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Titansfan

Caching in Iraq/Kuwait (Military)

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I will be deploying with my Tennessee Army National Guard unit in the coming months to Iraq and do have some questions and concerns.

 

My last visit, well before my geocaching life began, to Iraq was in 2003 at the tail end of the invasion and beginning of the occupation. I was based at Cedar II (currently maybe called Tallil?) and we ran missions mostly to BIAP. I am familiar with MSR Tampa (actually experienced it before it was paved, we called it the washboard!). But we never ran any further north than Garma.

 

Researching the geocaching site, I found the maps on the site to be of little use. I have relied on using Wikipedia to obtain coordinates for Taji and BIAP. Using the coordinates, there was 6 caches in and around Taji and well over 100 in around around BIAP. Are there maps that be of more benefit?

 

Any suggestions of how to run an efficient PQ?

 

Browsing the caches, the majority seem to be on US Military bases. Are there any issues about walking around BIAP or other bases with a GPS? I am a Staff SGT, while not at the bottom of the food chain, I am far from the top. When confronted with MP's or SGT Major's any suggestions?

 

With security being paramont, I may think twice about going after a cache outside the bases. Should I leave those caches along and avoid a confrontation with Iraqi police/security?

 

I may have more questions later.

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Why would you think twice about going off a base in Kuwait? It is one of the safes places in the world. At lot more secure than the US or UK. I feel safer walking around the streets here than I do in my home town in Wales! Even as a woman, walking around on her own, I wouldn't get bothered here. However I would not feel safe walking around a base with a GPSr in my hand........that looks suspect to me.

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Why would you think twice about going off a base in Kuwait? It is one of the safes places in the world. At lot more secure than the US or UK. I feel safer walking around the streets here than I do in my home town in Wales! Even as a woman, walking around on her own, I wouldn't get bothered here. However I would not feel safe walking around a base with a GPSr in my hand........that looks suspect to me.

 

Not worried about caching off base in Kuwait. I probably won't get much opportunity there. We are supposed to go to Camp Udari (or what ever it's called now) for more weapons training.

 

In 2003, during re-deployment back to the US, we had an MWR trip to a Kuwait City mall (Shark Mall, if memory serves me correct) and was the only time, I ever went off base in civilian clothes and bused there. For security, we did have a weapon.

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I went to Iraq last year and did some limited caching. My main base was very small however, and didn't have any caches. From what I see there's only 280 caches in all of Iraq, so you could just do a PQ for all of Iraq. Or if you don't want that many, just find one on your base and run a search for all caches within 20-30 miles of that. I don't think there's many caches that are not on base so you don't have to worry much about that, but even if there were, don't think you'll be doing any caching off base in Iraq.

 

I just used the same stealthy techniques I use anywhere else. Carry a clipboard to look official or go when there aren't any people around, you won't get many questions. If you're on one of the larger bases like BIAP or Talil, there are events sometimes as well.

 

Don't think there's any at Udari, but there are some at the other bases in Kuwait that you can easily pick up.

 

Keep your head down, good luck and happy caching.

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It looks like the Tools in Charge have banned geocaching at Joint Base Balad and as such all caches have been archived. Apparently to much fun was being had by all. So far geocaching is still is allowed at Baghdad......

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I have actually been geocaching at numerous bases around Iraq and Kuwait. Luckily my job allows me to travel a lot. As such I have been fortunate. I have yet to run into any authorities while caching, but it is amazing what people are willing to ignore. I have been stopped a couple of times by MPs asking if I need help or a ride while walking around, but a simple no thank you and they are on their way. Cedar II has one cache (mine) and Tallil is just down the road, but a separate base. To the army it is known as Adder. Geocaching has been banned at JBB, but one cache did survive the purge and it is a relatively easy one. Warrior also has seen a demise in caching although talking with the soldier that had to clean up the base there is one left, but it is out on an island and the boat that was used is now gone. If you need help locating a base on the geocaching map all you would need to do is look at my hides. I have a series of Transient Altoid Tins and have left one on the bases that I have visited, that should give you a starting point. There are some caches in Iraq that aren't on a us installation. Some are now on Iraqi military bases. Rustamia and Taji are two examples of this. At Taji four caches are on the US side, two on the Iraqi side. At BIAP there are three caches outside the wire in the middle of the post that are only accessible from the civilian side of the airport. I have been told it is possible to retrieve them, but have not attempted it myself. If you have any questions on caching in Iraq/Kuwait feel free to drop me a line. My teammates think I am crazy for this hobby, but I think it is a little bit of home that keeps me sane. -BW

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