Kirkuk Air Base has an operation called "Operation Crayon". It isn't exactly publicized by the mainstream media, but is publicized through other means. Donations are received from generous people in the USA. Donations are primarily clothes and school supplies.Volunteers at Kirkuk Air Base then divide these items into individual bags. When enough...more
What you see here are more remains of the headquarters.Recently the Kurds have been moving back into the area, after many years of SEVERE suppression. Needless to say, they're considered "friendlies" for the most part.You can't see it well in the picture, but even though they don't have running water, they all have satellites and TV. They'll come...more
Tested the zoom on my camera to get as close of a shot as I could here. You can't see it well, but folks are starting to move into the stands of the old stadium.We got the binoculars out and could see kids waving at us. Kinda interesting really. The children are very enthusiastic and friendly.They'll stand just outside the perimeter, wave, smile,...more
There isn't a heck of a lot left of it now, but what you see here is the remains of the Iraqi Ba'ath party headquarters.This was actually the headquarters and control area for all of northern Iraq. In the background you can see what used to be a large stadium.The stadium wasn't the primary Iraqi olympic team training area, as I originally was told....more
Entirely too close to the room I sleep in is the Kirkuk Air Base Mosque and military graveyard. We aren't permitted to go in either, out of respect.Of course the locals can't get to it right now either...I'm told, but can't get confirmation or specific names, that a famous descendent of Mohammad is buried here.As a gesture of good will, the USA...more
As far as military chow halls go, the one here is about average. It is of course free. That's a great bonus ; ) The only other choices are MRE's (field rations, which come in handy if you can't or don't want to go to the chow hall), Burger King (Ugh!) or Pizza Hut (yes we have one, but they have a VERY limited selection).
I haven't been here for one yet, but apparently they run low on items when convoys don't come in in time. You know you're running low on food if you run out of rice in the middle east ; )
Favorite Dish: Haven't been here long enough to have one!
Kirkuk isn't all that big, but it sure doesn't hurt to have your own transportation. It's more convenient... Plus, my new ride happens to have functioning air conditioning and a stereo ; )There are buses on base as well.If you notice the flame in the background, it's natural gas burning off of an Iraqi oil well.more
I had a very long trip to Kirkuk. There was enough to write about it that I can't possible scale it down to the 2047 characters I'm limited to in this Tips section. So, the rest of this tip will be in my Travelogue entitled "Germany to Kirkuk, the Military way..."* If you have a choice, make this trip on a commercial charter ; )more
GENERAL ORDER 1A
The purpose of General Order 1A is to identify conduct that is prejudicial to the maintenance of good order and discipline of Air Force personnel assigned to or attached to duty with in the AOR. General Order 1A prohibits:
a. Possession, manufacture, importation, distribution or consumption of alcohol
b. Introduction, purchase, possession, use, sale, transfer, manufacture or consumption of any controlled substances or drug paraphernalia. Prescription drugs must be accompanied by the original prescription label of the prescribing medical facility or authority
c. Introduction, possession, transfer, sale, creation or display of any pornography or sexually explicit material. This includes but is not limited to photos, videotapes, movies, drawings, cartoons, books and magazines. “Sexually explicit” means depiction or description of nudity, including sexual or excretory activities or organs, in a lascivious or lustful way. The exceptions are magazines videotapes lawfully obtained by AAFES, AFRTS, and MWR center.
d. Purchase, possession, use or sale of privately owned firearms, explosives or ammunition.
e. Gambling of any kind including sports pools, lotteries and raffles.
f. Entrance into a mosque or other site of Islamic religious significance unless directed by military authorities as part of a military necessity or official tour.
g. Removing, possessing, selling, defacing or destroying archaeological artifacts or national treasures
h. Selling, bartering or exchanging any currency at other than official exchange rate
i. Adopting mascots caring for or feeding any type of domestic or wild animals
j. Proselytizing (preaching) or attempting to win converts to any religion, faith, or practice
k. Taking war trophies as souvenirs
l. Attending disciplinary ceremonies of any kind, such as public executions
Violations of the above rules are punishable under Article 92 of the UCMJ.
In the part of Iraq I'm in we don't have a lot of sand. What we have is a lot of powder. The stuff is so fine that walking in it raises clouds of it. It gets everywhere. It's so fine in fact that the impact of rain on it raises it into the air. Instead of making the air easier to breathe, or better yet knocking impurities out of the air, it is now...more
Now that the story's been in the European Stars and Stripes, I can say what happened to me the other day. As I was walking towards the chow hall I noticed some smoke. When I got a bit closer, there was a fairly loud explosion. I happened to be close enough to feel a bit of the blast!That was about the time that I hauled balls to the nearest...more
Found this interesting little burned/bombed out structure this morning and couldn't resist the opportunity to get a picture.Found out later what the test on the wall is. I was a bit surprised. Translating it literally: "Liberation is for us, and this point of view is the most important for it." According to the translator: "By "point of view" he...more
For those with a US Air Force background, the picture speaks for itself... For the rest of ya:Every US Air Force base housing has a monthly competition for the best yard of the month. Typically it comes with a day off, a designated parking spot for the month or another fringe benefit. It varies from base to base. It is used primarily as a...more
Favorite thing: While I can't really get out to "enjoy" the countryside, I can appreciate some spectacular sunrises and sunsets!