Army recalling 300 troops to Iraq who just arrived home in Alaska




 
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August 14th, 2006  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Army recalling 300 troops to Iraq who just arrived home in Alaska


Media: The Associated Press
Byline: LOLITA C. BALDOR
Date: 14 August 2006


WASHINGTON_About 300 Alaska-based soldiers sent home from Iraq just before their unit's deployment was extended last month must now go back, the Army said Monday, setting up a wrenching departure for troops and families who thought their service there was finished.

The soldiers _ all from the 172nd Stryker Brigade _ are among the 380 troops who had gotten home to Fort Wainwright when Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld ordered the unit to serve four more months. The remaining 80 will not have to return to Iraq.

Army officials have sent a team of personnel and pay experts to Alaska to help sort out all of the soldiers' vacations, school enrollments and other plans torn apart by the decision to return them to Iraq. The unit is now being stationed in Baghdad, one of the most violent parts of the country.

Lt. Col. Wayne Shanks, a service spokesman, said the Army fully realizes the hardships triggered by the move and is "bending over backward to accommodate" the families.

The bulk of the 172nd Brigade was still in Iraq when Rumsfeld extended their deployment as part of a plan to quell the escalating violence in Baghdad. Overall, the brigade has about 3,900 troops.

Another 300 soldiers from the unit had left Iraq and gotten to Kuwait, and were about to board flights home when they were called back.

Before Monday's announcement, the troops who had already returned home to Alaska had been told that decisions on their fates would be made on a case-by-case basis.

Army officials said they don't recall another time during the
three-year-long Iraq war when the Pentagon so quickly recalled soldiers who had served a year on the battlefront and gotten home.

Other units have had their deployments extended anywhere from a week or two to a few months.

The 300 soldiers recalled from Alaska on Monday got to spend between three and five weeks at home, and will head back to Iraq in the next two weeks. Most of the brigade is expected to leave Iraq by the end of the year, although Army spokesman Paul Boyce said Monday there are no assurances the unit's stay will not be extended again.

A second extension, however, would be very rare.

For some, the return to Iraq may mean they will miss the holidays or much-anticipated vacations. For others, it means rescheduling military or civilian college classes, or postponing long-planned moves out of state or to different Army units.

Soldiers who serve more than 365 days on the warfront will receive $1,000 (?786) more per month $800 (?629) for incentive pay and $200 (?157) for additional hazardous duty pay.

Sectarian violence has rocked Baghdad, bringing it to what some believe is the brink of civil war. In response, U.S. and Iraqi military leaders have shifted thousands of troops into Baghdad, targeting four critical regions wracked by attacks between Sunni insurgents and Shiite extremists.

The new offensive has driven the number of U.S. troops in Iraq up to 135,000 reversing a trend of declining personnel levels that had begun earlier this year. And, the increased level dampens hopes of a significant withdrawal of U.S. troops by the end of the year, just as members of Congress returned to their home districts to voters growing increasingly weary of the war.

Rumsfeld must approve any deployment that is longer than a year on the ground in Iraq.
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On the Net:

Defense Department: http://www.defenselink.mil
August 14th, 2006  
2dold4this
 
Sorry, dudes.
August 15th, 2006  
Team Infidel
 
 
I have a friend in that unit. Sucks for him... Big time.
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August 15th, 2006  
Chief Bones
 
 

Topic: Out of the pan and into the fire ...


I just know that I am going to be accused of Bush bashing ... but ... so be it ... here goes.

This is just another case of GW and his administration not having their shiite in one sock. GW and his cabinet have been told numerous times that they did NOT have enough troops in Iraq to deal with all of the BS that has arisen since GW made his grand announcement on the aircraft carrier that the war was over.

NOW, we find ourselves in a situation where troops are being tasked with returning to Iraq for the 2nd, 3rd and even the 4th time. This is NOT fair to these young people (many who are married and have families).

No plans have been made to reduce troop strength in other parts of the world where it would be safe to do so, and use those troops to augment the force already in Iraq. Rummy seems to be living in his own little world and seems to be unaware of just what is happening in Iraq. When asked about manning levels in Iraq, his response has been exactly opposite of what other 'military experts' have to say on the subject ... this is just another case of GW and his advisers NOT wanting to hear anything that doesn't fit into their rose colored world.

Who pays the price ... all of the young men and women that have already sacrificed so much serving in Iraq and who are being told (not asked), that they have to return yet again into the cauldron and the fire.
August 15th, 2006  
Team Infidel
 
 
Chief, I agree with you. I haven't been able to get in touch with my friend because he is living out the back of his Styker until they make room for him in Baghdad.

They did these soldiers wrong, but.... we signed the contract... And I wonder why marriages don't work in the military.
August 15th, 2006  
Marinerhodes
 
 
Quote:
And, the increased level dampens hopes of a significant
withdrawal of U.S. troops by the end of the year, just as members of
Congress returned to their home districts to voters growing increasingly
weary of the war.

How do they think the troops feel? Don't they think that the military service members grow tired of the war?

I have not deployed nor am I likely due to deploy in the next 4 years. But I can tell you that some of the men and women I have served with that have deployed aren't too happy about going back.
August 15th, 2006  
LeEnfield
 
 
If you can't take a joke don't join
August 15th, 2006  
Chief Bones
 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
If you can't take a joke don't join
I am sorry ... but ... your remark doesn't deserve a thoughtful response.
October 10th, 2006  
bulldogg
 
 
Fair enough Le, it is a difference in attitude between American and British troops that I've picked up on. Brits are more accustomed to "long wars" and their attitude reflects that very clearly. Every war is different but I have to say as one looking to get back into uniform knowing I WILL go to the sandbox that I wouldn't like having to do multiple tours but I would harden myself by remembering what my grandfather did in the Pacific during WWII... three and a half years of combat without ever coming home until it was all over.
October 10th, 2006  
LIBERTY
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
If you can't take a joke don't join
At first glance that really pissed me off. But once I think about it, it makes sense. If you sign the contract like I just done about a week ago. You should know what youre getting yourself into. Like what Sherman said "War is Hell". Though do I regret enlisting for what Team Infidel posted? No, I dont, I knew the risk of me being shipped to foreign soil against my own will. My grandfather went to war and his father. Thats my motivation. Personally I dont want to go to Iraq, but if they tell me to go. Hell I'll go. You have no other choice. You're a soldier.
 


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