New York Mills Fire Fighters
Fire Fighter Craig Phelps
New York Mills Volunteer Fire Fighter Craig Phelps was stationed overseas in Kuwait and Iraq. Phelps was serving overseas with US Naval Reserves from March 13, 2006 to September 28, 2006. Phelps was assigned to Customs Battalion QUEBEC, CHARLIE Company stationed out of Kuwait Naval Base on the coast of the Arabian Sea.
Phelps says – “Our job was to assist the US Army and US Marine Corps
process their equipment and personal gear through customs when they
were returning home or in some cases, going to other countries.
This included everything from their helicopters or tanks down to
their carry on luggage. We had to thoroughly inspect their
equipment after they prepared it to send it home. We had to make
sure it was completely clean, due to the fact that they don't want
any foreign diseases or insects, etc. to make it back into the
United States. We also had to make sure there was no live
ammunition in the equipment, and then everything had to be sealed
and put into a staging area and watched until it was ready to be
shipped home. Then when it was ready to be shipped, we had to see
it through until it was loaded on the ship for home. What was
interesting about this was we were able to operate several different
pieces of equipment. The unpleasant task of our job was that we
also had to inspect our own troops personal baggage to make sure
they weren’t carrying anything illegal home. Fortunately most of
our guys cooperated with us, because they just wanted to get home.