1LT Miller and CPT Meidl in Balad, Iraq

It doesn’t take long once you’ve arrived in Iraq to realize just how powerful the American military is. Just minutes after stepping off the plane in late October I was amazed at the incredible scale of our operation here in this country. LSA Anaconda, located just outside the Iraqi town of Balad, has become the logistical hub of all military operations in the Iraqi theater. Living there is, considering the alternatives, comfortable. While units spending most of their time working behind the post’s protective wire rarely get out and see our military’s full might in action and witness boots being put to ground, we do have plenty of opportunities to see a multitude of weapons systems, equipment, and foreign forces as they depart the friendly confines of LSA Anaconda on their way to the Global War on Terrorism’s front lines. Dozens of Air Force sorties are launched on a daily basis and the air space dedicated to rotary wing aircraft is constantly buzzing with the sounds of helicopters preparing to deploy Soldiers on air assault missions or provide close air support for vehicle convoy’s leaving through the gates. The sounds of Air Force fighters taking off, helicopters revving up, and generators humming as they strain to support this logistical beehive are constant and I can only imagine how intimidating it is. Ridiculously up-armored Humvees are in abundance when they’re not out protecting convoys and troops of Bradley Fighting Vehicles can be seen patrolling the perimeter occasionally. Seeing these things on a daily basis really lets you see behind the headlines and to be a part of such an awe-inspiring operation is sobering. These sights are true indicators of the U.S.’s dedication to setting the Iraqi government and its military up for success.


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