Sunday, January 29, 2006

Flying Old Glory for Ryan


We went up to the roof of the US Embassy and flew the US Flag for Ryan to take with him as he heads back to the states. In the background to the left is the old Baath Party HQ building.

Ops Crew


Here we are on the roof of the US Embassy in the IZ. Replacing Ryan is Capt Katia Garcia.

Sand Storm


Just before the rain set in last week we had a little sand storm. This is over in the Signal Annex where we have some CONEX trailers. It wasn't bad enough to take your breath away, but it made my mouth taste like dirt all day.

Me at Al-Faw Palace


Here I am on the 3rd floor balcony at Al-Faw Palace at Camp Victory. I made a couple trips there this week. The palace is much nice than the one in the IZ, but living in the IZ is much better than it is at Camp Victory. We have many more creature comforts thanks to our friends with the Department of State.

Rainy Season


Well the rainy season is here which means mud everywhere. Here you can see the median between the roads with several feet of water standing. We have had some pretty big storms the last week or so, which will continue through February. I suppose then it will get up in the 130 degree range again. Should be good times.

Rainy Season 2


There are many parts of the city that have standing water from all the rain. Drainage is a problem and so the water will sit for weeks. The mud everywhere makes for a lot of fun with all the walking we have to do. Luckily the IZ is mostly pavement so we don't have it as bad as other parts of the city.

Baghdad


Aerial view of houses in Baghdad.

Baghdad


Some more houses in Baghdad from the air.

Cross Swords


Looking down the Cross Swords parade field from the air.

Blackhawks Over the Cross Swords


A couple of Blackhawks flying over the Cross Swords parade field.

Flying


Here I am flying over to Camp Victory for a meeting. I've done a lot of flying around this week.

Pay Phone


This isn't very exciting, but I thought it was interesting 1960's technology. Much of Iraq is way behind in technology.

Baghdad International


Baghdad International Airport.

Baath Party Headquarters


The old Baath Party HQ from the air.

Bombed Ballroom


The ceiling of the ballroom after getting hit.

Bombed Out Ballroom


This is a bombed out ballroom at Prosperity

4th Infantry Division


4th ID over at FOB Prosperity

Monday, January 09, 2006

Tomb of the Unknow Soldier


This is Iraq's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier monument. It is located next to the Cross Swords pardade grounds.

Blackhawk & Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Blackhawk flying over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Million Man Mosque


This is the Million Man Mosque which is currently under construction.

Million Man Mosque


This is the "Million Man Mosque" being built in Baghdad. When completed, they say it will be the largest Mosque in the world.

Pleasure Palace



This is what used to be Ouday's "Pleasure Palace". Although you can't see it, behind the palace on the Tigris River he sectioned off an area for jet and water skiing. The water is really polluted so he had a filteration system put in to keep his little area clean. Now it is used by Coalition forces.

FOB Prosperity


Here is the palace at FOB Prosperity and Ma'Moon Tower to the right. You can see a big hole just below the palace dome, this was hit with a bomb during the beginning of the war.

Towers


The closer "clock tower" is on the roof of the Iraqi CCC-I courthouse and the other is Ma'Moon Tower out past FOB Prosperity.

Adnon Palace


This is Adnon Palace in the IZ.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Leaving the IZ


Heading out of the IZ on a site survey in the convoy. We were the second vehicle, in an armored Suburban. Here we just crossed over the Tigris River.

Hitting the Streets


Heading out through the streets of Baghdad on our convoy.

Convoy Shortcut


On the convoy home the lead vehicle didn't like what he saw and took an alternate path through a market place. As we move through, there were people everywhere, traffic all jammed up and broken down vehicles all over. I got a little nervous as we pushed our way through the crowd. I don't know how these guys run convoys everyday, makes me appreciate my job a lot more!!

Heading back to the IZ


Convoying back to the IZ.

Check Point One


Here we are returning to the IZ's checkpoint 1 after our convoy out in Baghdad. It got a little hairy on the convoy back, but everything went good.

An Area of Baghdad


Here I am with beautiful Baghdad in the background. I was out meeting with some customers about a recent project.

Leaving from an area FOB


Here we are leaving a Forward Operating Base (FOB) in an area of Baghdad. We were out doing a site survey for a project.

Baghdad


Looking out into Baghdad from a recent site survey.

Baghdad


The white buildings are a local college in Baghdad.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Ops Crew on Patrol


Here we are in front of a Russian BMP tank out on the edge of the IZ. It looks like it has seen better days.

Al Rasheed Hotel


This is the Al Rasheed Hotel in the IZ. We took a little trip here to eat lunch and do some shopping. There are several little shops and a couple resturants. Closest thing to being in the states I have seen. This is the hotel that a lot of the press stay at and is also where the 15 year old from FL stayed before getting shipped back to the US after his little high school journalism project.

Convention Center


This is the Convention Center downtown near the Al Rasheed Hotel.

Break Time


Ryan and JJ take a break to watch a movie on Wednesday night...Slackers!!

CIS Plans


This is the Plans crew I work with down in the IZ.

Forum Building


This is the Forum Building downtown where some of the Coaltion partners and others work. We call this building the "Pill Box", because I guess it looks like a giant pill box. We have done a couple projects here in the past.

Weapons Cache Detonation


Every so often, usually a couple times a week, all the weapons, ammunition and other explosives that are found are detonated. This is one of the controlled detonations of a weapons cache.

Lions at Ouday's Pleasure Palace


These are some of the lions that Saddam's son Ouday kept at his "Pleasure Palace". Rumor has it he would throw people in with the lions and watch them get eaten for fun. Don't know if it is true, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Sleeping Lion


Sleeping lion at Ouday's Palace.

Playing Lion


This is another of the lions at Ouday's Pleasure Palace.

Mortar Attack


Mortar attack in downtown Baghdad. This is the view from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier down in the IZ.

September 11 Billboard


This is a billboard that was taken down in Baghdad after the 2003 Invasion.