October 25, 2008

Hello from Kirkuk, Iraq

I am now more than halfway done with my deployment to Kirkuk Regional Air Base (also known by the Army as FOB Warrior and by the Iraqi Armed Forces as Al-Hurriya Air Base). There is so little that I can say because of Operation Security - a program that aims to protect our operations by asking us service members to keep all means of communication discrete and therefore denying the enemy intelligence value information.

However, I can tell you that I specifically work securing everything (personnel and materials) that rest within the many miles of perimeter fence that surround the base. I work on a portion of the base that actually gives me what I consider is the best mix of Kirkuk's views. From some of my posts I can see the oil fields with these gigantic oil reserve tanks and ever burning torches that illuminate the day and night skies. I also post at locations where I can see the very busy streets, markets and neighborhoods.

I have had very little interaction with either Arab or Kurdish people, but the little I have had has always been very pleasant and inspiring. From the looks at their streets and way of life I can tell you that things are so very different from what I had seen before in Central America, the Caribbean, North America and Europe.

I have gone back to programming a great deal while out here. I have put together a multiple choice test taking system that will likely become the standard Skill Level preparation tool for our Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. It uses an Access database file as its data repository - for legacy issues (Don't Ask) - and a SQLite Ver 3.0 database file for the multiplatform version of the program. My App, SF Tester, was written using .NET Framework and runs perfectly well in Linux thanks to Mono!

The US general election is the next milestone in my electronic calendar - kept in my omnipresent nokia N770 - and then Thanksgiving, Christmas and so on.

Can't wait to get home and see my loving Maria, Monica, Mami, Tita and all of my good friends and supporters. God bless Kevin Shockey and his family, Jay Duggan and his family, the 610th SFS and all of the Mono Project developers that keep the advances coming.

There will be many pictures once I get back.

Posted by martinf at 06:33 AM | Comments (5)