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Military

Camp Commando blooms in Kuwaiti desert

Marine Corps News

12/7/2002

Story by Cpl. Colin Wyers

CAMP COMMANDO, Kuwait(Dec. 7, 2002) -- The Marines and sailors of Camp Commando have shown that something can grow in the desert - a tent city which houses select forces of the I Marine Expeditionary Force deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Living and working spaces for the service members deployed here were put in place in just six weeks by Marines and sailors from a variety of occupational specialties, including engineers, communicators, cooks and corpsmen.

"This whole area was flat when I first got here," said Gunnery Sgt. Luis Nunez, I MEF Headquarters Group group gunnery sergeant. "There was only three existing buildings. We had to make a billeting plan to figure out who was going to go where, and figure out how many we were going to put in each tent. Because of the numbers that kept on growing and growing, we had to continue to build the camp until we pretty much ran out of sand."

To set up the tents, along with other essential support functions such as mail and disbursing, support was provided by the major subordinate commands.

"We got help in doing this from the division, wing, and FSSG (Force Service Support Group)," said Col. John T. Cunnings, I MHG commanding officer. "It was all a one-team-one-fight effort."

That effort was carried out through the initiative of the troops tasked to carry out the mission.

"The camp is a reflection of the hard work of junior Marines and sailors," said Cunnings. "It's a credit to their positive attitudes and motivation. Without their focus on mission accomplishment, we would not be where we are today on this camp."

Once the tents were up, sections had to move in and set up workspaces. To do this, embarkers had to reunite units with equipment shipped from the United States, communications Marines had to set up phone, data, and cable television lines, and electricians had to run the power to support it all.

"We wired up the whole camp," said Cpl. James L. Boyd, I MHG Engineering Platoon duty electrician. "Heavy equipment moved all the containers coming in. Carpenters built everything from map boards to dividers. Without us, things couldn't run smooth."

All of the Marines' efforts came together to create a fully functional, smoothly operating expeditionary headquarters for I MEF.

"We established all the things to provide Marines with beans, bullets, and band-aids," said Cunnings. "We've built a camp... that provides these Marines all the services to live comfortably in the field."

But the work is not finished, as Camp Commando continues to expand.

"We're currently starting to develop our next sector," said Nunez, " to be ready for whenever more forces arrive."



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