Inside Tent City At National Guard Base - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/19/05

Inside Tent City At National Guard Base

Welcome to tent city here at the Air National Guard Base in Gulfport, where nearly 11,000 troops from all military branches are making their homes in such sections called Apple Orchid and Par 5.

We stopped by a section called Task Force Tennessee, made up of the 130th military police company out of Memphis.

"We've actually done tornadoes up in Jackson, Tennessee, but compared to Jackson, Tennessee, this is 3 to 4 times worse than that," said Lt. James Bennett.

Lieutenant Bennett and his comrades compare the sights of the Gulf Coast to a battlefield, and that includes the lack of air-conditioning in their camp.

"They got living quarters. They have cots, they got fans.This here is for the medics. The medics we got, they live in there, if anything comes up, we send a person over there to the medics and they'll take care of them," 1st Sgt.Coy Crihfield.

And here are the showers.

There is an entire temporary system set up to try to provide the soldiers with a little of what they may be used to.

"They have a pump outside that pumps the water in here. All they have to do is turn the switch on. And a big old bladder outside when they fill it up, it looks like a big old swimming pool. But it keeps the lights running for us and everything," said Crihfield.

It's not exactly "plush living", but the troops get comfort out of doing what they can to help out those in need.

"Anything that they feel the MPs can do for them, feel free to call on us, and we'll do all we can to help out," said Lt. Bennett.

This particular group of the 130th will remain in South Mississippi until next week.

From there, they move on to Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg.

By Karla Redditte

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