Debut novelist David Abrams retired from the army in 2008 after a 20-year career as an award-winning military journalist. He was deployed to Iraq in 2005 as part of the army's public affairs team, and his book, Fobbit
, is a comedy based on his experiences while there.
Set in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, the United States' invasion and subsequent stabilization of that country (2003 - 2011), the novel's action unfolds primarily at Triumph, the Forward Operating Base in Baghdad. An FOB (see "Back Story") is where non-combat staff - computer operators, military strategists - are employed. Military journalists charged with putting the happiest face possible on all news from the front, are also housed here. The troops on the ground responsible for rooting out the insurgents - the "door-kickers" - use the term "Fobbit" somewhat derisively to refer to these desk...
Beyond the Book
David Abrams' novel Fobbit
is set primarily at Triumph, a fictional Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Baghdad, Iraq.
Almost always very close to the action, FOBs are secure areas where military operations are planned and front-line soldiers are fed and housed when off duty. FOBs can be low-tech: generally tents or bunkers surrounded by minimal defenses. Others are made up of reinforced boxcar-like containers, and all are more heavily fortified. A typical modern FOB will be surrounded by high blast-resistant walls often topped by concertina wire - and have multiple guarded entry points (at least two, one for vehicles and one for personnel). Large stone-filled gabions (mesh cages) or smaller barricades are placed around the base to prevent a vehicle from being able...