Hello Everyone!

I am writing this from Forward Operating Base 'DELTA'. I have changed base camp locations from Logistics Support Activity 'ADDER'. I also changed jobs. I am now the Liaison Officer (LNO) from 7th Sustainment Brigade to the tenant units on FOB DELTA.

The Army has a tendency to switch people around in positions every year to 18 months. I was overdue for a change of job, and the unit sent me up to FOB Delta. My position here is as an LNO, which is quite different from my last position as a Battalion Executive Officer (XO) and Operations Officer. It is a lateral move, and it helps round out my experience base - which should help at the next rank.

FOB DELTA is near the town of Al Kut. You can find it South and East of Baghdad, out near the Iranian border. FOB Delta is a dusty little shanty town at the moment, comprised of little more than a barrier wall, an airfield, and a pile of old bombed out abandoned buildings. The post is manned by a number of different nationalities of soldiers, including Georgian, Lithuanian, Polish, El Salvadorian, Iraqi and Kazakhstani as well as a contingent of US forces. Eating in the dining facility here is like the bar scene in the original Star Wars. FOB Delta is the center hub of a number of combat outposts on the Iranian border. If you look at a map of where the town of Al Kut is, you will see the strategic location of the base.

My job consists of coordinating inbound and outbound shipments, as well as coordinating support for the tenant units on the FOB. The FOB is growing, and will need warehouses, a supply/service agency, roads, maintenance facilities, convoy staging areas, post office, finance office, ammunition storage and fuel storage bunkers. My job is to develop the footprint for all of the activities and write the specifications for the contracts to do the horizontal and vertical construction needed to build it all. I guess I am sort of a city planner.

I have a containerized housing unit (CHU, pronounced 'chew') here, just like I did at LSA ADDER, although this one is shaped a little different; long and narrow. Most of my soldiers are quartered in an old Iraqi fighter aircraft bunker. They like it, so it is not a hardship, but I will be moving them into brand new CHUs here within the next month. I am surrounded by concrete barrier walls, razor wire, gates, guard dogs etc.. Sort of a little fort within the FOB. I am still figuring out the phone system, and the computer hookups are slower than at LSA ADDER, but I will make do.

It is pretty cold out here now, with temps in the low 30s. It actually snowed in Northern Baghdad about a week ago. It should get wet and warmer over the next few months, then get hot again in March and April. A wet Iraq is essentially a mud pit. Whee.

I should be here for the full remaining year of deployment. My address changed slightly; same zip code, but different FOB. The mail actually passes through LSA ADDER on the way up here, arriving by convoy or by aircraft. We get about four to eight aircraft a week here, as well as a one to two convoys of trucks. Did I mention I also run the airfield control group? Anyway, my new address;

Major Brad Schutz
APO AE 09331

Stay safe, and hug the kids.