"Living in Kirkuk from Sep 04 until Jan 05!" Kirkuk by JAFA-Rease

Kirkuk Travel Guide: 26 reviews and 73 photos

That was one "interesting" adventure!

Kirkuk Regional Air Base (KRAB), Iraq

I was stationed at Kirkuk for a little over four months. While there I was fortunate to be able to access VT. I just didn't have much time to... No surprise there right ; )

All done with donning my armor (battle rattle) all the time. That stuff was heavy! 33 pounds all together. I feel like I'm walking on a cloud now....

Not exactly my idea of a vacation trip. I didn't "immere" myself in the local culture unless ordered to (avoid convoys). But I developed an interesting tip or two to share for future travellers to this area...

Thanks to all those who wished me luck on keeping all my important pieces intact!

I'm really glad I had the opportunity to go! I don't want to go back right away, but I honestly feel that we're doing good and true things there. It also reminded me of how many things I take for granted and how much I actually "need". Plus the return was INCREDIBLE!!!

At least we weren't in tents...

Just hanging out at the office. Had air conditioning, a phone and a computer.

That happens to be more than most of the locals have ; )

BTW, work went VERY well! Keeping busy really makes the time fly here. And hard work really does pay off! (See travelogue for details)

Directions, Distance and Orientation

Home was 2156 miles and four months in that general direction!

Recently discovered that Kirkuk was the home of Ba'ath Headquarter and Saddam's Olympic training grounds. There is also a neat Bibilcal site nearby, the "Eternal Flame".

I initially told everyone that there was no way in hell I would leave the confines of the base. Then I had a rare opportunity (at least for an AF weenie). Again, in my travelogues...

Just had to do a "top ten" list for the KRAB. You know you aren't at the KRAB anymore when...

10. You can get more than four hours consecutive sleep on any given night.
9. The difference between work and home is more than, "one has a bed and the other a chair".
8. You don't decide to eat field rations instead of chow hall food because you think it's safer.
7. You call family/friends for longer than 15 minutes a week and don't get a two minute termination warning.
6. You aren't ill once a week from anthrax shots or malaria pills.
5. You can take a shower in private without having to worry about exceeding your three minute water ration.
4. You feel naked without 33 pounds of kevlar armor on you.
3. You can dismiss a door slamming as just that. No more rocket attacks.
2. Beer has alcohol in it.

And the number one reason!

1. Sex isn't just another topic of conversation.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Gives you some unique perspectives on things...
  • Cons:Try to avoid mortar rounds, rocket fire and bullets!
  • In a nutshell:Ever play "Battleship"?
  • Last visit to Kirkuk: Jan 2005
  • Intro Updated Jan 11, 2005
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Reviews (28)

Comments (18)

  • fabrice's Profile Photo
    Apr 2, 2006 at 12:40 AM

    great human adventure , at least you can speak about iraq, you were there

  • tvdm's Profile Photo
    Mar 15, 2005 at 10:10 AM

    Rease your Kirkuk page had me completely enrgrossed - I think there's some merit in that! :) Great stuff. Enjoy the life back in Germany! Grtz from Amsterdam!

  • mcblacktiger's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2005 at 4:14 AM

    Like your friend wrote "FASCINATING"!!!!! Being a lifetime resident of Spokane though, I must ask "why would you want to retire here" ?????

  • USACEWayne's Profile Photo
    Jan 11, 2005 at 5:18 AM

    Hey - I'm at KRAB too! Send me an email and we can meet - I've got lots of pictures from outside the wire.

  • littlesam1's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2004 at 8:41 AM

    Rease I had lost track of you and had no idea you were in Iraq. This page adds a fascinating human touch to the cold headlines we read in the paper and see on the media. Its a great addition to VT.

  • american_tourister's Profile Photo
    Dec 4, 2004 at 9:57 AM

    Ah man. You blew up the IED supermarket!

  • Carol01's Profile Photo
    Dec 4, 2004 at 9:16 AM

    Good morning Rease, great story; one of the pictures you said something about a visitor, I didn't see what/who the visitors were; please explain. I'm glad you had an adventure, be careful, stay safe. Love Tante Carol

  • ILoveAngls's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2004 at 1:43 AM

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. My husband is also downrange right now and I think of you all daily. We anxiously await everyone's safe return! Hopefully you'll have a speedy return flight back home! Stay safe, ~ Charlie (an AF wife)

  • jessicadf's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2004 at 11:08 AM

    Thank you and I wish you a happy (and uneventful) Thanksgiving. Of course you've probably eaten already, but just the same... Thanks.

  • tessy's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2004 at 2:02 PM

    Good luck!

JAFA-Rease

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be. - Douglas Adams”

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