Skip to comments.A Familiar Strain Is Felt In Stateside Guard Unit
Posted on 09/18/2004 11:17:47 PM PDT by neverdem
FORT DIX, N.J. -- The 635 soldiers of a battalion of the South Carolina National Guard scheduled to depart Sunday for a year or more in Iraq have spent their off-duty hours under a disciplinary lockdown in their barracks for the last two weeks.
The trouble began Labor Day weekend, when 13 members of the 1st Battalion of the 178th Field Artillery Regiment went AWOL, mainly to see their families again before shipping out. Then there was an ugly confrontation between members of the battalion's Alpha and Charlie batteries -- the term artillery units use instead of "companies" -- that threatened to turn into a brawl involving three dozen soldiers, and required the base police to intervene.
That prompted a barracks inspection that uncovered alcohol, resulting in the lockdown that kept soldiers in their rooms except for drills, barred even from stepping outside for a smoke, a restriction that continued with some exceptions until Sunday's scheduled deployment.
The battalion's rough-and-tumble experience at a base just off the New Jersey Turnpike reflects many of the biggest challenges, strains and stresses confronting the Guard and Reserve soldiers increasingly relied on to fight a war 7,000 miles away.
This Guard unit was put on an accelerated training schedule -- giving the soldiers about 36 hours of leave over the past two months -- because the Army needs to get fresh troops to Iraq, and there are not enough active-duty or "regular" troops to go around. Preparation has been especially intense because the Army is short-handed on military police units, so these artillerymen are being quickly re-trained to provide desperately needed security for convoys. And to fully man the unit, scores of soldiers were pulled in from different Guard outfits, some voluntarily, some on orders.
As members of the unit looked toward their tour,...
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
I wonder just whose fault the lack of active duty troops is????
Could it be...... Slick Willy?
Since Memogate didn't work this appears to be the latest tactic from the left; scare tactics involing the troops and the "draft".
Isn't it something that these type of stories have started to show up now that Kerry is anti-war again.
Funny how the MSM's are trying to pick up the Kerry message de jour
I absolutely agree the problem with BJ. But one thing I don't like is sending reserve or NG troops overseas for 1 year tours. Send them for 6 or even 4 months and rotate them more often. Regulars can do the 1 year tour.
These folks weren't prepared for this kind of duty. Financially, physically, mentally. Let them do a 4 month tour, get some R&R at home, and they can go back again.
It's very hard to prepare your family for a 1 year deployment. Most of the reserves and NG have families, mortgages etc.
Uh oh -- somebody didn't get the memo. You're not supposed to post news articles that relate inconvenient, uncomfortable truths about how our regular troops are stretched thin in Iraq, and the Guard is being relied on to an unprecedented degree. At least Churchillbuff didn't post this article - then it would have been a real crime!
Are you saying that what's reported in this article isn't true? Or is it that we just shouldn't learn about the extraordinary strains that are being put on Guard and Reserve forces because "genius" Rumsfeld didn't deploy enough regular forces to Iraq? He pooh-poohed the generals who told him he'd need 200,000 troops at least. McCain has also said from the first that they were severely underestimating the troop needs. But I guess we're not supposed to talk about that, right?
Speaking of lefties spreading scare tactic BS. Right on time.
Not a good point. The Great Peace Dividend reduction in active duty forces began under one George Herbert Walker Bush. Billy Jeff "BJ" Clinton just continued the program.
Sorry have to disagree my active duty was in Yoko- Japan. Even shipboard in peacetime with experienced personnel it is nearly impossible to get them running on their own efficiently in less then 3 months. Then they tend to get lax once they are 1-2 months from rotation. There are all sorts of little things that cannot be taught stateside for the cultures that are being dealt with. They need to be boots on ground more than 6 months. The one year tour is about the minimum that suffices for this.
Slick nearly ruined us with the 2 year enlistments. Recruits came out of boot and maybe A school, onboard about 6 months and then rotating stateside for new orders/re-enlistment or processing out.
That course term - - notice it's you, not me, who resorts to profanity - - implies untruth. What, pray tell, is untrue about the posted article - - or the generally reported fact that the guard is being made to bear an unprecedentedly heavy burden in the Iraq mission? I'm not expecting an answer, because you've proved yourself incapable of mature dialogue, but my question gets an important point on the record, for lurkers and readers who might make the mistake of initially taking you seriously.
Wrong, the BS you keep trying to pump around here is by far the worse profanity.
When someone signs the contract to join the Guard or reserves, they are only fooling themselves if they think that they are not, at some point, going to be mobilized. When reserve troops are used, it isn't an Oh-my-goodness-we-messed-up-so-much-we-have-to-call-up-reservists situation, it is how it is planned. Without the Army Reserves and National Guard, there would be twice as many active soldiers. It would be an impossibility to pay everybody consistently with the pay scale we have now. Also, it would strain communities across the nation to a breaking point.
Thanks for giving me some pre-bedtime jollies. Reading your sputtering outbursts always makes me smile. I imagine the steam coming out your ears.
It's a wonder that people who spread BS around the way you do can sleep. I just assumed you went dormant for a period of time.
churchillbuff, if you're going to talk down to a military man on a military topic, please post your qualifications for doing so.
CAN Y0U NAME THIS COUNTRY?
709,000 REGULAR (ACTIVE DUTY) PERSONNEL.
293,000 RESERVE TROOPS.
EIGHT STANDING ARMY DIVISIONS.
20 AIR FORCE AND NAVY AIR WINGS WITH 2,000 COMBAT AIRCRAFT
232 STRATEGIC BOMBERS.
19 STRATEGIC BALLISTIC MISSILE SUBMARINES WITH 3,114 NUCLEAR WARHEADS ON 232 MISSILES.
500 ICBMs WITH 1,950 WARHEADS.
FOUR AIRCRAFT CARRIERS AND 121 SURFACE COMBAT SHIPS AND SUBMARINES PLUS ALL THE SUPPORT BASES, SHIPYARDS, AND LOGISTICAL ASSETS NEEDED TO SUSTAIN SUCH A NAVAL FORCE.
IS THIS COUNTRY-
RUSSIA ? NO
CHINA ? NO
GREAT BRITAIN ? NO
FRANCE ? WRONG AGAIN ( What a Laugh!!!!!)
MUST BE USA ? STILL WRONG (SORT OF)
GIVE UP ?
THESE ARE THE AMERICAN MILITARY FORCES THAT WERE ELIMINATED DURING THE ADMINISTRATION OF BILL CLINTON AND AL GORE.
AND [their elimination] was 100% SUPPORTED BY JOHN KERRY
It appears someone ignored the sign and taped in the glass anyway. Either that or they forgot to drop some live mice in with him today.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.