December 09, 2011
The U.S. military has almost completed the huge job of packing up all of its bases and equipment and moving out of Iraq.
After almost nine years in Iraq, thousands of U.S. troops have already left the country, and the ones remaining will be gone by December 31.
Camp Adder, near the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, is the last staging post for trucks and soldiers before they arrive in neighboring Kuwait.
"For all the convoys that come through here, the convoy commanders come in and check in with us, we verify their documentation, and if there is anything wrong with the documentation, we correct it on the spot," said Captain David Moses, one of the officers coordinating the final drawdown.
Also leaving are hundreds of non-military personnel who worked on the military bases, including those from Pakistan, India and Nepal.
There used to be 12,000 U.S. soldiers here, creating constant traffic on these now-empty streets.
The U.S. military says it is leaving behind some $200 million worth of equipment, including hundreds of beat up cars and pickup trucks. Most of what is being left in Iraq would cost too much to ship out.
Lt. Col. Charles Krumwiede, of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Ist Cavalry Division, says the drawdown has gone well.
"I feel we are honoring that sacrifice by the way we are professionally pulling out of this country," said Krumwiede.
The Iraqi Air Force has already taken over what used to be a large American base. It is now known as the Imam Ali Airfield.
But most of what is left is dust and concrete, reminders of a long U.S. military presence.