Al Taqaddum Airbase
Al Taqaddum Airbase is located in central Iraq approximately 74 kilometers West of Baghdad. The airfield is served by two runways 13,000 and 12,000 feet long. According to the "Gulf War Air Power Survey, there were 24 hardened aircraft shelters Al Taqaddum. At the each end of the main runway are hardened aircraft shelters knowns as "trapezoids" or "Yugos" which were build by Yugoslavian contractors some time prior to 1985. Al Taqaddum is one of the few Iraqi air bases not located inside the "No-Fly Zone."
There is Ikonos imagery of Al Taqaddum Airbase in Space Imaging's Carterra Archive acquired on 19 February 2002.
Camp Ridgeway / FOB Ridgeway
Camp Ridgway / FOB Ridgway
The US Army's Camp Ridgeway is located at the former Al Taqaddum air base, 35 miles west of Baghdad. As of October 2003 the 82nd Airborne Division had troops deployed throughout western Iraq, and Camp Ridgeway was one of its operating bases.
American forces found Russian fighter jets buried in the Iraqi desert, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an 05 August 2003 press briefing. "We'd heard a great many things had been buried, but we had not known where they were, and we'd been operating in that immediate vicinity for weeks and weeks and weeks . 12, 13 weeks, and didn't know they were (there)," Rumsfeld said. The secretary said he wasn't sure how many such aircraft had been found, but noted, "It wasn't one or two." He said it's a "classic example" of the challenges the Iraqi Survey Group is facing in finding weapons of mass destruction in the country. "Something as big as an airplane that's within . a stone's throw of where you're functioning, and you don't know it's there because you don't run around digging into everything on a discovery process," Rumsfeld explained. "So until you find somebody who tells you where to look, or until nature clears some sand away and exposes something over time, we're simply not going to know. "But, as we all know," he added, "the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Search teams found several MiG-25s and Su-25 ground attack jets buried at al-Taqqadum air field west of Baghdad.
Life at FOB Ridgeway continually improved. Hot showers and a PX were up and running in the Life Support Area which was recently christened "Spring Lake." The soldiers decided on this name to remain consistent with the Division's scheme of naming some bases after cities. Spring Lake was selected to describe the great lake view the troops enjoy. MWR activities developed to include the ongoing installation of the Internet Café. Each company developed their own MWR tent with satellite television.
The First Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq from Fort Riley beginning on 4 September 2003, and took over combat operations from the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Ar Rammadi and Habbiniyah area of operations on 26 September 2003. The Brigade Combat Team was fighting as part of the 82d Airborne Division and occupied three major base camps: Base Camp Junction City in Ar Rammadi containing the Brigade Headquarters, 1st Battalion 16th Infantry, 1st Battalion 5th field Artillery, 1st Engineer Battalion, D Troop 4th Cavalry, 331 Signal Company, and C Battery 4-3 Air Defense; Base Camp Manhattan in Habbiniyah containing 1st Battalion 34th Armor; and Forward Operating Base Ridgway near Al Taqqadum airfield containing the 101st Forward Support Battalion.
FOB Guardian City
The 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Infantry Division, a heavy mechanized brigade, relied on the Supply Support Activity (SSA) from the 101st Forward Support Battalion for the countless number of supplies needed to keep the brigade fully mission capable. The mission of the 101st SSA is to supply repair parts, general supplies, packaged petroleum products, building materials, and other military equipment. The SSA platoon soldiers of HQ/A Company provide this vitally important service, helping to ensure the overall success of the brigade. Day-to-day operations in the warehouse keep the SSA soldiers very busy. SSA soldiers maintain a fast pace to ensure the supported units get their supplies and repair parts in a timely manner.
