Arrival and Remodeling at TQ

Departing Al Asad with the usual last minute snafus -- forgetting to pack necessary equipment, loading an aircraft with so much material that the passengers couldn't fit in, etc. -- Alpha Company finally parted ways with the rest of the 2/224th and headed east to camp Al Taqaddum, commonly called TQ (Tee-Que). Some company members went ahead to procure housing and work space, but the majority of us took two days to fly all of our personal stuff and aircraft to our new base.

Unlike Al Asad, almost everything in TQ is actually within walking distance, so there is no need for all of the bicycles we'd bought and that we'd of course shipped here. Nonetheless, we have them and will probably use them as it still will shave off transit time.

Our housing has significantly improved from the forty-man, open bay tent situation at Al Asad. Here, we're housed in wooden shacks that fit twelve per. A fellow pilot gave the best description: "You know, some of my friends at home that have built their own barns would be ashamed to admit having built a barn of this nature, the floor all slanted and warped, but we are more than happy to live in them, especially after living in those tents."

Once installed, we quickly got into the home remodeling business. Procuring supplies from large piles of scrap wood near our quarters, we've built makeshift tables and even walls to create something like rooms in an attempt to create some sense of getting away from the people you see almost 24/7.

Except for the fast food and the coffee shop, all of the services that were available at Al Asad seem available here, including indirect fire from the enemy. And it seems there is quite a bit more action here since the town of Habbiniyah is northeast of the camp, whereas Al Asad is out in the middle of nothing. We were not on the ground more than seven hours before we heard our first explosion, which we later learned was a rather large attack.

Our work space started out much the same as the living quarters, empty wooden shacks, so we are building everything from rooms for offices to the desks in which to do our flight planning. On the plus side, our planning and operations offices are not even 50 meters from the aircraft.

Time will tell what the workload will be like compared to Al Asad. One of the reasons we came to TQ was to decrease the length of flights.

-- Written 4/18/2006

By Bert Stover |  April 24, 2006; 9:00 AM ET  | Category:  Work
Previous: Accident Off Al Asad | Next: American Forces Network (AFN)* Propaganda


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Good Luck in your new "home" Hope you can make it as comfortable as possible. Keep up the good work and please stay safe. We are all wishing you well and thinking of you all often

Posted by: Cali-Girl | April 24, 2006 10:06 AM

Wishing you and your unit all my best in your new digs. Take care bro.

Posted by: Russ B. | April 24, 2006 11:00 AM

Know this doesn't fit with your post and is probably the furthest thing from your mind, but when touring the US, don't discount minor league teams. The tickets are a lot cheaper, guys are playing harder (to make it to the majors) and you get to see a whole bunch of cool cities, like Nashville, home of the Nashville Sounds.
Stay Safe.

Posted by: alastor | April 24, 2006 11:02 AM

Glad to hear from you again. I was beginning to get a little worried. Good luck in your new casa.
Gary Owens.

Posted by: Robert | April 24, 2006 12:36 PM

You sure generated lots of "flak" on the previous post...anyway, enjoying the read. How about some replies if possible...the price of petrol is outta--sight. Imagine all that "black-gold" under you liddle ole' feet as we work just to feed our machines and our other gas-hungry lifestyles.
Well, keep up the good work and stay safe. We appreciate you pal!

Posted by: Joe | April 24, 2006 01:22 PM

Man, I think we were all worried, Bert. Good to hear you are OK and that things are looking up for you guys on the living quarters front. Keep em flying.

Posted by: Elk Grover | April 24, 2006 01:30 PM


You guys be safe and we are keeping A Co in our prayers!

Godspeed to you all!

Posted by: av8ryf | April 24, 2006 03:13 PM


Posted by: 'E' STEPHENSW | April 24, 2006 04:14 PM

Good luck and stay safe. Let's all work together to end this travesty. No more of our brothers and sisters should have to die for the group of heartless liars who wanted war so bad that they manipulated our country into a disaster.

Posted by: Tom | April 24, 2006 05:00 PM

Bert, so glad TQ Suites are better than Al Asad Motel 6. Thump said you were filling in holes with styro insulator. Enjoy it while you can!!! Life is busier there so stay alert and stay safe and duck. Tell my Thump hugs and kisses. And all of A and B Companies are in my prayers.

Posted by: Barbi "Baby" Hill | April 24, 2006 06:32 PM

How about euthanasia for Che?

Posted by: colonels | April 24, 2006 07:03 PM

Marcial Rodriguez, a U.S. Marine who grew up in a Mexican farming village, is offended that the country he went to war for might deport his relatives who are living here illegally.

Three months after the lance corporal returned to Ohio from the fighting in Iraq, the U.S. House adopted a bill that would make Rodriguez's cousin a felon for being one of the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants.

Rodriguez, 20, said he enlisted in the Marine reserves to repay the debt he felt owed to a country that had given him an education and a home for his family.


Posted by: | April 24, 2006 08:31 PM

How do you like living with my husband?

I'm glad that it sounds like you've found better living conditions! Stay safe always!

Posted by: SBP | April 24, 2006 09:58 PM

Stay alert!

Posted by: Mac | April 25, 2006 10:18 AM


Has nothing to say

he posts internet articles he never wrote

And no one will ever read

all night and all day

that's che.

Posted by: Elk Grover | April 25, 2006 12:09 PM

I was once a soldier. I know how dificult snafus can be. I truly hope for the best of our troops and their awaiting families.

Posted by: Dr.Q | April 25, 2006 05:24 PM

Glad to see an update.

Che, why bother posting the web address of your favorite BS when you cut and paste the whole thing anyway? Try paraphrasing.

Posted by: glad to hear | April 25, 2006 06:49 PM


Will be keeping you in my prayers as you settle into new place...thank you for taking the time to write, I know you are busy, but it is nice to be able to follow what is going on w/you guys....stay close to God and He will stay close to you!! Stay alert!!

Posted by: Mechanic's Mom | April 25, 2006 08:25 PM

Hey guys, miss you a lot. Can't say I wish I was there, but I will say I wish you were here. Drove to Charlotte last week down 85 and thought of Shane hunting turkeys. Stay safe.

Oh and che, just move to Cuba, you pogue. Knock off your plagiarized masturbation on this site.

Posted by: CW4 Higg... | April 26, 2006 02:24 AM

Che is kin to a jellyfish, he has no spine, or testicles. yo higgy you owe an email, J

Posted by: Anti Che | April 26, 2006 10:56 AM


Glad to read your latest post. Just wish someone would block that spineless che. He just wastes space with his bulls---. Anyway, he's not worth the time it takes to type his name. Take care and you and all the troops there are in my prayers.

Safe flying,
A Mom

Posted by: | April 26, 2006 02:46 PM

Bert, glad to hear you made the move safely and are settling in. Stay safe and be careful, we are keeping the whole batallion in our prayers. You guys are doing a great job.

Posted by: military wife | April 26, 2006 07:57 PM

Hello Bert
my first time writing, but I have been reading your articles and it is nice to hear from someone who is actually living through what some of us can only hear or see on the news. good luck and god bless

Posted by: tikka | June 1, 2006 04:02 PM

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