Army Names Forward Bases “Exxon” and “Shell”

The New York Times ran a piece on Wednesday (I think) by Jim Dwyer, who I gather is embedded with a unit of the 101st Airborne Division, the folks on the left side of the US forces south of Baghdad: Troops endure blowing sand and mud rain. It’s a pretty standard piece, I guess; talks about Biblical-scale sandstorms and such. But the cute part, which I didn’t notice until Janus pointed it out to me, was this: “By day, the soldiers from the 101st were kept busy reinforcing the camp they have set up here in central Iraq, primarily a base for the helicopter gunships flown by the division. The official name is Forward Operating Base Shell; another similar base is called Exxon.”

Maybe I’ve just been assimilated into the military hive mind, what with all the war coverage I’ve been consuming, but I can’t help appreciating the cynical humor reflected in those names.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.