
“It’ll be like a little bit of Arkansas right there in Lashkar Gah,” he advised TDB enthusiastically via Skype from his headquarters in the Burj Al Arab. “You have to look at what’s been going on in Kajaki, Musa Qala, Nahr-e Saraj and that one place where all the kids look especially retarded, The Taliban continues to sabotage what we do for these people. We must do everything possible to secure the good will of the people of Afghanistan, but we must do so within the constraints of increasingly limited budgets. Indigenous Mobile Manufactured Dwellings are the perfect answer.”
A member of the Afghan National Police Force patrols through one of the new Indigenous Mobile Manufactured Dwelling villages near Kajaki. It is hoped that both ANP and ALP personnel will develop a sense of ownership so they don’t run away as often or shoot their Coalition counterparts unexpectedly. “It’s a perfect fit,” GySgt Aponte says, “most of the ANPs rock mullets anyway.
GySgt Ramon Aponte, a Marine assigned to an ETT in Helmand and the author of what is already being unofficially called the ‘Trailer Park Protocol’ explained the concept further, though it took a direct order to get him to talk to us.
“Look, we know these fucktards are gonna ruin whatever we build them, but FM 3-24 [the official Field Manual of Counterinsurgency] and more importantly the brass here say we have to do is…so what we’re doing here is winning hearts and minds by giving them more free shit that doesn’t cost as much and we’re putting them in a house that we can shoot through a helluva lot more easily than those mud huts and walled compounds. Let’s face it, the CERP [Commander’s Emergency Response Program] can buy a lot of mobile homes, especially now after Hurricane Isaac. We won’t even have to evict all the trailer trash still living in them after Katrina. There’s thousands of them rusting all over the place.”
“Just look at these fucking kids,” LCpl Skarnulis said. “They deserve a trailer of their own don’t they? Even the inbred ones.”
“You have to forgive Gunny if he doesn’t want to talk much,” nearby LCpl Gerold Skarnulis said, “his cousin just died at Camp Leatherneck.”
TDB contacted the Helmand PRT headquarters to ask for the UK’s opinion of the so-called ‘Trailer Park Protocol’.
“We are on schedule to complete refurbishment of the Gereshk Hydroelectricity plant by 2014,” some British guy there said, pronouncing schedule as shedyule so he sounded really smart. “We’ve resurfaced 72km of roads, constructed over a hundred schools and numerous clinics. It seems a very American idea doesn’t it, this IMMD business, but we have asked the Officer Commanding, 04 Force Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, to look into it.”
TDF was unable to confirm the existence of anything called 04 Force Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers by press time.
“We can’t call them mobile homes or trailers,” Aponte said sagely, “or we’ll be insulting the locals. That’s why we have to say IMMD.”
Farooq Parwani, a local policeman whose family received one of the very first IMMDs, was grateful for the gift. “Now I have a place to stay,” he said through an interpreter while Aponte looked on, scowling, “and there is room underneath for my wife and daughters where the skirting will protect them from the wind. Allah willing one day I will have a pink flamingo to decorate my dirt.”
“I cannot wait for my trailering house,” Afghan policeman Mushtaba Patang said. “I will have all boys in the neighborhood over and we will have tea, and cookies, and tickling.”
Asked ‘why trailers’ instead of traditional foundation-and-frame houses like those of US suburbs, and why a civilian agency like FEMA, Aponte grew very serious. “That’s a good question,” he answered. “It comes down to balancing how much effort you want to put into something vs. the popular support it might generate vs. the fact that you know it’ll all get fucked up before too long. Like…Habitat for Humanity built some houses in Yaka-Toot a couple years ago near Mazar-i-Sharif, and you know what happened? One extended family started feuding with another and blew holes in the house with RPGs. When we visited the other house we realized they’d been shitting all over the floor—the whole damn village was using it as an outhouse. Seriously, even getting to take a dump on industrial carpet over here is like having those guys with the soap and the combs in the bathroom at a strip club back home. It’s the most luxurious shit they’ve ever taken. As for FEMA, they’re really efficient. Look at their track record of successes.”
We asked LCpl Gerold Skarnulis, another proponent of IMMDs, if they were getting any ‘pushback’ from NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations). “Well,” he said, spitting Copenhagen on the floor of Farooq’s IMMD, “the Center for Global Development thinks it’s a terrible idea, but what the fuck do they know? Bunch of liberal bleeding heart pussies. I lived in a trailer, and I never shit on the floor.”
We were unable to contact anyone at FEMA for comment.
“Bottom line? It’s a great way to keep the populace engaged and it won’t cost us nearly as much money,” Lt. Gen. Algernon said. “Our hope is to see ALP officers in mullets and old cars up on cinder blocks in the yard within the next months.”
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi would not comment on the issue, though he did ask which village in Helmand province would be next to receive its trailer park.
Sangin District is next in line to receive mobile homes, according to our sources. Sangin District Governor Mohammad Sharif was unavailable for comment, though a spokesman for his office released a statement indicating they would accept IMMDs as long as they were double-wides.
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