Sunday, July 27, 2008

just a short one

I have a few hours downtime here so a short post seems in order. Working with the Iraqi security forces certainly is a challenge. I am working on a longer post that will detail more, you all will just have to wait. Suffice to say, policeman are not allowed to charge "tolls" at checkpoints, especially when they charge only those who are a different sect of Islam. Anyway.......

For anyone interested here is my physical address here:
SFC Mark A. Buus
1-7-2 NPTT
Unit 2508
APO AE 09361

you all have a good 'un

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A NEW post, finally

Well, here I am, in Baghdad again. I haven't posted in a while, so here's the (brief) story of the journey here.

We left Kansas on the 21st of June (my Anniversary!!) and flew to Germany on an airline I had never heard of before (North American Air? Where does the Army find these?) and then on to Kuwait city. Busses met us at the airport and we were driven out to a place in the middle of the Kuwaiti wilderness called Camp Buehring. Really in the middle of nowhere. Of course it's like two in the morning, and for some reason we have to be given two hours of briefs before we go to bed. Mostly stuff like, don't get caught outside without your hat on.....and make sure you always have your ID card with you. Oh, and don't make scorpions and camel spiders fight, or you will be charged under article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, cruelty to animals. Then we were allowed some sleep.
The week and a half or so of time at Buehring were spent with classes and training, most of which was a repeat of stuff we did in Kansas. We even had a test on Arabic, although you didn't put your name on the test, so I am not sure what that was all about. Mostly we just got used to the heat of the Arabian summer. Oh, and I ran into Steve Zahn, who was there showing that actors who play goofy sidekicks care about the troops.
After a week and a half of this crap, we were bussed (at night again) to an airfield about an hour away and loaded onto a C-17 and flown to Baghdad International Airport. There we got some breakfast and were bussed to some giant tents where we lived for the next two days, waiting for flights to our next destination. Loaded up on CH-47s (at 3 in the blessed AM!) and flew to a base north of Baghdad called Tajji. There we were put in barracks and started a whole new round of classes, all of which were repeats of stuff we had before, again. General Petraeus did come and talk with us, that was rather interesting.....skinny little guy.
After 8 days of THAT, we were flown BACK to Baghdad, to a place called FOB Falcon, where we finally met the team we are replacing. More on that in the next post.