I am currently at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. We are in the northwest corner of the country. Kuwait is a small country, maybe 75 miles across and 100 miles from north to south, with almost everyone living in Kuwait City, which is right on the coast. If you were to leave KC, and drive 40 miles northwest into the middle of the barren desert, you’d be at Buehring.
We arrived at the Kuwait City Airport (KCI) last week, and were taken onto buses.
We were greeted by a few folks (LTC McDonnell and SGM Hardwick of the 420th, one of our units in Van Nuys) who came up from Camp Arifjan, the big US base in Kuwait. All of us had our weapons with us during and after the flight. After making us wait around for an hour for no reason, the bus took us straight up to Camp Buehring. The weather in November is very pleasant, high of about 75 or 80 during the day, and a somewhat chilly 50 degrees at night. In the summer it is insanely hot The wind can make it cooler. There is no water, and every drop of it is trucked into the base. Nothing grows here. Not even weeds. It is pure, sandy desert out here.
They put the base here to be away from normal Kuwaiti life, of course. All electricity is generated here, and the first thing I noticed upon arrival was the constant hum of the generators. The larger generators roar. One is about 50 meters from my tent, and at night I can feel the generator’s vibrations as I’m sleeping. This is actually a benefit, as the hum drowns out most of the snoring of my tentmates. One thing that is always noticeable is the smell of the burning fuel from these generators, and the constant dust getting blown about, especially when vehicles pass by on the sandy roads. The tent holds about 14 guys, and is very crowded. Worse, we have cots instead of mattresses, and it is uncomfortable and difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Here are pictures of the tent:
There are several thousand British and American troops here, as well as the occasional Korean troops, or even sometimes Kuwaiti troops. They all live, shower, and eat, with all supplies trucked in through the super-secure perimeter of the base. There are also hundreds of TCN’s (third country nationals) who come here to do everything from serving food at the dining facilities, manning the gym, fixing trucks, staff the food court, cleaning the porta-potties, and everything in between. Most TCN’s are from India or the Philippines, and many speak very good English. I’ve not seen a single Kuwaiti here to work. The TCN’s are hard working, friendly folks who come here for years at a time to earn money. The British troops are very friendly, and I often talk with them, and see them socializing with American troops. Here is a good photo of the large DFAC, note the British troops in their tan, striped uniforms:
Camp Buehring is the central place where all troops come before deployment to Iraq. We get a few last items of training here, such as classes on how to avoid bombs or IED’s, and the like. Mostly it’s a place to get used to the desert environment and allow your body clock to adjust to the time change before you head into Iraq. We don’t train for long here, and have quite a bit of free time to relax by watching movies, phoning home, shopping, or reading.
Here is a map (not to scale) of Camp Buehring. Camp Buehring Map
More later, I have to run now.
Here is a picture of the sunset in the desert:
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