Thursday, April 07, 2005

El-ahrairah's Continuing Iraqi Saga, Episode IV

(Posted from an e-mail at his request --CH)

El-ahrairah’s Continuing Iraqi Saga: Getting Settled In

I have started to check out the base and all the “amenities” that are available for the soldiers stationed here. The base is an old Iraqi airbase north of Baghdad, not too far from the Tigris (at least that is what I’m told). The base is rather large for just an airbase, so the Army has pretty well taken over the site, but with a large Air Force presence. I live in the Air Force housing area where the Air Force is steadily but surely replacing all the tents with trailers for sleeping quarters. I’m not sure if everyone is in trailers now, but I’m lucky enough to be. My room is about ten by fifteen feet square with a window and an air conditioner. I share my room with another contractor who works on the same system as I do. We both have a bed, a closet and a bookcase which we have placed together to divide the room in half. It’s not much room to live in, but it’s much better than living in a tent. The air conditioning is on the half where my roommate sleeps, so I hope that my half doesn’t get too hot during the summer.

The trailers are organized into groups of 18 to 21 and each group of trailers is surrounded by concrete walls. It kind of looks like they took slabs of the Berlin Wall and placed them around each group so that as you walk down the road, you only see grey, concrete walls. The trailers have sandbags piled up against the front to provide cover in case of mortar attack, so unless a mortar hits dead on, it shouldn’t cause any problems. Each trailer also has sandbags piled up against the front to provide cover in case of mortar attack.

The toilets and showers are located about 50 yards away from my hooch. For some reason, the showers and toilets are in different buildings. They are not very remarkable except for the fact that they are very clean. I expected worse, but they are maintained by a company called KBR (Keith, Brown and Root) and their employees are always cleaning.

There is a laundry room here and if you don’t feel like washing your own clothes, there is a laundry service which will wash and fold your clothes for you. Both the laundry room and laundry service are maintained KBR.

There are four chow halls on the base and they are all essentially the same. A private company named (you guess it), KBR runs them and considering the alternatives (C-Rats/MREs), they do a pretty good job. Some may complain about the food, but everyone always complains about cafeteria food. If you do not want to eat chow hall food, you can go to Pizza Hut, Burger King and Subway Sandwiches on the base and pay for food or eat junk food (or as we euphemistically call it, “comfort food”) from the BX.

From my short period of time here, I can see that KBR has a large presence on the base. In case you do not recognize the name, KBR is a subsidiary of that liberal embodiment of evil in the world, Halliburton. The loony left has been beating the Halliburton/Cheney drum for quite some time, first complaining about the no-bid contract that they got for their work in Iraq and then complaining that Halliburton is making too much money for their work in Iraq. If KBR wasn’t here to run the chow halls, clean the showers/toilets and wash the laundry, life would really suck here in Iraq. As it is now, it’s somewhat tolerable.

So, when the left is whining and moaning about the sins of Halliburton, we need to know what the money is being spent on. From what I’ve seen, Congress should give them a bonus for the work that they have done here. I would rather that Congress dump money down a Halliburton rat hole rather than some Democratic-supported, government rat hole (Social Security, Medicare, etc.). At least with Halliburton, this rat hole directly benefits me and makes my life in Iraq much, much easier.


At 7:21 PM, Blogger Rosemary said...

I am glad to hear that he is in a "safe" area surrounded by walls and sand bags, and has food and clean toiletry! Would you please ask him for me if he needs anything? Thanks.


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