Thanks, Guys

CAMP TAQADDUM, Iraq - Four-hundred and fifty Gulf Catering Company food service employees from India were awarded Letters of Appreciation at the Lakeside dining facility for their hard work and dedication  Aug. 4.

CAMP TAQADDUM, Iraq - Four-hundred and fifty Gulf Catering Company food service employees from India were awarded Letters of Appreciation at the Lakeside dining facility for their hard work and dedication Aug. 4.

The war in Iraq is over.  We won.  I know this because some five and a half years after coming to Iraq, American Force Protection officers can now accept the risk of large numbers of Host Country National Locally Employed Personnel (milspeak for Iraqis) on our Forward Operating Bases.  

Read Really, Really Trusting Iraqis at Strategy Page.

Third Country Nationals, civilian contractors who aren’t Americans or Iraqis, contributed more than most Americans know to victory in Iraq. Indians, Sri Lankans, Nepalis and Pakistanis from Gulf Catering Company fed us. Filipinos from Prime Projects International cleaned our latrines and manned our recreational facilities. Macedonians with Albanian names from Ecolog washed our clothes. Ugandans from SOC-SMG protected our High Occupancy Facilities from infiltration by Person-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices. Hungarians sucked out our porta-potties. Turks, Lebanese, Sudanese, Somalis, Bosnians, South Africans, Gurkhas, were all encountered on TQ two years ago.

The work they did would have been done by details of draftees in previous American wars. Our soldiers weren’t paid very much in those days, and we had lots of them to keep busy and out of trouble. The work the TCN’s do on big FOB’s still has to be done by the troops themselves at the little Combat Out Posts and Joint Security Stations. There are still places without latrine trailers and porta-potties where people do their business on a one-holer into a cut down 55-gallon drum. The TCN’s relieved the war fighters of most of the house-keeping/sanitation/chow hall/post police drudgery soldiers in camps have been saddled with since Deuteronomy. Good food, email, recreation, clean clothes, and air conditioned sleeping quarters mitigated a lot of combat stress, extending the number of high-intensity days troops could be subjected to before Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder rendered them combat ineffective. Such things are not “obscene amenities.”

So now the TCN’s are being replaced with locals. They did a good job. They earned more respect and appreciation than they’ll ever get.

UPDATE: Contractors: The New Element of Military Force Structure

UPDATE No. 2: Foreign Civilian Contractors Disappearing

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Thanks, Guys

  1. michael

    i am michael fernandes from india i am working in mwr i came here in tq base november2003 from and i still working in this base almost 61 months without going out side this base and i going home next month
    so please give me Letters of Appreciation thank you my e-mail mfernandes2485@yahoo.co.in

  2. 5 years stuck inside the wire at TQ!
    Very few Americans have the faintest clue what you and all the other TCN’s who never got R&R were required to sacrifice.

    A big FOB is like an immobile aircraft carrier dead in the water. Small boats go in and out of the Entry Control Points, but most of the crew is kept aboard. 12 hour shifts, 7 days a week, for 5 years! Like volunteering for prison.

    Thank you, michael. Thank you for your work, your endurance, and your patience. Thanks for clean towels and cold water and operational fitness equipment and a pretty good Internet Cafe and a surprisingly good library. They were good for my morale.

    Seems like 1st MLG ought to do for PPI what they did for GCC. Somebody in the Cardio Room might put a bug in the Colonel’s ear about that some fine morning.

  3. michael

    thank u for u r nice coments

  4. Grimmy

    michael:

    Take pride in a difficult task well done. You, and those who were with you, did provide a valuable service in support of the effort to free Iraq from tyranny.

    I wish you good fortune and safe journey.