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View Full Version : Very Interesting On-the-Ground Report From 1st Cav In Iraq (Great Read)


RINGLEADER
03-17-2005, 11:37 AM
Here is a fascinating e-mail that is going the rounds in military circles. It is an account of a presentation given by one of the leaders of 1st Cav Div, just back from Iraq. I try to follow Iraq stuff pretty closely, but most of this I had never heard:

1. While units of the Cav served all over Iraq, he spoke mostly of Baghdad and more specifically Sadr City, the big slum on the eastern side of the Tigris River. He pointed out that Baghdad is, in geography, is about the size of Austin. Aus tin has 600,000 to 700,000 people. Baghdad has 6 to7 million people.

2. The Cav lost 28 main battle tanks. He said one of the big lessons learned is that, contrary to docterine going in, M1-A2s and Bradleys are needed, preferred and devastating in urban combat and he is going to make that point to the JCS next week while they are considering downsizing armor.

3. He showed a graph of attacks in Sadr City by month. Last Aug-Sep they were getting up to 160 attacks per week. During the last three months, the graph had flatlined at below 5 to zero per week.

4. His big point was not that they were "winning battles" to do this but that cleaning the place up, electricity, sewage, water were the key factors. He said yes they fought but after they started delivering services that the Iraqis in Sadr City had never had, the terrorist recruiting of 15 and 16 year olds came up empty.

5. The electrical "grid" is a bad, deadly joke. Said that driving down the street in a Hummv with an antenna would short out a whole block of apt. buildings. People do their own wiring and it was not uncommon for early morning patrols would find one or two people lying dead in the street, having been electrocuted trying to re-wire their own homes.

6. Said that not tending to a dead body in the Muslim culture never happens. On election day, after suicide bombers blew themselves up trying to take out polling places, voters would step up to the body lying there, spit on it, and move up in the line to vote.

7. Pointed out that we all heard from the media about the 100 Iraqis killed as they were lined up to enlist in the police and security service. What the media didn't point out was that the next day there 300 lined up in the same place.

8. Said bin Laden and Zarqawi made a HUGE mistake when bin laden went public with naming Zarqawi the "prince" of al Qaeda in Iraq. Said that what the Iraqis saw and heard was a Saudi telling a Jordanian that his job was to kill Iraqis. HUGE mistake. It was one of the biggest factors in getting Iraqis who were on the "fence" to jump off on the side of the coalition and the new gov't.

9. Said the MSM was making a big, and wrong, deal out of the religious sects. Said Iraqis are incredibly nationalistic. They are Iraqis first and then say they are Muslim but the Shi'a - Sunni thing is just not that big a deal to them.

10. After the election the Mayor of Baghdad told him that the people of the region (Middle East) are joyous and the governments are nervous.

11. Said that he did not lose a single tanker truck carrying oil and gas over the roads of Iraq. Think about that. All the attacks we saw on TV with IEDs hitting trucks but he didn't lose one. Why? Army Aviation. Praised his air units and said they made the decision early on that every convoy would have helicopter air cover. Said aviators in that unit were hitting the 1,000 hour mark (sound familiar?). Said a convoy was supposed to head out but stopped at the gates of a compound on the command of an E6. He asked the SSG what the hold up was. E6 said, "Air , sir." He wondered what was wrong with the air, not realizing what the kid was talking about. Then the AH-64s showed up and the E6 said, "That air sir." And then moved out.

12. Said one of the biggest problems was money and regs. There was a $77 million gap between the supplemental budget and what he needed in cash on the ground to get projects started. Said he spent most of his time trying to get money. Said he didn't do much as a "combat commander" because the war he was fighting was a war at the squad and platoon level. Said that his NCOs were winning the war and it was a sight to behold.

13. Said that of all the money appropriated for Iraq, not a cent was earmarked for agriculture. Said that Iraq could feed itself completely and still have food for export but no one thought about it. Said the Cav started working with Texas A&M on ag projects and had special hybrid seeds sent to them through Jordan. TAM analyzed soil samples and worked out how and what to plant. Said he had an E7 from Belton, TX (just down the road from Ft. Hood) who was almost single-handedly rebuilding the ag industry in the Baghdad area.

