Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas Part 2

Merry Christmas Part 2

24 December 2004

Finally making time to catch up with what is going on around here. The last week had been relatively quiet up until the suicide bombing at the chow hall in Mosul. Since then, security has been pretty tight. Lighting on the base had been a big issue after the round of mortars and rockets back in April. Street lights and all outside building lighting from then on were doused. We were instructed not to leave any lights on at night because the light radiated into the sky giving the insurgents some direction to aim. Well, apparently since the bombing at Mosul, that has changed.

The next day after the bombing, big spot lights were set up at the chow halls so that the newly placed guards at the chow hall could check identification. Personally, a lot of us have felt that this was probably something that should have been done all along. Then effective yesterday on the 23rd, body pats are now being accomplished. Going to chow is like going through airport security three times a day. Since I never got plates issued for my flak vest (and never followed up on it, since I could have had them issued if I really wanted them) they end up giving me a more thorough body check. As long as there’s no tickling involved, it’s no big deal. I should ask them if they need to check the inseam while they’re at it!

Well today, they have started to have us open flak vests too. Next we will probably be strip searched to go eat dinner. If they are that worried about insurgents getting into the chow hall, then maybe they need to get rid of any and all Iraqis that are on the base, whether in uniform or not. If it is the TCN’s (third country nationals) that they’re worried about, then get rid of them too.

Now after I got in on shift tonight, I’m told that there was a firefight/gun battle at the front gate of ISG this afternoon on the side that faces the highway. If that isn’t enough, supposedly there are three Iraqis loose on base at Victory that they are still searching for.

Keep in mind that ITT folks are not issued weapons, our building does not have a cipher lock on the outside. The tech control area does have a cipher lock, but the Colonel has given the combo into the tech control to everyone and their frickin grandmother since everyone “needs” to have access to the bathrooms in this building (which barely function.) Any time any solids (including chewing gum, toilet paper and human waste) is put down these toilets, they overflow or clog up. So much for keeping the area secure and restricting entry into an area that is supposed to be restricted.

They worry so seriously about opsec and comsec (operations security and communications security) but give the combo to the restricted areas with crypto equipment, etc to anyone that has to take a piss! Go figure, access to restricted information used to be on a “need to know” basis, but now access to restricted areas is given on a “need to go” basis…to the pisser, that is.

But as we are always reminded, it isn’t our tech control; unless something has gone wrong or they need to blame someone for something. The last Colonel used to specifically tell us to our face that this was HIS tech control and we better not forget it. Guess that it’s true that it has always been about attitude, right Madonna? (Vogue)

Just got back from midnight chow a bit ago. We were watching about the suicide bombing that just happened tonight in the Al Monsur district in Baghdad earlier tonight. We all had heard a couple of good booms, so that may have been one of them. Although it is a good distance away from where Camp Victory is on the north side of Baghdad, the sound and impact still travel well.
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