Pass program offers break from war, taste of home

By Spc. James J. Truitt
Contributing writer

Need a break from the war? How about the opportunity to get off post to go shopping at a real mall?

Well, whether it is a tan by the beach or the beer at one of the post's cantinas, Camp As Sayliyah in Qatar is the theater's best kept little secret.

Located west of Saudi Arabia and bordered by the Persian Gulf on three sides, Qatar is only a three-hour flight from LSA Anaconda. Camp As Sayliyah is run by the U.S. Army Central Command and is the hottest destination in this hemisphere to take a few days of rest and relaxation.

According to Capt. Steven Morris, the 13th Corps Support Command's Deputy G-1, the trip is made possible by the Coalition Forces Land Component Command.

"The Fighter Management Pass Program was started by CFLCC in order to give service members and DoD civilians a break from the combat zone," said Morris. "Service members become eligible for the four-day pass after being deployed for 90 days."

And at Camp As Sayliyah, giving service members and DoD civilians a break from the combat zone is more than evident.

On post, you can spoil yourself at the health spa, where you can receive the works package that includes a 30-minute massage, a facial, a manicure and a pedicure at a reasonable price. You can hit the weights to attain that Adonis figure you desire or you can slurp down a cool smoothie from Orange Julius as you take a relaxing dip in either the pool or Jacuzzi.

You can enjoy the tastes of American culture at the Camp As Sayliah Chili's restaurant or relish the cooking at Subway, Burger King or at the post's dinning facility.

And as the sun goes down you can wet your whistle at one of the two on-post cantinas with a frothy cold beverage or you can watch a film at the post movie theater.

Visitors are also invited to participate in off post excursions. Opportunities offered include a desert safari, water sports in the Persian Gulf and a shopping trip to a Qatari mall. At the mall, take a break from spending your hard earned cash to skate around the mall's ice rink or bowl a few frames at the bowling alley.

Other on-post amenities include a phone center, an internet café, a 24-hour coffee shop and The Video Hut, where you can check out movies to play in the movie room.

"The FMPP allots service members a four-day pass for R&R, but commanders should expect their service members to be gone for five days because of travel time," said Morris. "After a pass is granted to a service member, they become eligible again for a second pass after six months."

Morris further added that personnel who opt to take the pass are not barred from participating in the 15-day Rest and Recuperation Leave Program. Contact your S-1 for more information concerning the Fighter Management Pass Program.

Camp As Sayliyah in Qatar
Camp As Sayliyah in Qatar is an oasis providing military members and DoD civilians a break from the combat zone and a chance to pamper themselves in the swimming pool, health spa or Jacuzzi.

Camp As Sayliyah in Qatar
Recipients of the pass program relax at Chili's, one of the food establishments at Camp As Sayliyah.

Orange Julius
Orange Julius is adjacent to the weights where guests may indulge in a refreshing drink between sets.