After getting into Taji around 3 A.M. on the 22nd, we got a few hours of sleep and then headed out to the JSS. We are supposed to be here until the 26th. They are telling us that the rotations will eventually be 10 days out here and 5 days back at Taji. Actually, it works out to be more like 8 out and 4 back, but there are some other considerations mixed in. We’ll see what ends up happening.
4th platoon has been the detail platoon, and our platoon is responsible for security around the perimeter. It seems like we are doing security in shifts, and whoever isn’t on shift is on one work detail or another.
1SG has actually been pretty cool out here. He’s been pissed off at the headquarters guys, and at 4th platoon, so that makes life a little easier for us. At least we aren’t on his shit list, for now.
Engineers have been doing a lot of work out here. They have been building a perimeter wall out of Hesco barriers, and they are almost done. Hesco barriers are metal mesh baskets with a sort of fabric/fiber liner inside of them. They hook together, and they are just filled with dirt. They can be stacked up, and used for all kinda of stuff. They have gotten more done each day that we’ve been here.
SGT Daggett and I started cooking dinner for everyone at about 2 P.M. We cooked the same stuff that 2nd platoon had cooked when we were here the other night. I was a little nervous about the meat. It had been frozen, thawed, refrozen, and some of it was barely cool to the touch by the time it got out to me to cook. I did enjoy cooking for everyone though.
We stood there talking about bricking in the “grill” and making a little tiki bar area. I’d be in heaven if I could set the place up the way I wanted and cook all day. SFC AB suggested the tiki bar idea, and I mentioned getting leaves from the date palms to make a thatched covering. Our ideas just spiraled from there. I stood there drinking non-alcoholic beer, bullshitting, and cooking for just over 5 hours.
The Iraqi Army soldiers are still begging for things, and they are always trying to con us out of our supplies and equipment. It’s ridiculous that we have guards facing outward to protect our perimeter from attack, but we also have to keep an eye on our stuff inside to protect it from the guys who are sharing this place with us.