by Chad Campbell, senior producer
In July of 2009, fellow producer Geoffrey Redick and I traveled to a place called the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin in the Mojave Desert of California. That’s where the Army provides the most realistic training possible for soliders preparing to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan. We were there to follow members of a new Human Terrain Team, which itself was a fairly new program that embeds civilian social scientists with combat troops in the field to help commanders better understand the local population. About a month later, Bob and Geoffrey also visited members of AF7 during their classroom training at Ft. Leavenworth Kansas (I got as far as Denver but a delay caused me to miss my connecting flight). Team leader and former Marine John Foldberg, Army veteran Jared Davidson and civilian social scientist Kristin Post were members of the team that successfully completed its mission earlier this year in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. Bob recently spoke with those members for an update and they’re all still somewhat involved with the Human Terrain System. Foldberg has just deployed to southern Iraq to oversee about a dozen Human Terrain Teams. Davidson is working with a different team in Afghanistan’s Wardac Province. And Post recently took a job at the Center for the Advancement of Operational Cultural Learning in Quantico, Virgina.