November seems really far away...
Liger, looking more innocent then he is.
But, I have heard more about where he will be. Not what he'll be doing, but to be honest, even if he told me I'm sure it would still be somewhat of a mystery. He'll be in Camp Anaconda (I'm not even going to think about how many times "My Anaconda don't want none unless you got buns hun!" is said on that base.) Also known as Logistics Support Area Anaconda. Also known as Balad Airbase (they are sometimes listed as separate places, but they aren't.) Anyway, someone has been so kind as to put up photos for everyone. You can also read more about it here. It's a very "Hoo-raa!" article, but helpful none the less.
"Even when the pilots return to Balad having not fired a single bullet or missile they are often crucial to missions by just the roar of their jet engines. The deafening and menacing sound is often enough to scatter insurgents and to reassure soldiers that assistance is at hand."
"As of Febuary 2006, Balad AB was home to about 25,000 U.S. troops. The base is so large it has its own 'neighborhoods'. These include: 'KBR-land' (a Halliburton subsidiary company); 'CJSOTF' which is home to a special operations unit,' the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force and is surrounded by especially high walls that is, according to The Washington Post, so secretive that even the base Army public affairs chief has never been inside. There is a Subway sandwich shop, a Pizza Hut, a Popeye's, a 24-hour Burger King, two post exchanges which sell an impressive array of goods, four mess halls, a miniature golf course and a hospital. The base has a strictly enforced on-base speed limit of 10 MPH."
Thank God for a 24-hour Burger King and a miniature golf course. Wikipedia also has a very informative article on Nathan's new local.
But this picture was my favorite:
I hate to be a downer, but I hear they are having a hard time building schools and hospitals over there. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad to see that those contractors have put something so nice and obviously air conditioned together. And they even have street lights! The Bay View/Hunters point doesn't even have street lights! I'm not even going to go into the Olympic sized swimming pool.
Of course as ridiculous and phallic as Camp Anaconda sounds, it is preferable to it's other name. Morteritaville. Being so close to Baghdad does have it's down side. But, that also seems to be an older name. It is also contested by some people who say "No I'm based in Morteritaville!"
But on a cursory search I came up with a few interesting blogs from the people who know:
USAF Guy's Milblog
CASF In The Sand Pit
To be honest, I'm scared for Nathan but I'm also feeling better. Looking at the pictures and hearing stories, even the bad ones, gives me a better sense of place. It's better then him going off into a black hole.
Oh, and he'll have email and will be on Facebook from time to time. So, I'll update here as I know more.