Dammam, Saudi Arabia
King Abdul Aziz Port, Dammam, is the principal port of Saudi Arabia in the Gulf and is located approximately mid-way along the Eastern Coast at: Latitude 26° 30' N Longitude 50° 12' E. King Abdul Aziz Port is the main gateway through which cargoes from all over the world enter the Eastern and Central Provinces of the Kingdom. It is strategically placed to service the requirements of the oil industry, the continuous development of Riyadh, the capital, and the major provincial cities in the Eastern and Central Provinces. The Port is fully self-sufficient with its own administration offices, mechanical and marine workshops, electrical, telephone and marine communications networks and water refinery. It has its own clinic, fire department and a large housing complex for port employees, with mosques and a supermarket. There is an excellent highway system connecting Dammam Port with the rest of the Kingdom and with adjacent Gulf States and also a busy railway to Riyadh Dry Port. During 2001, for the first time, Saudi Container/RoRo Terminals handled more than 1.7 million TEU, an increase of 12.6 % compared to the previous year.
Dammam is the Saudi Arabian National Guard's Eastern Region garrison and military city, and has an active naval and commercial port. The mission of the Eastern Region (ER) of the Office of the Program Manager Saudi Arabian National Guard [OPM-SANG] is to provide a broad range of military advice and assistance in the modernization of SANG's Eastern Region Military Agency. The Agency currently consists of the following units: the Eastern Region Headquarters; the Prince Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud Light Infantry Brigade; the Eastern Region Training Center; the Region's logistical, military police, and service units; and several irregular Fowj elements located throughout the Region from Al Khafji to Abqaiq.
The Eastern Regions Advisory Team's (ERAT) permanent party military advisors, along with administrative personnel and interpreter/translators, form the ER's modernization team. The ERAT officers are co-located with the ER SANG staff. Augmentation teams of active duty commissioned and non-commissioned officers and contractor trainers are periodically assigned to the ERAT to provide in-depth training assistance. The Eastern Region Advisory Team operates in the Dammam/Al-Khobar/Dhahran area along the Arabian Gulf approximately 275 miles from Riyadh.
Advisors live in three-bedroom executive villas on primarily western compounds (secured and walled-in areas) in Al-Khobar, approximately five miles from Dammam. Amenities found in these fully-furnished villas include central heat and air-conditioning, wall-to-wall carpeting, a modern and spacious kitchen, drapes, and a color television connected to a compound satellite and in-house television system.
The compound has a swimming pool, tennis courts, fitness center, and a restaurant. The compound also sports a four-lane automated bowling alley. Excellent security creates a safe environment for our principally bachelor work force. A post exchange, APO and commissary exist on the nearby Dhahran Air Base; however, access to this facility is quite limited.
Just a short trip from the compound is the USMTM beach on Half Moon Bay, which is a fine recreation facility offering jet skis, fishing, sailing, water skiing, swimming, and sun bathing. At Half-Moon Bay a diver group placed old trucks and cars in the water near shore to create an artificial reef. There is little if any coral growth, and the vehicles are covered in barnacles, but it remains an interesting dive. It is located about 5 kilometers south of the Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Amusement Park in an open coast area. This location sports various types of fish and many many small shells. In addition, the snorkeling and scuba diving off the coast of Jubail are excellent. The island country of Bahrain, readily accessible via the King Fahd causeway, also offers a variety of recreational activities.
The Dammam, Dhahran and Al-Khobar area is a complex and fascinating mix of cultures providing many dining, shopping and recreational experiences. Al-Khobar, in particular, sports a large western community and countless business establishments catering to western tastes. Advisors enjoy an excellent quality of life in the ER.
Duty in the Eastern Region rewards the Advisor with a career-enhancing job, an outstanding life style, and a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a different culture. Even more important, it provides a rare opportunity for US military advisors to contribute directly to the modernization of the Saudi Arabian National Guard and to strengthen the bond of cooperation and friendship between the US and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia while performing a challenging assignment.
The Eastern Region currently utilizes a combination of primary and secondary care facilities. The United States Military Training Mission (USMTM) Clinic is on the Dhahran RSAF Base. The Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation (MODA) Hospital is also on the Dhahran RSAF Base. In addition, contractual agreements exist with the Saad Medical Center in Al-Khobar to provide for routine medical care. The Al Moosa Hospital provides care in the Al Hasa/Hofuf area.
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