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 Post subject: PRESENT-DAY: Troop Rotation in Iraq
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:02 am 
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So I know a few people who went to Iraq because of my short time in the military, and I was talking to most of them and they are hesitant to say it but they are pretty anti-troop rotation in Iraq. Well the story gets more curious because I have a fairly confident history prof. who discovered a very similar thing with some of his friends who came back.

Now I don't want this thread to go to should we be in Iraq.

I am just curious, in the tactical sense does it make sense to have a troop rotation?

They way I see it is this. Troop rotation ensures 'well rested' troops, troops that have not been in combat enter Iraq. However, the big negative, the negative that I see reversing any positive is this. We are removing the troops right after they build ties with the Iraqi's, right when they are developing trust and friendships.

Anywho. Opinions?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:38 am 
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I see your point and to be honest i think its a double sided situation. I dont really have the time to bring up specific examples but i think it is different on a case to case basis. I think it all brings up other questions that are more combat oriented. Such as the class "marines take the territory and then the army holds it", im not saying this is true but it helps to explain my next point. In terms of troops who are actually seeing combat i believe they should be roated, where as troops who are more occupational and what not can build realtionships with the locals so like you said it seems almost mroe important to not rotate them.

hopefully that little rant makes sense

ps. Im not trying to bash the army, just using a quote to demonstarte a point.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:39 pm 
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Georghiu,

I see your point also but I believe that troops have to be rotated. Being in a direct combat zone is exceedingly stressful and the psychological impact becomes more and more devastating the longer a person stays there.

It would be my belief (since I've never actually done this) that both commands would make sure the transition went smoothly, i.e., making sure that those bonds are as stable as possible, as one unit was rotated out and the other is brought in.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:32 pm 
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For all that you gain in connections with the populace, you lose just as much when guys start wigging out and seeing enemies in every house. Humans aren't meant to exist in high-stress situations indefinitely, and Iraq is one high-stress situation all over, and at this point for an indefinite period.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:20 am 
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Very good points. I was just curious about other peoples opinions.

Most veterans I know from Iraq have spoken badly about the fact that they struggle to make good relationships with the Iraqis because of the constant troop rotation.

Yet, on the opposite side, I have family members who are coping with post traumatic stress. I can understand that the troops don't want to, nor should they be, indefinitely placed in Iraq. Sadly we will never be in the position where public opinion will have even the slightest sway on the military command structure.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:05 pm 
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Been awhile since I've posted on the boards.

Been busy with the subject related to this post. I'm slated for the next iraq rotation heading out in july. Im station here with the 44th Signal Battalion based out of Mannhiem Germany.

All but 4 people in my platoon have seen service in OEF and or OIF. Some 3 times, I can tell you from the countless stories that it depends on the place you end up and who you are. Little do people know that it is a mandated for us to buy all our supplies from iraqi contractors. They work on ALOT Foward Observation Bases "FOB's" and main installations. They get paid and see new troops every year come and go. In saying that the ones we are building trust for are not the ones attuned to it. meaning the peoples' doors we are kicking down looking for insurgents are already distrustful and want simply to move on american or no american and will say or do what ever is best at the time for there family. If some insurgent comes knocking offering $2000 for a place to hide some bombs till monday in your basement and you have not had good food or need to pay medical bills or for a funeral, they take it. Then come monday the bombers grab there stuff plant the IED and no on is the wiser. Now americans come by offer to rebuild the school and build 2 new wells if you give up infomation, you will. Hence it seems like the soldiers build trust, but in reality its all about who is doing what for whom at that point. Once the soldiers leave (KEY POINT: By rotation or because iraqi forces took over) no more building is done and the cycle restarts. Also keep in mind complatency is what can get some killed, if it seems the americans are always traveling these roads to get to this village that gives them infomation all the time, then thats the place to plant bombs or traps.

So I guess after re-reading this all, the answer or rather comment added is that rotations are good, keeping a new set of eyes on a shifting problem. Our current briefs are mostly focused on the 20 second attack. In 20 seconds most attacks are over, either due to moving past the attack zone or simply disengagment by the attacker. Such we are learning to duck and run. We (meaning my unit)do not have a direct mission to work with the iraqs outside the FOB's but we do have a deal of trainning on how to work with them while they are inside. But they already know the deal and how to behave, so no more trust building is required.

