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GIs Lack Armor, Radios, Bullets (hatchet job by CBS)
CBS ^ | Oct. 31, 2004 | CBS

Posted on 10/31/2004 5:00:40 PM PST by Former Military Chick

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To: JessieHelmsJr
Posted on: Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Guard gears up for duty with modern equipment

By William Cole
Advertiser Military Writer

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Spc. Salvare Tumaneng, 26, pulled open the Velcro strip on his desert camouflage body armor to show the bullet-proof plate inside — so new that it's still wrapped in clear plastic.

Hawai'i Army National Guard Spc. Salvare Tumaneng, of Kalihi, left, adjusts to his newly issued body armor with help from Spc. Ronald Lee, of Liliha. They leave for training next week.

Richard Ambo • The Honolulu Advertiser

"All of this equipment is kind of restricting, but if it's going to save our lives, I'd rather have it," Spc. Ronald Lee, 19, said yesterday. "I guess we're taking it for granted right now. We'll have to see when we get there."

"There" is Iraq. More than 2,000 Hawai'i soldiers with the Army National Guard's 29th Separate Infantry Brigade have been gearing up for their year-long deployment to the Balad area north of Baghdad, and will be leaving for training in Texas early next week.

The brigade's first combat test since the Vietnam War will begin on the Kuwait border in February or March, when the unit, traveling in heavily armed convoys, crosses into Iraq.

The approximately three-day trip will take 29th soldiers through the deserts of the south, through or near Baghdad, and about 50 miles north to Logistical Supply Area Anaconda in the Sunni Triangle, a region where attacks on U.S. forces have been most frequent.

It's the latest wave of Hawai'i-based troops with orders to the Middle East. About 10,000 Schofield Barracks soldiers are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the 29th, with about 670 reservists with the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry attached, are citizen soldiers leaving family and jobs at home.

Protective gear

Unlike some past National Guard units that deployed to Iraq with outdated equipment, the 3,600 soldiers of the 29th — a number that includes some Mainland-based elements — will be equipped with the chest and back "Small Arms Protective Insert" plates and a host of other new gear.

Made from boron carbide ceramic, the SAPI plates can stop an AK-47 round. Every soldier with the 29th has the plates, and new Kevlar vests with specially designed pockets for them, officials said.

"I think our soldiers will be as outfitted for combat as you possibly can be," brigade commander Brig. Gen. Joseph J. Chaves said yesterday. "Every other active component unit that has crossed the border into Iraq — we'll have the same items."

More than half the brigade — including frontline soldiers — will have newer M-4 rifles, a shorter, lighter version of the M-16A2. Through the Army's "Rapid Fielding Initiative" to better equip combat troops, the soldiers will receive advanced optic and laser sights, fire-resistant gloves and the Advanced Combat Helmet, which is lighter and cut higher in the back to provide greater head mobility.

"We're happy to see the (SAPI) plates, because we know we'll be more protected," said Tumaneng, from Kalihi, who works with administrative and personnel issues with the brigade's headquarters and headquarters company.

The new gear will be distributed to the soldiers after they arrive at Fort Bliss, Texas, next week for several months of intensive training. Following that, they'll leave in January for combat certification at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., before flying to Kuwait.

Some of the 29th soldiers will begin leaving Hawai'i as early as Saturday. Most will be flying out Monday through Wednesday of next week on charter flights.

Their first taste of a combat zone will come months from now when all the soldiers travel by convoy some 550 miles to the Balad area and LSA Anaconda to replace the 81st Brigade, a National Guard unit based out of Washington state.

"To most of the soldiers, it will be their first time in combat. They'll realize getting off the plane (in Kuwait), it's a different story," said Tumaneng, a student at Leeward Community College and security guard who has been with the Guard for eight years. "A lot of (Guard) soldiers were going to school, not knowing they were going to be called to active duty and have to defend their country."

Lessons on the road

Roadside bombs remain one of the greatest threats in Iraq, and to minimize the possibility of injury, U.S. soldiers on convoys are taught to drive about 150 feet from other vehicles, switch lanes for long stretches on highways and watch for insurgents, who sometimes drop gasoline bombs on vehicles from bridges.

Chaves said the 29th shipped about 800 Humvees and trucks to Texas for training, and the unit will pick up a large number of "up-armored" Humvees with thick steel armor and bullet-proof glass from the departing 81st Brigade in Kuwait.

"We'll be taking some equipment with us from Fort Bliss and Fort Polk to Kuwait and Iraq, but we're going to pick up the majority of our Humvees in Kuwait," he said.

The soldiers will spend at least a week at one of the U.S. camps in the desert of Kuwait practicing live-fire skills one last time before heading north as a motorized infantry unit.

"They accept (having to convoy) just as a way of doing business," Chaves said. "I don't think they look at it as anything different or anything special from any other mission they've got."

A week ago, Chaves returned from a reconnaissance of Kuwait and a day spent at LSA Anaconda in Balad. A 1st Division soldier died Monday in Balad when he was shot by a sniper while manning an observation post.

But Chaves said "it seemed to me stability was moving along pretty progressively in that area, and in talking to soldiers at Anaconda, they all felt pretty good about the situation and the way the countryside is developing in that area."

Lee, who is from Liliha, said "you learn about the enemy attack methods, the IEDs (improvised explosive devices). I'm worried mostly about IEDs because I think I'll be driving."

He's less worried about the Sunni Triangle, a region north and west around Baghdad.

"You hear all this bad stuff about it, but if you just do some research, some people say it's not that bad," Lee said.

Reach William Cole at wcole@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-5459.

