I smell BS.
The whole thing sounds like a talking point memo
Well I know the guy that claimed that has been to Iraq a bunch serving in (I think) the Air Force, so he's not just some random DUmmie yelling talking points, he's been there in person. Do we have anyone here thats deployed to Iraq and in the Anbar Province?
The original post fails to define the timeframe from which he references.
A member from my church in the 1/24th spent 15 months in Anbar during the original passification of Fallujah. If the OP was referring to this time frame, his opinion very well may not be reality.
Here's my 2 cents on the subject, with a completely level headed honest view of what I've observed. Know that I'm posting this honestly and only commenting on what I know firsthand, not what I've heard.
I'm a Sgt in the US Marine Corps, currently deployed with HMH-363 in the Anbar Province. I was previously deployed here from March-October 2006 with another unit, HMH-463.
My unit is a Heavy Helicopter Squadron, we fly the CH-53D in support of whoever needs us for whatever mission we can accomidate. I've noticed substantial differences in our mission structure now as opposed to when I was here in 2006.
In 2006, we flew many of what we call "Angel Flights", where we're picking up a fallen serviceman from the field and bringing him/her back. It was incredibly depressing because we were flying these missions repeatedly the entire 7 month deployment. We haven't flown any on this deployment and we've currently been in Iraq 9 weeks.
Other differences in the country that I've noticed:
In '06 we were hit by Indirect Fire a total of 13 times on the base, which is the same base I'm at now. Currently this post hasn't had an Indirect Fire attack in over 14 months.
During the '06 deployment our helos observed people digging emplacements for IEDs along our main road in & out of base several times, most often along the same areas. So far we've observed no placement of IEDs.
In '06, we took small arms fire on almost every single flight. We limited our operations tempo to only fly at night and most nights still had tracer fire strafing the aircraft. Most of this was assorted small arms, AK-47s that people were just shooting at the noise of our rotor hoping to get lucky and hit us. We also encountered SAM (surface to air missle) fire 3 times, with our warning systems giving time to evade. As of today, my unit hasn't taken any fire during flight and simultaniously runs both night ops and daylight ops.
As far as the streets on a day to day basis, I'm not out on patrol so I don't see if the Iraqi Army is there in full force or not. I'm tasked to send one of my Marines to observe and identify the new Iraqi Army recruits for the next few weeks, I'll post more when I get a report from him on what he saw.
I do know this about our troop losses. When I was here in '06, we had an Infantry unit from my home base in Hawaii deploy at the same time we did. They lost 22 men during their 7 months here, serving in Ramadi, Fallujah & Haditha. The same unit returned from another deployment to Iraq shortly before I was deployed this time, they suffered 0 casualties during their 7 months.
I don't know for a fact that the Iraqi Army is fully up & ready to take over the job but I do know our whole mission structure has changed since the transfer of authority. Understand I can only post what I'm authorized to talk about online because of Operational Security. But based on everything I've witnessed with my own eyes, Anbar is far more stable then it's ever been before.
We know OPSEC well, Sergeant. Thank you...that clears a lot up.
Happy to help!
Honestly to me it sounds like the other post was by someone who's unhappy with coming to Iraq (I think I speak for anyone who's been here when I say who ISN'T unhappy with coming here?) or something like that.
I also know specifically from our main vehicle support unit that they've only encountered 2 IEDs in the past 6 months they've been here, whereas they had over 100 the last time they deployed. The Intel briefs we get largely confirm that violence is subdued for the most part, with occasions here or there where some whacko takes a pop shot at a patrol only to blend into a crowd of people because they know we can't shoot back.
For the most part things are a lot better then last time. I see no reason to believe the turnover we completed on the 1st was a fake or a hoax. We flew support to bring guys out of the field when the ceremony was going on and the radio chatter was insane, they had Super Cobras, Apaches and fixed wing support providing air cover for the entire thing.
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