Conflicts in the Middle East are a fact of world history. The Neoteric Hovertrek™ has a long history of navigating challenging terrain, but only recently has it traveled to the midst of a dispute between two Persian Gulf nations: Kuwait and Iraq.
Neoteric hovercraft are being used by South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. in the building of the new Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port at Kuwait’s Bubiyan Island on the Khor Abdullah waterway. The project is disputed by Iraq, who argues that the port would choke its only access to international shipping lanes. Territorial claims to Bubiyan Island were a factor in Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
Hyundai E&C Civil Engineer Min Suk Lee and Scheduling Engineer Seung Uk Paik embark upon a day of training in rare clear weather. On the following day this training location had been buried under several layers of bulldozed sand.
Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald recently traveled to Kuwait to conduct hovercraft pilot and maintenance training for Hyundai E&C personnel, much of which took place during a severe sandstorm. He relates ...
“Bubiyan Island is a giant mud pie! Both the terrain and the weather made hovercraft training a challenging challenge. Construction projects of this size in these environments are a monumental feat, and the need for several hovercraft is clear. No other vehicle can carry personnel and equipment over this muddy moonscape quickly or perform rescues when emergencies arise. Breaking down or getting marooned in this semi-liquid land makes rescue a slow, difficult task.”
Left to right: Hyundai E&C Speed Boat Operators Saifull Islam and Aneesh Kumar take a photo break during training with Instructor Chris Fitzgerald. The sandstorm has completely obscured the company’s headquarters in the background.
From ancient Middle East tensions to mud dwellers to sandstorms and disappearing training sites, we invite you to read the saga of Fitzgerald’s Kuwait experience in his own words – with a complete photo gallery: