European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Dec 26 1999, Page 2

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - December 26, 1999, Darmstadt, Hesse The longest rid neither Snow nor rain nor Border Crossings stays this mail by Cindy Elmore Stuttgart Bureau for 17 hours Thomas Baker and Sylmar Frazier swapped turns behind the wheel of a trac Tor trailer. Through Hungary Austria then Germany they drove never Topping 48 Mph in their Volvo Rig never stopping to eat a meal never caring about the scenery around them. The ordeal ended when they pulled into the Central military mail terminal at Rhein main air base Germany on a recent monday morning. But did it really end less than 17 hours later they were making the same trip in reverse. They would spend the next week driving a tractor trailer filled with military mail and packages 1,519 Miles crossing five National Borders sleeping in four different countries passing the Rig to new sets of Drivers four times along the Way Pony express style. They and More than three dozen others like them Are the army a mailman in the Balkans. They Are civilian contractors for Brown amp Root services and they live and work this schedule for three months at a time before getting a break from the Road. Brown amp Root began trucking the mail to Bosnia 15 months ago. It took Over the mail delivery to Macedonia and Kosovo on june 25, after military officials decided that the company could do it at less Cost than the army and More reliably than the air Force because mail does not carry the top priority in accordance with defense department transportation today in stripes Abby Ann landers.15 american roundup.18-19 classified.24-27 crossword stripes sunday faces v Horoscope .15 letters.12 Money matters your Money opinion.13 sports.28-36 to weather 21 on the cover . Army 1st sgt. Mitchel Kaufman walks through the Snow in Bosnia. Over 50 inches fell at Eagle base. Kaufman is a guitarist with the 10th Mountain division band. Photo by Cory Lancaster stars and stripes stars and stripes uses 01752 is published daily except Christmas and new year s for 50 cents daily and 75 cents sunday by the stars and stripes Central office 529 14th St. New suite 350, Washington do 20045-1301. Periodicals postage paid at Washington . Postmaster Send address changes to european stars and stripes unit 29480, Apo a 09211. A it Ltd i i i a i lust one of the pieces of mail destined for Camp Monteith Kosovo. Standards. Brown amp Root is expected to deliver the mail to and from Hungary Bosnia Macedonia and Kosovo this fiscal year for about $3.4 million according to . Army Europe. The new Mission is still a trial by fire operation with baffling cultural expectations and mind boggling delays. Trucks sometimes sit at Border Crossings for Days while taking a route around forbidden Serbia. Now six months after the Mission began a we have More or less conquered the Borders for now a said Jake Frazer Brown amp roots Hungary transportation supervisor. When All is going Well a truckload of mail can get from Frankfurt Germany to Camp Able sentry Macedonia in about 55 hours using eight Drivers in turns. From there into Kosovo a base Camps it takes an additional two to four hours depending on traffic at the Macedonia Kosovo Border. Macedonia based Brown amp Root Drivers handle that Mission. Yet something As simple As a Border official not showing up left one pair of Drivers stuck at the Hungary Romania Border for six hours. At each Border Drivers go through checkpoints showing their passports documents verifying their cargo As mail and their status with the . Army. The Drivers have had to learn patience improvisation Back slapping friendliness and How to stand their ground. And a few words of hungarian romanian bulgarian and macedonian done to Hurt when police customs agents or Border guards give them a hard time. A there really Arentt any traffic Laws Down there a Frazer said speaking of the former Eastern bloc countries along the route. A the Only Laws Are the cops when they Stop you and All they want to do is gouge you for the Drivers have their own styles of dealing with the obstacles. They Are a resourceful opera Torso who know How to solve problems and find what they need in countries where they done to speak the language said Steve Sage Horn who runs Brown amp roots logistical operations. When there a a problem a you make it work. Photos by Elmo res tars and stripes Sylmar Frazier checks paperwork a called transportation control movement documents a prior to accepting from Driver Anthony Everett a trailer of mail that has arrived at Kaposvari Hungary from Frankfurt Germany. You figure out what you be got at your disposal and you use it. These Guys Are masters at Anderson Oliver for example has bought dozens of tiny $2.50 Texas souvenir spoons that he hands out to Border guards ferry attendants and anyone else he regularly sees. They All remember him and he swears the Small gifts have helped him Cross Borders with fewer hassles. That and the fact that the Border guards think he is a dead ringer for evander holy Field or Michael Jordan. A this Little spoon will get me anywhere i want to go a said Oliver laughing. A a done to need a credit card. Done to leave Home without the journey begins the mail run begins at Rhein main air base and follows the impeccably maintained German and austrian autobahn before winding up in Staszar and Kaposvari Hungary. Kaposvari is Brown amp roots 24-hour transportation Hub. It is also a a Home for the Drivers although they Are rarely in the apartments that they rent. A i have never bought groceries. For my apartment since in be see mail on Page 3 round trip Saver air fares a Jujj i a 5 Ltd out go to 0 o 0 13 g 8 c w a a it it a a a s c v. O 2 e a Sun Mon 1b� wed thurs. For. Or of is is Gin that s right just show us a copy of your existing a rapid link phone anywhere Militell at amp to or Sci Bill and Well give you 30 a Day free. But hurry f because offer ends soon. So get the Power today a St Mimmi of t m fun lira let ii ii Germany 0800181 4856 dirt Muff Mafa a Muff it fast season a b Atlanta $523 $285 Boston $409 $277 Chicago $420 $334 Cincinnati $498 $309 Dallas $420 $359 Denver $580 $391 Detroit $498 $298 it. Myers $542 $341 it. Lauderdale i $542 $341 Houston $420 $334 Jacksonville $542 $353 Las vegas $573 $384 los Angeles $495 $384 Memphis $523 $334 Miami $542 $341 Minneapolis $498 $309 new Orleans $542 $353 new York $409 $275 Orlando $542 $334 Pensacola. $640 $390 Philadelphia $409 $277 Phoenix $489 $384 Pittsburgh $466 $277 san Francisco $495 $384 Seattle $489 $384 Tampa $542 $341 Washington $409 $277 season a 17 a 11. 999 Seabon b an 1 mar 16, i999 All Alula it a it Al lab Lav. Mazuc Udd Caido aug pled. Call Loi Moit destinations itt Ramsten it u n itt Sensbach itt Vogel Weh bldg 20i bldg 2059 180-6330-6650 196-7719 189-7061/7692 06371-13706 06302-67-7719 0631 -56018

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