Saturday, November 26, 2005

Palace Pool

Here I am standing in front of the Palace Pool after our recent Hail & Farewell. The temperature has been a little too cool for swimming and I didn't bring my trunks.

Thankgiving Meal

Well we had quite the spread for Thanksgiving, with the typical Turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and much much more. They also had boiled shrimp which looked really good, but ended up making everyone sick who ate them. I have learned that I am not eating any fish or shell fish while in Iraq, unfortunately I learned this the hard way =)

Thankgiving in Baghdad

This is the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Khalilzad, wgispoke before our Thankgiving meal. He thanked everyone for all their support in making Iraq a free and democratic country.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Former Baath Party HQ 2

Another view of the damage caused by the JDAM

Former Baath Party HQ

This is the former Baath Party HQ building. It was hit with a Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) missle at the beginning of the war in 2003.

Sitting Area

This is a sitting area in one of the ballrooms. Most of the ballrooms have offices that have been built in them, but this one has a Muslim prayer area and a lounge area off to the side.

Ballroom Sculpture

This ballroom has blocks in the ceiling that give a real optical illusion when you look up at it.

Palace Ballroom Ceiling

This is one of the many ballrooms in the palace. They all have different paintings or sculptures on the ceiling, and are 100-150 foot high.

The Office

This is the building that I work in, the Signal Annex. There is a Signal Company, two different contractors with probably 50 contractors, and my office which is 7 military.

Trailer (Hooch) Living in the IZ

Here in the IZ I live in a trailer, or as the are more commonly called, a hooch. There are several "hooch cities" all over the place. It is two people to a hooch and you share a bathroom/shower with the hooch next door. Not to shabby compared to that 150 yard dash across the rocks at Camp Victory. There are sandbags and T-walls all over making it kind of a maze to get through.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Inside the Hooch

This is the inside of the hooch. As of today I still don't have a roommate. This is nice but kind of boring at night when I go home. Living in the IZ is much better than Camp Victory, I have a bed instead of a cot, TV, lights and a AC/Heater is good.

In the Hooch

Just me doing some work on the laptop before heading into work.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Embassy Annex Checkpoint

This is one of the many checkpoints throughout the IZ. This one goes into the US Embassy Annex.

Round About Near IZ Embassy Annex

This is a round about near the US Embassy annex of the IZ.

IZ US Embassy Palace

This is the US Embassy palace in the IZ. It is much bigger than it looks, about 5 city blocks long and two wide. It's a maze in there and takes a lot of time to find your way around.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Downtown Baghdad

Another shot of downtown while I flew in to the IZ.

Downtown Baghdad

Downtown Baghdad, this was taken on my way to the IZ. The IZ is also in downtown Baghdad.

Heading to the IZ

All suited up in full "battle rattle", which is helmet, goggles, and body armor (I put my war face on for this picture =p ). Quick trip by black hawk, about 10 minutes from Victory to International Zone (formerly the Green Zone). The back side of the IZ borders the Tigris river.

Looking Across Camp Victory

This is looking across Victory from the 3 floor of the Victory Palace deck. In the background are some lakes and Baath Party resort homes.

Bathroom Entrance

This is the main part of the bathroom. The doors go into the pictures below.

Palace Sink

Here is the sink to match.

Palace Bathroom

Here is one of the many fancy toilets

Chill'in in the Throne

Here I am sitting in the king's throne. It's not really a throne, but everyone gets their picture sitting in it.

Victory Palace Foyer

This is the foyer when you walk into the front of the palace.

Victory Palace Entrance

This is the main entrance to the Victory Palace.

Camp Victory Palace

This is the palace at Camp Victory. This was Saddam's play palace. There are several lakes and ponds stocked with bass, trout, walleye and other game fish. There are also several small palaces that were resort houses for Baath party members. Most have been turned into offices for US and Iraqi forces.

Tent City

This is the tent city I lived in at Camp Victory for a couple days.

Tent Living

Here is my area of the tent at Camp Victory. I shared the tent with 9 other officers. It is great to be down in the Internation Zone (IZ), I have a trailer now with one roommate.

Ah, they have Diet Pepsi in Iraq!!

Al Udeid, Qatar

Me at the Al Udeid billeting (hotel).

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Made it to Baghdad

Well after visits to Germany, Bahrain, Qatar, and Kuwait, I have finally arrived at Camp Victory Iraq. It has been pretty busy so far, and I am sure this is nothing compared to what I will be getting into in the International Zone (IZ). I've been living in a tent with 4 Army officers who are all convoy commanders, and heading back out soon. I leave Camp Victory in the coming days and head to the IZ where I will be working. I am assigned to the Multi-National Force Iraq (MNF-I) CIS unit at Camp Victory and forward deployed to the IZ. They say the living is better there than here. I haven't cared much for better living, I just want to get some sleep. Anyway, I will try to get some pictures and more info on what has been going on shortly. I haven't had much access to the computer the last few days and the next few will be hectic processing in at the IZ. More to come...

Friday, November 04, 2005

Baghdad's International Zone

The International Zone or IZ (formerly the Green Zone), is the area of Baghdad I am assigned, and the river that borders the IZ is the Tigris River. I am forward deployed to the IZ and my home base is Camp Victory which is in the area of the Baghdad International Airport (BIAP).