What's it like in Afghanistan? [Archive] - Glock Talk

PDA

View Full Version : What's it like in Afghanistan?


Biscuitsjam
12-03-2007, 15:31
I spent a year in Iraq as a tank crewman:

5 months in a no-frills company-sized base near Baghdad with daily action
5 months in a really nice battalion-sized base in southern Iraq with no action
1 month in an isolated platoon-sized outpost in the middle of the desert
1 month in transit between all the different places.



We're talking about going to Afghanistan next. I have a pretty good idea of what Iraq's like from my tour over there, but I know next to nothing about the other sandbox.

If it's relevant, I'm going over as a Cavalry Scout this time around. We're a RSTA squadron and train both dismounted and with humvees.

What's the terrain like? The weather? The locals? The type of engagements? The living accommodations?

deadday
12-03-2007, 15:50
So you're a TWAT now? Unfortunately, none of those questions can be answered with at least a general destination. That country has plains, urban areas, mountains that would make a billy goat scared, gently rolling hills, etc. etc. Weather could be 90* on your COB/FOB, then -10* when you get off the bird. I'd imagine the living accomodations would vary much the same as Iraq, you've got your large, cush areas with all the ammenities, your in betweens, and then the out in the middle of nowhere, far from friends sandbag villas...If you'd like I can try and get you some contact info on guys that are just recently back either by way of injury or DEROS....


drew

Biscuitsjam
12-03-2007, 18:03
So you're a TWAT now? Unfortunately, none of those questions can be answered with at least a general destination. That country has plains, urban areas, mountains that would make a billy goat scared, gently rolling hills, etc. etc. Weather could be 90* on your COB/FOB, then -10* when you get off the bird. I'd imagine the living accomodations would vary much the same as Iraq, you've got your large, cush areas with all the ammenities, your in betweens, and then the out in the middle of nowhere, far from friends sandbag villas...If you'd like I can try and get you some contact info on guys that are just recently back either by way of injury or DEROS....


drewYep, I'm a TWAT.

Yeah, we certainly saw a lot of variety in base accomodations... No phone, internet, air conditioning, or any of the other nice stuff folks take for granted for the first part of our tour, then we went to a base with KBR chow, a giant MWR tent, and all the rest. At the first sector, they attacked most patrols with IEDs, and in the second sector, we didn't have any action at all.

I'm interested in any generalities though like "Afghanistan doesn't have big mega-bases where you can get away" or "Afghanistan doesn't have highways like Route Tampa and most of the secondary roads aren't in good shape" or "the weather can be 50 degrees cooler in the mountains than down in the valleys."

And, I'm interested in specifics like "Up in the mountains in the XXX part of the country, the locals were pretty friendly so long as we left alone their poppy fields" or "There was snow on the ground for most of the year in XXX and it got down to -20." or "In XXX, most of the patrols are done on foot and inserted by Chinook helocopter."


I'm not looking for an encyclopedia on the country - it's just that I'm starting out with SO little knowledge that it's hard to even categorize info when I get it. They haven't told us what part of the country we might deploy to, and when they tell us, the info will probably be wrong. Our commanders scouted out our sector in Iraq at least 6 months before we headed over, but they kept talking about some other base until a few hours before we started our movement.

deadday
12-03-2007, 19:49
Ghanzi Provence has some pretty decent indig persons....For the most part, the Afghanni is a hard working individual, trying to do the best for his family...However, doing the best for his family often comes in direct conflict with US/ISAF/Afghan Gov interests..The tribal ties in that country are stronger than anything though....Tribal ties have even caused some indig personnel to side with American forces against al Qaeda or Taliban forces, even at GREAT risk to themselves, their families, etc..

Study the concept of melmastya. It is called different things throughout the country, that is the Pashtun word. It is the act of giving kindness, protection, and support to ANYONE who asks it of a tribesman. ANYONE, be it al Qaeda, Taliban, rival village, or you Joe P Snuffy. They will take you in and protect you at all costs, failure to do so greatly impugns their honor and they will likely be thrown out of their tribe and turned into pariahs, if not killed. For a great example, read Lone Survivor by Marcus Lutrell, great book. This website (http://www.cal.org/co/afghan/apeop.html) made by some intellectual types will give you some decent dope on the different groups in the country, as well as a map showing their general areas.

Mega bases, there are not many, but Bagram, is a HUGE base with everything you could want. Most of the fully established areas will have a decent sized FOB with MWR, internet, phones, etc. But again, being a scout, it is very likely you'll get dumped in the middle of BFE and have nothing but pen and paper...When the 82nd hit boots this time around they were broken up by Company/Troop and stashed around the country with a few large contingents at the main outposts.

Global Security (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/afghanistan.htm) also has some pretty good info and some decent (not very detailed) maps giving drug routes, problem areas, FOB locations, etc...There are some major roads that have been improved and are regularly patrolled as MSRs, however, in most of the country, the roads start at unimproved dirt roads and go on down to goat trails...Don't be suprised if you do some patrols on 4 wheeler/ATV type vehicles.

Pray to God, light a candle, do a dance, whatever is your bag, that you are not directly attached or working with ISAF. You will come to loathe them and 90% of the non-American/British forces in the area. They regularly bribe the Taliban and local warlords (well, we bribe the warlords too) and al Qaeda for 'protection'. They will pay to keep certain roads protected, causing the enemy to focus on others, namely the ones you will be using...They will not leave their camps, hell, some of them don't even carry weapons, or if they do, they are not loaded! If you've been to combat with your unit already, you know who you can trust, who you can depend on, and who will **** up among your officers. As always, watch your new guys, keep them close, but let them learn.

Watch very closely any ANG or AP personnel attached to you or that you are working with. Hell translators are also alaways suspect. You don't know how they are loyal to, who their cousins are, brothers, fathers, etc. etc. Watch them closely. But also watch yourself around them, they are a very honorable people, and if you are going to accuse them of anything, make DAMNED sure you are right. Remember that Afghanistan is rediculously impoverished and many things the populace will do are solely motivated by money, so they can feed their families. They will accept bribes from anyone for information, they will leave 'packages' in places for foreign agents, etc..Be careful.

Another good book to check out is called Jawbreaker by Gary Bernstein (I think, could be wrong here, but definate on the title). He is the the CIA that coordinated and is damned near single handedly responsible for the fall of the Taliban regime. He goes in detail about tribal alliances, changing tides between the warlords, and other things you should concern yourself with.

I suppose that is enough for one post, bounce any questions you come up with here or my PM, and if I can't help, I'm surrounded by those that can..

drew

GSXRanger
12-04-2007, 09:57
Gentlemen...

