TO ANYONE WHO SERVED AT FOB HAMMER, IRAQ

carnelli53

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I mentioned in an earlier post about a memo I would post up on the forum. Well I was about to scan them in today and noticed there is some 'sensitive' personal information (email addresses and the likes) throughout the report. I could 'blot' them out but I'd rather just respond to requests for the docs. I will gladly send the documents to anybody by request through email. Anyway, if you were a member of the USAF, USA, USN, or USMC (all of which I saw at FOB Hammer) you may want to keep this in mind if you ever have respiratory problems or some medical issue you believe can be connected to the following, which is the cover page of the report and basically summarizes what was going on with the air there.

MCHB-TS-RDE 20 AUG 2007

MEMORANDUM FOR Command Surgeon Office (MAJ Gregory Kimm), U.S. Central Command, 7115 South Boundary Boulevard, MacDill Air Force Base, FL 33621-5101.

SUBJECT: Deployment Occupational and Environmental Health Risk Characterization, Ambient Air Particulate Matter, Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq, 22-25 May 2007, U_IRQ_HAMMER_CM_A10_20070525


1. The enclosed assessment details the risk characterization for two ambient air samples collected by the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division personnel at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Hammer, Iraq, 22-25 May 2007.

2. The occupational and environmental health risk (OEH) estimate for exposure to the ambient air at FOB Hammer, Iraq, based on sample results for particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10) and metals, is high. The high risk estimate is due to the average PM10 level being at a concentration the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers "hazardous," and is likely to affect the health of all personnel. In generally healthy troops, increased medical visits and respiratory infections may cause some operational impact (that is, lost duty days), particularly if exposures are repeated or continuous.

3. Manganese was also detected above its 1-year military exposure guidelines (MEGs). However, it is expected that manganese levels are not consistently above the MEG for 1 year. Therefore, the OEH estimate for manganese in the ambient air is considered low.

FOR THE COMMANDER:

JEFFREY S. KIRCKPATRICK
Director, Health Risk Management
EDIT: I tried to hunt down our environmental officer over there but she PCS'ed (I wanted an update on the manganese, as our brigade was at FOB Hammer from March 07 - May 08). I sporadically searched for a more recent report on the manganese levels as I know they were constantly measuring the air samples there (due to a brick factory pouring smoke onto us and the living areas sitting on a former tank range, allegedly full of depleted uranium) and will definitely update this thread if I find anything. Hopefully there is nobody affected by this but just in case there is... Plus I know this memo wasn't handed out to all the regular joes!
 

Rhotel1

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You mention a "former tank range with depleted uranium". Since Iraq's Army did not have DU kinetic energy penetrator munitions, can you explain what you mean by former tank range? It is not likely that there was a DU firing range at this location. US tanks only fired live DU rounds in training at sand berms in Saudi Arabia. I also wonder about the metal in the air - it is doubtful that this is DU because DU does not remain suspended in the air. It is too dense to do this.
 

carnelli53

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You mention a "former tank range with depleted uranium". Since Iraq's Army did not have DU kinetic energy penetrator munitions, can you explain what you mean by former tank range? It is not likely that there was a DU firing range at this location. US tanks only fired live DU rounds in training at sand berms in Saudi Arabia. I also wonder about the metal in the air - it is doubtful that this is DU because DU does not remain suspended in the air. It is too dense to do this.
I understand your reasoning, it wasn't the actual DU (like you said, it is too dense to remain suspended) that was in the air. The report indicates it was a mix of metals that were indicative of DU 'runoff'. I am not a scientist nor am I an expert in environmentalism so I can't tell you what all of this means I am just paraphrasing what is on the report. I apologize for not clearly addressing that issue.

The only reason it makes sense to me is taking what the report says, taking my observations of the 'moon dust' sand that was always blowing all over the place there, and drawing a quick conclusion based on first glance at the evidence.

This area of Iraq was allegedly used by coalition forces for test firing M1A1s and was also used by the Iraqi Army for testing various types of explosives. The latter can be confirmed by the sheer number of UXOs present on the FOB, the former is mentioned in passing but not addressed to a standard which allows one to parade around in a picket line demanding compensation for being exposed to that stuff!

I will gladly email you a copy just send me a PM.
 

lurky

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You mention a "former tank range with depleted uranium". Since Iraq's Army did not have DU kinetic energy penetrator munitions, can you explain what you mean by former tank range? It is not likely that there was a DU firing range at this location. US tanks only fired live DU rounds in training at sand berms in Saudi Arabia. I also wonder about the metal in the air - it is doubtful that this is DU because DU does not remain suspended in the air. It is too dense to do this.
I was not in the army during the initial invasion of Iraq but when I was deployed with soldiers who were, during OIF 3 and OIF 5, they told me they did in fact fire DU rounds during the invasion, though these were fired from Bradley Fighting Vehicles, not Abrams. I wouldn't know if tanks fired them or not outside of Kuwait.

