Army and Air Force Women Based in the Dominican Republic’s La Fortaleza
First I thought this article was about women serving in the Dominican Army and Air Force but it is about women from the U.S. Army and Air Force positioned at La Fortaleza. According to the article, they are they are there to provide humanitarian aid to the people of the Dominican Republic.
Deployments have their perks, but along with that come sacrifices. Being positioned here at La Fortaleza, home of the Dominican Republic Army’s 5th Infantry Brigade here on the island of the Dominican Republic [sic].
For many of the females of Task Force Larimar (TLF), they have not slept in an open bay barracks since basic training. So when you put that and the cultural differences between the Air Force and the Army into the mix, you might call it “the down” of the deployment but not in the case of the TLF. [. . .] The Air Force females are used to sleeping arrangements in smaller numbers. They don’t mind sharing space, however the space is usually confined to a tent or two, and those tents have some of the nicer accommodations such as air conditioning and heating. While the Army sisters’ tents, are considered general purpose tents and can house approximately 20 persons and have no air conditioning.
[. . .] But here in the deployed location of the Dominican Republic the Air Force and Army are being housed together in an open bay under the same conditions without preference. The facility is considered a hardened facility, meaning the facility has solid walls, and it does have a bathroom and showers on the same floor. Although this may not sound so terrible, try having roughly forty females sharing four sinks and four toilet stalls along with five shower stalls. Not to mention taking a shower is a bit shocking as the water is cold and commonly referred to as a “combat shower.”
The sleeping area is lined with cots along the sides of the walls. Everyone housed here tries to make the most of the space they are given, which is minimal. The large bay does have ceiling fans which work day and night circulating the moist, damp air. There are none of the comforts of home like air conditioning unless you count the breeze blowing through.