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thedrifter
03-11-03, 07:36 AM
Readers pose questions about life in Camp Fox
By PETER WILLIAMS
FREEDOM ENC
EDITORíS NOTE: Freedom Eastern North Carolina correspondent Peter Williams has just returned from assignment with Camp Lejeune-based troops deployed to the Persian Gulf region. This is his response to some of the questions posed by readers about conditions at Camp Forx and in Kuwait.



After 36 hours and three plane rides, I am back from Kuwait.



The series in the Daily News, Life in the Desert has prompted a number of questions from readers. With the help of the Marine Corps and some personal observations, Iíll try and answer some of them.



One oft-asked question involves our coverage of other military units in Kuwait. Kuwait is a country about the size of New Jersey and there are more than 100,000 U.S. troops there from both the east and west coasts.



For most of the two weeks I was out there, getting a vehicle to venture outside the camp was virtually impossible. It was a matter of priorities, and sending a journalist on a ride through the country didnít rank very high on the list for obvious reasons. There was also the issue of security. Travelers didnít need one vehicle to leave but two. The second acted as a chase vehicle. If one vehicle broke down, you could always try and pile into the other. All precautions were for a reason. It wasnít unheard of to have people take pot shots at those driving down the road, but it never happened to me.



It was still about an hourís drive to the nearest paved road from Camp Fox. To get me to the U.S. Embassy, it took seven Marines, two cars and more than four hours. For that reason, access to units outside of Camp Fox was pretty much impossible.



And now some of the questions:







We would like to know if there is a universal e-mail address for Marines stationed at Camp Fox, and if there is a way to verify if our regular mail is reaching the Marines.



There is no universal e-mail address for those at Camp Fox, but some addresses will contain a personís last name, initials, and then @mlcdm.usmc.mil. The ďmlcí stands for Marine Logistics Command, which is what the 2nd Force Service Support Group is being designated out there. As for snail-mail, as far as we know, there is also no way to confirm if mail is getting there and no way to send a next-day package there. Some letters arrive in as little as five to seven days, and others take weeks. A lot depends on the availability of aircraft and vehicles to carry the mail. I mailed two packages to myself three days before we left, and one made it in 10 days and the other took 13. A new postal facility is being built at Camp Fox, and that should streamline the system. It could be finished this month.







I have been reading all of Peter Williamsí articles about Camp Fox with the assumption that all units from Camp Lejeune in Kuwait are stationed there. Can you please confirm that those from 2nd MEB are there?







The answer is no. Camp Fox is home to elements of the 2nd Force Service Support Group, which comprises about 4,000 Marines and sailors from Camp Lejeune. While military security does not allow them to talk about specific units and their locations, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade is not at Camp Fox.



My question is exactly how hot is it (in Kuwait)?



ó Mrs. Ruiz



Well I didnít have a thermometer out there and the satellite TV feeds we got in camp were in Celsius, but my ballpark answer was it wasnít that hot, at least not yet.



Letís put it this way. If Marines are on a working party they can wear just a T-shirt and some days you were very comfortable with just that.



But once the sun started to set the temperatures fell quickly and the nights were rather cold. If you add a brisk wind, it felt even colder.



As the weeks pass, that will change and temperatures in the area of 130 degrees are possible.

Sempers,

Roger