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Quarters & Nickles in the Combat Zone
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Quarters Nickles
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Sunday, 12-Dec-2004 00:00
These are some pictures of Arijan. Camp Arifjan is a $200 million facility built courtesy of the Kuwaiti government and has literally risen out of the sand. The base was meant to be permanent support facilities for American troops in Kuwait and to replace our operations at Camp Doha, where Americans have operated since the Gulf War. The only problem is that Camp Arifjan filled up before Doha moved. Thus, we have the present situation where there's a Zone 1 with hard building, a real gym, real rooms, a real pool etc. and the much large Zone 2 that consists of tents. Compared to everything else in theater, Zone 1 is a pearl--a little America. I am "squatting" in the relative opulence of Zone 1. Camps are all over Kuwait. Immediately outside of Arifjan are two smaller camps, Camden Yards and Arlington Park.


The picture of the of PX Quarters and Nickles is what they give us for change over here. Like it has been in Germany for ages, there are no pennies. Everything is rounded up or down. But here there is a new wrinkle. They give you some real change and some change in the form of these round POGS. They say "gift certificate" which is how they get around the whole legal tender thing I guess. On one side is printed the denomination and on the other are various military pictures.

In the view of my building you can see barriers. They around everything here. At about 6 foot tall, they are Jersey Barriers' big brother and are called, hilariously, Texas Barriers.

The green that you see in front of the building I work in is the only green around to speak of. Everything else is brown, like outside of my barracks. We give people directions to the office by saying, "Come to the building with the grass and the palm trees."

I love the picture of the soccer fields. Reminds me of my girls. I'm sure they'd love to play one game on that field. I wish they could.

You get an idea of the vastness of the messhall from this pic. You can take weapons in, but must clear them first in the barrel. You have to wash your hands. The messhall is decorated with pictures and letters from school kids. Hanging from the ceiling are the flags of all the U.S. states and territories. The menu rotates every couple weeks, but pretty much always tastes the same anyway. You get variety by going with burgers or cold cuts instead the main meals. Desserts are decent, but I don't want to get into that fat habit. The civilians eat here too. It's pretty funny--many of the civilians wear DCU's with a DoD or DA Civilian patch. There are no uniform standards, so they just look like very, very out of uniform soldiers. This one guy has a long grey hair and long beard. Just very out of character looking. Other subcontractors are just in civilian clothes.

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