Thursday, March 29, 2012

We have arrived at Camp Buehring

After the chaos and insanity that got us here, we've finally made our way to Camp Buehring, formerly known as Camp Udairi. Here, we find a whole lot of nothing. A huge air strip that is extremely busy with US Army Apache helicopters flying constant sorties, billeting in the form of "shotgun"-style trailers--a hallway down the center with four rooms on either side. Each room should hold 2-3 people, but because of the troop drawdown in Iraq, some of the rooms are stacked up to 4 and 5 deep. We were one of the fortunate to be assigned to a room with 5 people. Oh, joy.

Look closely and you'll
see several dead camels
on the side of the road
The road to Buehring is anything but scenic. Mile after mile of blowing trash, sand, and dead camels. No, they didn't die naturally--they're just really slow, and the vehicle traffic on this lone highway is very high and very fast. You almost have to chuckle a little thinking about a big, slow camel making its way across the highway--I mean, there isn't a single tree or bush to "hide" them, so exactly how is it that these huge animals are able to surprise you walking across the highway? You can see miles ahead of you, yet there are dozens of dead camels scattered all along this highway.

A bit of trivia for you--the highway we're on (Highway 80) is known as the "Highway of Death". This is the road the Saddam Hussein (no relation to Barack Hussein Obama known at this time) took his Iraqi troops down when he invaded Kuwait's oil fields. Camp Udairi was actually taken over by Iraqi troops for several months, but was riddled by US troops and their "bunker buster" bombs, which penetrated the French-built bunkers that the French guaranteed to be 'impenetrable'. I guess that didn't work out too well for them. But I digress....

Half-way back to the house from the
bathrooms. Loving the landscaping!
Upon arrival at the barracks, I can't say I'm impressed. They're arranged in a sort-of rectangle, with the bathrooms being the center of the rectangle. In other words, some of the housing is a pretty good jaunt to the bathrooms. My house is such a place. It's on the corner, so it's the FURTHEST away. Try making a run for the border at 4:30 in the morning when you've REALLY got to go, but it's 150 yards away! I guess it's not bad, but it makes for an interesting wake up in the morning.

The view just outside the T-walls in
front of my billets. Not a lot to see here.
There are several pods of these portable buildings, each housing anywhere from 25-40 people. They're surrounded by six foot 'T-walls', which are intended to block drive-by bombers or suicide drivers trying to crash into the housing units. These T-walls are usually painted up by the troops who spend a rotation at this God-forsaken hell hole, and some of them get pretty creative. That, coupled with the porta-potties scattered all about the campus, make for a

So, that's about it for this trip. I'll try to get more pictures as I can, but they're very much frowned upon in most places on base. I'm not really sure why, as Google Maps certainly has no problems showing it all...but whatever. Until next time....

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