Extra Hot in Iraq

Air Force and Army firefighters joined forces at Joint Base Balad in Iraq last week to battle a two-alarm fire that had engulfed six on-base structures. A dozen firefighters showed up within minutes of the first call, but they quickly realized they needed more help, hence the second alarm. The near 120-degree day compounded the work, which switched rapidly from offensive to defensive as the firefighter simply tried to keep the blaze from spreading. The senior officer on the scene, Col. Sal Nodjomian, 332nd Expeditionary Support Group commander, called the joint firefighting response a “textbook performance” that prevented serious injuries and minimized damage, which has been estimated at about $1 million. The cause of the fire is under investigation. (Balad report by SrA. Thomas Trower)