The 101st Forward Support Battalion soldiers conducted daily operations and improve the quality of life throughout the base camp. Although many threats have been removed, Iraq continues to be a dangerous place and the battalion is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of soldiers every time they roll out of the camp gates. Conditions in Iraq continue to improve as Coalition and local Iraqi agencies rebuild infrastructure and start putting the Iraqis back to work. Soldiers continue to win the understanding and support of the local population, one Iraqi at a time. In addition to providing home away from home comforts for the soldiers, the unit is doing everything possible to ensure the soldiers maintain connectivity with their love ones. The battalion established a dedicated morale phone line that the soldiers are allowed to use at any time. The battalion is also set up an Internet Café within the next 4 weeks which allows soldiers to stay connected through e-mails.
Camp Taqqadum [aka "TQ"]
Camp Ridgeway / FOB Ridgeway was renamed Camp Taqqadum when the US Marine Corps cast off the Army's monikers for their new homes as part of a wider USMC effort to put an Iraqi face on the Corps' mission. Camp Taqqadum is located approximately 74 kilometers west of Baghdad.
An order issued March 25, 2004, by I MEF's commanding general, directed that all base names be changed immediately. As a result, and to connect with the local communities, the new camps' names were associated with the local urban or geographical areas that they are near. The order came on the heels of I MEF officially taking over the Al Anbar province from the Army's 82nd Airborne Division on March 24, 2004. In addition, the order stated that in "the spirit of the Marine Corps, these bases will no longer be referred to as FOBs. They will be designated as camps".
As of March 2004 military police from Headquarters and Service Battalion's Military Police Company at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, as well as several companies from 2nd FSSG's MP Battalion from Camp Lejeune, N.C., spread throughout Iraq, shoulder the burden of protecting the numerous convoys, which truck Marines everything from their ammo to letters from home. The MPs are a part of the 25,000 Marines under the command of I Marine Expeditionary Force deployed to western Iraq in support of ongoing security and stability operations safeguarding the country's peace process. In addition to protecting convoys, the MP Company here also supports the reserve infantry Marines of 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, who defend the base.
There are many necessary components the Army must apply to ensure proficient and successful force protection. Observation posts are one such component, and at Camp Taqqadum, Iraq, U.S. soldiers man the posts 24 hours a day, ensuring perimeter security. The observation posts are essentially a string of points on the perimeter of the camp positioned in a way so guards can keep constant watch over every inch of the perimeter. Observation posts are run on a shift rotation with at least two people in each post to provide security and scan for any intelligence information they might be able to gather. Soldiers are to use the materials they have to scan their area and call in any suspicious activity. The observation posts are critical in the coordination between quick reactionary forces, external patrols and internal security of the camp. The soldiers in the observation posts also let the patrols outside the perimeter know what is going on. They have a better view of the surrounding area and can see anything that is happening that may interfere with the operations of the base or a patrol.If the soldiers see anything suspicious, they call it into a tactical operations center, which in turn allows for the coordination of movements of other platoons inside the base to wherever they need to go to address the situation. On a daily basis, the soldiers deal with issues like sheep herders getting too close to the fence line and local nationals trying to cross the wire. Sometimes they deal with calling in indirect fire to the surrounding area. They call in the fire so the counter battery can triangulate its origin and respond.
As one observation post is reporting what they are seeing, the tactical operations center will call another observation post. If the second observation post is seeing the same thing as the first, the tactical operations center knows there is something going on out there and will make adjustments in regards to what forces are sent where.
The intelligence sent up by the observation posts effects the maneuvers of the platoons. Intelligence and security have equal roles in the observation posts because soldiers can take what they see and build the 'big picture' of what is going on out there.
There is a Moral, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) tent and gym. There are also some intramural sports, cookouts and movie nights so the soldiers can relax on their down time.
As of February 2006 Camp Taqaddum’s new expeditionary medical facility will soon be completed. The facility will be home to the Surgical Shock Trauma Platoon here, which provides immediate life-saving surgical care to all persons – military and civilian – who have been wounded in this war.
On August 22, 2004, a group of Marines dedicated the airfield at Al Taqaddum to Lt. Col. David S. Greene, a reserve Marine AH-1W Super Cobra pilot with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 775, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, who was killed in action July 28, 2004. Greene was flying a mission in support of I Marine Expeditionary Force when he was killed by small arms fire.
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