Tented Camps run by civvies in Iraq

Ive just spoke to a mate whos just got back from Iraq and he tells me he was accomodated in a tented (Yank Tents) camp run by civvies. whats happened to Bashers or GS tents. He rekons they are on all the camps now. What they like.
Nor does the water run away from them in the (short) rainy season!!!

The civies work to a contract and will only provide what you have requested in that contract.
Temporary Deployable Accommodation (TDA) is brill in sensible weather conditions. In the Iraqi summer, the aircon struggles while in the winter, the heating isn't quite up to it. A lot is to do with economy, as the power to these features is turned off during the working day.

The toilets are as reasonable as you would expect from a stainless steel pan without the benefit of a seat - very chilly in the winter but they warm up after about 10-15 minutes, so take a good book.

The showers are OK too though its a long step down from the shower tray to the floor. As a spectacle-wearer (though not in the shower), I came to grief a few times on exit, misjudging the distance.

The floors and routes between tents are paved with plastic tiles. These cause holes in the groundsheets that you don't notice during the summer. In the winter, when the rains come and the surroundings flood, water seeps in through the holes. When the rain stops, the water outside the tent recedes but the water inside remains.

Every bed space has a power socket (just one).

Each sleeping section is separated from the corridor section by a zipped door. This and the plastic tiles cause grief when somebody goes for a pee during the night, "Clack, clack, clack, Ziiiiip! clack, clack - pause - clack, clack, Ziiiiip! clack, clack, clack." And of course, as soon as one's back, another one goes. Rumour has it that this was the real reason for the two can rule.

In all, an excellent bit of kit but it needs to be carefully maintained as stuff wears out with use. As any Boy Scout that wore shorts knows, a tent that's being left in one place for more than a few days should really be surrounded by drainage trenches - preferably ones that drain AWAY from the tent ;) .

They're only supposed to be used for 6-9 months, then sent back to the factory for refurbishment. They fare better than the arab canvas tents (marquees)which were found to rot within 4 months.

Some camps did have GS tents, but they're not particularly suited to fitting with aircon and heating. When the hard-walled Temporary Field Accommodation (TFA) came on line at Shaibah, the GS tented camps there came down. While moving from GS to TFA would universally be considered a step up, moving from TDA to TFA may not be viewed in a similar vein. (In TDA, nocturnal relief can be achieved without going out in the rain, not so with the TFA).

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