Having completely lost track of time, we arrived in Kuwait sometime after midnight. Prior to departing the plane, once again, our temperatures were taken to rule out the potential of Swine Flu…they take that pretty seriously over here. We moved directly onto a bus and were taken to a staging area, waiting for a couple of hours and finally moved into Base Ali A-Salam. Even in the middle of the night it was quite warm out…likely 90 degrees…and the lights in the horizon glowed with a halo as dust swirled through the air.
At approximately 0500, we were greeted by our Navy Liaison Team and moved through some brief in-processing before grabbing breakfast. The DFAC (dining facility) was pretty good. All the food overseas is catered by a company called KBR. Just following breakfast, our Navy team along with the Air Force and Army personnel on the airplane, unloaded the baggage from the trucks and began sorting the bags into teams. Once accomplished, we reloaded the bags onto the trucks and were bused to Camp Virginia, where we would be staying for the next few days.
Our barracks during these days were 12 man (no gender discrimination implied) tents with cots for beds. Luckily, as part of our gear, we were given a sleeping bag and Thermarest ¾ inch inflatable mattress pad. It’s all good.
(Everyone getting settled in the 12-man tents)
Because we had arrived so early, we had one more task for the day. This evolution was similar to the Hum-V rollover training we had at Fort Riley. However, this training was for the MRAP…a bigger Hum-V, if you will.
(Working on 40 hours without real sleep...Jerry doesn't look happy)
(Andrew sleeping...but hard to tell with the shades on...)
(Inside of the bus we took to the training site)
(40 plus hours up and I'm a little numb at this point)
Completely baked from a long trip, having been awake for 48 hours, nothing left to do but go to sleep. By the way, for my own memory, my feet were so swollen from being up on them most of the trip I thought congestive heart failure had set in…yikes!