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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 November, 2004, 19:15 GMT
Profile: Camp Dogwood
Soldiers on tanks at Camp Dogwood
Soldiers have come under repeated rocket attack
Camp Dogwood is a sprawling, muddy desert base of buildings 25 miles (40km) south-west of Baghdad.

UK troops led by the 1st Battalion The Black Watch are based there following a US request for redeployment.

They are filling in behind the Americans while they prepare for a third assault on rebels in nearby Falluja.

Sunni insurgents have bombarded the camp daily since the troops arrived on 29 October.

The camp is a military-industrial complex which was used by the US army before being abandoned earlier this year.

An earth bank is piled around the edge of the camp and sandbags are stacked in the buildings' glassless windows to protect the soldiers.

It looks every bit as grim as it sounds
Ben Brown
BBC News
Specialist mortar experts have been working with radar equipment to track down rebels responsible for the missiles fired at the camp.

Armoured vehicles are stationed around it and illumination flares have been fired at night to light up the barren landscape and try to deter further attacks.

BBC correspondent Ben Brown, who is based with the Black Watch, has described Camp Dogwood as looking "every bit as grim as it sounds".

Dangerous terrain

The soldiers have travelled 360 miles north from Basra.

The battle group is led by three companies of armoured infantry from the 1st Battalion The Black Watch, with some 500 men and 50 Warrior armoured fighting vehicles.

Soldiers crossing the sand at Camp Dogwood
The camp has an earth bank perimeter
They are accompanied by a reconnaissance unit from the mainly Welsh Queen's Dragoon Guards, with around 100 men and 12 Scimitar armoured vehicles, and a 50-strong Royal Marine light infantry unit from 40 Commando.

Support troops include engineers, logisticians, signallers and medics.

Their job is to try to cut off so-called rat runs across the desert used by Sunni insurgents and to stop rebels using the river bank to launch rocket attacks on British troops at the camp.

Troops have bridged the Euphrates river, six miles (9km) away, and expanded their operations from the west bank to include the eastern side.

The government has said their deployment will last a matter of weeks.


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