May 31 June 2, 1991: Chopper Flight over Dohuk; Zakho and Silopi

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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Fri 31 May

We had a formation at 0700, then some of us went over to headquarters to try to get a chopper ride. The plan, which never got off the ground, was to ferry groups on short flights around the camps. While we were waiting, Don Langel, Joe Bechlem and I tagged along on a resupply flight to a British post, then buzzed over Dohuk and returned. There is nothing on God's green earth as much fun as a low-level chopper flight with the doors open; it's the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Unfortunately, we didn't get to fly over the camps; the choppers kept getting bumped for other missions. I went over to Camp 2 for a second try about noon, spent some time chatting with the Italian MP's before this flight, too was scrubbed. So I hiked out to the wadi to take a few pictures, then spent much of the afternoon relaxing. We played volleyball later on.

Breakfast was our last cooked meal. Our mess crew has packed all its gear and nobody else is taking up the slack.

 

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Nature Shots, May 31, 1991

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Back to Turkey

Sat 1 Jun

Formation at 0730, then we were off most of the day. I read and relaxed in the morning. At 1330 I went on a shopping run to Silopi. I cashed a check at Finance for $100, then got a copper plate at the Turkish PX, visited the U.S. PX, then hit the street vendors. The south side of the road opposite the camp is lined with vendors mostly selling carpets; I nicknamed it the "Silopi Mall". I got a rug and a tapestry. I had just returned to camp when CPT Gerald Watson and SSG Wally Coyle said they were walking into town, so I decided to go with them.

I had a specific mission in mind. A few days ago the Fishers (MAJ Carl and CPT Lori) came back from Zakho with a Kurdish cradle. I thought Shawn would love one. We walked through downtown, out to the river to see the old stone bridge, then back via a different street. And there it was, outside a shop, price 30 dinars ($6). I put it on my shoulder and we started back the four miles to camp. It was a riot; every male Kurd waved, smiled, gave me the V sign as if to say "You sly fox, you've still got it"! One gave me a little brass amulet for "the baby"; I didn't have the heart, or the fluency in Kurdish, to tell him the cradle would likely end up a planter.

The vendors along the roadside are real pests, selling bayonets and Iraqi currency. Headquarters has issued orders forbidding dealing with them because of the safety hazard created by people crowding the road. For the same reason it is now forbidden to toss candy to the kids. These two regulations should have been posted the first day!

Zakho

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Sun 2 Jun

No formation today. I went to Chaplain Burr's service at 0830, then packed up my cradle for shipment. It was so big I had to piece together two boxes, to pack it. I dismantled it, using my mini tool kit, then wrapped my carpet around the three major pieces in an S-shape. I did technical inspection on my convoy vehicle, then went with Haney and Raby back up to the British Marine camp. He went up to get his evaluation, which the British had forwarded to Special Forces. I went to get some missed geology shots. It felt strange seeing some of these places that were by now so familiar, and knowing that it was really for the last time.

At the British camp, we heard that a car tried to run a British checkpoint the other night. They stopped after 11 shots and three flat tires.

Then we went in to Silopi. It took over an hour to mail the package, which was almost too big for SAM (Space Available Mail, the cheapest rate). The limit for SAM, length plus girth, is 100 inches. The box measured out at 100 inches exactly.

The carpet patterns at the Silopi Mall are interesting. In addition to the geometric patterns, they have unicorns, naked ladies, the Last Supper, Sacred Hearts, Confederate flags, Our Lady of Guadalupe (honest!) and other traditional Moslem artistic motifs.

We returned to camp. I ate and played volleyball, very badly tonight. The current speculation has us leaving Friday. The Kurds demonstrated twice, at 0900 and 1800, against the coalition pullout. It took me back to the Sixties. This was the first time I had ever seen anyone demonstrate to keep U.S. forces in a country, sort of a "hell, no, you can't go" demonstration.

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The Death of a Good Friend

The latrine gets filled in!

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  • August 2, 1990 - January 5, 1991: From the invasion of Kuwait to mobilization.
  • January 6, 1991: Departure
  • January 7-14, 1991: Settling in at Fort Bragg
  • January 15-23, 1991: Fort Bragg Drags On
  • January 24 - February 3, 1991: Preparing to Deploy to the Gulf
  • February 4 - 5, 1991: Arrival in Country
  • February 6-12, 1991: Khobar and Recon to Jubail
  • February 13-20, 1991: Al-Jubail
  • February 21-25, 1991: Al Jubail
  • February 26, 1991: Tapline Road
  • February 27, 1991: Return From KKMC
  • February 28 - March 3, 1991: We Move Into Kuwait
  • March 4 - 8, 1991: On Patrol in Kuwait
  • March 9, 1991: The Choke Point
  • March 10 - 11, 1991: A Chopper Ride
  • March 11, 1991: Chopper Flight - The Oil Fires
  • March 12-14, 1991: Oil Fires and Weapons
  • March 15-16, 1991: A Congressman and a Private Museum
  • March 17-21, 1991: Oil Fires and Routine Patrols
  • March 22-24, 1991:Weapons Fire and Day Turns Into Night
  • March 25, 1991: Visit to Iraq
  • March 27-28, 1991: On the Coast and More Weapons
  • March 31, 1991: Easter and Gergian
  • April 1-5, 1991: Farewell Dinner and the Sand-Table House
  • April 6-7, 1991: Farewell to Kuwait
  • April 10-14, 1991: Khobar and Dhahran:
  • April 15-16, 1991: Khobar and Bahrain
  • April 17 - 23, 1991: Waiting for Kurdistan
  • April 24-25, 1991: From Khobar to Incirlik
  • April 26, 1991: From Incirlik to Zakho
  • April 27-30, 1991: First Days in Kurdistan
  • May 1-2, 1991: Camp I Rises
  • May 1-2, 1991: Camp I Rises
  • May 3-9, 1991: Camp I in Operation
  • May 10-13, 1991: The Eventful Birth of Camp II
  • May 14-17, 1991: Camp II in Operation
  • May 18-19, 1991: Into the Mountains
  • May 20, 1991: Kani Masi and Begova
  • May 21, 1991: Nazdour and Begova
  • May 22, 1991: Uzumlu
  • May 23, 1991: Visit to Camp 1 and Nazdour
  • May 24-25, 1991: Sirsenk and Silopi
  • May 26, 1991: I'll Teach them to Nickname Me "Indy"
  • May 27, 1991: Dohuk (Almost) and Kani Masi
  • May 28-29, 1991: Return From the Mountains
  • May 30, 1991: A Visit From Colin Powell
  • May 31 - June 2, 1991: Chopper Flight over Dohuk; Zakho and Silopi
  • June 3-7, 1991: Last Days in Kurdistan
  • June 6-8, 1991: Incirlik and an Outing Down the Coast
  • June 8 - 18, 1991: Out of Turkey and Back to Fort Bragg
  • June 19 - October 11, 1991: Picking Up Where We Left Off
  • Other Items


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