E-mail Rick

April 30, 2006

The military has a language all its own. It's easy to forget some of the acronyms, abbreviations and terminology — especially when you're away from it for awhile, and there always seem to be new ones cropping up.

Here are some of the most heard bits from the past few days while embedded with U.S. Marines at Al Asad Air base and several FOB'S in RCT-7's AO:

AO: Area of Operation

AOR: Area of Responsibility

RCT: Regimental Combat Team

ISF: Iraqi Security Forces

IA: Iraqi Army

IP: Iraqi Police

FOB: Forward Operating Base

MEF: Marine Expeditionary Force

IED: Improvised Explosive Device

ECM: Electronic Counter Measure

HVT: High Value Target

TCP: Traffic Control Point

EOD: Explosive Ordinance Division (a.k.a. "Enablers")

MSR: Main Supply Route

CAG: Civil Affairs Group

ECP: Enemy Control Point

VCP: Vehicle Control Procedure (can lead to Escalation of Force)

PDF: Principle Direction of Fire

IDF: Indirect Fire

EMPCOA: Enemy's Most Probable Cause Of Action

COIN OPS: Counter Insurgency Operations

Tier 1: High Value (to be protected)

Tuesday, April 26, 2006

The power went out again today. It’s been going out almost daily for the past couple of weeks, sometimes multiple times a day. I often wake up with the AC and fan silent because the electricity stopped flowing during the night, and it sometimes takes an hour or two for it to come back on again.

Today, for the second time, I had to shower and shave in the dark. I’ve perfected a two-handed shaving method (i.e. razor in one hand, mini-MagLite in the other, illuminating the part of the face I’m working on). Only cut myself once.

Fortunately, when the juice goes off, we still have power in the newsroom and a couple other key outlets, thanks to a backup source, so we have computers and phones and emergency lights, allowing us to work.

Tonight I’m taking off with Brian (camera) and Clarissa (producer) for an embed with the Marines. I can't get into specifics of the trip for security reasons, but I’m definitely excited to see more of the country, and meet more of our troops and tell their stories.

I’m also motivated to meet Iraqi civilians, and get a sense of whether they believe they're better or worse off today than three years ago, what life is like for them, and where they think this country is headed.

I’ll try to update whenever I can.

Thanks for reading the blog, and for watching FOX!


E-mail Rick

Rick,

Thanks for the great updates. It’s refreshing to see the press out in the field relaying the realities of this situation.

Jared
Provo, Utah


Hi, Rick:

Funny how little things like a flashlight become luxuries. My husband lost his sight nearly 5 years ago and it took him a bit to master daily routines, but when you're forced, I think there's more determination to get it right.

Me? After the hurricanes when the power blew, I had my husband lead me around - the seasoned blind leading the newly, temporary blind.

I figure if you can shave in the total dark (no flashlight), you could probably accomplish just about anything.

Pamela
Miami, FL


Hey Rick:

I love your reporting. I’m a FOX News Junkie.

My son, Sgt. Glenn is stationed at Camp Victory, Baghdad, Iraq. V Corps Artillery. Works in a palace and lives in one of the two man trailers.

Kelli

Hey Rick

You're doing a great job. I have a son at Camp Corregidor near Ramadi serving with the 101 airborne 1/506 1st plt A. Co . They don't have phone access or Internet access at his camp so we don't hear much. So if you have a chance to cover the area, I would be most thankful. Thanks for the hard work you put in your work. Rick you are the eyes and ears for the families who have sons and daughters serving. We look forward to your reports.

Rick
Riverside, CA


Hi Rick,

My dad is stationed with the 521st signal company 11th sig battalion. If you happen to run accross that unit can you please say "Hello to Sgt. Howard? Tell him his daughter Deborah wants him home before graduation.

Deborah
Huachuca City, AZ


I look forward to reading more about what is truly going on over there. I have many relatives and friends serving there and elsewhere in the world fighting terrorism. I hope you can get the average Iraqis point of view out and also the views of our soldiers... Playing hoops in 100 degree heat reminds me of my youth in the deep South. I would play till I dropped, and now I am a roofer with no problem with the heat. I love it. The closer to the equator I get the better. I am in New Orleans now doing what I do. I hope you are safe and look forward to reading more about your experiences in Iraq and hope you and our soldiers won’t be there long. God bless.


Dear Rick,

Thank you for the service you are giving us. You and all the reports are our life line to what is going on, because we do not get to talk to our son LCpl Terry very often. The last time we spoke with our son he said the American people really need to know that the Iraqi people are very happy that we are there. I feel if they love their freedom, then maybe they will understand why we have to help Iraqis get there's.

Rhonda


My Grandson is being deployed to Iraq 4/26. I have no idea where he will be serving. If you see some new faces,one may be him. Keep up the good reporting. We look foward to straight news. God Bless you and the crew

Eleanor
Florida