Although I really concur with knowledge sharing... Please, PLEASE pay attention to OPSEC. After all... this IS the internet, and this is an open forum.

That is all.

Biscuitsjam
12-04-2007, 10:09
Gentlemen...

Although I really concur with knowledge sharing... Please, PLEASE pay attention to OPSEC. After all... this IS the internet, and this is an open forum.

That is all.I agree absolutely, but I think Deadday managed to give a lot of info without saying anything he shouldn't have. I really appreciate his post.


Here's a few more questions. Most of the Iraqis we encountered couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with their AKs. They'd just point them in the approximate direction and shoot. It was Allah's will whether the rounds actually hit anything. Often, in combat, they'd do "death blossoms" where they'd just fire their weapons in a complete 360, no matter if there were other units nearby.

Similarly, if they fell asleep on guard duty and got slaughtered - inshallah (God Wills It). To a certain extent, they didn't believe they were responsible for their own actions.


Can the Afghans shoot?
Are they fatalists?
Are firefights a high percentage of the action over there?


And, about the weather:

Just how cold does it get up in the mountains?
Is your army gear sufficient to keep you warm?
How much nicer is it in the non-mountains?
What about the weather in the summer?

Biscuitsjam
12-04-2007, 11:12
According to the latest press release, we will "concentrate on training Afghan National Security Forces." We spent a lot of time with the Iraqi Army, so I guess it'll be somewhat similar.

Some guys were cowards and would run at the first sign of danger. We once drove past a checkpoint where an Iraqi Army soldier flagged us down. There were supposed to be 12 guys manning the checkpoint, but they had heard that the insurgents planned to attack them. 10 of them took off their uniforms and fled, but the last 2 decided to stay. They gathered every machinegun, rifle, grenade, and ammo crate, determined to fight to the death, but they were extremely relieved to see us.

The Iraqis would refuse to wear their body armor on guard duty, and they would often go to sleep. When asked where their rifles were, they'd have to wander around looking for them... However, when one of their outposts was attacked, every Iraqi within shouting range would run out and jump on the Bongo trucks to charge into battle all revved up and ready to kill the enemy. They got out the gate faster than our units did, usually.

Needless to say, they were extremely frustrating to deal with. We'd be in awe of an Iraqi soldier (both for bravery and stupidity) that would singlehandedly rush into a 3-story house after fleeing insurgents and capture them by himself, then we'd catch a translator lieing to us and trying to get us killed. We'd see guys that were incredible and then those that were the dregs of humanity, and we never quite knew what to expect.

deadday
12-04-2007, 11:45
Gentlemen...

Although I really concur with knowledge sharing... Please, PLEASE pay attention to OPSEC. After all... this IS the internet, and this is an open forum.

That is all.

None of the information I have given is an OPSEC violation...Not even the strictest OPSEC Nazis could fault it..


drew

deadday
12-04-2007, 12:42
I agree absolutely, but I think Deadday managed to give a lot of info without saying anything he shouldn't have. I really appreciate his post.


Here's a few more questions. Most of the Iraqis we encountered couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with their AKs. They'd just point them in the approximate direction and shoot. It was Allah's will whether the rounds actually hit anything. Often, in combat, they'd do "death blossoms" where they'd just fire their weapons in a complete 360, no matter if there were other units nearby.
While they are not exactly Kentucky riflemen, the average Afghan is a decent shot, they've been practicing for the last few centuries...I've seen children that could outshoot a couple soldiers with their AKs....As far as the 'death blossom', I never saw it happen, but that's just my AO...
Similarly, if they fell asleep on guard duty and got slaughtered - inshallah (God Wills It). To a certain extent, they didn't believe they were responsible for their own actions.
Again, I didn't see much of this, but the problem you will encounter are some flat out refusals to mobilize or fight in certain areas, against certain people, etc, according to tribal and family ties..

Can the Afghans shoot?Yes and no, see above
Are they fatalists?In that they will happily pack their trunks with C4 and ram your vehicle, yes.
Are firefights a high percentage of the action over there?Very dependant on AO


And, about the weather:

Just how cold does it get up in the mountains?Sub zero with nasty winds
Is your army gear sufficient to keep you warm?Fore the most part, yes. Your bear suit and gore-tex pants will be worth 100x their weight in gold
How much nicer is it in the non-mountains?Beautiful climate, not very humid, temperate is some zones, searing heat in others
What about the weather in the summer?See above

Some more tidbits:
-if you smoke/dip/chew make sure your favorite products are regularly included in packages from home. If you are in a remote AO, the shoppette/trailer will run out regularly for indeterminable amounts of time and the hadji cigarettes, aside from the obvious safety issues (heard of a handful of cases where soldiers were sold cigarettes laced with various poisons), they taste like ****

-not sure about your previous Army time, but if you have any issues operating with females, get over them quickly. You WILL have female medics with you during village calls, soft knocks, TCPs, etc. The Afghan is VERY protective of their women and would rather shoot it out with your party than allow a male to search one. You will also encounter female EOD types for the same reasons, as well as for searching female living quarters.

-on jewelry, watches, chains, wedding bands, don't bring them. Replace them with something very simple, utilitarian. The Afghan, as I mentioned is horribly impoverished, and while an honor bound society, they will steal to feed their family. Beyond that, it can create some hardships when dealing with Afghan civs, ANGs, APs. They will develop the feeling that you are rich, a caste above them, not to be trusted, etc.

-Not sure if it was you or another poster in the machine gun thread that mentioned having to use British ammunition and having issues with it. This IS a problem as well with ISAF taking over more and more. Make sure you know what you are feeding your weapon and adjust accordingly.


drew

Hal9mm
12-04-2007, 14:28
Do you read the Bible? If so visualize the old testament and add AK's, Toyotas and cell phones yep you got afganistan!

deadday
12-05-2007, 07:13
Do you read the Bible? If so visualize the old testament and add AK's, Toyotas and cell phones yep you got afganistan!

:upeyes:.....:supergrin:.....:rofl::rofl::rofl: You forgot about the counterfeit DVDs and Folex watches....




drew

mikeg81
12-05-2007, 08:46
Pray to God, light a candle, do a dance, whatever is your bag, that you are not directly attached or working with ISAF. You will come to loathe them and 90% of the non-American/British forces in the area. They regularly bribe the Taliban and local warlords (well, we bribe the warlords too) and al Qaeda for 'protection'. They will pay to keep certain roads protected, causing the enemy to focus on others, namely the ones you will be using...They will not leave their camps, hell, some of them don't even carry weapons, or if they do, they are not loaded! If you've been to combat with your unit already, you know who you can trust, who you can depend on, and who will **** up among your officers. As always, watch your new guys, keep them close, but let them learn.