During OIF 5 I was mostly working out of FOB Hammer and can confirm that it was a test range used to fire many different types of munitions after the initial invasion. We frequently uncovered various types of UXO as well as shell casings, linkage, brass, etc. during the 15 months we were stationed there and before we even arrived in country we were told that FOB Hammer was going to be built on an area that had been used as a range for the past several years.
 

carnelli53

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lurky,

I attempted to message you but I'm not sure if you saw it in your box. If you would like a copy of this report, email me your mailing address and I will send a physical copy (I have yet to create an electronic copy).

I'm sending it into the VA this coming week now that my window for Comp and Pen is open, I will update this thread and let everyone know how they react to it.
 

1soldiersdream

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My husband was at FOB Hammer from March 07 till May 08. I would really like to see this report. I'm not sure how to email on here yet. Still figuring out the site.
 

weakestlink

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My son is going to FOB Hammer soon. I would appreciate any and all correspondence regarding the conditions there.
 

carnelli53

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Surprising, I would have thought that the new SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) would have kept U.S. forces out of Hammer. If it has been continually operating since we (3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry) raised it in March 2007 it is probably quite expansive and built-up (with amenities and better living quarters). Last I heard, 2nd Brigade 1st Armored Division (who should be in the process of redeploying to Germany after their 15 month tour there) relocated to VBC and other FOBs in in Baghdad proper while Hammer was handed over to the IA. This is of course, nothing but rumors.
 

ventimiglia

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served at FOB Hammer during OIF 5 with 3rd BCT 3rd ID for 15+ months. May i pls have a copy of this report, I’m having some respiratory problems that seem to just not go away and would love to show the report to my medical facility so they can run some test...

[email protected]
1-334-550-9815
SFC Ventimiglia, Simon R.:p
 

carnelli53

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I had (and continue to have) symptoms similar to what you are experiencing. I've since been retired and claimed respiratory issues with the VA (I did not present them to the MEB/PEB, to all those who read this, I was wrong and should have had the condition documented at the MEB level..ALL conditions should be documented at the MEB level).

I presented the report linked in this thread and a post-deployment health survey from 2008 (where I state I was having respiratory issues) as supporting evidence to the DVA.

The DVA stated there was service-connection and assigned a 0% rating (they classified it as rhinitis). This is what I expected. What I did not expect was a statement in the letter that essentially states the condition may worsen and future evaluations will be performed to ascertain the degree of the condition.

Apologies for that impromptu description of my experience with FOB Hammer related conditions and the DVA, but thought it will be useful in to those who come across this thread.

To answer your question, I have not heard of any other problems related to exposure aside from respiratory issues.
 

marjar

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I find this all very interesting. My son just arrived to FOB HAMMER last week for a tour. I am a little concerned now, thanks for putting this out there for everyone to see and Thank you along with everyone else for doing your job
 

ventimiglia

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What are your symptoms and how did your medical test for it. Here are my concerns: short of breath and tightness of chest (military doc looked at me 10 min took X-rays of chest then told me if i don’t contact you then you are good. made it seem that im making it up). severe joint pain: ankles, knees, elbows, wrists(bad), and fingers (bad) still trying to be seen by a DOC for these. Headaches off and on but i stutter sometimes now which i haven’t before and hard time concentrating and i have always been strong of mind and body up until 7 months ago.
the problem i am having is getting help from the military DOC's, seems to me they don’t want to admit to it or even test me for it (if there is a test) so im kind of stuck and about to get tested outside the service... any suggestions would help greatly.... I lived, slept, ate, worked, PTed, and played bones for 14 months in the motor pool as 1-15th inf's Battalion Motor Sergeant. So i was a big exposure risk if it was in the moon dust..

ps : I know my tankers… every chance they get to train with sabots they will!!
 

investigation

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I am interested in speaking to anybody about their physical conditions after returning from a deployment at FOB Hammer between 2006 - 2009. I am a journalist with a major U.S. news organization working on a story about the burn pit there and the effect it may have had on troops at that base. Please let me know how to get in touch with you and I will contact you directly to discuss further.
 

mascabn

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Why don't you tell our stories on how we are getting screwed by DoD if your going to exploit us more than the military already does tell something to try to make a difference I cant stand trolling vultures who dont give a crap about anything but the shock factor. We have done too much for you people anyway tell our stories with the truth not the crying pissing soldiers but the ones who sacrificed and got screwed for it.

read maparkers posts on outrage of the week THATS WHAT I'm Talking about
 
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