Everything changed after 9/11. In the years leading up to the attack they had had a hard time getting what they felt was the minimum gear that they needed to maintain an acceptable state of readiness. The politicians acted like war was supposed to be a thing of the past. The Tornek-Rayville Type 7B had taken more than a year to get approved even after working in as many pre-approved design elements as possible. If it wasn’t for pulling a few strings and bending, almost breaking, the rules around the use of the Alternative Requisition Express System (ARES for short), which was how they got their custom rifles and other gear that they needed/wanted, they wouldn’t have had the watches for this deployment. The watch filled a specific need for them. It was a field watch crammed with as much info as possible that was also still dive capable. More importantly the movement was the tried and true automatically winding mechanical NH36, an improved version of the one found in the dive watches the SEALs had issued to the teams. You never really knew when something would flare up somewhere and the last thing you remembered to do was replace your watch battery, as one of the Agency guys found out on his way here.
The Type 7B came with a choice of either a 60 minute time elapse bezel or the 12-hr bezel that Jimmie preferred for its added flexibility. Unlike the brass running the supply system he and the guys weren’t sold on those tritium gas tubes that were in all the standard issue watches. They much preferred this new material that had become publicly available just before the development process started. SuperLuminova was non-radioactive, re-chargeable with sunlight and it wouldn’t degrade over time like tritium. For the 90s this was cutting edge stuff that Jimmie and the other watch nerds on the team kept up to speed on.
Then they landed in what felt like a tear in the space time continuum where horseback cavalry and light infantry were charging into tank and ZSU-23* fire, while bombs rode a laser beam into the enemy armor. The 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries were quite literally crashing into each other in a storm of bullets and scrum of flesh and blood. There was no doubting the bravery of those Afghans and General Dostum was no exception. He had seen the General make a suicidal charge into enemy lines to dramaticaly rally a stalled advance to victory just a few days ago. These guys had almost nothing. The ammo Jimmie and the guys were used to fielding was spread amongst dozens of men instead of one. Even food was in short supply for these rebels, essentially requiring Jimmie and the guys to share their rations and by default bringing down their own intake to the equivalent of one MRE a day.
Highrock had heard that the latest supply helo had clipped a ridge and damaged its landing gear forcing it to turn around at the last minute. A rare miss for the SOAR pilots but it really went to show you how difficult the flying was. The guys back on the C-team were teasing Jimmie about his coffee set being on that bird and that they’d put a priority on getting that out to him. It was almost his time to take his turn back on watch. Jimmie shotgunned two packets of freeze dried coffee to fight back the delirium. That first cup of real, hot coffee, was going to taste amazing just as soon as they could find a few hours to themselves. The Pentagon was estimating that this fight would take 1-2 years, and the Colonel before they had left K2 told them he didn’t expect to see them again so might as well get some creature comforts in. That bird was going to make it in somehow, it also had the ammo that the rebels desperately needed.