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Sep-11-2008 20:38printcomments

Lost Gear Means Slowing of Video Reports

The mystery of the missing gear continues to impact and delay video reports coming from Iraq.
With Marine Corps MPs at Al Asad.

(BALAD, Iraq) - My video reports are at a bit of a standstill at this time as my main pack containing much of my video gear is lost somewhere in Iraq. I thought it was important to relay this information to those who are becoming accustomed to seeing new reports every two or three days.

I left the Marine Corps Air Station at Al Asad, Iraq five days ago enroute back to Balad. I was scheduled to go straight to Tikrit where I was to embed with the Army's 101st Airborne. With luck this will still happen, but with each day the gear remains missing, an accompanying level of frustration builds accordingly.

The gear went missing on one of the Marines' newest aircraft; the V-22 Osprey. I boarded one of these tilt rotor planes for the flight from Al Asad to Fallujah. All of us set to board the aircraft were told to place our bags into one of three cargo containers that would in turn be loaded onto the Osprey. Perhaps I was naive, but I assumed that what is loaded via cargo box would be unloaded the same way.

After reaching Fallujah, I helped a Marine infantry lieutenant lug his gear from the plane to the air terminal. He had not loaded his gear into the cargo boxes and in retrospect, I wish I had done the same.

In the end I learned that I was expected to unload the bag from the aircraft that had initially been loaded into a cargo box.

After landing at Fallujah, I was pulled into a search line by Ugandan soldiers who run much of the security here at the U.S. military bases in Iraq. The Marines had to convince the Ugandans that I was not a contractor but by the time I was freed from their inspection line, the V-22 Osprey had flown off and was, I was told, enroute to the Baghdad International Airport.

At this point the Oregon National Guard's 2/641 Aviation Support Group is keeping their eyes open for the missing 'rucksack', which is a military framed backpack, and the Marines at Al Asad are doing their best to track it down.

In spite of that, the location of my missing gear continues to be a mystery and it is having a serious impact on my plans to use time effectively while I am in-country.

I hope to report to all of you very soon that the gear has been recovered.

Produced by Tim King


Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 in Afghanistan with Oregon troops, and his coverage from Iraq that was set to begin in April has now commenced and will be ongoing throughout the next many weeks. is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated with Google News and several other major search engines and news aggregators.
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El Guapo September 12, 2008 7:06 pm (Pacific time)

They are slightly better than the airlines aren't they

Bonnie September 12, 2008 6:52 pm (Pacific time)

Woohoo! Thank goodness it found its way to you. We should perhaps invest in a homing device next time? As Hank would say, keep on firing Gridley! Looking forward to all the coming reports Tim, good job.

Q Madp September 12, 2008 5:57 pm (Pacific time)

Glad you located your gear Tim!! :)

Tim King September 12, 2008 12:28 pm (Pacific time)

It seemed like it would not happen, but my gear was located tonight after exhaustive research and amazing chance. I will offer more details, but this is a good day for me! Thanks Donald, and yes sts, I will work on getting a story out about the Ugandans, great questions.

sts September 12, 2008 9:16 am (Pacific time)

I try to keep up on current events, but I admit, cant keep up with them all. If you get time Tim, could you explain the presence of Ugandans in more detail? That they are a large security force in Iraq is news to me and would like to learn more. thanks, and good luck on the video equipment.

Donald Branum September 12, 2008 7:40 am (Pacific time)

That truly sucks! I hope that you find your missing equipment soon.

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