Care to back that up, bud?

mikeg81,

Afganistan 2006-2007
Canada Task Force 3-06 Battle Group
E Battery, C Troop (M777 by the way)

deadday
12-05-2007, 09:10
Care to back that up, bud?

mikeg81,

Afganistan 2006-2007
Canada Task Force 3-06 Battle Group
E Battery, C Troop (M777 by the way)


If I had a way to back it up, I would've done more than complain about it on an internet forum.... For what it's worth, my next post was going to be regarding the Canadian and British forces I encountered, they were incredible guys to know, and from what I saw a very competent fighting force. That comment was directed towards other members of the ISAF contingent, I'm sure you saw it as well. I can't remember which countries off the top of my head, but I'll find the list of those that have completely unarmed delegations over there.


drew

ETA-Hey, do the Canadian troops really get a beer ration? We heard that several times, but the guys would just laugh and say maybe when we asked them:rofl:

Edit again TA- I realize I left the Canadian forces out when I gave the 90% number and I appologize for that. It should read 90% of the non-American/British/Canadian forces....

mikeg81
12-05-2007, 09:37
If I had a way to back it up, I would've done more than complain about it on an internet forum.... For what it's worth, my next post was going to be regarding the Canadian and British forces I encountered, they were incredible guys to know, and from what I saw a very competent fighting force. That comment was directed towards other members of the ISAF contingent, I'm sure you saw it as well. I can't remember which countries off the top of my head, but I'll find the list of those that have completely unarmed delegations over there.


drew

ETA-Hey, do the Canadian troops really get a beer ration? We heard that several times, but the guys would just laugh and say maybe when we asked them:rofl:

Edit again TA- I realize I left the Canadian forces out when I gave the 90% number and I appologize for that. It should read 90% of the non-American/British/Canadian forces....

Fair enough...

Yup, we do get a beer ration. When my Troop came in after Op Medusa, we had pizza and 2 king cans each(Molson Canadian, Labatts Blue or Keiths). You have to sign for them. Each unit over there had beer calls every so often. I did 3 of them. 2 can max. Does wonders for morale, and from what I've heard, there haven't been any problems.

Mind you, the KAF Rats got more than us Battlegroup guys, but I'd still rather be outside the wire than spend my whole tour in that s**thole.

deadday
12-05-2007, 14:14
Did you have a better experience with ISAF than I? They really left me with a bad taste in my mouth, and I know I'm not the only one....


drew

mikeg81
12-05-2007, 23:31
I really didn't give a rats about ISAF. As far as I was concerned, it was just a patch I wore. My job was to serve the guns and support the infantry.

ISAF affected the guns, inthat we had to wait for authorization to fire missions, from ISAF HQ. I agree, there shouldn't be any asking of questions when it comes to that sort of thing, you gotta trust the guys on the ground. But that was it, in terms of ISAF affecting us.

We would send guys back to KAF for a 48 hour R&R, if we could spare them. Its nice to get a real shower and real food, but I wouldn't want to spend the whole tour there. Very boring place to be, I found.

deadday
12-05-2007, 23:47
You know, a whole deployment, definately not, but every now and then, if only for a couple of hours, boring is just what the doctor ordered....


drew

mikeg81
12-06-2007, 06:02
I had plenty of that on the gunline...

Hal9mm
12-06-2007, 09:47
Why can't US .MIL get a beer ration, it would do wonders for morale. They did it in NAM right?

deadday
12-06-2007, 22:24
Why can't US .MIL get a beer ration, it would do wonders for morale. They did it in NAM right?

Yes. And on top of that, soldiers could go into the Ville in the rear areas and drink in the bars.....Course, this was back when your C-rat came with a pack of cigarettes....




drew

mikeg81
12-07-2007, 07:36
In KAF the Dutch and Brits had wet messes. Of course, signs posted on them that if any Canadian soldier was caught in one, said soldier would be sent home. I'm guessing that would be the same for you guys...?

Back on topic...

Where is the American AO? I saw alot of 10 Mtn Div at the start of my tour, then 82 Airborne at the end.

I should amend what I said about Kandahar Airfield. It was OK to be back there for a bit. Getting a B.K. Whopper was nice break from the rations, and I prefered your PX Greenbeans to the Tim Hortons coffee(I don't even drink Timmies back here in Canada). I still prefered to be out in the FOB where our guns were at. Once we got established there, more stuff got shipped out; Sat-phone, internet, showers, field kitchen.

Guess it all has to do with where you go/how long you are going to be there.

The ANA I saw were pretty eager to learn. We would let the search the locals(under supervision, of course). One group was pretty jumpy...I saw them use an RPG for a warning shot.

I don't trust the ANP as far as I can shoot.

ks farmboy
12-07-2007, 11:03
:steamed:

deadday
12-07-2007, 12:48
:steamed:

???????



drew

mikeg81
12-07-2007, 21:01
Uh...did I annoy someone?

deadday
12-08-2007, 11:33
Uh...did I annoy someone?

Was wondering the same thing.... *shrugs* Maybe he's a fobbit and upset since we're badmouthing KAF?





drew

ks farmboy
12-10-2007, 01:44
thats the closest thing to hell that i could find to describe afghanistan.

deadday
12-10-2007, 07:41
thats the closest thing to hell that i could find to describe afghanistan.

Hell? Afghanistan is a beautiful country...Just a little backwater, and in desperate need of a steady, caring government, and a massive attitude adjustment among the populace.





drew

Biscuitsjam
12-10-2007, 10:31
thats the closest thing to hell that i could find to describe afghanistan.Getting off the plane in Kuwait, we wondered if that place were hell. We did our trainup in winter in cool weather, and it had just reached comfortable spring temperatures back home. We got off the plane into insane heat to which we were not even remotely acclimatized. It was also the middle of a week-long sandstorm. Based on the weather and the barren terrain, we joked that Kuwait was "hell" or at least "purgatory."

At our first base in Iraq, we were at one of the hottest sectors in the whole country. Our sector was a dumping ground for mutilated corpses and we regularly saw civilians get killed by insurgent attacks. Plus, our living accomodations were very poor (no phones, no internet, no air conditioning, no regular showers, no reliable laundry, long hours, etc.). We joked that our sector in Iraq was a "hellhole."

On the other hand, I came home with my life, all my fingers and toes, my sanity, and everyone I was close to.




When you say that Afghanistan is hell, what exactly do you mean? Is it the weather, the terrain, the living accomodations, or the presence of the enemy? The worst thing for me being deployed wasn't any of those things, it was just being away from home for so long, without freedom or privacy.

Please explain.

Broylz
12-11-2007, 19:50
i got back from Afghanistan in April this year. spent 6 months there, got called home for e-leave, got injured getting mugged while in transit home and couldnt get back to my unit.

anyway, the short time i was over there, we were along the Pak Border and our mission was to advise the ANG, AP, and ABP forces. we also went into Pakistan to train the PakMil how to do proper vehicle searches because we caught a cople VBIEDs and Suiscide bombers from their side of the bridge. my platoon shared a FOB with the ASGs that protected the FOB. yup, we were solely protected by the Afghans. no issues though. they were the first to respond when we got rocketed, even though nothing was close enough, and they also did TCPs for us and such. most of our time was spent in the local villages giving food and medical aid to the locals. most of the APs were always "out" when we go there to patrol with them doing "Poppy Eradication" even though the poppys were still everywhere. maybe thining out the competition.

most of the missions are going to be very political. its going to suck compared to Iraq, been there too. If you are used to the Green Zone, BIAP and MSR Tampa, my old stomping grounds, then you will think that Afghanistan is a crappy hole in the world. i know there are a few decent places but i never saw them. the roads were actual riverbeds and noone drives on them when it rains. we actually ceased missions when it flooded around us.
as far as the "bigger bases" that i went to, it was JAF and BAF. they both left alot to be desired but it kept the basics covered. make sure that family and friends send you most everything you need or want. mail was taking about 2 weeks when i was there.
as far as skirmishes, we had quite a few VBIEDs and suiscide bombers. there were only a couple actual firefights that hapened in our zones, but they were all attacks on the APs or local distric centers. their VBIEDs were not as advanced as they were in iraq so not nearly as much damage but with irans help it will likely get worse. there were ongoing airstrikes and firefights pretty regularly north of us i heard on the TacSat fairly often so i guess we just got a good spot.

Broylz
12-11-2007, 19:52
Getting off the plane in Kuwait, we wondered if that place were hell. We did our trainup in winter in cool weather, and it had just reached comfortable spring temperatures back home. We got off the plane into insane heat to which we were not even remotely acclimatized. It was also the middle of a week-long sandstorm. Based on the weather and the barren terrain, we joked that Kuwait was "hell" or at least "purgatory."

At our first base in Iraq, we were at one of the hottest sectors in the whole country. Our sector was a dumping ground for mutilated corpses and we regularly saw civilians get killed by insurgent attacks. Plus, our living accomodations were very poor (no phones, no internet, no air conditioning, no regular showers, no reliable laundry, long hours, etc.). We joked that our sector in Iraq was a "hellhole."

On the other hand, I came home with my life, all my fingers and toes, my sanity, and everyone I was close to.




When you say that Afghanistan is hell, what exactly do you mean? Is it the weather, the terrain, the living accomodations, or the presence of the enemy? The worst thing for me being deployed wasn't any of those things, it was just being away from home for so long, without freedom or privacy.

Please explain.

i left fort riley in february for OIF 1 and returned to fort Dix in Feb also. it was still about 110 in Kuwait when we lwft to come home and 4 in NJ. talk about shock.

tc556guy
07-18-2008, 12:05
B'Jam, have you had further intel on whereabouts you'll be winding up? Seems like I'm doing a clockwise rotation of the country. I started out in Kabul, wandered South to Kandahar, then Bastion, then Lashka Gar, and on to Shouz. Who knows where we'll go from there.....

Biscuitsjam
07-18-2008, 12:49
B'Jam, have you had further intel on whereabouts you'll be winding up? Seems like I'm doing a clockwise rotation of the country. I started out in Kabul, wandered South to Kandahar, then Bastion, then Lashka Gar, and on to Shouz. Who knows where we'll go from there.....We learned a lot about our mission...

Our Brigade is going to be a part of Task Force Phoenix, and we'll be scattered across multiple FOBs and firebases, probably. Much of the brigade will be assigned to ETT teams, which will consist of a small unit (squad? section?) attached to Afghan army or police. The ETT team will be responsible for providing training and going out on patrols with the guys they are tasked with.

I'm not sure of the breakdown, whether we'll be 100% ETT teams in our Squadron, or whether we'll only have 50% of our guys in ETT and the rest on tower guard and such, or.... As I understand it, ETT teams are usually top-heavy with rank, though they still need lower-ranking soldiers for driving and gunning. I should be a (combat experienced) junior E-5 by the time we deploy, so I'm not sure how that effects my chances of being on an ETT team versus something else.

So far, they haven't told us anything about which region of the country we'll be going to. Just about every month, our leadership brings in Afghanistan veterans to talk about their tour, and they've all served in different places over there. I don't think our leadership even has a clue which part of the country we're headed to, and the lower ranks probably won't find out until after we've already arrived.

Task Force Pheonix could put us in the south, east, west, or north...

tc556guy
07-18-2008, 12:57
Ah, Ok. I'm part of TFP now. Yeah, expect to be spread across the country. You'll be dropping a lot of guys into PMT teams and ETT teams as you said. FDD and IDR are big here for the current police mentor missions. If you are back around kabul, PMT is no big deal. If you are in the West....well, lets say there isn't a lot of policework going on in the West. Or....you could be a Fobbit and never leave Phoenix.

Enjoy the chow while you're at Phoenix; I haven't had anything as good since I left. You'll know you aren't in Kabul anymore if you run into the oversized female Brit Meat Nazi Cook at Bastion: "one meat product per tray!". To think I had to wait two months to see another caucasian female after seeing her ......

Biscuitsjam
07-18-2008, 13:34
What do you think the odds of getting on an ETT/PMT team? I'll be a newly-promoted (hopefully) E-5 when we deploy. I've been to Iraq once before, and I'm in a combat arms MOS (cavalry).

Is your unit putting entire companies/battalions into ETT teams, or are they only cherry-picking soldiers for that job? Are most of the ETT guys higher ranks?

tc556guy
07-19-2008, 02:29
Its a good chance. i was on the first round list for PMT because of my civilian job, but by the time they got around to filling second and third tier requirements, they were picking anyone they could get in a combat MOS. I hear that ETT teams in various areas are still very short-handed, so I have every reason to believe that you could get on one of those teams if you made your interest known. Don't LIE about your experience; we had a guy do that and he hurt the mission ebcause it was too late to backfill by the time the deceit was found out.

