Post Freedom / Camp Freedom
Following the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Saddam Hussein's former palace in Mosul was been home initially to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)'s Main Command Post, with Division Headquarters, located in Northwest Mosul directly off the Dohuk highway, situated in one of the former regime's palace buildings overlooking the Tigris. Initially known as Post Freedom or Camp Freedom, by 2005, the facilities had become referred to as Camp Courage.
Pizza, hamburgers, French fries, grilled or barbequed chicken, steak were all available along with more exotic Iraqi fare like beef escalopes, lamb kabobs, and chicken and rice pastries at the Eagles Inn, the new restaurant for soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) who lived and work at Post Freedom, located at the so-called "Palace of Swords" in Mosul. The Eagles Inn featured a menu with local cuisine, as well as American. The Eagles Inn would be open 24 hours a day, with 3 set meal times. 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. for breakfast, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. for lunch and 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. for dinner. Snacks were available after hours. Local chefs and cooks from Mosul restaurants prepared and served the food. The restaurant did not just boost the morale of the soldiers tired of eating MREs and T-Rations, it also gave the military cooks a break.
The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), initially the Coalition's most northern force, celebrated American Independence Day in 2003 in grand style at the Division Headquarters in Mosul. Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division and Coalition partners, as well as prominent citizens of Mosul, were treated to a barbecue feast followed by a significant moral-boosting event: Major General David H. Petraeus, Commander, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), administered the oath of reenlistment to more than 160 Screaming Eagle soldiers at 7 PM. At 7:30 PM, the Screaming Eagle Band performed a concert.
By January 2004, at the Palace of Swords, troops from the 101st Airborne Division's headquarters had regular swimming hours in a kidney-shaped swimming pool, complete with a marble bathhouse with hot and cold showers. "Everyone has to go swimming here at least once, just to say, 'I swam in Saddam's pool,'" a female specialist remarked as she did a leisurely backstroke one broiling evening.
Students and faculty at Mosul University could feel safer after campus security officials participated in a training session on 17 July 2004 at Camp Freedom with the assistance of Soldiers from the 416th Civil Affairs Battalion's Public Safety Team. Soldiers of the Norristown, Pennsylvania based Army Reserve unit taught the security officials techniques on how to search a person for weapons, search a car for explosives, how to professionally and courteously interrogate individuals entering the university and how to recognize suspicious body language and demeanor of deceptive individuals.
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