“Post 1” in this base is an access control point between the Iraqi Army compound and the rest of the American-military controlled compound. SOP (standard operating procedures) of this post is to make sure that no Iraqi Army personnel leaves their compound unless accompanied by an American military personnel. This, of course, excludes the IA officers who are authorized to come and go at whim without an American escort. Opposite of Post 1, about 50 feet away, is the Iraqi Army’s control point, which is manned by usually sleeping Iraqi soldiers (if manned at all). They probably realize the redundancy of their post and realize that Post 1 is the one that really matters.
Before actually experiencing it first-hand, I too had this same question in my mind: how do you go about sending a company of armed Marines (sometimes dual-armed with both the M16A4 service rifle and the M9 pistol) into a combat zone? Well, it starts with a long bus ride…
A correspondence between Jayel Aheram and his dad, “Uncle John.”
I am not really sure what the date is today. I think it is the 4th of October and Wednesday, but I could be wrong.
You might have questions what is it I am currently doing in Iraq. Well, my unit is in charge of this base’s security. We man the defensive positions around the base’s perimeter as well as go on frequent patrols to make sure that the enemy is not setting up positions amid the many sand dunes and hills that surround this miniscule base. Dangers to this base is limited, but of course not exclusive, to infrequent mortar and RPG attacks. Infrequent, because patrols done by previous units in charge of security have done a successful job of neutralizing enemy positions that do crop up around the base. It is now up to my unit to keep that up.
Greetings from the Cradle of Civilization!
At the moment, the place I will be in the next seven months does not even come close to the word “civilization.” More like “a-giant-ate-a-tent-factory-and-had-diarrhea-right-here.” Ooh! Ooh! There are some places in here where the “sand” is not even sand. It is just giant mounds of dust. You step into it and you sink and it goes POOF all over the place. Just DUST. It is crazy. It is just powder all over the place.