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Jan-17-2007 22:52printcommentsVideo

FLASHBACK: White Out Conditions Complicate Journey in Afghanistan`s High Country (VIDEO)

A fair share of challenges face every military convoy moving through Afghanistan's high country during a winter storm. When it comes time to chain up a Humvee, you know it’s serious.

Tim King; Afghanistan
Tim King reporting on this convoy from Ghazni to Sharona, high in the mountains of Afghanistan.

(KABUL, Afghanistan) - It has been a cold winter for Oregon Guard troops in Afghanistan and as Tim King tells us in this next report, travel through the country's mountains on Christmas day nearly ground to a standstill.

Our group of nine U.S. and Afghan Army trucks was on day two providing security for officers who were visiting a number of remote mountain forward operating bases.

The road we were setting out on looked like a big sheet of ice.

"It remains to be seen what it is going to be like today, it could be pretty rough," says Seward Mientsma JR., Lt. Cmndr., U.S. Navy.

The convoy hadn't been on the road for 15-minutes before the first truck spun out into a ditch.

Our Humvee pulled the Afghan National Army truck back onto the road as weather conditions worsened.

In a winter convoy, nobody's colder than the upper turret gunner.

Capt. Matt Cain, the gunner in our Humvee, said, "You dress like you're going ice fishing and you deal with it."

As visibility continued to dissipate before our eyes, the Humvee's computer called the Blue Force Tracker started to malfunction.

With no navigational aid, driving became even more treacherous. We passed another convoy that was at a dead stop. One soldier commented, "It's kind of slow going, but at least you know where the road is."

But in very little time, knowing where the road was became less clear. Increasing snow and less visibility meant it was time to stop and put on tire chains. When it comes time to chain up a Humvee, you know it’s serious.

The chains gave the tires traction but soon we ran into another problem.

"These guys are in a heck of a bind right now, it's a cold winter day in Afghanistan, we're trying to get from one forward outpost to another,” I explain. “First the ANA vehicles became stuck, then the Humvee became stuck, and while this is happening, the road in front of us is just disappearing."

"Now we're in almost near whiteout conditions,” says Lt. Cmdr Mientsna JR., “So, now we're trying to decide if we should go ahead and proceed, or turn around and go back go Ghazni."

Then suddenly in the far distance, we saw a caravan of cars being led by local men on foot, walking toward us.

The Afghan men suggested we turn around, for the road ahead was impossible to see. What they didn't know was that their passing by meant a new set of tire tracks for us to follow, an unusual gift on this stormy Christmas day.

And that afternoon, after many hours, we reached our high mountain destination of the base called Sharona. Lt. Col. John Shroeder said, "We got here safe, that was the good part about it. Long trip, but what are you going to do? It's Afghanistan and nothing happens quick in Afghanistan."

With a sigh of relief, Sgt. Maj. Richard James said of the journey, "Finally, that was the longest trip we ever took from here to there- but, a Christmas we'll remember!"

Watch the Streaming Video News Report below, direct from Kabul, Afghanistan by Tim King: Video

In Afghanistan, Tim King, reporting for

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We will continue to keep you updated on the people and organizations that support Oregon troops and are making Dispatches from Afghanistan possible.

A special THANK YOU to these Silent Auction contributors: Extreme Velocity Paintball, Beads-a-Million, SLAB, Oak Knoll Golf Course, Best Lil Roadhouse, Los Baez, EZ Orchards, Adams Ribs Smokehouse, Willamette Queen, Thailand Restaurant, Lela Kelly, Frank Matthews and Tina Miller Thanks! is a locally owned news organization. Sponsorship of Tim's reports on is very affordable with enormous exposure, and the reports will be archived complete with your commercial.

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Tim King was embedded in Kabul, Afghanistan with the 41st Combat Brigade of the Oregon National Guard when this report was filed.


Tim King in 2007, covering the Afghanistan War

Tim King: Editor and Writer

Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim is a former U.S. Marine.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 102 writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address:

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Osotan January 20, 2007 7:14 pm (Pacific time)

I can even book you James Brown's Raymo Review and his Casket Boogymen! Raymo has been perportedly sighted lounging in the gold coffin, which turns out to be a portal into 11 new dimensions. Give me a ring.

Osotan January 20, 2007 6:06 pm (Pacific time)

"Old Ironsides Lodging and Chai?".,or perhaps "The Peublo Cantina?" with Red tending bar?,.,some attractive ladies hanging on his every word and tricking out of another round? Sgt. Shaunesie manning the armory in the cellar/bunker complex? First Sgt. Webber at the desk?., stones thoughtfully color coded to keep guests from blowing themselves up as they stroll the river banks?,and a M.A.S.H. unit for those that do?...,sounds intriguing actually.,I can get you a good price on hammocks, chillums and other bulk purchase necessities.,let me know Sgt.

Osotan January 20, 2007 5:25 pm (Pacific time)

"Hotel California?"

Osotan January 20, 2007 5:10 pm (Pacific time)

Well Sgt.? "the last dance hotel?".,every room with a view of nightly firefights from Pakistan.,hmm?,you could give each patron a pop-up flare and every night they could launch star clusters from the roof garden just before ducking into a conveniently placed earthen bunker? wonderful Sgt., just splendid! R.P.G.'s for the more robust geusts,? Yes Sgt., do illuminate us as to your "plan", will online bookings be possible?

