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12 Apr 2009
287 Sustainment Brigade in the news
In February, a film crew visited Basra and recorded some of things our forward logistics element (FLE) does here. This aired in a news segment early April called the Pentagon Files, produced by SPC Bemis.

Now, just two short months later, everything has changed! Certainly the Heavy Hitters are still just as capable, and every bit as busy, but Basra has grown into a much larger base, with a Brigade Support Battalion (BSB), a movement control team, a cargo company and more.
ACI , Army Deployment , Family , General
posted by  henry at  12:48 | permalink | trackbacks [178]

2 Apr 2009
COB Basra overview

I’ve been contacted by a few soldiers and contractors headed to Basra, so I wanted to take the opportunity of yesterday’s historic transition from UK to US forces, to refresh an overview of our happy home.

PX (store): We have a PX the size of a Dollar General store, or less. A bigger PX is being built late this summer.

Internet for individuals is sketchy at best right now. Sniper Hill might set something up. I personally have worked a deal with the local Internet Café to beam about 100K/sec to a shared office, where 5 of us are using it at $75 each right now.

CHUs (10x10 room)- still being brought in daily. Right now, the crowding on the COB has necessitated 3 people to a CHU for O4 and below. O5, like me, 2 to a CHU, if you get one at all. Tents is what most soldiers are in right now. For contractors, it will depend on where and who you work for as a contractor. They've got some CHU accommodations, typically with a roommate.

DFAC (Dining Facility): converted from UK to US today. There are some growing pains going on with this, but it’s getting better each meal.

MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation): we used to have a tent with movies, games, phones to call home, and free computer use. It went bye-bye mid-March for the sake of bedspace. AT&T has just set up a trailer near DFAC IV, and in the next few months, an entire DFAC is going to be converted to an MWR and Gym. We get USO/MWR sponsored celebrity visits about twice a month. A comedian group and rock band are both on this month’s schedule.

Mail: Mail arrives 3 times a week. In May, we’re preparing for daily shipments. The Stars and Stripes newspaper comes with it, generally about a week old.

Flights: both helo and fixed wing serve Basra pretty regularly. Space-A is the norm. Going anywhere usually averages taking 3 days, even though it's a 1-2 hour flight.

Force protection: I won't say specifics, but suffice it to say we're doing a lot better than one year ago during the surge and battle of Basra. Still, Basra is the 2nd largest city in Iraq, with a population between 1.4 and 2.2 million, by various reports.

ACI , Army Deployment , Family , General
posted by  henry at  11:16 | permalink | trackbacks [279]

1 Apr 2009
News flash: British turns COB over to U.S., Revokes US independence
The British forces have been exceedingly polite as US troops move into Basra. By nature, they’re very polite people, but I’ve discovered a hidden plot: the UK is revoking our independence. In a proclamation secretly assembled last Spring (while we were busy bumbling around with the election), our British “friends” devised a clever plan: distract us with Basra while concurrently re-colonizing America. At great personal risk, I’ve decided to publish this plot, just to see if anyone cares.

The proclamation starts off:

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

See the entire revocation of independence document for yourself (PDF, 62 KB)
ACI , Army Deployment , Family , General
posted by  henry at  08:00 | permalink | trackbacks [2178]

20 Mar 2009
Al Yamama Enginerning

This is a billboard on COB Basra. I understand that this company owns both the concrete plant (or concret as they have it), and a nearby asphalt plant. We DO want to hire local companies to do development work, maintenance and other jobs around our area. And as I've reported before on our Iraqi Trucking friends , they quite often do a GREAT job. In fact, as we assume COB Basra from the British, after their well-done job, we will endeavor to hire even more local workers and will also eventually be sharing another significant piece of the Basra Airport for direct Iraqi control.

ACI , Army Deployment , General
posted by  henry at  12:39 | permalink | trackbacks [309]

16 Mar 2009
Sunset framed by Iraqi and US Flags, with the Basra Int'l Airport Tower

Click to Enlarge
ACI , Army Deployment , Family , General
posted by  henry at  13:53 | permalink | trackbacks [38]

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