Friday, April 20, 2007


12 Apr 07
Rockets today during lunch at Allenby. We eat lunch almost exclusively at Allenby and have never been rocketed there…broke the streak today. More rockets this afternoon.

The Brits are conducting an “Operation Miller” in Trenchard lines. The goal of Op Miller is to find all the Iraqi local nationals that are squatting in the camp. It seems many local nationals may have had a valid reason to come on the base but then found unoccupied hooches and moved in aided by the cooks and other camp workers that had legitimate cabins on base. Apparently there were so many local nationals found during the first Op Miller that they had to conduct two more with equal success. The second problem is local nationals using cell phones. The British believe they may be directing fire (you think?).

I generally walk with my head down watching where I will step and ever so slightly oblivious to things around me. As I walked to prayers today I stepped into an odd pot hole that made me look up to see what had happened there. I surveyed the immediate area and realized that was where one of the rockets from last night landed. The steel conex/shipping container just 10 feet away was destroyed as were two vehicles parked next to it. About 50 feet away was a row of conexes which were pocked with holes on both sides from the shrapnel. The guys in the wing headquarters building weren’t in when the rocket went off but said all of their light fixtures were shaken out of their ceiling. A Merlin helicopter was also damaged. Our squadron building is approximately 300 feet from the blast site. We had to walk the Iraqi flightline to collect all the shrapnel from the rockets. I was at the terminal when the rocket hit which is just 300 feet past our squadron which explains why it sound like it was next door.

Still no running water in the compound. The plumbing is fixed but still no water…3 days now. Ugh!

One of the junior Iraqi officers was in the office while Adnan and I were talking maintenance issues today. He kept getting into various drawers around the two of us looking for office supplies. I didn’t mind but had to keep moving out of his way. Adnan finally snapped. I don’t know what he said but he tore the guy a new one in Arabic.

The British are sometimes difficult to understand. The Scottish, on the other hand, are impossible to understand. Whenever I speak to one of them I have to ask them over and over to repeat themselves. There’s a Scottish intel officer that gives a brief at prayers every day. I took one of our guys to prayers with me today and after the brief he said, “I wish that guy would speak English!”…aye!

No flights to Baghdad today.

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