Albert Marnell January 20, 2007 4:16 pm (Pacific time)

Tim, It looks like you are getting used to it over there. Are you planning on opening a Bed and Breakfast?

Anonymous January 20, 2007 11:48 am (Pacific time)

wait a minute, one of the pics taken by 1SGT Webber? the one on the rifle range. I remember when he was a MAJ.. Yep he left the dark side. Now if you to talk about age, know there's a few over 40 and over 50's there from OR, talk about dedication. Regardless, appears SGT King does have has adult supervision with him. Awesome pic taken by the 1SGT.

GI Janie January 19, 2007 10:27 am (Pacific time)

"SGT Angus"!,, that is awesome! ya gotta wear them black shorts too, nvrmind,, too cold for that. Maybe at the party?? Love your stories!!

Osotan January 19, 2007 3:17 am (Pacific time)

and Sgt. King.,may your parents be sainted for not floating you down styx river at one was looking., they had the chance!, and knowing you I'm sure you would have filmed the story and streamed it back from hell! I give up Sgt! Middle age and trickery..,I mean wisdom., bites the dust.,youth and skill prevail. What a pheonix.

Tim King January 18, 2007 9:35 pm (Pacific time)

Sgt Angus has a definite ring to it doesn't it?

Tim King January 18, 2007 9:30 pm (Pacific time)

enraged cupcake, thanks for saying so, it was quite an experience and I am really glad I made the decision to go. The Humvee is a mighty vehicle but it still only goes so far, so I'm glad we were able to make our destination.

enraged cupcake January 18, 2007 8:42 pm (Pacific time)

Yo Tim its so cool how you went through all the trouble of doing all this. I sure thank you for it and I'm sure everyone else does to.

enraged cupcakes January 18, 2007 8:40 pm (Pacific time)

Dude it must suck to be in that snow better yet spin out in it.

Osotan January 18, 2007 7:12 pm (Pacific time)

and by the way Sgt.,you are also in violation of "the denial protocal",more info entered on page 14,which now consists of three addendums.,as in your charge sheet is four pages long.,

Anonymous January 18, 2007 7:01 pm (Pacific time)

exept Sarge King is still rocking more so than Mr Angus these days... living on the edge!

Anonymous January 18, 2007 6:56 pm (Pacific time)

just razin ya O-S.. maybe he needs you to be his mum-type-advisor, regardless of the facial hair.... AcDc rockin? ya he kind of looks like Angus Young as well.

Osotan January 18, 2007 6:52 pm (Pacific time)

why not? it was a beutiful view into the Sonora,and a T.V.antenna for electromagnetic requirements..,it'd be like paradise!

Tim King January 18, 2007 6:41 pm (Pacific time)

Scary? I'm not scary, you just never recovered from almost sliding off the back of my Kawasaki 900 a couple of decades ago. Remember that Ken McCoy isn't the only one I've seen in defending himself in action, you have a scary side yourself! I do remember the air was heavy that day at the crash site outside of Yuma, you think there were ghosts? That is an interesting thought.

Osotan January 18, 2007 6:29 pm (Pacific time)

I am not Sgt. Kings mum. Sgt King is a scary individual and I confess a certain terror on his behalf over the Ac-Dc rockin' job he's doing.,I causes me stress.,and as older Marines.,it causes me more stress.,including Yuma and the bad spot.,and don't forget the ghosts.,but if I was his mum., I'd make him stay in his room rather than risk his life on this commenable but..,scary mission. He and family members also jump out of airplanes!. out

Tim King January 18, 2007 6:03 pm (Pacific time)

Osotan, Those tracks all but disappeared! Yes, there are land mines all over and we are supposed to stay out of the rough which is pretty difficult. As for those opium poppies, I think those grow better in the lower elevations. My promotions and decorations must be on some kind of backlog, so your skepticism was well placed, no worries, just take three doses of your ulcer meds and call me in the morning.

As for Osotan being in denial, I recall my drill instructor saying something about being my mother and father for the next 13-weeks, but if you saw the mustache on 'O' you would know he's nobody's mother. I know he gets a little worried about things, like one day when I was hanging off the edge of a big mountain in Arizona, "Dude, you are in a bad spot man." Remember that Osotan?

Anonymous January 18, 2007 2:49 pm (Pacific time)

O-S you are sooo in denial .. OBvious mothering' and heart felt concern for the well-being of SGT King.. come on now,, be honest.. your really King's mum?,, arent U!

Osotan January 18, 2007 8:50 am (Pacific time)

for example.,the snow covered track? same snow covers painted stones that mark Taliban booby traps let alone the Russian and A.N.A. anti-leg devices.,am I right? I think so Sgt., I do think so, and you are up to your knees in it chaining tires on Humvee's!? the loss of your legs below or above those knees didn't occur to the Sgt?...,Wait..,there's more! oh yes! then rumor has it you dropped the global positioner and Raymo was rescued on that signal's reverse slope sitting on top of a mountain of opium poppies only to disapear with James Brown and the gold coffin!., and you are promoted! and decorated!., over my most robust skepticism?! How long does this go on King? I should die of ulcers maybe? I ask you?

Osotan January 18, 2007 8:30 am (Pacific time)

Leaning over the old style juke box full of 45s in the Shang Hai Bar and Den, with a frosted mug of home made chinese root beer,I'm listening to Ray Charles's "I'm Busted", and thought of the Sgt., what a coincidence wouldn't you say Sgt.?

Osotan January 18, 2007 12:08 am (Pacific time)

why doth thou taunt me?

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