A Tasking to Kuwait January 2002                                      

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In Jan 2002, I was again deployed as part of the Canadian response to the 911 attack. I had spent my initial time in Bahrain and then went to Kuwait.

Kuwait covers an area of 17,820 square kilometers (6,880 square miles) and has a population of about 2.8 million. The country has the world's fifth largest oil reserves and petroleum products. Located in the north-east corner of the Arabian Peninsula, Kuwait is one of the smallest countries in the world in terms of land area. Camp Doha (Which is where I was located) was the main US Army base in Kuwait, and played a pivotal role in the US military presence in the Middle East since the 1991 Gulf War and in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The complex is located on a small peninsula on Kuwait Bay, west of Kuwait City. It was initially a large industrial warehouse complex and was taken in hand by the US Army for conversion to its current role in 1998 during Operation Desert Thunder. It has been continuously manned since. Camp Doha housed both Army Forces Central Command-Kuwait (ARCENT-Kuwait) and Coalition/Joint Task Force-Kuwait (Forward) (C/JTF-KU (Fwd)), making it effectively a nerve center not only for US operations in Iraq, but throughout the Middle East. At its peak, over 2,000 military and civilian personnel were stationed there, with several thousand additional personnel in transit at any given point.

When we first got there, we were assigned bed spaces in a warehouse. This was my bunk./ I was on top, seniority meant that you had a bottom bunk.

As a logistician, I immediately began seeking clearance to get out of there and establish a Canadian presence in trailers which would be comparable to our British and Australian allies. I was able to find this location...which later became the envy of a lot of military-not because I did such a great job-but because the others never realized that this location (close to operations) was available for trailers! Here is the location-believe it or not, I never had the opportunity, nor thought about-taking a picture of the final setup. As a logistician though, in my defense, I never considered it "final". There was always things that I was trying to do to improve.

Here is a picture, in front of one of the trailers, with some military members I was deployed with. Left to right, a Major John York (Can), Major Joe Bolton (US Army), Major Jim McKillip (Can) and me. I forget what Jim was trying to show here. Most likely it is his orders to go home.

Here is a picture of my room in the trailer (I was the only one that shared a room with another Can military. I found it easier when you have someone to talk to and this guy was nice.

We had no washroom facilities where we were and had to walk for a shower or to go to the washroom. Just think about it. When you are at home and you struggle to get out of bed to go to the washroom-but fight the urge---Here--when you had the urge, you had better go :)

This was the walk

These were the coveted washroom/showers

Being the logistician, I not only looked after the material needs but also the financial needs. Here is the National Bank of Kuwait with which I dealt.

When you left Camp Doha, and were returning, this is what you saw:

First, the smoke stacks in the distance

Then the entrance (the security-though contracted-I was not able to take a picture (for obvious reasons)

When I was able to get out, I found things like a MacDonald's in the desert

On one occasion, I was able to get out and play a round of golf. How? You ask. Well, the Canadian Ambassador to Kuwait Richard Mann had received an invitation and he could not go and asked me if I wanted to attend on his behalf. We often as a group would go down from Camp Doha to the Ambassador's residence and have a relaxing evening. He was a very nice man.

The only way that I was allowed to go golfing was if I had a military caddie (always safer in twos). This is Corporal Rob Cook, a signaler with the Joint Signals Regiment from Kingston.

The fairways were always well kept and I always found a piece of grass under my ball :)

Putting on oil greens was not the greatest, but there was always someone to "roll" the greens after you finished.

When I left Kuwait, I got a picture of the Towers of Kuwait