My office has several responsibilities here, primarily dealing with controlling access to our FOB. One of those responsibilities, which really bears no relation to the rest of our work, is to register the non-tactical vehicles on the FOB. This is a very important security related task, as unidentified vehicles are obviously a security concern. None the less, it really bears little relation to our primary job of interviewing and screening Iraqis coming on to the FOB. I came up with the idea of moving this piece of our operation to a building our unit is refurbishing and will be moving into shortly. This building is about 4 times as large as the offices they are currently working out of. Our office, located at the main gate, is about 12 by 15 and we have 4 soldiers and 2 interpreters working there. Everyone in our office thought it was a great plan, free up space at the gate and allow 1 of us to work away from the gate, and out of body armor, each day.
Yesterday, I began looking for “real estate” in the new building, talking with people from each section moving in and explaining our plan. Everyone thought it was a great idea, as long as we didn’t move into “their” space. Our MP detachment thought it was a brilliant plan, and we should move into the operations office. Operations thought that base support would be a great place to move, and base support thought the MP office was the obvious choice for what was clearly a law enforcement function. Everyone loves the idea, as long as it is placed somewhere else! FRUSTRATING!!! My fear is that, in an effort to not ruffle any feathers among those who are gaining several thousand square feet of space and don’t want to give us 30 square feet, the powers that be will come up with a compromise solution that puts us in a parking lot somewhere, rather than the much more palatial digs the rest of our unit will gain.
So, it appears the battle lines are drawn, the die is cast, and the gauntlet is thrown down. We’ll see how it works out, but for today I feel a bit like a toxic waste dump; everybody agrees we need it, as long as it’s “not in my backyard”.