Closing Down Camp Bucca’s TIF

Traveling with AP

Jason Keyser, a reporter with Associated Press, poses with me as we travel to Southern Iraq aboard an Air Force C-130. He was part of a band of 15 journalists who joined me for a visit at Camp Bucca today.

Today was one of those big media events I had mentioned earlier this week. I invited 10 journalists to fly with me down to the Camp Bucca Theater Internment Facility, which is scheduled to close tonight.

That number increased to 15 once word spread we were setting up this trip.

This is obviously a big deal for detainee operations in Iraq as there is not a more controversial issue than U.S. forces holding detainees. Even though we’re holding them on behalf of the Government of Iraq, it doesn’t make it any less controversial.

I got up before sunrise, which happens at about 5:15 a.m. in Iraq. I quickly got dressed in the dark and went to meet the media at the gate.  From there, we flew down to Camp Bucca on a C-130 and a Blackhawk.

We were packed into the C-130 like sardines. I’m not even kidding. Every seat was filled, and leg space here makes coach class look like those first class seats that recline into beds.

I’ve also figured something else out on this journey. I am the only Air Force officer that’s actually afraid of flying. Every little bump and noise freaks me out in an unnatural way.

However, I did manage the get a couple photos. This one is my favorite. The focus is on the gun, which sorta ruins it, but I like it anyway. When the wind is hitting your face at near 100 mph, it’s tough to compose a good shot with a handheld camera.

Looking down the barrel


5 thoughts on “Closing Down Camp Bucca’s TIF

  1. Actually, it makes too of us. I’m deathly afraid of flying & I’ve been in the AF over 20 years. I’m deploying to Iraq in 2010…would love to talk to you off-line.

  2. You are not alone. When I flew to your HS graduation in McAllen, after flying AF birds for 20+ yrs, Delta scared the H**l out of me. Also flew them for 20 years, too but Age was catching me by then. Remember- – Built for The Government by the lowest bidder. If you look up and see bubble gum on a system pipe running he length of the AC, try to get off!!! By the way, am working as a volunteer at THE USAF Marathon at WPAFB this weekend (at finish line). Make plans, next year we run at least the 5K run in the Marathon. Pat and I will be training around the time you return.

  3. By the way, Jason looked familiar. He have any face time at his workplace? I know the week was pretty tough on you and I talked to a number of people about your blog website and encouraged them to read, enjoy and share with you. A suggestion, maybe you and Jason could write a “MASH” type of treatise on modern military life. There are serious things to be told, but mostly the “you CAN’T make this stuff up” humor in the military wins out. Think about it.

  4. Pingback: Media Circus « Blogging Iraq

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