Sunday, 25 May 2008

You have arrived in a crisis region

"Saaleck Bundeswehr Kaserne" in Bavaria:

A friend of mine drops me off at the gates of the base, he has a big grin on his face - I guess he wonders: "how on earth will she cope for an entire week here?".... I was expecting high security, but the officer at the gate just asks: "You're one of the journalists?" I nod and he waves me through.

No ID checks, nothing. I make my way to the registration office in the VN-AusbZ Bw building, stand in line with half a dozen young soldiers, neat uniforms - red berets. I feel a bit out of place. Everything seems highly organized, abbreviations obviously rule here.

Now, it's my turn to check in: Journalist? Name? Date of birth? The officer is friendly but doesn't waste a word. He hands me my keys, a map and some documents - point 1: "You have arrived in a crisis region".

Welcome to five days of hostile environment training!

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