Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ghassan Deserts (pic)

4 Apr 07
Found out today that there were actually four rockets. One was a 240 with the 75 lb warhead. The other three were 107s with a 15 lb war head. All three 107s landed in the middle Camp Bravo. For reference the Iraqi camp butts up to Camp A which is a couple hundred yards wide. The rockets hit a sunshade above their hooches and exploded down into the hooch. There were three T3 casualties (light casualty). If the sunshade hadn’t been there, the rocket would have exploded into the hooch and likely resulted in three T1 casualties (fatalities).

The British will conduct a repatriation ceremony this evening to pay final respects to two soldiers killed in downtown Basrah before they are transported back to the UK. One was 28 years old. The other was just 18.

The top maintenance officer in the squadron is Lt Col Adnan. His second in charge is Maj Ghassan. Both live in Basrah and usually ride to work together. Ghassan went on leave and was due to return a couple of days ago but didn’t meet Adnan at their usual meeting spot. When he didn’t arrive at work the squadron leadership got concerned. After the second day, Adnan called Ghassan’s house but whoever answered said Ghassan wasn’t home. Adnan asked if the person knew where Ghassan was or when he would return. The person said he had fled Iraq and was in Norway with his family. My congratulations to him!

The other day, SciFi and I went to see Group Captain Neville, commander of the 903rd Air Expeditionary Wing. He offered us “accommodations” in Waterloo Lines which is a camp the British Army is vacating and the RAF is moving into. The RAF will rename the camp "Trenchard Lines" after a figure in British air power history and contemporary of Billy Mitchell. Within the camp there are rows of reinforced areas. Each houses between eight and twenty hooches and each is named after a different RAF base. Ours is to be officially called “Odiham” ("Ody-em") but we’ve already determined since it will only house USAF personnel that we will rename it “Langley” after our first base (and because we decided “Yorktown,” “Ticonderoga” or “Bunker Hill” were certain to offend our gracious hosts). Security will be much better in Trenchard though it will dramatically reduce the amount of off duty interaction we have with the Iraqis.

No comments: