This is coolbert:
From the Chicago Tribune today:
"Marching orders for citizen soldiers"
"With the Illinois National Guard sending one out of four of its soldiers to Afghanistan - - some 2,700 of its troops will be deployed there by the end of October - - one unit that ‘never deploys’ has been handed a particularly risky mission."
[This unit is the 135th Chemical Company, Illinois Army National Guard [ILARNG]]
"But the soldiers are leaving [for Afghan], Tuesday, and Wednesday, it will be the turn of the 135th Chemical Company, based outside Rockford in Machensney Park."
"The 135th never deploys, its members say. With a mission to clean chemical spills and contain biological attacks, the unit has a purpose so apocalyptic it has never seen war. But its member retooled to guard bases and convoys in Afghanistan - - a risky assignment in this increasing out-of-control war."
A chemical unit, the primary mission of which is normally de-contamination of the biological, chemical and nuclear battlefield, is en route to Afghan. "Re-tooled" as a guard unit, protecting bases and escorting convoys.
Duties normally the purview of the military police are now going to be done by a chemical company of citizen-soldiers from Illinois.
[the training for a active duty military policeman is quite similar to that of a combat arms troop. Train with a variety of weapons and be prepared to use them in an instant!]
Have trained for the mission, which is not a whole unlike that of the combat soldier. Especially with regard to guarding and escorting convoys.
I hope each and every non-commissioned officer in that unit has been trained in and is adept at three essential tasks.
Those tasks being:
* Organize a defensive perimeter.
* Employ and direct supporting fires. Indirect [artillery], and direct [close-air-support].
* Operate a radio in two different nets.
The 135th will be using armored vehicles of some sort for convoy escort OTHER than the Hummvee? A V-100 Cadillac Commando, a M-113 with slat armor [three machine guns up top with gun shields], or the Buffalo armored wheeled vehicle that has done so well in Iraq?
MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT! THESE GUYS [WOMEN TOO] ARE GOING INTO HARMS WAY. THE TALIBAN ARE LICKING THEIR CHOPS IN THE HOPE OF CUTTING UP AMERICAN CONVOYS, INTERDICTING THE PRECARIOUS AFGHAN MAIN SUPPLY ROUTE [MSR], KILLING INFIDELS, ETC.!!
At Shiloh during the American Civil War, the Union possibly was saved by a bunch of Illinois farm boys who held the line [the Hornet’s Nest] from a dozen or so massed Confederate frontal assaults.
As was needed at Shiloh, again is needed in Afghan!