Many of the 2,800 Iowa soldiers who deploy to Afghanistan in the fall will end up staying in large tent cities. Radio Iowa’s Dar Danielson toured such a facility while observing the guard troops train at Camp Ripley in Minnesota.
They are called “FOBs” by the soldiers, which stands for “forward operating base”. You weave through a maze of concrete barriers and barbed wire on the way in that is designed to stop any vehicle attacks.
Captain Nathan Nicol of Ames is with the 133rd Infantry. He says the “FOBs” have everything needed, including maintenance facilities.
They have about one company per tent, unless there are smaller companies that share a tent. Nicol says they have their own aid station and a station that takes care of electricity and water. The setup will be much the same in areas around Afghanistan, according to Nicol.
Nicol says not all the “FOBs” will be large ones. There will be some that are smaller to support a company of soldiers, and they’re known as “COBs”. Some soldiers are staying in the FOBs at Camp Ripley while they train, while others are staying in barracks. The soldiers will be training in Minnesota through the end of the month.