Back from FOB Kalsu

Author: Jon

After being in FOB Kalsu for a month, I’m back in Baghdad.  Down there, I was in charge of two job sites with 15 Soldiers under my supervision.  It was probably the most teaching experience of the entire tour for me.  While I have run multiple job sites before, the decisions and responsibilities have never rested entirely on my shoulders, I’ve always had someone directly over me to go to for guidance and supervision.  Truthfully, it felt great!  While sometimes it was stressful, aggravating, and down right loathsome, the satisfactory feeling I had seeing the fruits of all my Soldier’s labor come to bare was unbelievable.  It was worth having to be a pion in the army and all the sweat spent working up to this point in my Army career.  I don’t want to take all the credit, I mean the Soldiers did most the work, but organizing, planning, coordinating and executing two simultaneous job sites outside the wire was quite a feat.  Especially considering who the “customer” was.  I won’t disparage a commissioned officer on an open forum, but DAMN!  Just a background on this individual (who is not in my Battalion), who the job sites were for: when it came to his attention that a ditch channeling the water off the FOB was blocked at the perimeter wall, his idea to clear it was to put Detcord in PVC pipe, shove it under the wall and detonate it.  (Not a good idea)  He changed the design of the ECP (Entry Control Point – or gate) 3 times after we had completely finished it to the original specs, I had even briefed him on what I planned to do prior to starting.  He also wondered why, after a hard rain, we weren’t out working in mud, getting stuck.  RE-TARD-ED!

Enough of my bitching, what we went to Kalsu to do was widen the ECP so there was 2 in-bound lanes and 2 out-bound lanes.  The other project was creating a 5-acre staging lane where civilian contractors can wait with their trucks to be searched in a semi-secure area outside the wire.  Anyway, here’s some pics:

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