14. Said he could hire hundreds of Iraqis daily for $7 to $10 a day to work on sewer, electric, water projects, etc. but that the contracting rules from CONUS applied so he had to have $500,000 insurance policies in place in case the workers got hurt. Not kidding. The CONUS peacetime regs slowed everything down, even if they could eventually get waivers for the regs.

Discuss...

HC_Chief
03-17-2005, 12:02 PM
Always nice to hear/read the perspective of the people actually there, participating in the action.

My wife's cousin just got back... can't wait to hear what he has to say.

go bowe
03-17-2005, 12:18 PM
it's a shame the military beauracy is so slow to respond the actual conditions on the ground...

otoh, there's a lot to be hopeful about in this report...

i particularly like the one about 300 iraqis showing up the day after 100 were killed in the same place...

there's a lot of brave mutha fukas over there...

KCTitus
03-17-2005, 12:21 PM
I find it simply amazing how starkly different the reports from Iraq are between the 'news' media and those that are actually on the ground there.

Just awesome.

Bearcat2005
03-17-2005, 12:27 PM
Good read! I believe the Iraqis will achieve a stable democratic state. It will work out, and the comments by the partisan media, will come back to haunt them in the future, but it is not about that, its about eliminating a possible threat, and securing our future and success by spreading peace in the ME.

From one of the irish,
Happy St. Pats Day!

bkkcoh
03-17-2005, 12:35 PM
meme isn't going to like this. I can't imagine, wait, I can imagine how she is going to spin this GREAT news. IT should have done faster, quicker and with fewer deaths.... blah blah blah.

Radar Chief
03-17-2005, 01:16 PM
it's a shame the military beauracy is so slow to respond the actual conditions on the ground...


That’s exactly why it’s good news to hear NCO’s are running the show at the ground level.

Iowanian
03-17-2005, 01:26 PM
my brother is with the unit replacing them. He's near Sadr City at Rustamayah. Its a rough area.

They've been attacked in broad daylight, IEDs, VIEDs. He says that half the people shout that they love them as they go by, half shout curse words and tell them to go home..........and he trusts ZERO of them.

I am not sure what I can share or I'd have some stories. I'll not post anything that could get someone in trouble or risk them harm.

There is a good one about some video taken through a night vision scope of 2 iraqi's fornicating a beast of burden.

I have some video(2, about 15 minutes total) that is just AMAZING. it was taken and created by a guy in a Co-worker's son's Marine platoon in Fallujah. I'd love to post it up for the board, but don't know how.

If someone has a server space, and ftp, I'd put them up so the board could see them.......but would want it taken down after...Don't want anyone getting in trouble for that either. It gives a good picture of life in Fallujah for Marines, according to the man, himself.

RINGLEADER
03-17-2005, 03:24 PM
meme isn't going to like this. I can't imagine, wait, I can imagine how she is going to spin this GREAT news. IT should have done faster, quicker and with fewer deaths.... blah blah blah.

The closer Iraq gets to be a successful democracy the more shrill and idiotic the Dems sound. Kennedy or Durbin was talking on the tube just the other day using the same talking points from before the election (!).

I'm just glad Kerry* didn't win. If you remember his platform was to return stability to Iraq...even if it meant not having democracy. He also advocated pushing the election back and predicted that deaths would grow each month until we left. Talk about being wrong...

* BTW, Kerry now blames his election defeat on the "sub-media" that didn't care about the facts and that he had no way to break through and get "real" facts to the American people. This coming from the dude who said he'd sign his Form 180 almost two months ago...

SCTrojan
03-18-2005, 10:38 AM
Here is a fascinating e-mail that is going the rounds in military circles. It is an account of a presentation given by one of the leaders of 1st Cav Div, just back from Iraq.

The guy talking was MG Pete Chiarelli, CG of 1st Cav. He was speaking at an AUSA convention at Fort Hood. The e-mail is made up of notes some guy took at the meeting.

