FOB Tacoma

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Archives: Nov. 2006


Arrowheads to Baghdad

After our Sean and Tony pulled out, there wasn’t a lot of news out of the 3rd Brigade up in Mosul.

That’s bound to change now that they’re moving south to Baghdad, where they’ll be the only Strykers in town now that the 172nd is on its way home to Alaska.

We’d been tipped about 10 days back about the move, but weren’t getting much traction in our efforts to confirm.

My theory as to how the story broke yesterday: Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace said they’d move a couple of battalions into Baghdad. Reporters peppered

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Ranger robbers

The Seattle Weekly has an interesting if not almost completely unbelievable story about the Fort Lewis Rangers accused of robbing a Tacoma bank.

They did it, one of the participants tells the Weekly’s Rick Anderson, because they wanted to get caught. That way, see, they’d have a media platform to tell all about alleged war crimes they witnessed in Iraq.



C-17 war stories

The State from Columbia, S.C. — where right at this very moment it’s 74 and partly sunny — has an interesting story about the perils of landing the big cargo jets in Afghanistan and Iraq. Not quite the same reception they get flying in and out of McMurdo Station.


As you can see, they moved it to Monday

One of the cool things about having a blog, as a newspaper reporter, is that it allows us to pass along more information to supplement the stuff we run in the paper – footnotes, as it were.

As usual, Wikipedia is a good place to start for information about Operation Deep Freeze, with lots of links to Antarctic topics, including early exploration by no less than our own Charles Wilkes and many others.

For a lot more about what it’s like to live and work in Antarctica, check out Big Dead Place. Also, Seth White has

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I never call, I never write …

Last post here before I hop on an Air New Zealand jet in a couple hours for the long jaunt home to the FOB. That’d be Christchurch to Auckland, Auckland to San Francisco, San Francisco to Sea-Tac. That’s 17+ hours in the air, in case anyone’s counting.

Won’t be home ’til Friday night, PST. As such, you won’t hear from me.

But bottom line: We made it to McMurdo Station and spent four hours there trooping around the station. That’s more time than we thought we’d get, and to be honest with you it’s kind of an intimidating

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Don’t say it

Ice cube.jpgimages.jpgimages-1.jpg Ssssh. Whatever you do, don’t utter a certain three-letter word that might come to mind to describe any of what you see on the left.

At least not when you’re flying way, way south with the McChord Deep Freeze crew. It is forbidden to speak that word, from wheels up at McChord until all are back in the Pacific Northwest. All within earshot are entitled to demand that a violator pony up for a beverage of their choice.

Do not

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Covering Antarctica

When you’re a globetrotting foreign correspondent, one of the first things you learn is to pick up the local paper to get the lay of the land. And a news junket to Antarctica is no different.

We bring you the Antarctic Sun, a weekly published by the National Science Foundation out of McMurdo Station and dedicated to covering the news and people who work down there every summer.

My favorite piece in a recent edition was by South Pole correspondent Tom Lohr, who reported that the “polies” — that’s what they call the guys who tend the

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Here … and there

After having spent time on the ground with the joes in Iraq, I cannot help but use that as a reference point every time I travel someplace with the military. It’s kind of a mental trap, I know.

The world stands to benefit from the research that so many are conducting in Antarctica, and the scientists down there cannot do what they do without the logistics and transportation support that the Air Force is providing. I suppose the National Science Foundation could contract it all out, but I don’t know that that would be any cheaper, and the nation

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