Kuwait: Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003 Mobilization

Alistair assumed a pivotal role in orchestrating the establishment of remote camps, support facilities, and catering services for the US-led

Alistair assumed a pivotal role in orchestrating the establishment of remote camps, support facilities, and catering services for the US-led coalition force’s entry into Iraq in 2003. This formidable endeavor encompassed the mobilization of a robust military contingent totaling 100,000 personnel along the Kuwait/Iraq border. The formidable mandate entailed the provisioning, construction, preparation, and daily serving of two hot meals and beverages to a substantial 8,000 to 10,000 individuals at each of the eight to ten designated locations.

Holding the position of Regional Director for ESS, a specialized division of Compass Group PLC, headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, Alistair wielded significant responsibilities in the realm of new business development. An esteemed member of the global development team, he masterminded the intricacies of contract costing, meticulously devised the proposal, adroitly negotiated the contract award, and occupied a central role in the complex mobilization process.

This expansive operation was strategically distributed across a secure expanse spanning 160 square kilometers, serving as the forward staging base for the coalition force’s equipment. A prodigiously tight timeline of a mere five weeks, from contract award to service commencement, was stipulated prior to the force’s cross-border movement.

In Kuwait City, a dedicated mobilization office and adept team were duly established. Drawing upon Compass Group’s extensive global reservoirs of expertise, a proficient workforce tallying 1000 staff members was assembled to ensure operational preparedness.

The initiative hinged on the procurement, erection, mobilization, and operation of ten field kitchens, each endowed with a remarkable capacity ranging from 8,000 to 10,000 persons.

These cutting-edge facilities were sourced from Germany and repurposed Sydney 2000 Olympic games equipment. Moreover, substantial investments were made in acquiring expansive steel tented structures from Germany, ingeniously configured to house the equipment while facilitating climate-controlled preparation areas. Temporary utility supply links were adroitly established to sustain the operation.

In a feat of logistical prowess, the requisite equipment was strategically positioned within the tight timeframe. The chartering of Antonov 124 aircraft, boasting an impressive 100-tonne capacity, was contracted for three flights per week over the course of three weeks, seamlessly transporting essential equipment from Europe to Kuwait. In tandem, regional resources were tapped to supplement the operation, with predominantly road-based transport employed due to the overwhelming volume of military equipment and containers inundating Kuwait’s port. Notably, a fleet of ten 4×4 refrigerated vehicles, each capable of transporting 20 tonnes, alongside transport hot boxes, tirelessly operated day and night, facilitating the efficient distribution of prepared meals to the cafeterias at the eight strategically situated staging camps.

In summation, this multifaceted contract demanded not only an unparalleled swiftness in mobilization but also an extraordinary supply chain orchestration, spanning regional and international sources. The intricate interplay of field transport, lifting equipment, warehousing, and distribution coalesced to manifest one of the most monumental and rapid remote site mobilizations in military annals.

Subsequent to this remarkable feat, Alistair’s professional journey witnessed the bestowal of further contracts, encompassing the management of operating bases, including Baghdad Airport, among numerous others.

Eventually, a transition ensued, culminating in Alistair’s engagement with GCC Services, based in Kuwait, an association that took root in 2009 and would hold significant import in his career trajectory.