By February 2003 Kuwait's Camp Coyote was the tip of spear in the US arsenal, about 30 miles from the Iraqi border. Just a few weeks earlier, it was nothing more than hundreds upon hundreds of square miles of barren sand and gravel separating the Iraqi border and Kuwait's Highway 80, the infamous "Highway of Death" down which Saddam Hussein's defeated army made its disastrous retreat during Desert Storm. When the 163 men of L Company arrived 23 January 2003, they stood alone. Four days later, other Marines began flooding into the area - and transforming it into what nearly everybody at the camp thinks is likely to be the main launching pad for a ground assault into Iraq.
Camp Coyote that had 8 square miles of barricaded FSUs. Coyote depleted their 800 containers and received an additional 300 containers and break bulk ammunition from black bottom ships. Camp Coyote had additional missions of sustaining ground units with constant air packages within 24hrs notice, everyday unit requests for units entering Iraq and everyday convoys consisting of break bulk and containerized ammunition.
Rows of large white rectangular tents stretched across miles of desert, housing thousands of Marines shipped in almost exclusively from Twenty-nine Palms, CA. The number eventually reached about 7,000. It was home to the 7th Marines Regimental Combat Team during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Marines from 3rd Bn, 4th Marines Kilo Co. arrived from Kuwait International Airport and hiked to Camp Coyote during Operation Enduring Freedom, February 2, 2003. On March 31, 2003, topped with awkward-fitting helmets and loaded down with gear, about 190 journalists from around the world Wednesday were officially "embedded" with U.S. Marine Corps forces.
The first signs that Saddam Hussein was trying to hit back came at midmorning on 20 March 2003, after missiles were detected headed toward Camp Coyote. One soared over Camp Coyote and landed nearby in the general area of Camp Commando, causing no casualties. The other was shot down by a US Patriot missile.
On Aug. 12, 2003, the new Commanding General of 1st Force Service Support Group, in command for less than a month, wasted no time in visiting with his Marines and sailors in Kuwait and Iraq. The local area commanders took Brigadier General Richard S. Kramlich, along with the senior enlisted Marine and Sailor of 1st FSSG, Sergeant Major Jerry Cole and Command Master Chief Petty Officer Robert Fitzgerald, on a three-day whirlwind tour throughout the combat zone. The visit started off with the General and his party visiting the Marines and Sailors of 1st FSSG Forward located at Camp Coyote, Kuwait. He then departed for Iraq to visit with CSSG-11, in support of 1st Marine Division, based at Tallil Airfield, the cities of Ad Diwaniyah, Al Hillah and Al Kut.
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