Military


Tall 'Afar Airbase

The US soldiers at the 101st Airborne 1st Battalion's are based in Tall 'Afar in northern Iraq near Mosul. Silver screen star Bruce Willis and his blues band visited the soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Bruce Willis and the Accelerators performed for 101st Airborne Division soldiers in Tal Afar 25 September 2003. Movie star Bruce Willis brought a rock concert to this desert airfield, with his band entertaining hundreds of soldiers some 35 miles from the Syrian border. Hundreds of soldiers - some sitting atop helicopters, others lounging in Humvees - sent cheers and whistles into night air as Willis and his band belted out rock and roll and the blues. Most soldiers here said they didn't know Willis was a singer, but they approved of what they heard. "Somebody that supports the military like he has and that comes to visit soldiers - that's important to us," said Spc. Greg Pagan, a bus driver and a postal officer with the 3rd Brigade of the 101st's Airborne Division in northern Iraq. "It's awesome. It's great for morale" said Col. Michael Linnington, commander of the brigade's "Iron Rakkasans" - the 187th Infantry Regiment.

Another successfully-trained group of police graduated from the Tal Afar Police Academy, 03 November 2003. Lt.Col. Christopher Pease, commander, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), was a guest speaker at the graduation. Each newly appointed police officer went through many different levels of training to bring them to their graduation day. They had to pass weapons familiarization, riot control, physical fitness, and human ethics along with many other classes.

Efforts are underway to repair the nearly obsolete water pumping system that provides water for over 325,000 citizens of Northern Iraq. In the interim, soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) have contracted 32 trucks to carry over 10,000 liters of water every day to villages that the water system is unable to reach. 101st AAD civil affairs and engineering soldiers are working to fix the water system, which draws its water supply directly from the Freedom (formerly Saddam) Lake in Northern Iraq. With the broken down water pumps, many areas around northern Iraq are nearly dry without the water trucks. The drivers of the water trucks meet everyday at the tactical operations center in the northern Iraqi city of Tall Afar before getting into their trucks. The drivers and their trucks are a temporary solution to the water distribution problem until long-term solutions can be put into effect.

A car bomber attacked a US military barracks in northern Iraq on 09 December 2003. A total of 61 soldiers were injured. Five of the wounded were medivaced to hospital, four to Baghdad and one to Germany. The other 51 soldiers had nicks, cuts, bruises and some broken bones. Guards at the gate and in a watchtower opened fire on the vehicle and moments later it blew up. The bomb left a large crater at the gate's entryway in the town of Talafar, 30 miles west of the northern city of Mosul. Tall Afar is mainly populated by Shiite Turkmen and had been calm since the US-led coalition ousted Hussein in April 2003.


Imagery of the Tall 'Afar Airbase
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