Today marks another passing in the saga of our time in Iraq. This one hits closer to home for a LOT of people.
The Ibn Sina Hospital, the place in the Green Zone/International Zone probably visited by more people than any other building, is being handed over to the Iraqis. Soldiers Angels has the story.
Other than the former Republican Palace, the Ibn Sina hospital was THE busiest location in the Green Zone during my tours over there. Located just up Haifa Street from the Palace, not too far inside Assassin's Gate, this hospital was literally life-or-death for many many soldiers and Marines who served in Iraq. Frequently, I'd pass by the hospital, and there would be legions of armored Hummers, or M-1's, or Bradley's parked out front. Many would be units checking up on their guys inside; others would be guys getting treatment for more minor injuries that didn't require MEDEVAC.
Sick call was also handled inside- my only 'patient' interaction was a nasty sinus infection that seems to re-occur every year. While I was there, several detainees were brought in for medical checkups. Orange jumpsuits, hoods, shackels, they were brought in by 'special helicopter' and escorted immediately to rooms that were heavily guarded. Couldn't tell who they were, beyond the fact the were older, moved slow, and were short.
The LZ at Ibn Sina was just a hop over the wall, practically, from LZ Washington. Helos were frequently coming in and out ferrying wounded to the hospital. The night that Operation Al Fajr commenced, they were doubly prepared (otherwise known as Fallujah II, Nov 2004).
The fact that Victory Base will have our hospital for wounded is telling; I'd like to know what they've prepped to replace the excellent facilities they'd built over the years at Ibn Sina. Like the closing of the original 'War Room' at Camp Doha, it marks the 'progress' we're making as more and more areas are returned to Iraqi management and operation.
If you have stories to share of Ibn Sina, put 'em in the comments. And thanks to all those med-types who served there. You were fantastic.
There is an entire site dedicated to the ER there- check it out; its got some pics of inside.
H/T out to MaryAnn at SA for the story! Blackfive has a few stories from Ibn Sina, like this one.