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Camp Virginia

Camp Virginia is located near Udairi Range in northern Kuwait.

The Air Support Operations Center at Camp Virginia, Kuwait, housed approximately 150 other bluesuiters amongst 10,000 of the Army's V Corps' finest in the desert. The ASOC's role during OIF was to call in close air support for the troops on the ground. That usually meant using pre-positioned "packages" of Air Force aircraft flying overhead, ready to drop bombs and kill the bad guys when needed. These roaming hunters of A-10s, F-15s, F-16s, B-2 bombers and more, helped give the Air Force the edge in the war.

Operating from Camp Virginia, Kuwait, the 27th Transportation Battalion (MC) provided movement control and in transit visibility for approximately 15,000 soldiers and 10,000 pieces of equipment belonging to the COSCOM and the Corps during Reception, Staging and Onward Movement from the Sea Port of Debarkation to tactical assembly areas within Kuwait. Elements of the Battalion stood ready on the Iraqi Border, controlling all movement into Iraq from the start of the ground war.

The Army Reserve's 280th Rear Operations Center (ROC) based in Mannheim, Germany mobilized on January 21, 2003 and its main body deployed to Camp Virginia, Kuwait on February 20, immediately assuming its wartime identity as V Corps, G3 Rear Battle Control Center. During the next 29 days, the "Samurai" soldiers established operations, conducted critical coordination and participated in pre-combat rehearsals. During the Ground Combat phase of the of OIF, 280th ROC directed Rear Combat Operations, exercised command and control over nine subordinate Rear Area Operations Centers (RAOC), and moved the Command Post from Camp Virginia, Kuwait to Logistics Support Area Anaconda located in Balad, Iraq, and finally to Baghdad.

The 507th Maintenance Company [with Jessica Lynch] arrived in Kuwait from Ft. Bliss on 20 February 2003. The company consisted of 82 Soldiers and their assigned vehicles. The unit became a part of U.S. forces under the operational control of V Corps, which was located at CAMP VIRGINIA in Kuwait. From 22 February until 20 March, the 507th prepared for its mission in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM--to repair and maintain vehicles and equipment of the 5th Battalion, 52d Air Defense Artillery (Patriot), supporting the Central Command (CENTCOM) battle plan.

Unit preparation at CAMP VIRGINIA built on training that had been conducted at Fort Bliss, which included individual and crew-served weapons qualification, tactical communications, land navigation, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) defense tasks, first aid, spot reporting, equipment maintenance, leader certification, force protection, deployment and redeployment operations, tactical employment, and sustainment operations. Once deployed and in CAMP VIRGINIA, Soldiers of the 507th conducted additional training and preparations at CAMP VIRGINIA that included rules of engagement, unit rehearsals (movement, actions on contact, ambush procedures), and weapons and vehicle maintenance. During this time, all Soldiers received their basic combat load of ammunition for their personal weapons (210 rounds for M16A2, 1000 rounds for M249 SAW, 45 rounds for M9). The company commander ordered issue of ammunition for the unit?s crew served weapons (.50 caliber and MK-19, 40mm) prior to movement, however, all pyrotechnics, hand grenades, and AT-4 Anti-tank weapons were consolidated and secured.

Without access to millions of gallons of fuel, Operation Iraqi Freedom missions would grind to a halt. During the operation's March 2003 offensive, the Army's 49th Quartermaster Group kept the fuel flowing through its Inland Petroleum Distribution System, or IPDS -- 220 miles of pipeline that ran from Camp Virginia, Kuwait, to Iraq. The 3rd Infantry Division's Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, armored vehicles and support fuel tankers required fuel stops to advance from Kuwait to Baghdad.

The Inland Petroleum Distribution System (IPDS) would be constructed from Camp Virginia, Kuwait, to Logistics Support Area (LSA) Adder (near Tallil Air Base), Iraq, a distance of about 224 miles. The pipeline was essential, as one of the Combined Forces Land Component Command's (CFLCC's) prestart conditions for the war with Iraq was the completion of the IPDS to Breach Point West on the Kuwait-Iraq border.

The 416th Engineer Command worked with the 49th to build the pipeline, which featured 20 pump stations and seven fuel-storage sites that can combine to provide 8 million gallons on-hand fuel capacity. The engineers' contributions allowed the 49th QM Group to provide more than 90 million gallons of fuel to the battlefield, of which more 60 million gallons were pushed via the IPDS. By September 2003 the pipeline stretched from Kuwait refineries to Tallil, Iraq. It powers the coalition's machines with 600 gallons of fuel per minute running through its 6-inch- diameter aluminum pipe.

By 2005, as US Army combat support and combat service support units rotate in Iraq, a more purple, diverse force emerged as a means to remedy shortages in personnel. For the first time, Air National Guard vehicle operators and mechanics are working alongside U.S. Army Soldiers in convoys-signaling significant changes in the composition of the U.S. war-fighting force in the Middle East and the role of the National Guard in the Global War on Terrorism. Once they arrived at Camp Virginia, Kuwait, the purple suiters integrated into U.S. Army transportation companies and undergo five days of combat convoy operations in the field. This was followed by another five days of live fire training at Udari Range in Kuwait, to include close quarters marksmanship.



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