21 posted on 10/31/2004 5:09:19 PM PST by unspun (RU working your precinct, churchmembers, etc. 4 good votes? | Not "Unspun w/ AnnaZ" but I appreciate)
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To: Former Military Chick
hmmmm...maybe we should cut domestic spending. Nah, lets just blame on that (small) tax cut for the evil rich people.
22 posted on 10/31/2004 5:09:20 PM PST by buckeyesrule
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To: Former Military Chick

I am serious. CBS needs to be dismantled. They are a curse on our democracy. The NYTimes is right up there too.


23 posted on 10/31/2004 5:09:49 PM PST by Obadiah (The media - doing their part to bring about a second civil war.)
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To: unspun

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Sep/29/ln/ln06a.html


24 posted on 10/31/2004 5:10:06 PM PST by unspun (RU working your precinct, churchmembers, etc. 4 good votes? | Not "Unspun w/ AnnaZ" but I appreciate)
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To: Former Military Chick

I'm sure if we talked to WWII people they would have said they felt like they did not have all the equipment they felt they needed.


25 posted on 10/31/2004 5:10:29 PM PST by buckeyesrule
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To: saigon

Why even give them space on FR to talk about it?


26 posted on 10/31/2004 5:10:38 PM PST by ShandaLear (Vote Kerry! He knows what you've got and just who to give it to!)
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To: cwb

I taped it. I mean, this is who should I say this subliminal. Although lets think about the segments:

Arnold, Saturday Night Live and oh yeah the troops in Iraq led by a none caring President who doesn't care about their equiptment. HOG WASH.

But, the show probably brought in some voters as look at the demographics of tonights 60 minutes.


27 posted on 10/31/2004 5:10:47 PM PST by Former Military Chick (-"There's no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit.")
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To: buckeyesrule

And if memory serves Kerry voted against the 87 billion...


28 posted on 10/31/2004 5:11:11 PM PST by BladeLWS
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To: Former Military Chick

Um, didn't Kerry and Edwards both vote to defund the war?
This pretty much brings that campaign issue up about the $87 billion over and over.


29 posted on 10/31/2004 5:12:18 PM PST by mabelkitty (W is the Peoples' President ; Kerry is the Elite Establishment's President)
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To: Former Military Chick

Gee.....If certain presidential candidate would stop voting against the war funding.....just maybe....just maybe things just might go a little smoother!


30 posted on 10/31/2004 5:12:41 PM PST by R_Kangel ("Hey MR KERRY:....... After the election will BOTOX stocks Crash.)
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To: MisterRepublican

Nope they got it right for them. It was setup just as we saw it. I know it is old, but, the safety of our troops to some who feel this was not a just war, might find that a deal breaker for who they choose.

Instead of oh say the Supreme Court have appointees that sway to the left. ARG


31 posted on 10/31/2004 5:12:53 PM PST by Former Military Chick (-"There's no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit.")
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To: Alissa

Wonder why they didn't run their al-caca explosives story.


32 posted on 10/31/2004 5:13:53 PM PST by mabelkitty (W is the Peoples' President ; Kerry is the Elite Establishment's President)
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To: Former Military Chick

Wheeler says $2.8 billion that was earmarked for operations and maintenance to support U.S. troops has been used to "pay the pork bill."

 
Who are the PORKERS spending money for the military..??

33 posted on 10/31/2004 5:14:14 PM PST by Wolverine (A Concerned Citizen)
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To: Former Military Chick

Exactly,.....what ARE tactical Nuclear weapons used for in the field?


34 posted on 10/31/2004 5:14:19 PM PST by maestro
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To: Former Military Chick

Wait until Kroft, Hewitt and the rest of those DNC shills at cBS find out that the Marine Corps is still flying the same CH-46 used to evacuate the ambassador from the embassy in Saigon in April of 1975.


35 posted on 10/31/2004 5:14:46 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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To: ShandaLear


When the first transportation unit refused the assignment it was given to another. They accomplished the mission without incident.


36 posted on 10/31/2004 5:15:17 PM PST by gaspar
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To: BladeLWS
from link
Kerry's vote shows that he put his political career before the safety of our troops. He is the wrong man for the job.
37 posted on 10/31/2004 5:15:25 PM PST by igoramus987
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To: Former Military Chick

That is a contradictory statement.
Those who were opposed to the war aren't voting for Bush, so the funding of the equipment is a moot point.


38 posted on 10/31/2004 5:15:48 PM PST by mabelkitty (W is the Peoples' President ; Kerry is the Elite Establishment's President)
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

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John Kerry's Discharge
He won't sign Form 180
What is he hiding?

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or an undesirable discharge – which is the equivalent of a dishonorable discharge
without the felony conviction – and that, as a result of such discharge,
he was stripped of all of his famous but questionable Navy awards and medals.

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http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=41200

BUT
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made sure you knew about the "Bush" documents.

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Kerry's Military Discharge. What's Kerry Hiding?

http://www.humaneventsonline.com/blog-buzzcut.php?range=10/24/2004+-+10/30/2004

Kerry's Dishonorable Discharge

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/markalexander/ma20041023.shtml

Editorial Comments about Kerry's Discharge

http://www.combatvetsagainstkerry.com/dischargeeditorials.htm

Kerry Military Discharge Deception, look at the online documentation!

http://www.combatvetsagainstkerry.com/discharge2.htm

Mystery Surrounds Kerry's Navy Discharge

http://www.nysun.com/article/3107

The original article, posted 9/24/04

http://www.combatvetsagainstkerry.com/discharge.htm

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Thank You

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Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick


40 posted on 10/31/2004 5:17:20 PM PST by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Nov 2 : Remember the 58,000 + Names on the Wall)
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