North Base Camp
El Gorah, Egypt
The Multinational Force and Observers [MFO] has two camps, North Camp and South Camp. The MFO's Sinai headquarters at North Camp is located at el Gorah in northern Sinai, approximately 25 kilometers from the Egyptian-Israeli border. The smaller South Camp, near Sharm el Sheikh, on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, is positioned on a bluff overlooking the Red Sea. Soldiers are stationed at observation points to ensure both parties abide the treaty. The force and observers, totaling 1,900, are under the command of a Norwegian military officer. The military personnel are on loan from 11 nations.
North Base Camp is located in El Gorah, Egypt, and is accessible to nearby to the town of EL Aryish by either MFO Bus (free) or Taxi. El Gorah is what remains of an old Israeli air base which was used to control the airspace over the northern Sinai during the Israeli occupation from 1967 to 1979. Operations of Arrow Air for the MFO in Egypt had used El-Gorah Airport in the Sinai Desert. The closest settlement that is likely to appear on a larger map is the City of El Arish, which is located in the northeast corner of the Sinai. El Arish is roughly 20-30km west of the camp. The camp itself is approximately three square kilometers and is about 24 km southwest of the border town of Rafah and 20 km south of the Mediterranean Sea.
Travel times to major cities are: 2.5 hours to Tel Aviv across the border and 5 hours to the outskirts of Cairo. Major cites nearby are Tel Aviv, Israel (1 1/2 hr.), and Cairo (5 hr.) both are accessible by MFO vehicles for free.
While living within the barbed-wire perimeter of a desert military base may sound daunting, personnel quickly find many bonuses to life in the MFO. Through civilian contractors [Holmes & Narver, Inc.], the MFO provides all the amenities of a small town: a cafeteria-style dining facility, laundry, barber shop/hairdresser, bank, and small store for purchasing personal items. There are a well-stocked library (including current videos), excellent sports facilities and a number of social clubs to provide a little nightlife. Free bus transportation to Cairo and Tel Aviv is available on weekends. In addition, the various military contingents regularly organize activities and competitions to bolster the morale of their personnel, and civilian participation is always warmly welcomed.
Housing for soldiers PVT through SGT 11'X 14' air-conditioned rooms, one soldier to a room. Common latrine in adjoining building. All buildings are wired for 220-volt service, some transformers are available. Certain electrical items like Alarm clocks will not work correctly from transformers. the main dining facility is setup in three sections, the Officer, NCO, and Junior Enlisted sections, all sections have buffet style meals with at least 3 main dishes, and assorted vegetables, soups, breads, and fruits. There are also healthy choice options and a short order line. The MDF offers an International selection so that every contingent can find a meal from home. The Force Exchange is a small shoppette sized exchange that carries assorted items, including, greeting cards, stationary, clothes, beverages, gifts, cameras, electronic equipment, some CD's, snacks, toilet articles (limited selection), recreational equipment.
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