In response to the other comments above. The army has been the first on the ground in both Iraq wars. Both SF and staff appear first. The marines are simply just a glorifed hard core arm of the navy. Specializing in no BS tactics. With a high command that backs them up. I've seen them in action and I can tell you they are just army guys that have self inflated egos due to a cult like following "semper fi". That may sound harsh but most kid them selves at being better then the army, not having to Babysit some piece of dirt. I understand this is not the point of the commentator above but it is in refrence to the fact that a misconception is kept alive that the marines go first and the army comes second, which helps fuel that ego.

To kyrian, Direct combat is hardly the case in some parts of iraq. Some places have full size PX's that sell plasma T.V's laptops and Cars. Some can be bought to be ship home and some can be bought on the spot taken back to your little trailer dorm room. Granted some Infantry units have remote FOBs with little in the ways of MWR they do get to go to camp victory where they have a 24 hr burger king, subway, taco bell and cinnabon. Not to mention the PX and AC rooms. Billards, GYM and they are working on a pool.

To Mercer, I do not know if you've been down there but some people "want" to go back. Thats right I can tape record as many as you like of people who want to go back! It's about the money. Being single you get Basic pay, hostile fire pay COLA and if you re-enlist bonus pay all TAX FREE. If your married you get bank, You get Basic pay, BAS(food) BAH(housing based on where your wife lives, avge rent in the area, chicago area down to peoria is ~1605.00) Hostile fire pay, Seperation pay and COLA. Some people make 3-4000 a month TAX FREE.

Now in addition to that, Re-enlistment, seen all those reports of army meeting its goals? Little do you know when your in iraq most people get offered 10-30,000 for 2-4 years extra service, tax free. With most getting more then just money, like, choice of next duty station or stablization for overseas assingment, IE living in germany 2 more years or Italy ect.. Or they get a seat to retrain into a diffrent MOS or job field, most picking some sort of techincal field to help them in the civilian world. As soon as the war stops and that disappers, mark my words, mass discharges.

On to the reasons I see most have problems with going to or returning to iraq. Family, most have wifes or new children, or have served 5 1/2 years on a 6 year active duty contract only to be told "stop loss" keeps them from being discharged. Scared at the unknown or simply tired of the ways of the army, feeling a year long sit in iraq will waste there lives. Being 17-26 you may feel like your going to be missing "the best years of your life". I see to many young soldiers do nothing but drink and drunken parties, Every weekend. Durning the week they do what they need to do to get by and then repeat last weekend. Little do they know of the struggles of life or the pains of family. So when the time comes that all hits them at once, that they may never make it that far. Or worse if you have family they you may never make it back. I do not know of many that worry about being wounded or loosing limbs. Most worry about being beheaded, or torutred only to be left in a ditch unknown.

O also want to add we have a handshake for rotations. We get there 2 months before the unit we replaces leaves, one month we follow them around learning. Then one month they follow us around correcting and then they depart. Please please please DO NOT take the media at its word. So much slander, misrepresentaion. I would not take offence to someone asking me a question about iraq or the army, even if it is misguided or "stupid". Feel free to hit me up for more info.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:10 pm 
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Hey great post man. I might PM you sometime with some questions. I definitely agree the media is *. No matter what side you are on of politics its *, it just reinforces the idea that 'sides' even exist. We all just want whats best for the world, we just disagree, and somehow it is all transformed into 'polarizing' issues. It's total *.

I only asked my question based off the handful of opinions I got off of vets, because seriously support the war or not, you need to support the vets and those in service. They get by but they are hardly millionaires, and they are doing something most people won't do. It is just like any public service, whether you agree with what they are doing or not, they deserve respect.

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"Thou who shed his blood with me....shall always be my brother....and those who have become my brother I will not hesitate dropping my blood for, even if it meant bleeding to death."


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:09 pm 
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Well you all can now say you know of someone that is affected by the new 15 month Iraq rotation. We just got new deployment orders with the extra 90 days. Also just so you all know how your tax money is being spent, we are deploying at the same time so we will be sitting in iraq side by side with the unit we are replacing for 120 days waitting for them to leave. We were told to buy game consoles or PSP to pass the time of just sitting there :) money well spent!

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