SBK
03-18-2005, 10:45 AM
My buddy that just got back from Mosul said just about the same thing as this email. He also said that Albanian commandos, the guys he worked with were scared out of their minds everytime they heard a shot that was a mile off. Pretty funny.

He also mentioned that Iraqi's have a "funk" about them, which could have something to do with that sewage situation.

RINGLEADER
03-19-2005, 09:19 PM
My buddy that just got back from Mosul said just about the same thing as this email. He also said that Albanian commandos, the guys he worked with were scared out of their minds everytime they heard a shot that was a mile off. Pretty funny.

He also mentioned that Iraqi's have a "funk" about them, which could have something to do with that sewage situation.



I guess your priorities must be different when you're living under the yolk of oppression for decade after decade...

JohninGpt
03-21-2005, 03:12 PM
11. Said that he did not lose a single tanker truck carrying oil and gas over the roads of Iraq. Think about that. All the attacks we saw on TV with IEDs hitting trucks but he didn't lose one. Why? Army Aviation. Praised his air units and said they made the decision early on that every convoy would have helicopter air cover. Said aviators in that unit were hitting the 1,000 hour mark (sound familiar?). Said a convoy was supposed to head out but stopped at the gates of a compound on the command of an E6. He asked the SSG what the hold up was. E6 said, "Air , sir." He wondered what was wrong with the air, not realizing what the kid was talking about. Then the AH-64s showed up and the E6 said, "That air sir." And then moved out.

Amen to that. I've traveled over 10,000 miles over here in the past six months with only one vehicle damaged from an IED, no casualties. (knocking on wood) I credit alot of that to the air cover we've had from all of the services, also to the rather large weapons we have on our trucks and to the goal we set six months ago of being "the only convoy team in Central Iraq to get a speeding ticket.

John

Calcountry
03-22-2005, 11:21 AM
it's a shame the military beauracy is so slow to respond the actual conditions on the ground...

otoh, there's a lot to be hopeful about in this report...

i particularly like the one about 300 iraqis showing up the day after 100 were killed in the same place...

there's a lot of brave mutha fukas over there...Freedom, is an infectious, rebellious thing.

trndobrd
03-22-2005, 12:21 PM
Amen to that. I've traveled over 10,000 miles over here in the past six months with only one vehicle damaged from an IED, no casualties. (knocking on wood) I credit alot of that to the air cover we've had from all of the services, also to the rather large weapons we have on our trucks and to the goal we set six months ago of being "the only convoy team in Central Iraq to get a speeding ticket.

John


Speed = life

Amnorix
03-22-2005, 12:33 PM
All good stuffy. Rummy won't be happy to hear that the troops still like the heavy armor.

Radar Chief
03-22-2005, 01:18 PM
All good stuffy. Rummy won't be happy to hear that the troops still like the heavy armor.

:spock: Why wouldn’t he be?

Chief Henry
03-23-2005, 09:02 AM
I find it simply amazing how starkly different the reports from Iraq are between the 'news' media and those that are actually on the ground there.

Just awesome.


No DOubt about that Wolfman, no doubt.

Warrior5
03-23-2005, 09:09 AM
:spock: Why wouldn’t he be?

Ditto...let me add a :spock:

Amnorix
03-23-2005, 09:20 AM
:spock: Why wouldn’t he be? Ditto...let me add a :spock:Rumsfeld has been engaged in a long-running internal debate with top Army brass about the value of heavy armor and other "relics" of the cold war. Rumsfeld is convinced that the army of the future should be heavily dependent on light, mobile troops.

Here's one article discussing these internal debates.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2002/021129-sbct.htm

"Rumsfeld, a former Navy aviator, has presented a clear, if controversial, vision of modern warfare, one that uses fewer infantrymen and relies more on precision airstrikes and on small groups of special operation soldiers. He has sought cuts to fund an elaborate missile-defense system, unmanned planes and satellite-guided bombs.

Army leaders, who still insist that some military engagements will require large ground battles, have grown increasingly alarmed about what role their service plays in Rumsfeld's vision. "

edit: I note that I haven't see anything on this lately (i.e. within the last year or so) so maybe Rummy's position on the Army and need for at least some heavy equipment has changed. I have no idea.