Steve's 12 month IA to Iraq travel blog

Down at the One and Only Iraqi Navy Base! "Well! Come In...

Must be nice to be stationed on a British Base! Actually the...

I actually hunted down and shot myself a nice pile of Concertina...


My first chance to actually play "Sailor" and got a chance to fly down to Umm Qasr, Iraq's only Naval Base.

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Although we started out with a group of 8 (included 3 Iraqi Generals and their interpreter), as the hours passed waiting on delay after delay of our C-130 flight down to Basrah, they finally gave up around 0130 and went back to the IZ.

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Meanwhile, the remaining 4 of us (all US Navy guys) ended up waiting almost a whole extra day to get onto the flight and finally got down to Basrah.

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Buuuut, the fun didn't stop there!! We ended up having to sleep in the helo terminal awaiting our flight info to get us on down to Umm Qasr. Once we checked in and got manifested, we had about 4 hours to waste, so we went down to one of the Camp's DFACs and FROZE OUR BUTTS off!! Stacked concrete block walls don't really seem to keep in heat (or keep out the cold!) ... so we ate our breakfast with numb fingers and red noses. I'm sure it will be one of those "Look back and laugh" times, but so far ... not so much! (grin!)

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We finally found our way down to Umm Qasr riding a British Merlin (another helo to check off my list now!) and a had a great tour of the facilities being built.

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We got to stay down for a few days, met a great bunch of British guys (90% of the Naval Transition Team (the NaTT) for the Iraqis are British), a few US guys I went through training at Fort Jackson with (the XO of the Team, a Supply Officer, and a Navy Corpman) and some up-and-coming Iraqi Navy Officers and Jundi (their enlisted guys). All in all, pretty amazing trip!



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