Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Al Faw Palace

Today I thought I would post a little about the building used for the Headquarters of the operation here in Iraq. It's one of Saddam's many palaces that has been converted to military use. I go to the palace a couple times a week to conduct business so I thought I would share a little about it. I've included several pictures as well as a link to an MSNBC article about the palace. When you look at the article be sure to watch the video on the right side.

Here's a description of the palace I was able to get off the web.

The Al Faw Palace (also known as the 'Water Palace') is located in Baghdad approximately 5km from the Baghdad International Airport, Iraq and was commissioned to be built by Saddam Hussein to commemorate the re-taking of the Al Faw Peninsula by Iraqi forces during the Iran-Iraq conflict. The palace is situated on a former resort complex about 8 kilometers from the 'Green Zone', which is now referred to as the 'International Zone' or 'IZ' and the complex contains numerous villas and smaller palaces and is now one of the largest US/Coalition bases in Iraq (Camp Victory/ Camp Liberty). The palace contains over 62 rooms and 29 bathrooms. Many of the rooms have now been converted to serve as offices, and since 2004 the Palace has been used as the headquarters for the Multinational Force Iraq (MNFI) along with the Joint Operations Center (JOC), which serves as 'Mission Control' for all operational aspects of Operation Iraqi Freedom. There is an artificial lake surrounding the palace that has a special breed of large bass dubbed the Saddam bass as well as large carp. Saddam formerly used the palace for duck-hunting expeditions.
Because of the very light damage to the Al Faw Palace and other structures located on what is now Camp Victory, it is widely presumed that the planners of the 2003 invasion intended that this area would be used as a headquarters and main base area following the liberation of Baghdad. The resort is surrounded by high walls with preconstructed security towers which contributes to more readily maintaining surveillance and security for the former resort.

Check out this article and video - double click this link


Here are my pictures:

Just so nobody gets the wrong idea and thinks we live in some luxurious playground, I've also included a picture I took earlier today while going to take care of some business elsewhere in camp - yes, that's a huge pile of burning trash. The picture doesn't do it justice. The garbage pile is several city blocks in size. Oh yeah - driving around the camp is an adventure in itself. I'll do a whole post on just what it's like to drive around here.



Brad Doohan said...

Interesting shots mate. Happy halloween too.

Jimmy said...

The two Rogers and I will have to plan a trip to Iraq to catch some of the Saddam Bass!!! :)
Happy Halloween!!!!


bobbie said...

ok do u have pics of where the guys sleep over there.