Military


Observation Post 3-11
Tiran Island

At the Strait of Tiran, the Gulf of Aqaba narrows, and then forms a narrow mouth between the Sinai Peninsula and Tiran Island, opening up into the main body of the Red Sea. At the center is Tiran Island and a little to the east is the smaller island Sanafir. Both of the islands officially belong to Saudi Arabia but are being used by Egypt. Because of strict military regulations, it's not possible to enter the islands.

The Multinational Force and Observers [MFO] has soldiers 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.

Observation Post 3-11 is located on Tiran Island, five miles off Sinai's coast in the Gulf of Aqaba. OP 3-11 is manned by U.S. troops who monitor Israeli and Egyptian naval and maritime activities in the strategically vital area where the Gulf meets the Red Sea. Tiran Island now belongs to Saudi Arabia and is leased by Egypt so that the observation post can be operated there. The actual OP is located on the island's western edge, more than 800 feet tip a cliff wall overlooking heavily mined beaches. The island is accessible from the water in a few locations, but the OP's location and the treacherous slopes leading up to it make resupply by any combination of sea and ground transport almost impossible. The OP 3-11 troops therefore rely on the slingload missions flown on Thursday and Sunday mornings by UH-1's of the South Camp Aviation Platoon for their transportation to and from work, as well as for food, water, mail, fuel and just about everything else.

Observation Point 3-11 is about as big as Paradise Shoppette. It contains everything a Soldier needs, plus a few luxuries -- hot showers, full service kitchen and a day room. While on watch, Soldiers worked in three-man teams. The teams consisted of one noncommissioned officer, and two junior enlisted Soldiers. They rotated between three different shifts, pulling the same shift for two days, then rotating to another shift for two days. Once the Soldiers completed the third shift, they had a day off from guard watch.

 



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