Taking a trip to the ancient city of Axum is like going into the past. Old cruciform churches built into stone, underground, date back to times of Christian persecutions. Here, also, is the ancient tomb of the Queen of Sheba. Also preserved at Axum are some of the royal family's crown jewels, and a fragment of the true cross of Christ.
The Blue Nile is another adventure of its own. The land is filled with countless breathtaking wonders. Through the local Rod and Gun Club and Special Services, hunting trips are available. Trips to nearby Kenya can yield some beautiful trophies.
During recent years STRATCOM's troops have assisted in joint efforts for village improvements. These include construction of churches, bell towers, and school furniture, as well as donations to libraries. Many military personnel help by teaching in nearby high schools and colleges.
The host unit for STRATCOM Asmara is the Army Security Agency's 4th Field Station. This post, known as Kagnew Station, offers such limited stateside luxuries as a commissary, PX, post theater, AM and FM radio station, and a television station. Downtown Asmara offers Italian restaurants and films, Ethiopian straw rugs, and African curios.
STRATCOM people in Asmara maintain communications on a round-the-clock basis. The STRATCOM man who takes the opportunity to visit this world of things ancient and modern may remember looking at primitive huts which house several families, while at the same time listening to the voice of a fellow explorer stepping out on the moon.
The STRATCOM tour ends as an Ethiopian Airlines jet lifts off from Asmara's Johannes IV Airport, and friends watch with a mixture of longing for home and a desire to see more of this strange world.