Sulymaneyah & Spiecher

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Precombat inspections conducted at the line up prior to departing on our first mission -- a convoy to FOB Spiecher about a 2 hour drive to Saddam's hometown of Tikrit.


Everyone is inspected for basics -- ammo, water, fuel, ensure we have radio communications, etc.


View of the desert through the vehicle commander's window will contrast with the view on the way to Suly.

Before leaving FOB Speicher we top off with fuel -- here we are racing with daylight to make it back to FOB Warrior before dark. Dealing with an enemy obstacle had cost precious time on the trip down.


On a separate mission to Sulymaneyah, unusually heavy rains which have kept the temperature down have also bogged down the roads.


The path to check on the progress of a water project is washed out and impassable.

This Northern area of Iraq is controlled by the Kurds, who I have found, as this neatly plowed field suggests, to be an extremely industrious people.


The Suly province is part of Iraq that has been protected by the No Fly Zone for more than a decade. As such the Kurds have enjoyed a high degree of autonomy and as a result threat level in this part of the country is practically nonexistent.



A quick break before loading up for the return trip to indian country.

The depth perception is somewhat lost -- but I am standing up high looking back down on the road we just traveled which runs down the middle of the picture.

Same picture as above -- a little closer.



A shepherd guides his flock on the right hand side (white dots from this vantage point).

 

The vehicles we've inherited have not been well maintained and we've had a plethora of problems.

This one overheats.

We are lucky to have two former mechanics working on the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) and they have single-handedly gotten our vehicles back on line.

Two soldiers pull security while the truck is being fixed.

Rolling green hills -- hard to believe this is Iraq.

More sheep. No counting allowed.