A little update from over here… I am currently at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait now. We made it here early June (We spent April 28 to early June in North Fort Hood, Texas completing our pre-mobilization training). That was not fun. Fort Hood is a huge base, but where we were located at in North Fort Hood there wasn’t a whole lot to do, and by that I mean we worked, completed our daily tasks, and went to the gym. My section had 2 weeks of required skill training, we had a whole bunch of medical readiness, and my unit completed the week long MRX (Mission Ready Exercise), and got our verification to deploy. The flight to Kwait was looooooong. About 19 hours total flying with one quick stop in Germany.
After the unit that we are replacing left we all got situated in to our positions and took over control. I was moved from my Assistant S2 position (Intelligence section) and become a Battle Captain. We have 3 Battle Captains and we run 24 hour operations, so we each have an 8 hour shift (I work mornings 6am-2pm). I work 6 days a week, and I have Saturdays off. Our tactical operations center (TOC) is a tent, but at least it is air conditioned, so that makes the work days easier! A lot of people have asked me, what is a Battle Captain. Pretty much, the easiest way to explain it is everything that happens within my Brigade or subordinate units the Brigade controls, including air missions, ground missions, sea missions, troop missions, convoys, etc comes to the Battle Captain. We then analyze and assess the information and disseminate it to the proper channels. Pretty much the Battle Captain knows everything going on every minute of every day, good and bad.
Camp Arifjan is a nice base by Army standards. There is a ton of MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) and USO (United Service Organizations) events to do here to keep soldiers occupied and morale high. I (along with my brother and several of our close friends here) have ran one 10K and six 5K races, a 5 on 5 basketball tournament, movie nights, poker night, etc. I also got my certification for the wood shop (that’s right, a wood shop!) So I am able to get in there and keep building stuff on my off time. We try to do as much as we can to make the days go quick and enjoy ourselves the best we can while we are here. Tonight there is a 3 on 3 outside basketball tournament I am playing in. The temperature here has been between 110-125 for the highs, and the lows at night are usually low-mid 90’s. We have had a couple of mild sand storms, but from what I hear, we haven’t experiences a big one yet! (Not looking forward to that)
I was able to get out of Camp Arifjan a couple days so far and travel to Kuwaiti Naval Base and have a meet and greet with our subordinate units up there and check out the Army ships (I am trying to get the hook up with our Sea Mobility section to go on a sea mission at some point, fingers crossed). I am also scheduled to head up to Taji, Iraq for about a week in the near future as well to spend time with our subordinate Battalion we have up there as well. I enjoy doing the traveling because it allows me to put a face with the battalions and companies that I talk to on a regular basis and improves our working relationship.
The pictures are aboard the LSV at Kuwaiti Naval Base. 1LT Sirpilla, 1LT Starner, 1LT Duly, Kevin and myself after the 10K race, and a picture of Kuwait at 5am! Suns already up!
I just wanted to let everyone know what was going on so far! I promised a lot of people I would send updates back and I was waiting until we got all settled in to do so. THANK YOU for the care packages. I hope everyone enjoys their summer and spends a lot of time with family and friends!