GreenBeret1631
07-19-2008, 15:02
Here's an interesting article on the attack where 9 were KIA

Joint al Qaeda and Taliban force behind Nuristan base attack
By BILL ROGGIOJuly 14, 2008 9:03 PM

Yesterday's deadly complex attack on a joint US and Afghan outpost in Nuristan province was carried out by a large, mixed force of Taliban, al Qaeda, and allied extremist groups operating eastern Afghanistan.
Sunday's assault occurred just three days after 45 US soldiers, likely from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and 25 Afghan troops established a new combat outpost in the town of Wanat, which straddles the provincial border between Nuristan and Kunar. The troops had little time to learn the lay of the land, establish local contacts, and build an intelligence network. The fortifications were not fully completed, according to initial reports.

A complex attack:

The assault was carried out in the early morning of July 13 after the extremist forces, numbering between 200 and 500 fighters, took over a neighboring village. "What they [the Taliban] did was they moved into an adjacent village - which was close to the combat outpost - they basically expelled the villagers and used their houses to attack us," an anonymous senior Afghan defense ministry official told Al Jazeera. Tribesmen in the town stayed behind "and helped the insurgents during the fight," General Mohammad Qasim Jangalbagh, the provincial police chief, told The Associated Press.

Link:

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/07/joint_al_qaeda_and_t.php

Biscuitsjam
07-19-2008, 15:33
Its a good chance. i was on the first round list for PMT because of my civilian job, but by the time they got around to filling second and third tier requirements, they were picking anyone they could get in a combat MOS. I hear that ETT teams in various areas are still very short-handed, so I have every reason to believe that you could get on one of those teams if you made your interest known. Don't LIE about your experience; we had a guy do that and he hurt the mission ebcause it was too late to backfill by the time the deceit was found out.What are "second and third tier requirements?" Are those low-ranking vehicle drivers and such that don't take an active role in leading training?

Did your battalion all stay within the same region of the country? Did they mix different units together to make the teams?

What happened to the guys that weren't picked for an ETT or PMT team?

GreenBeret1631
07-19-2008, 22:12
Soldiers recount deadly attack on Afghanistan outpost

By Steve Mraz, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Soldiers recount deadly attack on Afghanistan outpost

Ben Bloker / Stripes

Spc. Tyler Stafford, 23, a soldier from Company C, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), recounts the hours-long fight that killed nine of his comrades as he recuperates at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

Ben Bloker / Stripes

Spc. Tyler Stafford and Sgt. Jacob Walker talk about the attack.

Everything was on fire. The trucks. The bazaar. The grass.
It looked surreal. It looked like a movie.

Link:

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=56237

tc556guy
07-20-2008, 01:11
What are "second and third tier requirements?" Are those low-ranking vehicle drivers and such that don't take an active role in leading training?

Did your battalion all stay within the same region of the country? Did they mix different units together to make the teams?

What happened to the guys that weren't picked for an ETT or PMT team?

They did an initial canvas of the Brigade for anyone who had a law enforcement background for the PMT teams. Once we were already picked and on our way, they decided they needed to draw additional bodies from our Company to round out other PMT teams.

Our Company, let alone any higher element, is spread around the company from ARSIC North to ARSIC South to ARSIC West and Kabul itself.

Our guys who are not doing PMT are doing Secfor, PSD, etc in various regions of the country.

Biscuitsjam
07-20-2008, 15:42
They did an initial canvas of the Brigade for anyone who had a law enforcement background for the PMT teams. Once we were already picked and on our way, they decided they needed to draw additional bodies from our Company to round out other PMT teams.

Our Company, let alone any higher element, is spread around the company from ARSIC North to ARSIC South to ARSIC West and Kabul itself.

Our guys who are not doing PMT are doing Secfor, PSD, etc in various regions of the country.Thanks. How big are your teams, by the way?

We should be arriving sometime in the spring (May?) Any chance that we'll be relieving your unit?

tc556guy
07-20-2008, 21:11
We have a mix of Dyne, Marines and Army. On paper you're supposed to have two Army guys in each District being covered down on; in reality many are running with just one. The numbers are going to vary by what stage that District is considered to be in for for reform purposes ( I thru V )
We don't RIP til November; with a May date I'm guessing you'd more likely be down in the South; those guys got into their areas before we did.

Biscuitsjam
07-20-2008, 23:08
I don't think I understand your answer. What's this stuff about "two army guys in each District" - your teams are bigger than two soldiers... I'm confused.

You're also saying that Army, Dynecorp, and Marines can be mixed in the same ETT/PMT team?


I'll be honest, I still have about a million questions... What are you using for your course of instruction? What kind of ratio are you doing between training and operations? Are you getting enough interpreters? Are you getting the resources you need for the mission in terms of manpower, equipment, and (especially) training? When you go outside the wire, is it for days at a time for each mission?

I'll keep pestering you so long as you humor me! If I get to be annoying, just let me know and I'll stop. Thanks so much for the answers so far - I haven't had a chance to talk to anyone doing the same mission that we'll likely have.

And, good luck over there. Stay safe.

tc556guy
07-21-2008, 05:34
I don't think I understand your answer. What's this stuff about "two army guys in each District" - your teams are bigger than two soldiers... I'm confused.
You're also saying that Army, Dynecorp, and Marines can be mixed in the same ETT/PMT team?





In Afghanistan you have two types of police reform going on: FDD, which is a dictrict development for areas that have a more stable and long term police presence. The other program is IDR, or In District Reform. This is for areas where there has been no police presence, where they are still in the process of standing up a functional police presence. This is largely in the South and West. In these areas, the mentor teams are composed of a mix of Marines, Army and Dyne. Our contribution is two guys per district.


What are you using for your course of instruction?

There is a POI published out of Kabul. Its more of a basis for whats being taught; we are augmenting that with self-generated material, as all of us are instructors either on the military or civilian LEO side of the house.

What kind of ratio are you doing between training and operations?

Varies by area.

Are you getting enough interpreters?

No, but thats being corrected, so by the time you get here, it should be less of an issue. The biggest issue is that you have guys from Dari-speaking districts and you have guys from Pashto-speaking districts. So both your Afghan instructors and the terps need to be fluent in both Dari and Pashto. You already spend alot of time getting bogged down in translating from English to one language; now you have to translate to TWO other languages. On top of that, factor in that only about 5 % of your Afghans will be literate.

Are you getting the resources you need for the mission in terms of manpower, equipment, and (especially) training?

Actually, they seem to be cutting back on manpower. We are through one phase of IDR training with half of the students from the districts we are currently training. They will be sending the remainder of the guys from those districts in a few weeks, and the number of Americans on the ground is being cut.

Equipment, yeah, for the most part. There are tons of Afghan weapons, uniforms, etc that we have on hand. Dyne is great in terms of providing training aids, office supplies, etc.

One of the biggest impediments to training other than the language issue is the general Afghan lack of motivation. Some of these guys are VERY motivated, some have NO motivation. This applies to both the ANP and the Afghan instructors. Once lunchtime rolls around, this country pretty much shuts down, especially on a Thursday. Trying to get them to do anything training-wise in the afternoon is like pulling teeth. It almost seems like some of these guys are ADD or suffer from some other type of learning disability.

When you go outside the wire, is it for days at a time for each mission?

Keep in mind that this will vary by district and what your training mission is. In the South and West, you are mainly doing instruction because these are guys with NO formal police training.

I'll keep pestering you so long as you humor me! If I get to be annoying, just let me know and I'll stop. Thanks so much for the answers so far - I haven't had a chance to talk to anyone doing the same mission that we'll likely have.



Feel free to ask questions. We were fed a steady stream of BS from desk weinies in Kabul about what it would be like out in the districts. You'll probably go to the COIN school or the DART training in Kabul before being pushed out. Keep in mind that those courses are being taught in large part by guys who stick around Kabul and don't know a lot about how things really are in other parts of the country outside of reading a report.

GreenBeret1631
07-22-2008, 15:24
Commander: Media reports on Afghanistan outpost battle were exaggerated
173rdís fight not symbol of more violent Afghanistan, says Preysler
By Mark St.Clair, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Sunday, July 20, 2008

"The sky is not falling," Col. Charles "Chip" Preysler, commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, said Saturday from Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

Preysler spoke via telephone less than a week after his paratroops and their Afghan allies were involved in a fierce attack at a small post near the village of Wanat. In the July 13 battle, nine of his men were killed and 15 others wounded.

Link:

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=63491&archive=true

Biscuitsjam
07-27-2008, 10:38
There's a lot of rumors flowing around about our mission in Afghanistan. Supposedly, the pentagon only "needs" 1500 soldiers for our Brigade's training mission, but we're overstrength at 3500 soldiers. There's discussion about whether some or all of our brigade could be assigned another mission in country... We're still preparing for the PMT/ETT mission, but it's not clear what will happen.

PMT/ETT teams:
What are the lowest ranks of soldiers that are assigned to PMT/ETT teams? Do some PFCs that are high-speed or have law-enforcement backgrounds get assigned? What about infantry/cavalry SPCs that have no combat experience?

For the guys that don't get picked for PMT/ETT teams - do they have a severe shortage of NCOs (squad leaders, platoon sergeants, etc.)?

What happened to your company commanders and other high-ranking guys that suddenly didn't have a unit to command?

Unrelated questions:
Do you know where your battalion/brigade's 13F (Forward Observers) went? Are they on the PMT/ETT teams? Tasked out to colocate with the PMT/ETT teams?

tc556guy
07-27-2008, 11:43
There's a lot of rumors flowing around about our mission in Afghanistan. Supposedly, the pentagon only "needs" 1500 soldiers for our Brigade's training mission, but we're overstrength at 3500 soldiers.

You need as many people as you can muster. The last two rotations have needed more people than initially thought

PMT/ETT teams:
What are the lowest ranks of soldiers that are assigned to PMT/ETT teams? Do some PFCs that are high-speed or have law-enforcement backgrounds get assigned? What about infantry/cavalry SPCs that have no combat experience?
Speaking only from personal experience, no one under E4

For the guys that don't get picked for PMT/ETT teams - do they have a severe shortage of NCOs (squad leaders, platoon sergeants, etc.)?

What happened to your company commanders and other high-ranking guys that suddenly didn't have a unit to command?

They still have secfor or other missions. PMT teams are not lifted intact from one unit; they are consolidated from Brigade-wide. Company Commanders still have the bulk of their units

Unrelated questions:
Do you know where your battalion/brigade's 13F (Forward Observers) went? Are they on the PMT/ETT teams? Tasked out to colocate with the PMT/ETT teams?

I haven't seen any in my area. My guess would be that they are with the line companies on whatever missions they are tasked with. Keep in mind that the Army has a vcery non-kinetic vision of this conflict, especially the top leaders in Kabul. The Marines have a much more kinetic vision of whats going on on the ground

Biscuitsjam
08-13-2008, 16:45
Our mission changed. We're now getting a battlespace in South-East Afghanistan in what's supposedly a hot area.

We're no longer getting the ETT/PMT mission, though we're supposed to send some guys on an "ECT" mission, whatever that is. Maybe it's just a new acronym for ETT?

deadday
08-13-2008, 17:50
Our mission changed. We're now getting a battlespace in South-East Afghanistan in what's supposedly a hot area.

We're no longer getting the ETT/PMT mission, though we're supposed to send some guys on an "ECT" mission, whatever that is. Maybe it's just a new acronym for ETT?

Going to be on the Paki border then...Expect LOTS of mountain time....If you have any say in your Squad/Plt/whatever training, I would start pushing for some long ruck marches (off the hardball)....If you're around Ghanzi, the locals are pretty tolerate of the US forces (not so much NATO), and there will be at least one PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team) operating there. You'll be close to KAF, so CAS should't be hard to get if needed...

Can't help you on the 'ECT', haven't heard of that before..



drew

Biscuitsjam
08-13-2008, 19:14
They're saying that ISAF will be providing our air support. They're currently talking about sending our entire troop to a remote patrol base that currently only contains a platoon.

We do a ruck march on some steep roads every drill. PT is becoming increasingly important.

deadday
08-13-2008, 19:49
They're saying that ISAF will be providing our air support. They're currently talking about sending our entire troop to a remote patrol base that currently only contains a platoon.

We do a ruck march on some steep roads every drill. PT is becoming increasingly important.

If that's the case brother, I hope you NEVER need them...

****, you may just be going to my old ****hole...We were on a little hole in the ground COB a million miles from anything....I think there was about 75 people, total....Honestly, I loved it! There was VERY little bull****, there were NO officers (well, American officers, I **** you not, the highest ranking Army personnel on the COB were a pair of E8s..)




drew




drew

Broylz
08-14-2008, 07:23
i was also on a small camp, only my platoon and some ANGs, 3K from the Pak border. it was pretty awesome, although the only support we had was CAS. it was 2.5 hours by truck to the closest military forces and we relied on the AHP, ANP and ANA people alot. expect alot of political crap with local warlords. reguardless what most may think they might have the say whether you have a quiet year or hell. i was 2 hours outside of Bagram.

the part i found most interesting while i was there, personally, was learning from the ANG armorer. i was my MP company's armorer so i would sit with him and learn their weapons and then give classes to my guys on how to operate them if need be. it came in handy when we would check up on our OPs manned by the ANG and their weapons would always be down. i got them fixed but it makes you wonder how often we have no means to be defended if our OPs dont have operational weapons???

deadday
08-14-2008, 07:47
i was also on a small camp, only my platoon and some ANGs, 3K from the Pak border. it was pretty awesome, although the only support we had was CAS. it was 2.5 hours by truck to the closest military forces and we relied on the AHP, ANP and ANA people alot. expect alot of political crap with local warlords. reguardless what most may think they might have the say whether you have a quiet year or hell. i was 2 hours outside of Bagram.

the part i found most interesting while i was there, personally, was learning from the ANG armorer. i was my MP company's armorer so i would sit with him and learn their weapons and then give classes to my guys on how to operate them if need be. it came in handy when we would check up on our OPs manned by the ANG and their weapons would always be down. i got them fixed but it makes you wonder how often we have no means to be defended if our OPs dont have operational weapons???




