9K2/ON4WW : Kuwait

April 2003. The UN WFP FITTEST Iraq operation was getting ready to re-enter Iraq and put up emergency communications systems for the entire UN and NGO system.
After Syria and a stopover in Dubai, I was sent to Kuwait to help prepare the re-entry. To my suprise I found myself the next day already inside Iraq on top of a silo, 80m high, finishing a job Patrick F5ORF started, putting up vhf repeaters and antennas in Umm-Qasr.

Some more days in Kuwait, and back on the road for a security assessment mission that covered the South of Iraq up to Hillah, 100km from Baghdad. Back in Kuwait doing lots of preparations until the final re-entry somewhere in May 2003.

Kuwait surprised me. I met many of the 9K2 hams, an indeed very active ham radio society. My 9K2/ON4WW license was handed over quickly, but the workload was too heavy to engage in pileups. Only one QSO was made from our car, with another mobile station. A G-station who was mobile in Turkey.
We visited the shack of 9K2HN, and Hamad took us out for a lovely evening dinner which was attended by a lot of Kuwaiti hams. Thanks Hamad, really enjoyed the hospitality !!

On top of that, the Kuwaiti hams really went out of their way to assist us with whatever possible. Beyond ham spirit, what a bunch of guys, thanks !!!

Kuwait is a rich country, and it shows on the streets. Contrary to Iraq, in Kuwait every citizen benefits from the wealth of the country. If more places could be like this !

The photographs below give you an idea on how it was like. Click on them to enlarge. Enjoy !

 

A nice hot day, 40+ degrees Celsius, no shade, installing comms equipment in a Landrover...you gotta love it !
This is the Kuwaiti radio room, these guys followed all the convoys that went across the border into Iraq. Thanks for taking care of our security guys !
We found a little bit of Paris in Kuwait !
Now this is something I had to do, climb the mini-Eiffel tower in Kuwait and play around in it
THAT antenna was obstructing MY antenna...anyhow, nobody was watching tv in that building anymore, no harm done
The logistics of the Iraq operation were enormous. Here I'm ticking off some comms equipment at the airport
From the airport, the equipment would go to the warehouse
From the warehouse it went into the vehicles (no air transport in the beginning, just road missions !)
Getting ready for another mission
Here's the border...some of these trucks are really a bit too high stacked to pass under the cover...
In case of doubt, this sign shows the way
A lot of UXO's were still in Iraq. The task to find and clear those, is tremendous. Several armoured vehicles were flown in from South Africa. They were bullet- and mine proof.
Watch my new costume...
I prefer this costume though !

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