Monday, October 23, 2006

Soldiers won't wait for the Navy or the Pentagon

This almost looks like a parody, but no - it is reality. A mission needs to be done - it will be done. (click pictures for higher resolution)
Water can be a scarce resource in many regions of Iraq. However, there are some areas, namely along the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys, that thrive because of the direct access to water.

These liquid highways can also serve as an avenue for insurgents to traffic their goods, be it improvised explosive device materials or people. In northern Diyala Province, there is a man-made lake in the village of Hamrin that could serve as a quick getaway for insurgents.
If these guys get killed (look at the load and lack of flotation devices) the fault will not be with their Commander or the Soldiers themselves. It will be the Flag Officers that have a system such that no one can get these guys a boat they should have to get the job done. That is why helicopters have slings.
Soldiers from the squadron'’s support unit made a few repairs and changes to the boat trailer prior to it getting on the water.

"“We serviced the engine to make sure everything ran,"” said Staff Sgt. Phillip Kitchen, team chief, Service and Recovery Section, Dragoon Troop, 2-9 CAV. "The prop that was on it when we got it was destroyed, so we had to re-do the prop; sand it down, grind it down, make it better. The boat had a hole in it so we had to patch the underside of the boat so that it wouldnĂ‚'t leak in."”
BTW, in early '07, about 4 years after the war in Iraq started, the Navy will finally deploy the Riverine forces in theatre. Its training has been exceptionally slow. It is fighting tooth and nail for money, and still is running around hat in hand. Great Sailors who want to do a critical job, but are being held back by an ossified leadership both in and out of uniform. We brought Imperial Japan to its knees in less time.

Admiral Bullard should not have been on point for this. He needed greater top-cover to deal with Congress. I know SeaARK doesn't pay retired Flag Officers as much as Lockheed, but.....Mmmmm.

I doubt that once we do get in theatre they will go to help out in Hamrin Lake and the Diyala. Hopefully the Army will get these soldiers a better boat, and they do not kill this patrol as an easy way of avoiding giving them the right equipment. If they do that, we surrender a dignificant Line of Communication to the enemy.

Point your Google Earth or other such item to 34-10N/045-00E (if you don't, look at the map here and here). That lake is 9 miles long by 2 miles wide. Worth at least one SeaARK I would think. The river that flows into it runs from north to south parallels the Iranian border, and then at the bottom of the lake flows out southwest through Baqubah and then to Baghdad. Dare I say, that is a SLOC - a Sea Line of Communication?

Good luck when you get there in '07 Shipmates, and see if you can lend these guys a hand somehow.

BZ to the Army- shame on the rest of us in the Navy. Sure you could pick on the Army for not getting them something better, but the leaders of 2nd Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Lightning are just doing the best they can to fill a huge hole in their area of responsibility that SOME SERVICE has decided to ignore. That Easter Chick yellow Duroboat represents the warfighting priorities of the Navy. No excuses in the 1QFY08. None. Shame.
"Get there first with the most."

--- General Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA
Right now, it seems that for the Navy it is "Get their last with the least."

Don't get mad at me, I am just the messenger.

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