\Why would they need any ammo o? They're just going to let their cousins, brothers, uncles, whoever it happens to be that day, walk right on thruogh with a wave and a smile. Then they'll set up a rediculous ambush in the same general area and wait for you column to ome through to resupply, extract, or take over the OP....We couldn't trust our ANA/ANG guys as far as we could throw them (and they were pretty small :whistling:






drew

tc556guy
08-23-2008, 14:19
Buscuits, it looks like I'm going to be extending for a second year. you'll have to let me know where you wind up for your tour.

Biscuitsjam
08-23-2008, 15:09
Good luck. You staying on to do the same kind of mission again?

I'll let you know where I am this coming spring.

tc556guy
08-24-2008, 00:57
with the PMT mission, at least thats my request.

Biscuitsjam
09-13-2008, 21:42
Our leadership is saying that we won't get leave from Afghanistan because we'll only be in country for 10 months or so. Please tell me that isn't true.

Broylz
09-13-2008, 21:57
might be. that sucks but the rule i was told is not within 90 days of getting there or leaving that only gives you 8 weeks to get everyone home and back.

Biscuitsjam
09-14-2008, 15:45
We're hearing that only soldiers with a total activation time of 12 months + 1 day get leave. Our tour should be 12 months, of which about 10 will be in country.

However, we'll be "on orders" for 15 months, because the state is calling us to active duty until title 32 for additional training.

tc556guy
09-15-2008, 23:53
Our leadership is saying that we won't get leave from Afghanistan because we'll only be in country for 10 months or so. Please tell me that isn't true.

When we were training up at Bragg, we were told than E7s and above could get no leave while in Afghanistan. This was explained that while in-country, only 10% of the force can be on leave at any given time. They were gonna take care of Snuffie and leave the higher E's and the O's out to dry. In exchange, at the last minute they gave us an extra night with our spouses on the 4 day pass at Ft Bragg....of course, by then some of our spouses ( who had heeded the early advice to plan early for flights in and out of Bragg on the pass weekend ) already had plane tickets and such that couldn't be changed to accomodate the extra day.
Once in country, that guidance changed...EVERYONE would get leave. At this point, I believe anyone who hasn't taken leave has declined to take it voluntarily.
I'm gonna have to get in touch with someone from the next cycle ( I don't know if its your guys show Biscuits or not)...if that 45 day window still exists or not)...I'm extending for a second year, and I'm planning on my next leave being in April, which would put it 8 months since my last leave and 8 months left in the second tour, chopping the two years into thirds, basically.I'm HOPING that for guys doing a second year, the 45 day blackout dates at the beginning of your time on the ground dont apply, because I HAVE to get that leave at THAT time to accomodate plans back in the USA.
I'm hearing that a lot of the guys in the NY 27th are having their extension requests denied because you guys are hitting the ground heavy on personnel. I don't see the wisdom of that..we need as many bodies as we can get, and even if there are enough secfor guys in, say, Kabul, that body can be found a home elsewhere. The problem is that teh leadership in Kabul is having trouble seeing the big picture and thinks the whole country is as peaceful as kabul is. They are refusing to see the mission as anything but a peacekeeping mission, when its a by-God bullets flying combat tour in most of the rest of the nation.
BJ, send me a PM with your AKO email or yahoo screen name so we can talk directly

tc556guy
09-16-2008, 00:02
We're hearing that only soldiers with a total activation time of 12 months + 1 day get leave. Our tour should be 12 months, of which about 10 will be in country.

However, we'll be "on orders" for 15 months, because the state is calling us to active duty until title 32 for additional training.The two months at Bragg were Title 10; the three pre-mob ATs, 7 weeks total for us, were Title 10; our orders are for 400 days to accomodate taking leave at the end of the Mob. Not sure how your state is doing it.

CPT_CRUNCH
09-25-2008, 12:01
heading there in a couple weeks. i'll tell ya when i get there.

Biscuitsjam
09-25-2008, 13:01
CPT_CRUNCH: Good luck.

TC556guy: It may well be us replacing you - I don't know. But yes, we're "heavy on personnel," very heavy.

deadday
09-25-2008, 16:54
heading there in a couple weeks. i'll tell ya when i get there.

Hey, can I meet you at the airport and stuff myself inside your duffle bag?? Puhleeeees?!?!?!






drew

Postal Patron
10-04-2008, 16:47
We learned a lot about our mission...

Our Brigade is going to be a part of Task Force Phoenix, and we'll be scattered across multiple FOBs and firebases, probably. Much of the brigade will be assigned to ETT teams, which will consist of a small unit (squad? section?) attached to Afghan army or police. The ETT team will be responsible for providing training and going out on patrols with the guys they are tasked with.

I'm not sure of the breakdown, whether we'll be 100% ETT teams in our Squadron, or whether we'll only have 50% of our guys in ETT and the rest on tower guard and such, or.... As I understand it, ETT teams are usually top-heavy with rank, though they still need lower-ranking soldiers for driving and gunning. I should be a (combat experienced) junior E-5 by the time we deploy, so I'm not sure how that effects my chances of being on an ETT team versus something else.

So far, they haven't told us anything about which region of the country we'll be going to. Just about every month, our leadership brings in Afghanistan veterans to talk about their tour, and they've all served in different places over there. I don't think our leadership even has a clue which part of the country we're headed to, and the lower ranks probably won't find out until after we've already arrived.

Task Force Pheonix could put us in the south, east, west, or north...

ETTs are assigned to help the ANA (or whatever), not do tower guard duty. There are lots of video of Afghanistan on youtube. Everywhere is hot except North, and there you can have problems. Except for Kandahar, Bagram, everywhere else have a declining level of hospitality. I didn't mind it. Like camping in a primitive campground. If you get a KBR mess hall, feel lucky. One road in the country is "Ring Road" Which almost runs from Herat to Kandahar to Kabul up north to the old Soviet Union along the Salang Highway. You don't need to buy pogey bait, you can get than somewhere. I didn't need five pair of boots and five uniforms, maybe 3 boots and 4 uniforms. Polypro is a must. I had a hotpot and a 110V converter for my hot water which I used for most everything. Take a camera. Like Iraq, dusty everywhere.

