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Fob Kalsu

  • Date Submitted: 09/23/2011 12:03 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.3 
  • Words: 675
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FOB Kalsu

The sand was inescapable. No matter what I did, it was omnipresent. My bed, my uniform, my M-16, my food, nothing was beyond the sand's reach. It was as fine as baby powder, my boots sometimes sinking ankle deep into its grasp. It drove me mad; the only time I was out of its reach was the two minutes I was allowed to shower, only to step onto wet sand upon my exit.
Forward Operating Base (FOB) Kalsu was a small base of operations for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) while we were in Iraq. It was small, compared to other operating bases in Iraq at the time, but it housed a surprising amount of capability once we built the base up.
There were several locations that everyone knew about; the airfield, the mess hall (cafeteria), the barbershop, the shower trailers, the 'Hadji Mart', and the ammunition depot. Each was known for some benefit that it could provide, save the ammo depot. Everyone knew to stay far away from that particular location in case a stray mortar or rocket impacted the wrong place. The ammunition depot was a fairly large area dedicated to everything we had that had explosive potential. The ammunition was stored by category in 20' shipping containers, each container buried in sand to protect its contents from the temperature, and providing protective cover to surrounding containers should the contents detonate.
Immediately to the right of the ammunition depot was a large corrugated steel gate. Barriers, filled with sand, were stacked 15 feet tall and prevented anyone from looking within. There was no sign; there was no indication as to what lay beyond the hot steel. This was the Regional Detention Facility (RDF). It housed the detainees who had been picked up by the infantry for various reasons. They could have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, or they might have been digging a hole for an Improvised Explosive Device (IED or roadside bomb).
The airfield lay directly across from that steel gate. It was only large...


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