Thursday, March 15, 2007

Perspective: ‘Surge’ forces U.S. troops into makeshift bases

Above: Dubbed the 'Cobra Cabana', Company C made base out of a former snack packaging plant. Left: The view from inside.

For some American troops in Iraq, the “surge” has meant quickly finding — and securing — new bases from which to operate in urban areas.

Under the plan announced by President Bush in early January, scores of American combat units are taking up bases in the hearts of cities scarred by the insurgency. In the Baghdad district of Rustamiyah, for example, troops from Company C, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division found themselves living in their Humvees in a palm grove.

That temporary camp was replaced when the troops found a more permanent home in an abandoned building in Rustamiyah, southeast of Sadr City.

“It was a difficult sell to the soldiers, where, on [Forward Operating Base Rustamiyah] they are relatively safe, to come out here, where they always have to keep their guard up,” Capt. Joseph Rosen, the company commander, was quoted as saying in a military news release.

Read the rest at Stars and Stripes