Postal Patron
10-04-2008, 16:52
When we were training up at Bragg, we were told than E7s and above could get no leave while in Afghanistan. This was explained that while in-country, only 10% of the force can be on leave at any given time. They were gonna take care of Snuffie and leave the higher E's and the O's out to dry. In exchange, at the last minute they gave us an extra night with our spouses on the 4 day pass at Ft Bragg....of course, by then some of our spouses ( who had heeded the early advice to plan early for flights in and out of Bragg on the pass weekend ) already had plane tickets and such that couldn't be changed to accomodate the extra day.
Once in country, that guidance changed...EVERYONE would get leave. At this point, I believe anyone who hasn't taken leave has declined to take it voluntarily.
I'm gonna have to get in touch with someone from the next cycle ( I don't know if its your guys show Biscuits or not)...if that 45 day window still exists or not)...I'm extending for a second year, and I'm planning on my next leave being in April, which would put it 8 months since my last leave and 8 months left in the second tour, chopping the two years into thirds, basically.I'm HOPING that for guys doing a second year, the 45 day blackout dates at the beginning of your time on the ground dont apply, because I HAVE to get that leave at THAT time to accomodate plans back in the USA.
I'm hearing that a lot of the guys in the NY 27th are having their extension requests denied because you guys are hitting the ground heavy on personnel. I don't see the wisdom of that..we need as many bodies as we can get, and even if there are enough secfor guys in, say, Kabul, that body can be found a home elsewhere. The problem is that teh leadership in Kabul is having trouble seeing the big picture and thinks the whole country is as peaceful as kabul is. They are refusing to see the mission as anything but a peacekeeping mission, when its a by-God bullets flying combat tour in most of the rest of the nation.
BJ, send me a PM with your AKO email or yahoo screen name so we can talk directly

If you are on 400 day orders, everyone must arrive back in 365 (incl mob&demob) so they can take the maximum terminal leave (around 30 days) and that leaves you 400 days. Makes it simple for the big unit database in the sky.

More people = more support. Although they may need more people, everywhere may not be able to accomodate for whatever reason (water, KBR spt, food, living space)

People who linger cause problems for people at higher levels to track and see who's where, and when they go home. And mob records and a myriad of other issues.

Postal Patron
10-04-2008, 16:55
Our leadership is saying that we won't get leave from Afghanistan because we'll only be in country for 10 months or so. Please tell me that isn't true.

If your mob time is quick, you'll have more time. But the 400 day rule was made to make sure part timers do not get excessive (5-6 mos. at mob site alone and then one year in theater) time away from home.

Mobs are getting shorter since people are mobing again, needless stuff is being cut, and part timers need to get in theater quicker.

A part timers clock start on mob day. An active duty clock start then boots hit ground in theater. These are very important days which are tracked closely by echelons above reality.

tc556guy
10-05-2008, 04:32
More people = more support. Although they may need more people, everywhere may not be able to accomodate for whatever reason (water, KBR spt, food, living space)

People who linger cause problems for people at higher levels to track and see who's where, and when they go home. And mob records and a myriad of other issues.

The problem with your post is that there are vacancies for positions that are already there and unfilled. PMT teams assigned, say, 20 people, but only manned with 15. If you had 5 guys holding over from the previous tour, you could fill those 5 vacancies. But instead, the extensions are denied. Or an ETT team out in the middle of nowhere..hmm, they already have a FOB; how much additional support will those guys need if they get 5 extra guys that they really should have?

Since making my initial post on that issue, I've been told that the number of denials is actually pretty small.

As for tracking people on leave.....maybe the S1 shop needs an extra person or two if they can't handle the job. Manpower in Afghanistan is a growing trend, not a speculative thing. It is going to happen, and the units on the ground as well as the companies providing support had better figure out how to handle it.

Postal Patron
10-05-2008, 08:36
Units can be 80% filled, so 16 our of 20 people is "filled". This is tracked at higher levels and having people extend for less than the full amount adds a tracking problem. The more individuals with unique circumstances adds more of a tracking problem. I don't know the particulars of what is going on and I am guessing with limited information.

URF mgmt is a nettlesome issue for people in theatre to make sure people and units are properly assigned and staffed. People have to know where you are and for how long. If somebody stayed over a month and someone forgot him, he'd be writing his congressman. It's hard for your unit to track you from back home because unless someone is talking with them, they have no clue on what you're doing. And most units have fillers which complicate the issue.

The Army is not a civilian employer to where they have a system (I don't know if the new DIMHRS does this) to track individuals and their status. Besides, it's hard telling where they are at a particular moment with all the movements going on.

As far as 400 days, not everyone takes leave (they may go on pass if they're lucky - I never did but the people in Phoenix did 3-4 times) and everyone must be back to demob at the same time - or sign on for a full tour to make it easier for tracking.

tc556guy
10-05-2008, 11:06
*They* might consider 16 out of 20 slots to be 'filled", but when you need a certain amount of manpower/ vehicles in order to move your guys outside the wire, and you have less than your assigned full strength because of people on leave, out sick, RIPing out, or position vacancies, that affects your Teams ability to perform the mission. *I* don't consider a team "filled" until EVERY assigned slot has a warm body in it.

Postal Patron
10-05-2008, 15:27
*They* might consider 16 out of 20 slots to be 'filled", but when you need a certain amount of manpower/ vehicles in order to move your guys outside the wire, and you have less than your assigned full strength because of people on leave, out sick, RIPing out, or position vacancies, that affects your Teams ability to perform the mission. *I* don't consider a team "filled" until EVERY assigned slot has a warm body in it.

Yeah, I know, but it is becoming difficult to fill requirements by rank and skill nowadays. Most people >E4 have mobilized recently and if it were not for people extending or volunteering, it would be worse.

AD had a 12 mos. dwell time now and now they get admin leave and if they waive their dwell time, they get a pass, at least where I'm at.

We go to war with the Army we have. I'm not being facetious, but it's never perfect, there are always issues.

tc556guy
10-05-2008, 19:11
Which is why its important to allow people to extend in theatre, which was my original point, but then you came back with "it would be too hard to support everyone who wanted to extend", etc.
Look, we have all sorts of MOS's in the PMT missions. Yeah, its important that they be either MP, 11B, be a cop in the civilian world, etc, but its not critical. They need the bodies, the Teams they have aren't filled to capacity and they are standing up additional ETTS/ PMTs. The bodies are needed.