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Old 10-07-2004, 10:13   #1
stefbo
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Iraq Questions

In another thread it came around that there were alot of questions about what is going on in Iraq right now. I will attempt to awnser any question to the best of my abilities.

To preface though I will not violate OP SEC and anything I say is MY opinion based on MY situation.

I am a Infantryman from the Washington National Guard. However I have been attached to the 1st Cav Div and further cross attached as a advisor for the Iraqi military.

Feel free to ask anything, and I will let you know what I can and cannot awnser. I will attempt to respond within 48 hours, but given mission requirements, it might take a little longer.

Fire away.
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Old 10-07-2004, 11:31   #2
Cagey
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No question, but plenty of thanks for serving.
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Old 10-08-2004, 16:27   #3
pwharve
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You mentioned on the other side about not being able to get your hands on .45.

Who's it for, and is there something we can do to fix that?

My base just had an Amn Security Forces guy get real messed up from a mortar attack while deployed. We've been looking for something to do for our base's deployed peeps, but I'm sure we have room/means to try to get y'all what you need if channels aren't working and it's legal.

Last time I was in the ME, we weren't allowed to receive ORM-D class packages--is that still true?

--pwharve
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Old 10-09-2004, 12:26   #4
stefbo
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pwharve-What base are you at? I worked with the 92nd SFS out of Fairchild AFB for a year. I don't need the ammo anymore, I was going to pick up a 1911 over here, but found out how much the ammo was. Thanks for the offer though.

The best thing you can do for your deployed troops is to ask them what they need. Everybody's needs are different so, what I would use, he might have in abundance. Still true about the ORM-D packages. All sorts of whacky rules around here.
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Old 10-09-2004, 17:38   #5
pwharve
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Goodfellow AFB, San Angelo, TX. I'm stuck in AETC hell, instructing at one of the courses here.

Our guy was from the 17th SFS. You hate to hear about anyone being hurt, but this guy was one of our nicest young men. This is a very small city and a very pro-military part of the country, and since the Amn was pretty involved in the community--the city, like us, took it fairly hard.

Well, do let us know if you need anything. We're working our SF people's needs through the SFS. However, like I said, there's always something left for our extended family over there who needs it--particularly another GTer.

Thanks and stay safe.

--pwharve
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Old 10-10-2004, 18:55   #6
CarlosDJackal
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The only question I really have is are we really helping the Iraqis on the road to a better life than what they had under Saddam?

I was an 11C1P and more recently, a 15B00. I tried to sign up for an 11B position earlier this year but was medically disqualified. I feel guilty just sitting here why you guys are over there sweating it out and risking your neck. But unless the Army gives me a waiver for my Hyperactive Tyroid, I won't be going anywhere.

You and your buddies stay safe and keep your heads down.
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Old 10-12-2004, 05:26   #7
stefbo
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pwharve-
Yeah, the first guy we lost was about the nicest guy you could imagine. One of that small group of people that out there that did everything they could for thier fellow man.

Be happy that the SFS has the support in plac to help out in this situation. There are alot of units over here that do not have that in place. Infact my family is getting btter family support from the 92nd SFS then they are from the real family support group. The group for my company completly fell apart within the first month and a half.

CarlosDJackal-
tough question, and my awnser will sound wishy washy, but that is how it is. Some love teh fact we are here, some hate it, and the rest don't care one way or the other. Let me elaborate.

My primary interpreter said that he has been waiting for this day to come ever since Gulf War One. Some of the Iraqi Soldiers woorking for me are more dedicated and motivated then any of teh soldiers in teh platoon I come from. Others are turds that only show up (when they do) inorder to get a paycheck. For teh most part though, as I see it, people are just trying to get through the day. The average person does not really care who is in power as long as they are safe. One thing to remember is that I would say that about 90% of the attacks being carried out are being done by forigners. They come from any country you could imagine in the area. They come for any reason you could think of. My "favorite" was a suicide car bomber that attacked a check point who left a video record of befor and during the attack. He stated that his reason for blowing himself up was in order to "eat lunch with allah". That is right, no mention of virgins, no paradise, no glistening oasis in the sky. He wanted to eat lunch with his diety. I had to have three different interpreters translate it for me before I belived it.

I know I kind of got off track with your question, but IF (and it is a big if) they decided the want to have a free society, then life will definatly be better. If the Iraqi people decide that they are not willing to pay the price for freedom then I belive everything will collapse into a huge civil war, and I will just be hoping that my friends get out of teh country in time. Ths is my biggest fear when I hear about US troops being pulled out. Given time, we will succeed. Pull us out early, and it will turn into the biggest disater that area has seen in a long time.

Just my opinion of course.

Thank you all for your offers of support, I have been here long enough that I really do not NEED everything. I am pretty well self sufficent at this point. I do not want to start doing requests for comfort items and take food out of your family's mouths so to speak. If you would still like to send something though, send me a personal message, and I will either point you towards a soldier that is not as well of, or grab your generosity myself. Again, thank you all.
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Old 10-12-2004, 16:23   #8
Nicolai
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Hey Stefbo, I got a specific question....

Have you worked w/ any 96R's (GSR) over there? I'm one in the Army National Guard, and I'll be over there sooner rather than later ( I don't want to say when b/c I don't know how what would violate OPSEC). Anyway, when we're not training to operate alone, we work with 11B's mostly, but most people have never heard of us. Anyway, we've had no real contact w/ anyone who is or has worked w/ GSR's and my platoon is soooo curious to know what fellow GSR's are doing over there...

So, in short, do you know anyone who has been working w/ 96R's?

Stay safe,

Matt
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Old 10-12-2004, 17:22   #9
pwharve
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nicolai
Hey Stefbo, I got a specific question....

Have you worked w/ any 96R's (GSR) over there? I'm one in the Army National Guard, and I'll be over there sooner rather than later ( I don't want to say when b/c I don't know how what would violate OPSEC). Anyway, when we're not training to operate alone, we work with 11B's mostly, but most people have never heard of us. Anyway, we've had no real contact w/ anyone who is or has worked w/ GSR's and my platoon is soooo curious to know what fellow GSR's are doing over there...

So, in short, do you know anyone who has been working w/ 96R's?

Stay safe,

Matt
Good call Nicolai. OPSEC is my most of my life, and it would be a bad call to post the dates. Anyone can log in here and check it out. I remember when we used to only be allowed to fly into theater at 2am, blacked out, with as close to a combat descent as a 747 can muster--there was a reason for that. Might still be that way.

Stefbo,

Alrighty then, I'll keep my support flowing through our SFS, but if you hear of someone needing something--shout. Same for you Nicolai.

Stay safe, brothers.

--pwharve
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Old 10-12-2004, 19:36   #10
recondoc
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Hey Stefbo,
I was up with 1st MarDiv last year. I may be coming back over to do some training for some of the locals. If that one comes to fruition, which it looks like it will, I'll shoot you my email address. If there is anything I can legally hand carry over for you, let me know.
Stay alert, stay alive, check your six,
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Old 10-14-2004, 16:16   #11
CarlosDJackal
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stefbo,

I understand completely. Thanks for the frank response.

Stay safe!!
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Old 10-25-2004, 12:28   #12
stefbo
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Sorry it has taken so liong to get back to the post. Life has been buisy lately. I have been spending alot of time out and about. We have picked up some good targets lately and stopped some attacks before they began.

Nicolai-If you end up in a position like the ones that I have worked with over here then you will spend about half your time sitting in the TOC processing info and the other half of the time out on missions. Expect to do some guard duty if you are a Staff Sergent or lower. On most of the missions you guys should be relativly safe. We alsway try to (depending on the size of the patrol) try to cough up a soldier or two as a PSD so you can do your job without being bothered too much. The best advice I can offer your leadership is to team the soldiers up with units on a permanint basis. So you are always going out with the same people. it makes a huge difference to work with the same people on a regular basis.

recondoc-I have a ton of info for you. Lots of TTP's that I wish I had known about a yeaar ago. Let me know if it happens.
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Old 10-28-2004, 05:52   #13
Biscuitsjam
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Is the Iraqi National Guard a legitimate fighting force? Can they pull their own weight by themselves or with the support of our military? How have they taken news of the massacre of ~50 disarmed colleagues recently?

Will we be able to hand over any kind of significant missions to the Iraqi National Guard in the near future (if we haven't already)?

-Biscuits
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Old 11-01-2004, 02:10   #14
srfl
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Quote:
Originally posted by pwharve
Goodfellow AFB, San Angelo, TX. I'm stuck in AETC hell, instructing at one of the courses here.
--pwharve
pwharve: I sympathize with your assignment....I'm an AF intel guy so I did my six months at "goodbuddy" back when it wasn't as "nice" (1989).

stefbo: Stay safe! Keep your head down when possible. I was "relatively" safe where I was deployed to in Iraq last year, but I read alot which gave me an incredible amount of respect for the grunts and triggerpullers in the field....so again....stay safe.

God Bless!
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Old 11-01-2004, 13:11   #15
stefbo
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Biscuitsjam-
At the company level the soldiers that I work with are doing very well. The biggest problems relate to trying to get the ING Battalion to start opperating as it is supposed to, and get rid of teh corruption. To awnser your question, let me just say that in two joint US/ING operations in the past week, they would have failed had it not been for the ING troops being along. In one they ID'd the person we were sent in to detain for questioning while he tried to slip away in a crowd. In the other they found, while doing a house search, an entire cabinit full of information we were looking for. This was after two different US teams went through the house and declaring it clean of information. With the fighting in Faujha entire battlions of Iraqi Police and Iraqi Army either ran away, or went enmass to the other side while the ING stayed and fought it out side by side with US troops. This is all not to say that tey do not have thier turds, and I am sure that my company is infiltrated by bad guys, but for my boys (and girls) that I work with, I am ready to take them into battle anywhere. Infact if it was up to me, I would bring a few of them into the US Army because they are better then alot of soldiers I know.

There are alot of significant missions being conducted by them right now, and sooner then most people think, you will be hearing about them on CNN.
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Old 11-01-2004, 14:31   #16
CarlosDJackal
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What people don't seem to remember that we had Colonials who not only retreated in the face of battle, but some even switched over to the British side during the War of Independence.

This is the stage in which the Iraqi military is in and whether we like it or not, they need time to grow. But they need the support of the nations like ours to be able to do so. With the insurgents kidnapping and executing them and their families, we can hardly expect them to be 100% steadfast in this endeavor.

Thanks for the firtshand report stefbo. Stay safe and watch your six!! ^c
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