4 April 2008 (SADR CITY, IRAQ)

We moved our patrol base from the Ministry of Education offices to a four-story building at the intersection of Routes Charlie and Florida. It’s only about 500 meters away. I was surprised and disappointed when we left the weapons and body armor that I found behind. This new building isn’t too bad. There aren’t any couches or anything, but it’s one large open room. Our guys watch the streets from windows, and no one has to sit on the rooftops, so that’s an improvement.

I was pissed of this morning. It seemed like there was no guidance, and no one knew what the hell was supposed to be happening. I bitched to SFC AB. He bitched back. We are both over it now, and it’s back to business as usual.

I slept for about 4 hours this afternoon, and I sure needed it. Aside from guard shifts, I think everyone slept for a few hours today. Of course, it’s late now, and I’m wide awake. I can hear loud recordings being played over and over out in the streets. It’s echoing off of the buildings and through the broken out windows in our building. I’m guessing it is our own psy-op’s guys, but I don’t really know.

There was a large demonstration here today. I guess I slept through it. The Iraqi Army showed up this afternoon, and they are supposed to start clearing houses in this area. I guess we are going to be their “secondary back-up.” Unfortunately, they are a step or two below worthless. We’ll see what happens.

We were told that we will get a few hours to go back to Old M.O.D., the former Ministry of Defense compound. They said we can get a shower, time to make a short phone call, and maybe even a hot meal. There is also talk of companies, or possible platoons, taking turns making trips back to Camp Taji to refit for long-term operations here in the city. As far as we know, we will continue to live in patrol base conditions until further notice.

We are hearing that higher command wants us to start conducting SWEAT (Sewer, Water, Electricity, and Telecommunications) infrastructure assessments. I think everyone here agrees that this is someone else’s area of operations, and it’s just not our problem. If there is fighting to be done, we will stay here and fight. If we are going to start winning hearts and minds and shit, someone else can deal with that. We have our own area to go and kiss Iraqis’ asses in. I suppose there are pros and cons. Here there is always a chance for a fight. Our AO is boring.

Regardless of what’s coming, tomorrow will be nice. It’ll be great to have a couple of hours of downtime. Having a day or two at Taji sure would be amazing though.

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