Archive for July, 2009

While it’s still been quite slow going, we’ve finally found some work.  Now that I’ve been in country for a month and 6 days, it’s about time!  There is still a lot of work to do, but at least we’re heading in the right direction.

Last week we took a convoy out to a FOB to the west to check out the job there.  It was suppose to take 5 hours to get there but ended up being around 10 hours due to some miscommunication over the SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement).  Upon entering the provence where the FOB is located, we found out we need Iraqi Police (IP) to escort us everywhere.  So we ended up waiting at a little fire base for 4 hours until the IP arrived.  We were a bit hesitant about having IPs in front of our convoy due to the possibilty that they were also working for the other side, but it actually worked out quite well.  The locals were much quicker to get out of our way and the IPs kept the convoy’s pace high.

Once we got to the FOB where we’re going to be working, things went smoothly.  A little back ground about being an engineer in the army:  we pretty much get any wood and building material we order and we have all sorts of equipment that allows us to do so much more than your average Joe.  When we roll into a FOB, eyes light up.  So those stationed at the base we roll to, tend to stay out of our way and leave us alone.  Which is much more important than almost anything they could do for us.  Personal freedom is the hardest thing to come by in the army.

While I can’t talk about what we’ll be doing because of OPSEC (Operational Security) I can say it’s all on the FOB inside the wire.  Which is fine by me, I’ve had enough of working outside the wire when I was in Afghanistan.  Once we get done with certain parts of the overall project I can explain it but not till it’s over.

In anycase, it’ll be a while before we move out, hopefully.  I say hopefully because all our equipment is still junk and being worked on by our mechanics.  Higher up is trying to push us out the door ASAP and I’m just hoping they aren’t too hasty.  If they are, we may arrive with a bunch of broken equipment and end up sitting doing nothing there instead of working on it here, prior to our move.  Most things will stay the same as far as communication with home.  The mailing address won’t change and I’ll have internet access, though not as much.

Here are a few pictures of our trip: