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  1. #1
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    Default Any Suggestions on what to bring to Iraq

    Going to Iraq with WSI in August and looking for suggestions on things to bring other than thats on the list they gave me. I was just wondering from people who have been there things that I can bring or have sent over that might make things a little more like home or comfortable. Thanks for your suggestions.


  2. #2
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    Default What to Bring

    Bring a laptop that has a web-cam so you can skype with people back home.
    Most locations have internet available and some wireless as well.

    Bring alot of music on an mp3 or your computer. DVD's are cheap over there usually 1-3 dollars for a pretty good pirate copy of the movies still in theater, also box sets are selling really cheap there so do not worry about dvd's.

    As far as anything else. Your only allowed to bring a minimum amount of things with you when you first leave so put together a few things in boxes before you leave and have them mailed to you once you are assigned a location.

    Things I liked.....

    I had a big screen 32" monitor I bought from Tiger Direct, by the way they ship apo... it only cost 500.00 but it allowed for TV satellite hookup/Computer monitor as well. So I got to watch tv on it and DVD movies too.

    Most beds are twin size, so maybe get nice set of sheets, pillow and a quilt or blanket and put it in a box to ship to you. The sheets there suck, i liked the 400 thread count ones and quilt i sent for. My bed was very comfortable, so i slept very well.

    Get some good games to play on your computer, and if you like PS3 or one of the other game stations package it with 4 remote controllers too, lots of time to play with your friends there, and a few games too.

    If you plan on going on trips to other countries on your holiday time, box up enough clothes for your trips, you wont need any civilian clothes in Iraq, but if you do not go home on leave, you will want some clothes already for your trip.

    This is a job of a lifetime, don't waste it by going home, take the opportunity to visit other countries and explore, you will treasure this for the rest of your life.

    Get a real good pair of sneakers , maybe one to work out in, one to use to treadmill or jog.

    lots of underwear and sox, work out gear, everything else is provided by company.

    A digital camera, so you can take lots of pictures of your new buddies and station and to use on your holidays.

    Other then that, you have a small room,not alot of space, so just the things that will make your life better when your in your room and not working.

    Oh and last thing and most important..... bring piece of mind and the patience of a Saint. The job has changed alot in the last year or so. You will drill all the time, you will do inspections daily, you will inventory your truck and clean. You will workout. Its a paperwork jungle now over there, lots of inspections, lots of drills and lots of running around to make sure you pass your ORI inspections.

    This is a temp job, not a long term one. The management has made it very clear your expendable, if you want to leave their are 100 replacements waiting to come take your place. This is very true, but it doesn't help moral when you know your top management doesn't care one way or another if your happy or not. You are just a body filling a slot.

    Remember your being paid 100k+, so if you can do as your told, and try to keep a smile on your face and not let it get to you, you will be ok.

    Good Luck!!!

  3. #3
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    Default

    thanks, that will help me out to. I leave this month also, but still haven't seen a list from WSI yet.

  4. #4
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    Default

    What was said about your room is very true. You will not have a lot of space. We wore civilian clothes all week in Houston. When we got our uni's issued, some stuff like plain gray t-shirts were not needed. The base you are assigned to will probably have site t-shirts for sale that they wear daily. There will also be PX/BX's to buy essentials at. A lot of guys in my group sent a lot of stuff home before we left for Iraq. The Fed-ex store is open on Sundays. You'll figure it out. One bit of advice, bring at least 1 longsleeve t-shirt. You will need it. Too hot right now for a sweatshirt.

  5. #5
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    Default WSI List

    Quote Originally Posted by MJones434 View Post
    thanks, that will help me out to. I leave this month also, but still haven't seen a list from WSI yet.
    Call India some of the packets that went out did not have a packing list in them so give her a call and she will send you one via email.

  6. #6
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    Default Flights for leaves

    Anyone know who WSI uses to fly us on leave? What airline that is.

  7. #7
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    Default flights

    just talked with one of the guys here at the station and he said you pretty much set it up yourself and choose who you want. May be different now he returned home last october.

  8. #8
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    Default Sept21

    Hey everyone. See that you guys are all heading to Houston this week, would be great if one of you would drop me an email at golds21@yahoo.com ive got some questions as I consider accepting a WSI contract starting Sept. 21.

    Good luck!
    SG

  9. #9
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    Default What to bring to Iraq

    Well just make sure you bring plenty of KY and make sure that you have a good supplier back home because one thing that you can be sure of over here and that's getting shafted. I know guys that are getting 3 days off a week and the company keeps sending more people to that base and they only have 1 tanker.

  10. #10
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    Default What to bring

    the best thing you could bring, is a good attitude. Disregard the hour nonsense this guy is spewing. Most sites aren't getting that hammered with hours. They are avereging 90 - 112, and a lot of that depends on your certs.
    If you come over with minimum certs and don't take on any additional duties, you will be the first to get hit on the hours.

    And even at 80 - 90 hours, you are still one of the highest paid fire fighters in the world.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peterbound View Post
    the best thing you could bring, is a good attitude. Disregard the hour nonsense this guy is spewing. Most sites aren't getting that hammered with hours. They are avereging 90 - 112, and a lot of that depends on your certs.
    If you come over with minimum certs and don't take on any additional duties, you will be the first to get hit on the hours.

    And even at 80 - 90 hours, you are still one of the highest paid fire fighters in the world.

    Yeah, what he said.

  12. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottJFF28 View Post
    Anyone know who WSI uses to fly us on leave? What airline that is.
    If you self book of course you can use any airline you want. I personally recommend NOT self-booking.

    If you let WSI book your travel, they'll go out and find flights to where you want to go and fares, then send you one or two itineraries to choose from with prices. They don't use any ONE airline, although they do tend to lean toward the Delta 7 flight direct from Dubai to Atlanta, then whatever they get to your final destination.

    If you find a particular flight/flights you want, you can submit that along with your TRAF (travel request) and they will book what you ask for, although it may be at a different fare than you found it at, because of a variety of factors.

    A lot of guys (myself included) really like the Delta 7 flight because it gets you home pretty early on your fly day, so you get almost a full extra day at home. A friend of mine passionately HATES the Delta flight because he can't stand the 14 hour flight. He's been stuck on it because that's normally what you get put on to fly over from Houston and home on EOC, so he knows he doesn't like it. Plus, his flight he takes for R&R gets him home only three hours later than he got home when taking the Delta flight, and he had a layover/flight change to stretch the legs. It's all a matter of what you like.

    So that's the long drawn out answer. The short answer is they don't only use ONE airline.

  13. #13
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    Default Delta 7

    about the flight, sign up for the sky miles in houston when you leave the country. By the time you come home for EOC, providing you fly a sky partner on each RR, you will have enough sky miles to upgrade to a first class ticket.. well worth it

  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peterbound View Post
    about the flight, sign up for the sky miles in houston when you leave the country. By the time you come home for EOC, providing you fly a sky partner on each RR, you will have enough sky miles to upgrade to a first class ticket.. well worth it
    is that something you sign up for through delta?

  15. #15
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    Default I don't get it? THC030, Peterbound

    THC030 and Peterbound

    I liked your post about things you liked. I don't really understand why so many get so angry about Iraq. YEah it has it issues but when your seeing the world, getting paid to do it why not go? Right? I know you 2 agree with me.

    Where else can you work where:

    FOOD 3 squares provided
    Laundry done 2-3 times weekly and folded for you
    Toilet paper FREE
    Utilities FREE
    Room FREE
    No commute
    Never buy groceries
    Never cook
    Forced to take a 10-14day vacation every 4 months
    and recieve $860.00 for flight and about $1,200.00 pay
    Serve your country and better yet
    serve the greatest military in the world and your
    base pay is $90,000.00

    You get to see what the media WON'T tell you in the USA and you can buy cars cheap from the PX/BX

    I know Iraq has it issues but what job in AMerica doesn't have its issues.

    Lay offs are more common than getting a cold now so Iraq is a Jem.

    Guys bring a good attitude cause all the bad stuff will be laughable.

    I paid my debt, my familys debt and paid for a house with my time spent in the sand and I saw the world doing it.

    Get on board while you can and remember laugh at the stuff that is bad and take your camera with a huge memory card.

    Fireskeith

  16. #16
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    Default

    Fires...a lot of what you say is true. So is a base with 8-10 slots and 15+ people. Simple math puts 5+ people off each day. I know why WSI is loading up and it ain't to provide better service. Unless they are going to add seats, days off ARE going to be the norm. Sure the job market sucks in the US, but days off pay the same everywhere. Get loaded up with enough people on the bases and guys will be working for double or less than home. Anyone that has a good career and is not facing a lay-off or downsizing should probably stay where they are. I bought into the $90-100K sales pitch, too. Right now, I'll be surprised to see it.

    Also, new guys, when you get to your bases from Baghdad, don't complain to the old guys about your hours being short. You are not likely to get any sympathy.

  17. #17
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    Default

    So lets do the math.
    Let's say the you average 84 hours a week for the whole year (which isn't going to happen)
    As a fire fighter, that's around 3300-3600 every two weeks.
    that times 27 (the amount of paychecks you will receive in year) is 89000.

    Now that's an average of the low end (3300). And if you've been with the company for more than a little while, you know that personnel come and go, and hours go up and down (if you don't believe me, search the message boards for this same argument going on in 2007-2006-2005). The fact is they always beef up in the summer.
    you have to assume that most of these guys are going to pop smoke cus they don't like it, want to be home with their fams, or hate the paper work. This will increase your hours.

    Now, I have heard that they are bringing more people in to help support the Red Cross/Emergency leave requests. What that means is that if you have something go down, you can actually count on going home.. not the craps shoot that it use to be (submit your paperwork, and hope HQ deems it important enough for you to go home), this may be the case, we'll just have to wait and find out.

    So to recap.. even at 84's you are still making more than anyone back home starting out (LA might make that much, but i'm pretty sure you weren't working for LA luft).

  18. #18
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    Default Valid Points FDLUFT and PETERBOUND

    Quote Originally Posted by fdluft View Post
    Fires...a lot of what you say is true. So is a base with 8-10 slots and 15+ people. Simple math puts 5+ people off each day. I know why WSI is loading up and it ain't to provide better service. Unless they are going to add seats, days off ARE going to be the norm. Sure the job market sucks in the US, but days off pay the same everywhere. Get loaded up with enough people on the bases and guys will be working for double or less than home. Anyone that has a good career and is not facing a lay-off or downsizing should probably stay where they are. I bought into the $90-100K sales pitch, too. Right now, I'll be surprised to see it.

    Also, new guys, when you get to your bases from Baghdad, don't complain to the old guys about your hours being short. You are not likely to get any sympathy.
    Lufts- I'm not gonna argue with you but lets reference your response (and thanx for the response take my response to you as calm and kind natured discussion not debate or attack) starting at the end of your post.
    Yeah if you have a career with no fear of layoff or the economy i agree stay put.

    Yet i'm single free and able to move about so I would have to reach out farther but for those who cant move yeah stay put and rely on your reliable position.

    Second I know you said days off pay the same everywhere and that is VERY TRUE but on my days off I met peeps from all over the U.S. and world, fished, toured bases and did some shopping at the limit PX/BX.

    I worked in dispatch (bored out of my ROCK) and got the 8's and i could live with it. I picked up more dispatch experience and certs but I knew i had a job and a crew who asked me if I wanted them to get something from the DFAC and after a while they just brought me food.

    PeterBound referenced that at entry pay Iraq has the $ gig of them all as long as your not L.A. Fire but how many of us are and will be L.A. Fire?

    You both have strong valid points but each one has its merits and I hope none of us mislead the readers of this forum that Iraq is always like this or that when in reality Iraq is nothing what it seems ever.

    I may seem like "a company man" but I took what I could in positive and ran away with it. Yes I left 8 months into one my contracts but I needed to be with family for personal reasons.

    This is why readers should try to take all this with a grain of salt and investigate if Iraq is really something for them and their family.

    I would do it all over again and encourage others again and equally I would never leave a contract early ever again.

    FIRESKEITH
    Last edited by FIRESKEITH; 08-13-2009 at 03:40 PM. Reason: c'mon its just spelling!!

  19. #19
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    Default hours

    luft- are you there now? what kind of hours are you getting?

  20. #20
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    Yes.

    The gold standard of hours is 112 for a week. That pays roughly $2500 a week. The minimum, so far, has been 84 hours-about $2000. If you are lucky, you will fall somewhere in the 90's, hour-wise. Of course, with bases getting fat with people, I have heard of guys getting less than 84's. Even at 84's, you will average less over the year due to R&R, travel for classes, etc. If you can take a leave of abscence for a year, go for it. If you are single and are pretty sure you can get another job after a year, go for it. If not, as I said, you should stay where you are if you have a career. This deal is definately not a career.

    As far as my hours go, I have not seen a 112 yet. I have seen guys with fewer certs get those kinds of hours. And yes, it sucks. Right now, though, I think the only person at my base getting 112's is the chief.

    Yes. it is more money than at home. But, you may not see the 90-110K the recruiters dangle, so don't count on it. You will be a long way from home. Some can handle it, some can't. Some bases you only get to by helo. You can get hung up for days trying to get to your base. This will cost you money, too. Travel only pays 8 hours a day. The first 40 hours pay the same, the big money comes in the number of hours after the first 40. Keep all this in mind when you make your choices.

    Would I do it again...probably. Will I try to recontract? Sure.

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