Words of Wisdom:

"Always expect the unexpected" - Angelicagates

Soldiering Up in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom I

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 07:01 AM
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I still remember the day my unit, 372nd Transportation Company, a cargo transfer unit, left for Kuwait in the run up to the Iraq war. On March 6, 2003, we left Campbell Airfield at Fort Campbell, KY in a jumbo civilian plane that was bound for the Middle East. Captain Guess was our commander and First Sergeant Berry was the most senior enlisted person in the unit.

When we arrived in Kuwait, we set up a small camp named Victory. It was just a few miles from the Iraqi boarder.   We went through a series of robust common tasks training (CTT) and manned Victory’s main entry control point (ECP). We performed several “Class-1 missions” for the camp (i.e., water and food missions) and conducted battle drills.   The drills were prerequisite for units entering Iraq. My platoon was the last to enter Iraq; that was just six days after the first OIF shot was fired. We drove a day and night until we got to a makeshift camp. It was basically a resting site called Camp Bushmaster, an extremely dusty camp where the first elements from my unit had settled temporarily.

Bushmaster was never intended to be a forward operating base (FOB); it was only a refueling point. But as units stopped for fuel, they temporarily set up and waited for operation orders. Heavy vehicular movement, coupled with boots on the ground, powdered the dried earth and made the tiny camp so dusty. During the day, visibility was near zero because of constant dust in the air. All the vehicles had one color, dusty. The dust also stuck on skin and, especially on hairy places, thus made us all one color, dusty. So, to minimize accidents, several rules were put in place and enforced. It was mandatory to wear reflective belt and goggles and drivers had to keep their headlights on. Dust related accidents were not uncommon.

Like other units, it took us about two weeks before we got a job, so we stayed all this period at this dusty hell. Because of the poor soil...


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