Wednesday, November 19, 2008

33rd [ILARNG].

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune:

Illinois Guard ready for war

2,700 to help Afghans defend against Al Qaeda and Taliban forces

Troops from the Illinois National Guard [ILARNG] being deployed for combat duty in Afghan.

“The Guard soldiers at Ft. Bragg are the main body of a 2,700-strong force of Illinois Guardsmen are nearly done with a 57-day training cycle before heading to Afghanistan. They leave in December, when they will join 65,000 American and NATO forces battling Al Qaeda and a resurgent Taliban.”

“Many states, including Illinois, have seen their largest Guard call-ups since World War Two [WW2]”

“The military has requested 20,000 to follow Illinois’ 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The Illinois troops have reached Afghanistan in stages, with the critical assignment to advise the police and Afghan National Army”

“2,700 Illinois Army National Guard troops assigned to train Afghanistan National Army and police personnel over the next year.”

Broken down [the 2,700] in this fashion:

* "300 will have actual training roles, working in 16-man teams."

* "400 will guard the camps where the Illinois troops are based."

* "700 will work in teams of 40 to guard U.S.–led provincial reconstruction teams."

* "1,300 will provide support the rest", including: [Of the 1,300]

* "700 to secure bases and camps around the country"

* "300 to provide logistical support."

Some comments:

* A sixty day training cycle before deployment overseas is usual for a National Guard [NG] unit. Even a NG combat arms unit is NEVER expected to be instantly ready for combat action. Is available for combat AFTER a training period, normally of a few months. Weapons qualification, refresher training, enhanced level of physical fitness, etc. DO NOT expect instantaneous miracles from NG troops. DO expect a certain degree of competence and proficiency after a period of training prior to deployment!

* These are the largest Guard call-ups since WW2. Yes! Ever since the Second World War, the U.S. active-duty military has been hesitant to call-up and send into combat NG units. Mostly as a result from the excessive and sometimes catastrophic casualties suffered by the 36th Division [Texas National Guard] during the Italian Campaign. Terrible casualties, for little or no gain, most specifically so, during the abortive crossing of the Rapido River.

* Please note that of the 2,700 troop deployment, ONLY about 300 will actually be assigned to the specific mission - - training Afghan National Army and police. The rest will be in “support” roles?

* Finally, there is a photo accompanying the article in the Chicago Tribune. Shows some troops, wielding their M-16 rifles, firing at targets downrange, over the top of a treated-lumber wall. Weapons qualification of some sort? Wrong as being trained too? Rather, should be taught to engage targets from behind an 18 inch berm of earth or sandbags, firing from around the sides of berm, right side or left, not exposing yourself, and not visible from the front! This is how it should be done!

Go 33rd, and good luck, you will need it!!


No comments: