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Serving In Iraq...

The sun here is, well like the sun, only hotter!

The transient housing conditions in Kuwait were bare bones to say the least. This is one of the tent cities there.

We got to stay in one of these. They’re air conditioned too (thank God)

The inside of our accommodations on the way to Iraq.

A porta John after a sand storm. You haven’t lived till you’ve used one of these in 125 degree heat!

A Starbucks in the sand. This is near Udari Army Airfield, Kuwait. Literally built in the sand, like everything else.

After arriving Iraq, we got assigned our living quarters. Our housing areas are "containerized housing units", or CHU’s for short. They are set up and surrounded by large concrete "T" walls to protect from shrapnel damage, or bullets. I’m lucky that mine has a bathroom inside (called a wet CHU). Others have to go to another trailer for showers or to the bathroom. Here is a view of the outside of U pod.

Here is in side the pod. This is the view outside my CHU. More T walls and CHU’s. As long as a mortar doesn’t land square on top of your pod, you should be OK.

The outer T walls are quite substantial. If one fell on your CHU, it would crush it like a beer can.

This is the inside of my CHU. It’s like Motel 6, only different.

The following slides are pictures of some of the equipment (boy toys). This is a ZPU-4 It’s 4, 14.7 mm Machine guns mounted to a chassis- bad Ju Ju for aircraft.

A standard AK-47, actually a pretty good weapon, but not the most accurate.

It’s a real bitch holding the muzzle down on this thing on full auto!

These are MIG-23B’s in the boneyard here

Remnants of soviet built equipment the Iraqi’s had (a BMP and a BRDM I think) There is lots of blown up stuff around, if you look.

This is a painting on the wall inside our TOC. It used to be a headquarters building for one of Saddam’s MIG-23 squadrons

Some contractors build this "Outhouse Hilton" out on the flight line. Notice the air conditioner on the side? Cool Eh?

Some flight line pictures. Pods with CHU’s are in the background. It’s hard to sleep so close to the flight line and runway with F-16’s taking off in full afterburner at 3:00 in the morning, and CV-22’s hovering by.

These are some really noisy bastards

Good aerial view of part of the base.

This is a "HASS", for Hardened Aircraft Storage Structure These are quite substantial structures.

Here’s one of the blast doors on the end of the HASS It takes a pretty good size bomb to hurt these.

An Apache getting ready to depart

This is a Russian made Ilyushin IL-76 used to fly cargo into here by contractors. It’s old technology like the C-141 the US used to use. They take a lot of runway to get airborne.

A Predator UAV coming in to land.

This is a C-17. One big airplane.

This is at a FAARP (forward area arming and refueling point). You can get fuel, ammunition, rockets and missiles all in one place.

Hawks moving troops in and out all day long. Converting dollars and jet fuel into noise.

Pre flighted, pre combat checks done, and ready to go.

This is the micro climate vest. The umbilical(in my left hand) gets hooked into the aircraft and chilled glycol circulates into the tubing, helping keep us cooler. It feels like a cool shower when it’s turned on. It works pretty good. When it fails on a hot day, life sucks. You’re wearing a flight suit top, bullet proof vest, and a survival vest over the thing. 

This isn’t the fake glue on holes you can buy. This damage is from a mortar that landed behind it in the parking lot.

This is the Euphrates river. I routinely fly over the Tigris too. I have also flown by the city of Babylon, which dates back to the third millennium .

One of the many Mosques that are everywhere. The following are some generic pictures I’ve taken around Baghdad and other places.

This is short final to one of the helipads downtown Baghdad. It’s always busy here at all hours.

This tower is visible from one of the main helipads. They say Saddam used to use this tower for public hangings.

Here is a close up of the same tower. I guess the hangman’s noose confirms the story. Too bad we can’t do similar things in the U.S. for certain crimes.

I think this is one of the ministry buildings that had the shit blown out of it during the initial assault years ago.

We call this the Aztec building. It’s also been bombed out. The inside is destroyed. It’s a cool looking building though.

How’d you like to try and drive through this mess.

These are the famous crossed sabers that you see in the media a lot.


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