In mid-April 2003, Mosul Airport was the temporary headquarters for several hundred US special forces and marines. Marines and Sailors of the 26th MEU (Special Operations Capable) were ordered into the Mosul International Airport in Northern Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. About 50 helicopters shuttled up to 5,000 troops of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) from the outskirts of Baghdad to Mosul's airport, and trucks ferried them into Iraq's third largest city. The Marines and Sailors continued to build up this forward operating base to serve as a logistics hub for continued infrastructure assistance for the free people of Iraq.
Camp Diamondback, a 500-soldier base camp similar to what US forces occupied in the Balkans, was apparently located at Mosul Airport. The soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina at Camp Diamondback at Mosul were attacked with mortar fire regularly.
In June 2003, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) approved a contract for an internet service site for each battalion, and built an Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) center, established a Post Exchange (PX; from which the brigades drew items to establish satellite PXs), and begun construction of more permanent base camp facilities at Mosul Airfield, one of the 101st Airborne Division's largest fixed bases.
The new Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) facility at the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) airfield in Mosul, which officially opened its doors in June 2003, was located where the 101st Assault Command Post operated shortly after the Division moved into the city in mid-April 2003. Colonel Jerry Dolinish, Commander, 101st Corp Support Group, was "tagged" with the responsibility of organizing the MWR facility by Brigadier General Edward Sinclair, Assistant Division Commander (Support), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). The facility was also once an officer's club for the Iraqi Republican Guard before the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It subsequently housed a weight room, movie theatre, beach volleyball court, card game room, and a permanent stage that was to host future morale boosting performances.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|