Day-to-day work at Anaconda

Most of our time was spent patrolling the area around the LSA to try to catch guys lobbing mortars at us. 

Of course, we wouldn't object to catching people with direct fire weapons or bombs.



Squashed ZU-57 The lads inspect a ZU-57 we destroyed with a couple of tanks. See '' on the video page.
60mm marks Someone had the temerity to lob a mortar about 30 yards from where I was standing.
155mm round The Engineers found this in the back of a car. They happened to be near the reported site of a rocket launch, 

and as they went to investigate, this car was coming out the other way. It was a bit of a no-brainer.

Detonating stuff Found in same car
The Proud Owners There was a third guy, out of shot. Got 5-7 years, they did.
And afterwards... What was left of the car after EOD blew the round.
MiGs The LSA used to be an Iraqi Air Force Base. Some of the former residents are still on site. 

Need some work though.

Wreckage The locals are scavengers extraordinaire. 

It took me a few minutes to figure out just what this was on a road about a quarter-mile from the base.

PDAs One of the less silly things we were issued were a bunch of PDAs for the TCs. 1-4 and 1-3

(Would you believe each platoon was issued a set of golf clubs?)

Local Aid We used quite a lot of medical supplies on the locals. It wasn't unheard of for the 

locals to seek us out when we parked nearby for aid for burns and farm injuries.

Batter Up! We don't actually know what this is. Doesn't look like an RPG-7 round.
The Poor Man's Mine Detector 1-4G has a spot of fun.
Land Mine To make a bigger bang, they'd put an arty round under a land mine. 

This one blew under a civilian truck, and revealed another mine/shell combo next to it.

Calling EOD Myself on the radio and 1-4 trying to convince battalion that yes, I'm out of my area, 

but they really do want to send EOD anyway.

Minehunting 1-1D (A 12B by trade) searches a yard for caches.
Ali Basr Parked in one of the local villages.
OpOrder Yours Truly gives a briefing in the field
Drive-By-Candying A White HMMWV lightens its load as we go by. 
What did I hit? Yours Truly checks to see what's by the right track.
1-4's Small Office When he's not on the tank, that is.
Reading Material Mature reading material Nessie's in the truck as well.
Night Attire Yours Truly dressed for night work in the M1114
Our First Car Bomb This red VW Passat was kindof suspicious. Iraqis tipped us onto it.

Wasn't much left

And it didn't all blow

As I was arguing with Battalion as to whether or not I could blow it up, the car got tired of waiting and blew itself up. 

Not all the rounds detonated, whatever that big silver thing in the bottom pic would have made an interesting bang.

Foot Patrol Yours Truly wandering around a village with some Iraqi troops.
Another foot patrol The whole platoon came wandering on this one.
Small Arms Haul Picked up after a raid. I'd have liked to have kept the G-3
Local Cow Transport You'd see some really bemused cattle on occasion.
1-2's Small Office As you can see, not the latest and greatest of HMMWVs. Yes, it is plywood up there!
The Gutless B*tch Affectionate name for this vehicle, which had a rather poorly performing engine. Most of that armour isn't, really.
Lots of Radios None of them may have worked worth a damn, but we did have them, unlike the 1st ID guys we worked with
Mr Jingles A mouse which took up residence in the 1-3 tank.
Gate Jammer This really annoying thing at the base's main gate was supposed to jam car bomb detonators. 

Don't know if it had an effect, but it certainly jammed our radios.

What car? JLENS is a really nifty night/day camera system. Unfortunately, operated by idiots in our case. 

They reported a white four-door car at the exact location that the two on the right are standing. 

Nothing short of a tractor could get there.

Shopping Pulling in for a coke at a local stand.
Walkies 1-1D goes walking alongside the HMMWV in a village.
The Tigris We lived a half-mile from it, and didn't see it for almost four months until our AO changed.
Derelict Howitzer M-46 130mm gun by the side of the road.
Vanguard BBQ For a short while, we'd rotate a platoon through FOB Vanguard, just South of Anaconda.

We were on out own, and the optempo was more relaxed.


More of the same

Vanguard gave us some time to catch up on maintenance.
Frisbee When the work was done...
Horseshoes! I'm embarassed to say this, but the Iraqi garrison managed to beat us 10-9.
Vanguard ING Part of the afore-mentioned garrison.
Irish at Vanguard! Proof the Irish were there!
Settlers of Catan A popular way of passing time in Vanguard, 1-4 gloats at his domain's supremacy.
USAF Combat Cameraman You'll see photos online by Shane Cuomo. This is him.
Appropriate Material Probably a good magazine for a driver to be reading.
Local Traffic Warning! Sheep Crossing!
Nice Goat Two Iraqis on patrol with us pose with a local.
GAZ Trucks Local Iraqi military transport.
The Vanguard Kitty One of two animals we adopted down there.