KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – When service members first
arrive at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, to begin their
deployments, all must first be trained on certain skills before they
can begin their mission.
The training differs depending on
the nature of the service member's job. Some are trained on weapons
systems, for example, while others are trained on Biometrics. Some
are trained solely on countering improvised explosive devices.
Master Sgt. Pablo Jimenez of 4th Infantry Division makes sure
incoming service members are properly trained for their mission in
southern Afghanistan. He is a senior noncommissioned officer in the
operations section of Regional Command (South), a section that
focuses on current and future operations. Jimenez has been serving
as the officer-in-charge of training.
Master Sgt. Pablo Jimenez provides security for a fellow service
member near the perimeter at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, in
October 2013. Jimenez volunteered to provide security as the service
member checked for gaps in the perimeter at KAF. Jimenez is serving
for a second time in Afghanistan and is scheduled to return this
summer to Fort Carson, Colo., where he is stationed at and lives
with his wife, Joanne Aldridge Jimenez. (U.S. Army photo courtesy of
Master Sgt. Pablo Jimenez)
Jimenez is serving in Afghanistan for a second time. His
first time in Afghanistan, he served as a company first
sergeant in eastern Afghanistan, as he and his soldiers
worked with Afghan forces on missions outside the wire.
“Our main mission here is to assist the Afghan forces,”
That mission has not changed since he was last here, but
his job certainly has: Jimenez now helps coordinate training
– both mandatory and optional – for units coming through
KAF. He also serves once a month as a range safety officer
for soldiers conducting marksmanship training.
Jimenez's Army career began in August 1986 when he first
enlisted in his native Puerto Rico. Since then, his career –
which he says he is very satisfied with – has taken him all
over the world. In addition to his two deployments in
Afghanistan, he has also served in Iraq.
“My dad was
in the Army – he is a Korean War veteran,” Jimenez said. “I
always wanted to be like him.”
Outside of his combat
deployments, Jimenez, who is an Infantryman, has been
stationed overseas in Italy and in South Korea. He says his
time in Italy, from 1999 to 2002, was his best experience in
“I have enjoyed my Army career,” he said.
“The Army has allowed me to travel around different
countries, get to know different types of people and
experience their cultures.”
Jimenez says his wife,
Joanne Aldridge Jimenez, who has been with Jimenez through
three deployments, is a big reason he continues to serve.
“When you have a solid marriage and your wife is there
for you – she gives you positive encouragement, she is
praying for you, and she's taking care of the household –
that makes your life easier here. It makes you stronger.”
Jimenez, who has been stationed at Fort Carson, Colo.,
since January 2013, also plays the drums for the Catholic
service he attends on Sunday evenings. He is scheduled to
return to Colorado this summer as the 4th Infantry Division
completes its time as Headquarters, Regional Command
By U.S. Army Sgt. Antony Lee
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