Camp Buehring is situated in the middle of the Kuwaiti desert. The Iraqi border is about 25 miles from Buehring. The Udairi Range Complex rings the camp, and it is a sparsely-populated region: Only a scant number of Bedouins and their livestock use the area. Nevertheless, the security at the base’s perimeter is super-high.
At its opening in January 2003, the camp was named Camp Udairi. A little over one year later, it was renamed to pay homage to Lieutenant Colonel Charles H. “Chad” Buehring. Lieutenant Colonel Buehring died on October 26, 2003 when the headquarters of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad was attacked by rocket fire. He was one of the highest-ranked military members to be killed in Iraq.
Camp Buehring is a sizable United States Army post: It is capable of accommodating about 14,000 mostly transient soldiers at any particular time. Nearly all of the U.S. Army units that served in Iraq passed through the post during the period of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Those soldiers used Camp Buehring to become acclimated to the desert conditions before moving into Iraq. They also received additional survival training. For example, improvised explosive devices – IEDs – were an ever-present danger in Iraq, so soldiers were instructed on how to identify and avoid them. They also received training in handling vehicle roll-over.
Buehring is the home camp for units from the Middle Eastern Theater Reserve. It has also been used by Kuwaiti, Korean and British troops.
In such a high-security area, it is important for security personnel to keep up their training. To that end, military exercises such as simulated chemical attacks are conducted at regular intervals.
Serving in a remote and inhospitable environment can take its toll on the well-being of military personnel, so leaders devise ways to insure the spiritual, mental and physical fitness of troops. Most recently, the camp held a Warrior Wellness Expo where 30 teams participated in relay events, which included a Humvee push. Ten-mile runs are also a part of life at Camp Buehring.
The army has provided a host of morale and recreational facilities for the troops: In addition to a gym, there are a number of phone centers, and an internet cafe provides opportunities for soldiers to engage in video chats. There are fast-food restaurants and a massive dining facility. It is universally-agreed that the meals in the “chow hall” are one of the best features of life on camp: A meal of steak and lobster is not out of the ordinary.
There is a large, well-stocked Post Exchange, or PX, on the camp, as well as two smaller exchanges.
Camp Buehring’s future as a U.S. military installation in Kuwait looks assured. The headquarters of U.S. Forces Iraq has moved to the post, and the camp continues to undergo a build-up of the facilities and the infrastructure. New technical operations centers, living accommodations and internet connectivity are under active development. Most importantly, the U.S.-Kuwaiti relationship continues to be strong and mutually-beneficial.