Thanksgiving at Tarin Kot hits the pitch
12 December 2013
Thanksgiving at Tarin Kot was celebrated with a friendly cricket match between coalition troops before they enjoyed the final meal prepared in the Tarin Kot dining facility.
Australian soldiers and airmen from Combined Team Uruzgan and Security Force Two were challenged to a cricket match by soldiers from the US Army’s 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, who form the Theatre Assistance Force at Multi National Base Tarin Kot.
General Lloyd J. Austin III, Commander US Central Command, visited the base for Thanksgiving dinner joined by Major-General Paul J. LaCamera, Commander Regional Command (South) and Major-General Craig Orme, Commander Joint Task Force 633.
General Austin said it was a pleasure to visit Tarin Kot and share the last meal served in the dining facility, which had grown a reputation for its quality of service over the years.
“It was a tremendous experience to share a meal with the troops, who were grateful for the efforts made by the catering staff to make it exceptional,” he said.
“It’s a special day for us because we celebrate a holiday which is uniquely American, Thanksgiving Day.
“I was in Tarin Kot in 2003-04 when we made the decision to establish this base and at that time it was a tiny place, just an ink spot on the map.
“Now when I see what it has developed into it is quite remarkable, but it’s not just the base, it’s the effect the troops have had on this part of Afghanistan while deployed here.
“The Australian contingents have done a magnificent job and have been great partners.”
Squadron Leader Chris Hatch, of Combined Team Uruzgan, said the US team showed a lot of interest in cricket and researched the rules in preparation for the match.
“Cricket came out second best today; the day was all about international bonding, having a good time and understanding the coalition troops we work with,” he said.
“The game was another way of helping us through to the end of the mission with a bunch of good blokes.”
Sergeant David W Harvey, from the US Army, said it was fantastic to play one of Australia’s favourite sports and interact with the other coalition troops.
“Taskforce Mustang’s team had a lot of fun as it let them relax before returning to their normal guard duties or patrols,” he said.
“The cricket match was awesome. I had no clue on what I was doing but I had a good time.”