Camp Victory South
On 2 December 2011, US officials handed over Camp Victory to Iraq after officials from both countries signed the necessary paperwork. There was no formal handover ceremony.
Camp Victory is the US Army base situated on the airport grounds. From Camp Victory near the international airport, it's about a 15-minute drive by Humvee to downtown Baghdad. Camp Victory is five kilometers from Baghdad International Airport. Iraqi workers are working on buiding up Camp Victory's brand new Tent City with a population 12,000 soldiers from dozens of nations, including the USA. In mid-September 2004, as part of an Army-wide effort to give its facilities around Baghdad friendlier connotations, Camp Victory was also given the Arabic name translation of "Camp Al-Nasr".
Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory is where the Army is now headquartered. Some of the villas were still being built as of mid-2003. Coalition hired construction crews around the lake to finish the job that Saddam had started. Military units use most of the marble-clad facility. An Australian army unit has one side of the palace's ground level and US Army legal officials have part of the second floor. A few soldiers also call the palace home. The soldiers -- 30 to a room -- sleep there, hanging their underwear and socks on the windows to dry.
Missouri National Guard members stationed at Camp Victory, Iraq, spent their July 4th holiday competing in a 5k run. The 1st Battalion, 152nd Infantry of the Indiana National Guard, is responsible for ensuring that Saddam Hussein's former Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory stays in good repair and keeps its presidential charm.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said "amazing progress" had been achieved in Iraq during the past four to five months with the creation of city councils across the country and a national governing council. Briefing reporters at Camp Victory in Baghdad 05 September 2003, Rumsfeld said the next step for Iraq is to set a date for a convention to draft a constitution. He said the Coalition Provisional Authority intends to stay in Iraq only as long as necessary.
Mosquitoes, flies, and rats got the (combat) boot from the 714th Medical Detachment. Shortly after arriving at Camp Victory, the 10-member team from Fort Bragg, NC, which provides preventive medicine for V Corps, Combined Forces Land Component Command and Baghdad International Airport, went right to work. Investigating a rat-infested living area, they found rat droppings in dozens of locations, inside and out. They laid traps throughout the area and taught the soldiers there how to properly clear and reset them. In less than a week, nine rats were killed. During a typical week, a team from the 714th inspects living and work areas here for rodents and sets mosquito light traps around sites with large concentrations of standing water. Later, team members collect the light traps and refrigerate them to ensure all mosquitoes are dead.
The US Army is working on improving living conditions for the troops while Operation Iraqi Freedom progresses. One of the larger projects is the revamping of the Camp Victory base. The soldiers of C Company, 389th Engineer Battalion from Dubuque, Iowa clear the thick wild fields surrounding Camp Victory. The first thing that has to be done is to proof the land - clear and level the grounds scheduled for construction. Most of the land on Camp Victory is covered with wheat fields that need to be burned and trees that need to be torn down. The soldiers of C Company also have to clear the area of any possible landmines or improvised explosive devices on at least sixty acres. The 389th En. Bn. cleared the whole west side of BIAP (Baghdad International Airport). In October 2003 they were doing the same thing here. This is probably a bigger area. Next the soldiers level the ground and layout gravel for vehicle traction and to decrease dust levels from the fine-grain sand. This is necessary because the water tends to sit over the sand rather than soak into the ground. After the ground has been leveled, the job of construction will go to KBR (Kellogg, Brown, and Root). KBR will truck in modular buildings and install electrical wiring and plumbing. The buildings will be fully operational living, dining, and administrative facilities.
Iraqi contractors and American soldiers shared the heat, sweat and asphalt in a recent joint paving project at Camp Victory. The 94th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade soldiers teamed up with the Iraqis in mid-September to pave a 40-foot-wide road with 854 tons of asphalt in order to reduce traffic congestion in the center of the camp.
Camp Victory is home to the Pegasus Dining Facility and also sports a short-order grill, salad, pizza, sandwich and ice cream bars. A Burger King stand, operating out of two mobile tractor-trailers is located outside the Camp Victory's PX which offers a wide variety of products ranging from televisions, gas grills, A/C units, microwave ovens, women's thong underwear and condoms. As of June 2004, that Burger King had the distinction of being Burger King's sole Iraq location. In addition, the base offers Internet cafes, weight rooms and basketball courts.
The large man-made lake between Camp al-Tahreer and Camp al-Nasr was once stocked with fish as part of Saddam Hussein's private hunting reservation, and has since become one of the largest overseas American military bases built since the Vietnam War. Though the lake is no longer stocked, the 1st Cavalry Division soldiers stationed here have found that fishing season is still open. The division's fishing fanatics and amateurs who fish this lake received a boost when an Alabama sporting goods company collected hundreds of rod and reel combos and thousands of fishing accessories for donation to the soldiers. The gear started arriving June 2004 when the parents of 1st Lt. Kevin Black, executive officer for 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters Company, contacted Simmons Sporting Goods Co. of their hometown of Birmingham. When company officials heard soldiers in Iraq had a place to fish, they immediately donated about 20 rod and reel combos along with around 200 lures from their shop.
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