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« Six Years After Saddam, a turn to Kabul | Main | Kabul's Canadian Cars »

Sunday, May 03, 2009


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War Stats

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Field Photos

    This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from Tom Popyk tagged with Iraq. Make your own badge here.

War Slang

  • Sandbox
    Iraq. In-country. The A/O
  • Pogues / POGS
    People Other Than Grunts. Military support troops. Also see: REMF. derog.
  • DFAC
    Dining FACility. (pronounced dee-Fak). usually modern tent facilities run by contractors. Also Chow Hall, or little used vietnam era Mess Hall.
  • Mortaritaville, Bombaconda
    LSA Anaconda a major base near Balad, so-called for the frequency of insurgent mortar / rocket attacks
  • REMF
    rear-echelon motherf**. old Vietnam-era slang revived.
    Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devise. i.e.. Car Bomb.
  • IED
    Improvised Explosive Device. i.e. homemade bomb
  • Battle rattle
    Personal infantry gear, including weapon, ammunition clips, kevlar, helmet
  • TLAs
    Three Letter Acronyms. The army's favorite abbreviations. click through to get a random definition of one of the 100,000 or so acronyms.
  • FOB
    Forward Operating Base.
  • Haji
    Any Iraqis, Arabs, or Muslims; use derogatorily for the enemy (like Charlie in Vietnam). Derived from the Arabic term for pilgrims to Mecca.
  • Muj
    (pronn: Mooj). short for Mujahadeen. Insurgents. Often used half-jokingly with Iraqis: "you mooj?"
  • OEF
    Operation Enduring Freedom.
  • OIF
    Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • Yalla
    (arabic). Go. Let's go.
  • KBR
    Kellogg, Brown & Root. Halliburton subsidiary, Pentagon contractor.
  • PSD
    Personal Security Detail. Private security contractors / bodyguards. Effectively the second largest armed coalition force in Iraq, largely unregulated.
  • Haji armor
    improvised armor, like steel plates, installed on vehicles, usually humvees. Also see: hillbilly armor.
  • IPs
    Iraqi Police
  • ICDC
    Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (army)
  • TCNs
    Third Country Nationals. Includes the Nepalese ghurkas providing PSD, or the Bangladeshi and Pakistani cooks, maids, barbers providing contracted services.
  • SecDef
    American Secretary of Defence.
  • Rhino
    A heavily armored bus, or minibus, usually transporting contractors from BIAP to the GZ
  • BIAP
    Baghdad International Airport. There are two sections, the main terminal for civilian flight and a military fterminal.
  • OGAs
    Other Government Agencies. i.e. CIA, FBI, various spooks and special forces.
  • Green Zone
    Heavily guarded area of closed-off streets in central Baghdad where US, coalition and iraqi authorities live and work. Houses many of Saddam Hussien's former palaces. Other area of Iraq are "red zone". Also known as the International Zone (IZ).
  • Wiskey Tango Foxtrot
    WTF. What the f**k?
  • Hooch
    Military living quarters in the a/o, from bare floors to barracks
  • Chow
  • MREs
    Meals Ready to Eat. High-calorie, high-nutrient, packaged field rations, heated by a chemical pouch. A neverending source of military conversation and constipation.
  • BCGs
    Basic Combat Glasses, better known as Birth Control Glasses/Goggles. The standard military issue thick lensed and framed eyeglasses. Damn ugly. or Geek Chic.
  • A/O
    Area of operations. Where the war is.
    Operational Security. Stuff you're not supposed to talk about. Which, depending who you're talking to, can include the acknowledgment of your very existence.
  • Fobbits
    (n, pl) now replacing the slur REMFs. 2) orig: The REMFs who travel Iraq by hopping from one Forward Operating Base (FOB) to another. (via Back to Iraq).
  • SASO
    Security and Stability Operations. Mounted or dismounted "presence" patrols; sometimes considered "bait" to draw out insurgents. Also SASO World (see link "SASO World is 10 times scarier than any offensive,"
  • BDU
    Battle Dress Uniform. Combat fatigues.
  • MOS
    Military Occupational Specialty. Your job, expressed by the appropriate military desigation: e.g., 11B Infantryman
    The Army and Air Force Exchange Service. The old PX (Post exchange), where you can buy all sort of useful (goggles), and useless (patio furniture), stuff in the A/O, with your combat pay.
  • RPG
    Rocket Propelled Grenade.
    United States Central Command. Headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, whose "Areas Of Responsibility" (AORs) stretches from the Horn of Africa to Central Asia. Components include: USARCENT (Army), USCENTAF (Air Force), USMARCENT (Marines), USNAVCENT (Navy), Special Operations (SOCCENT), NORTHCOM (Homeland Defense).
  • TCP
    Traffic control point. Checkpoint.
  • CHU
    (Choo) Containerized Housing Unit: "basically aluminum shipping containers with linoleum floors and cots or beds inside." Also see hootch
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