THE LONG 14:OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM 2006-2007 Denae Wells CIS 100 Professor Cullum
FROM THE BEGINNING: HEADQUARTERS SUPPORT COMPANY 209 TH AVIATION SUPPORT BATTALION.• Based on Combat Operating Base Speicher in Tikrit Iraq, from July 2006- September 2007.Transported from Kuwait on a C130. Packed in shoulder to shoulder, the flight was bumpy, uncomfortable, andnerve racking.
OUR MISSION• Our Mission: To support combat units with transport and maintenance. ( Vehicle, air conditioning, generator…)
MISSION CONTINUED• Also, my job, which was small arms repair….I was the only weapon repairman for our aviation unit. I preformed maintenance on thousands of weapons while deployed.
THE LIVING SITUATION• First arriving in Iraq we made our homes in tent cities. Living in very tight quarters with upwards of 50 people.• Around 6 months into the deployment we moved from tents to what they called CHU’s. They were two people, small connex buildings which you could accommodate more of a private living situation.
THE UNIFORMOur uniform on a daily basis from top to bottom: • Kevlar helmet/ patrol cap • Goggles • Tan undershirt • Blouse/ Flack jacket • Camel back with water • Weapon • Ammo clips • Trousers • Combat Boots
THE ONE GOOD THING….THE CHOW!• We were lucky enough to have elaborate chow halls with everything from salad and sandwich bars, to lobster, steak, and shrimp once a week. On holidays we were even lucky enough to have high ranking officers take time to serve the lower ranking soldiers their food.
TRANSPORTATION• Not only were we transported to and • On base there was also a bus system. from work in armored Humvees, we also If soldiers wanted to go to the on used 5 Ton trucks. base PX which is our only store, they used these buses to get from the living area across base.
THE ENEMYThere were many Iraqi insurgents off base, burying IED’s, waitingto ambush convoys off base, and sending mortar fire over thegates of the base. It was something that the soldiers got used toand became apart of daily life.
THE OTHER ENEMIES• Not only were there human threats but also scorpions, camel spiders and massive sand storms. We became very cautious when putting on our gear to make sure there were no animals waiting to bite or sting. Sand storms made it hard to breathe and see, and were very uncomfortable.
MY BIGGEST ADVENTURESince I was the only weapon repairman for my unit I was not able to go on missions off base,but I was lucky enough to be invited on a Chinook night flight over the sands of Iraq. Over thecourse of the night we flew to about 5 bases, transporting soldiers, commodities, andprisoners. The prisoners were filled with fear, shackled to one another and blindfolded notknowing what to expect next.