Road Trip Baghdad
Date Published: 01 August 2004
My platoon made a trip to a base in Baghdad this weekend to pick up some stuff. It was my first major convoy over here. Everything went pretty smoothly. We ended up leaving a day later than planned since the first day we made it about 2 hours out when my humvee's engine died, so we had to turn back with it in tow. The next day, though, the replacement humvee did fine. The base we went to had some pretty nice palace buildings, although most of them were pretty damaged from the 'shock and awe' campaign. We slept across the street from the palace that I think belonged to Hussein's sons and which was on CNN showing before and after pictures of the damage. I'll post some pictures soon.
The trip was pretty stressful for obvious reasons. The route includes a ton of places that are prone to IED attacks. Luckily the only excitement we got was on the way there, something big blew up about 1500m behind us (I was in the trail vehicle). It must have been a car bomb or something since most IEDs are just a single warhead and wouldn't have made such a large fireball. Don't know if it was meant for us or just coincidental, but luckily we were out of that stretch a couple of minutes before it went off.
The amenities in the baghdad bases are much nicer than at Caldwell. They actually have a pretty nice PX, a burger king (which I didn't get a chance to go to), and a very nice dining facility, complete with ice cream/milkshake bar. They also don't have to wear their helmets everywhere on post (just uniform with boonie cap / soft cap), which is ironic since on Caldwell we have to wear helmets everywhere despite never having come under mortar/rocket attack (as this other base does frequently). Oh well, I guess a little while before I got here Caldwell was having to wear full 'battle rattle' everywhere (helmet, weapon, interceptor body armor, ammo), so at least things are getting better.
Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.