Camp New York
"Big Apple of Kuwait"
Situated in the middle of the Kuwaiti desert, Camp New York boasts some of the amenities a person would have in New York City, including a 1,000-seat dining facility, 9,500 beds, 21 shower trailers, 318 portable restrooms and 110 trash dumpsters. Heaters and air conditioners run by power generators also are available.
Camp New York was rebuilt in early December 2003 to provide facilities for service members coming through Kuwait during the Operation Iraqi Freedom rotation of troops, which began in January and will last through May 2004. To stay cool, the Soldiers temporarily living in the camp stay in air-conditioned tents and sleep on cots in huge bay-like areas. The tents also have lighting and electricity. About a quarter-mile away from the sleeping quarters, Soldiers can clean up in the shower trailer with warm-running water. Although there is running water, there are not any sewers and using the facilities includes locking the door to the port-a-john.
The camp has a base exchange (the military's answer to a department store), though the temporary facility would be dwarfed by the large exchanges located on any permanent military installation. Here, the exchange resembles a convenience store. Fast food has also made its way to the Kuwaiti desert, with a Burger King and Subway sandwich store available. There is also a barbershop, a recreation center and a phone center. It's nice to go and see stuff you would at home. The Burger King is just a taste of home, but it's better than an MRE [Meal Ready-to-Eat]. If a Soldier does not want to spend money on food at the Burger King, Subway, or the exchange, the dining facilities are located approximately one mile down the road where Kuwaiti locals serve hot chow three times a day. At the recreation center, Soldiers can watch an assortment of movies on a big screen TV or play ping-pong. The Soldiers also have a chance to call home from a phone center that has 24 phones.
By February 2004 Camp New York was nine square kilometers of pure soldiering - the camp is a piece of desert located about 50 miles from anything resembling civilization, and is scratched out of the desert floor with 20 foot high earth wall on all 4 sides. At that time it was home to 1ID's 2nd and 3rd Brigade Combat Teams as well as the DISCOM. A contingent of Marines from the USS Bataan had also moved onto camp. The soldiers sleep in large tents with electricity and air conditioning (the AC also doubles as a heater during the night. The camp also boasts shower facilities, an MWR tent, a gym, a small PX and laundry facilities. There is also an excellent dining facility, and two short order Dining Facilities, where soldiers are served hot meals three times a day. If soldiers don't want to eat at the Dining Facilities they can also buy meals from the Subway and Burger King on the camp - and there is always a wide variety of Meals Ready to Eat (MRE). Overall the living isn't bad, even if it is in the middle of the desert.
Soldiers stage at Camp New York to prepare for our mission in Iraq, and Kuwait has great facilities for that. First, there are the wide open spaces. Army leaders have turned much of the open space on the camp into improvised training areas for small unit training. Here soldierspractice skills that will be essential for the next year. Then there are the Udari Ranges where units can fire anything from a pistol to a tank just to verify their marksmanship and practice close quarters fighting. The final training will be a Convoy Live Fire Exercise in preparation for our movement north. Convoy Live Fire is a thorough three-day experience where soldiers riding in vehicles learn to deal with explosive devices, ambushes, and other possible events on the movement north. BCT soldiers practice how to fight form there vehicles, as well as how to recover a vehicle that breaks on the road, or how to call in medical evacuation helicopters.
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