Activities on Joint Base Balad

There is a great many things to do here on JBB. Every day of the week there is something interesting going on. It would be impossible to go get photos, or even prepare a complete list of everything that happens on base, but here is a partial list of some of the things that happen here weekly:

 Toastmasters (meets at the Air Force Hospital)

  • There is a book club (take that Oprah!) and Poetry Group. These take place at the recreation center. I’ve never seen these in person, but they are on the activities list.

  • There is even a Karaoke Night!

  • Open Mic night at Sami’s Turkish Café Tuesday nights. Sami’s Café is a privately owned and operated café on JBB property, and is located just beyond the movie theater. I’ve gone to this a couple of times, and it is fun to see some talented guys get up and sing and play guitar. Here’s what it looks like:

Playing at Samis

I’ve heard that the MRAP mechanics shut down on Saturday night and start playing guitar out in the giant MRAP repair tent. I met these guys once, when they played at the rec center, and they are a pretty good hard rock band.

  • This one blows me away: The JBB ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY!! I know the guy who runs this group, Master Sergeant Baker. It’s a weekly discussion of birds and bird-watching on the base. Meets at the H-6 rec center on Thursday nights. Here is their poster. I enjoy the birds, but have never made it to this meeting.

 JBB Bird Watchers

  • Poker night

  • The JBB Plastic Model Club, of which I am president. This was covered in detail with photos in a previous post. I submitted the story to “Fine Scale Modeler” Magazine, and we expect to get a published article in that magazine in a few months.

  • Dance classes, followed by dance nights, Swing, Country-Western, Hip-Hop, and Salsa. These are very popular events, and sometimes hundreds of people will come out to dance, mostly in physical training clothes but sometimes wearing uniforms and even wearing weapons!! Here is what Salsa night looks like:

Sat Salsa Dance

They also have college courses that soldiers can take for free, and earn credit towards college. And as shown in an earlier post, there are religious services galore, as well as countless weekly Bible studies.

I’m sure there are other activities that I’m missing. This is just a list of the things that come to mind immediately. As I’ve said before, there is no reason to ever be bored here on Joint Base Balad. There is not enough time in the day to do everything on this base, and I’m pleased that the MWR (Morale Welfare and Recreation) department spends so much time, money, and effort to provide interesting things for soldiers here.

 I’ll cover sports in my next post.


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