Monday, May 21, 2007

Whiskey, Blair and Electricity

21 May 07
We had a great evening Saturday night. Mike met some guys from the next camp over who invited us over for a cookout. Whiskey is a very likeable Royal Marine. He was wearing a USMC t-shirt and refered to his American cousins all night. He’s stationed with a UK Army engineer company next door at the Turner Camp. They have quite the oasis over there. We had a great time and had a great time watching the British Football Association finals. Manchester United lost to Chelsea in overtime. It was a great escape…like being at a cookout back home.

I was visiting some U.S. guys up at division Saturday and one of them had received a care package from an anonymous patriot in Monterey, CA. The pkg included some 25 really nice Churchill cigars from the Dominican Republic. He offered some to me so I grabbed a couple and gave one to Mike and one to Whiskey. The Brits do everything in moderation (except maybe drink) so everyone that saw the cigars were astounded by how “massive” it was. Both guys loved the cigars. I think they lasted some 2.5 hrs.

Coincidently, PM Tony Blair was on base Saturday and at division the same time I was there nabbing cigars. I didn’t get to see him and left before him but we did see his entourage all over base.

Mick was one of Whiskey’s “mates.” He’s Scottish and they are notoriously difficult to understand. At one point I complimented him on how easy to understand he was. He said, he was speaking incredibly slowly so all of us could understand him. He said he’s used to doing that for all the third country nationals (TCNs) that work in the Turner Camp. Funny that he equated English speaking Americans with TCNs from Pakistan, India and Bosnia but he knew we also struggled to understand the Scottish.

I met two really nice TCNs at the cookout, Jimmy and Alex. Jimmy was an alias for the guy’s real name which was some huge Pakistani name. He told me his name several times but it was impossible…good to know you Jimmy. Alex was from Bosnia. I didn’t get to speak long with Alex but I’m anxious to hear his story.

The British have been in Bosnia and Kosovo since the end of that war in 1999. As a matter of fact, lots of their vehicles here have “KFOR” written on the side which stood for “Kosovo Force.” Naturally, they had contractors helping to maintain their bases and the contractors hired local civilians. Alex was hired on by Turner. The British have slowly been leaving Kosovo for Aghanistan and here and subsequently many of the Bosnians they hired have been coming with them. Sting said Bosnian-Serbs have been flooding the U.S. truck industry. The same is happening here.

At one point Alex complimented me on my English and how easy I was to understand. I told him I was speaking incredibly slowly so the Scottish guys could understand me. ;)

We recently received two IqAF doctors in the squadron, Dr. Adel and Dr. Salman. Both are decent guys but before coming into the IqAF they hadn’t been practicing medicine for some time. Salman was working in the port at Umm Qasr (“Um kaSAR”) as a welder. About a week ago I coordinated with the head RAF clinic, Dr. Leskevitch, to do an exchange visit. Dr. L spent several hours with the guys. They took a lot of great ideas back to the IqAF camp but having lived in their camp, knowing what they have for facilities, and knowing how badly Brigadier Jaffar will treat the troops (since he lives here in Basrah and goes home each night he won’t spend a dime on protecting them), I know they are fighting an uphill battle to receive any equipment or medicines.

The power has been out in Basrah for 3 days now. Temps have reached as high as 110º during the days. At prayers today they briefed that the temps in the British armored vehicles are as high as 140º. Adnan said when it is this hot and they have no electricity, the Iraqis move their beds outside onto their rooftops and all Iraqis will sleep under the stars. There have been several large battles downtown lately so venturing outside is quite dangerous, even to find a cool wind in which to sleep. School has been canceled for several days as a result of all the violence in town. Everyone from Basrah looks very tired from a combination of the heat and violence.

Yesterday, the British had a large operation downtown. We took some 15 Multinational Force (MNF) casualties though most of them were very light. MNF leaders reported dozens of contacts but no known outcome to the contact.


Gigi said...

Be safe.

Anonymous said...

Billy - Saw Pooh this weekend - she and the kids came up for E *& F's confirmation. It was good to see them... have you gotten the laptop yet? It was mailed..... saw this in our paper today and thought of you - have you heard of this need.... do you have some "gamers" where you are? Anyway - here's the article. Take care and angel prayers, hugs and kisses to you!
News: Store accepting gaming supplies for troops

Send supplies to our troops.

Reality Check Games, a gaming store in Greenville, is accepting donations of gaming supplies to send to Ziggurat Con (the first gamer convention ever held in a war zone) in Iraq.

"The convention is being put on by and for our troops and they need our help getting stuff together to be used," says Chris Williams, owner of Reality Check Games.

Reality Check Games has put out a large box for people to donate any gaming supplies they might no longer want (or new materials too.)

Things they need include: RPG books — such as D&D, Shadowrun, XCrawl, etc. They also need dice, mechanical pencils, Magic the Gathering decks and boosters and plastic miniatures.

Even traditional board games and card games would be appreciated.

Ziggurat Con is being held June 9, so Chris says to get your stuff to them quickly so they can get it shipped. Want to know more about Ziggurat Con, click here.

Reality Check Games is located at 2100 Poinsett Hwy, Suite L (between Cherrydale and Travelers Rest).

You can reach them at 864-233-9771 and their Web site is ...

USAF Guy said...


Thanks for stopping by and checking on me. Hate that we weren't able to get together with you guys this summer but sure hope to be able to soon.

Take care,


USAF Guy said...

Cool article...who'd have thought of a gaming convention in a war zone?! The Brits aren't big gamers and don't really understand the gamer or internet crazes in the U.S. They're a simple/low maintenance force.

Thanks for the article,


Anonymous said...

I am the sort of guy who enjoys to try bran-new stuff. Presently I'm making my personalized photovoltaic panels. I am doing it all by myself without the aid of my staff. I'm using the net as the only way to acheive that. I came across a really amazing website that explains how to make solar panels and so on. The website explains all the steps involved in solar panel construction.

I'm not really sure bout how accurate the info given there iz. If some guys over here who have xp with these things can have a see and give your feedback in the page it would be awesome and I would extremely treasure it, because I really like solar panel construction.

Tnx for reading this. You guys rock.

Anonymous said...

Dont Bother With Laggin Downloads With NZB Files You Can Easily Search HD Movies, Games, Music, Applications & Download Them at Electric Rates

[URL=][B]NZB Search[/B][/URL]

Anonymous said...

It isn't hard at all to start making money online in the underground world of [URL=]blackhat team[/URL], It's not a big surprise if you have no clue about blackhat marketing. Blackhat marketing uses not-so-popular or misunderstood avenues to generate an income online.

Anonymous said...

top [url=]uk casino bonus[/url] hinder the latest [url=]realcazinoz[/url] autonomous no store reward at the leading [url=]loosen casino

Anonymous said...

[url=]Online casinos[/url], also known as agreed casinos or Internet casinos, are online versions of assortment ("buddy and mortar") casinos. Online casinos legalization gamblers to paint the metropolis red and wager on casino games with the grant-money the Internet.
Online casinos superficially propose odds and payback percentages that are comparable to land-based casinos. Some online casinos contend higher payback percentages fitted also gaol up process games, and some quality non-military payout bulk audits on their websites. Assuming that the online casino is using an fittingly programmed unsystematically auditorium troupe generator, catalogue games like blackjack query an established forebears edge. The payout part after these games are established to the mid the rules of the game.
Uncountable online casinos charter in eyesore or holdings their software from companies like Microgaming, Realtime Gaming, Playtech, Universal Nimbleness Technology and CryptoLogic Inc.