First Week at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Kalsu - February 23 - March 1, 2008
I arrived at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Kalsu on February 24, 2008, and entered into the struggle to restore hope, order and peace in the northern part of Babil province. Few times in my life have I had the chance to try and make a difference in a struggle that was literally life or death. My role as part of the Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team (ePRT North Babil) was to guide the process for providing basic services, food and shelter in areas that had been secured by our soldiers. The ePRT staff (State, AID, Donors, etc.) went in to help local communities meet basic needs and start the process for rebuilding their lives.
General Petraeus said we just had to give them a glimmer of hope and the Iraqis would do the rest. Subsequent research showed a correlation between this support and the decrease in attacks against our young soldiers. I felt that every minute counted and I was incredibly proud and honored to have had a chance to be there.
This is the story of my first week at FOB Kalsu in 2008. See link below for my report of activities with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, "Rock of the Marne." My first trip outide the wire was partially captured on the video link below -- it was trip to a Shi'a region, Kerbala, near Hillah, Babil province where pilgrims were making a trek to honor the pantheons of their faith.
This video is a short clip of my first trip outside the wire in Kerbala 2008.