American Tours extended 3 months

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by crabby, Apr 11, 2007.

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  1. Just saw/heard that tours are to be extended from up to 12 months to up to 15months in the sandpit and stan.
    Could our american friends out there enlighten me as to how long a normal tour is? 12 months seems excessive in the extreme given usual tour length here is 6 months is it not? (return time at disrection of crab air...)
  2. Not a Yank but the standard with regular United States forces has always been 12 months. I am not certain about National Guard and Reserve units.
  3. Doesn't the 12 months contains the pre-deployment training as well back in the U S of A?
  4. I'm not a Yank, but I thought the their tour were 13 month including pre-deployment trg. Marines are different, IIRC they do 7 or 9 month tours. NG and Reserves with the Army are also doing their 13 or should I say 16 months tours as well.

    I think that the Ohio NG is affected by the decision, their governor or senator was deeply concerned about it when he interviewed yesterday on NPR.

    Talk about overstretch; the US Military is as stretched if not more than ours. I have to say that Morale and support for these enduring operations is still pretty good, from what I see and hear around the unit I am with.

    As an aside, my local Marine NG unit came home from IZ last week. On their return, their route was lined with friends, family and Civ Pop. The town is neither redneck nor staunchly republican; it was telling that so many people came out to see their return. There is a huge amount of goodwill & support the troops irrespective of what may or may not think about Bush.

    I'm amazed by the positive comments I get from people when I am off base in uniform. I was with my wife at the doctors and Korea Vet thanked me for my effort and my countries support, it is embarrassing as he very proudly waved away my praise/acknowledgement for those who served in Korea.
  5. Tour length depends on branch of service.

    Army has been doing 12-months-on-the-ground as standard, both for regular army and reserves. Thus, my reserve mobilisation actually clocked up somewhere aroung 16 months combining spin-up and spin-down with the on-the-ground time. There's a 2.5 week R&R gap in there, plus often a four-day jaunt to Qatar. In practise, a number of units have had their 12-month tours extended by a while, though due to a quirk in law it also means that troops get an extra grand a month after that point.

    Uncle Sam's Misguided Children have been generally doing 7-month tours, I think without the R&R break in the middle. Advantages are that people aren't away from home for as long. Disadvantages are that it becomes your turn again far more quickly, and new Marine units who don't know the area or people rotate in more frequently with the accompanying 'learning time'.

    Zoomies have the shortest tours of all, averaging about 4 months. The 'know the area' issue isn't much of an issue as they don't meet with the locals much either.
    I remember sitting in the chow hall one day, striking up a conversation with my winged brethren, who were approaching the end of their tour. They were commenting how they were rotating out after their three months, but their replacements had it bad: They were staying for four. I had been in theatre for five, with seven to go. They shut up when I remarked on this.

    The latest guidance on reservists is that their total mobilisation time will be 12 months. They're shortening drastically the spin-up time (which is a good thing, because (a) most of us have been there once already, and (b) the check-list last time I mobilised hadn't been updated since the cold War), so you're looking at about 10, 10.5 months boots on the ground for a reserve unit.

    Note on above post: No such thing as "Marine NG" All Marines, including Reserves, are purely federal forces.

  6. California_Tanker, a question if I may. How is morale holding up amongst US ground troops, particularly NG?Reserve units and those going for third tours, etc?
  7. I havent seen issues pertaining to morale. The NG and Reservists are very dedicated people who see serving in the sand box as helping to make a difference. Twelve thousand NG/Reservists have been notified that they will be deploying to Iraq in December. The Guard just hit its end strength of 350,000 first time since Sept 03.

    • 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Little Rock, Ark. The 39th BCT last deployed as part of the 1st Cavalry Division from February 2004 to February 2005, serving in Baghdad and Taji, Iraq.

    • 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma City. The 45th more recently served in Afghanistan, deploying in the fall of 2003 to support the Afghan National Army.

    • 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Columbus, Ohio. The 37th’s last deployment was to Kosovo, from August 2004 to February 2005. This will be the brigade’s first deployment as a modular brigade combat team formation.

    • 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Indianapolis. The 76th has had various elements of its brigade deployed since November 2002 to Iraq and Afghanistan. Its last brigade-level rotation was May 2004 to August 2005 in Afghanistan.
  8. Makes 6 months seem fine, or does 6 months make 15 look really really siht.
  9. Difficult to say, as I'm not really a frequent visitor to Regular Army facilities.

    The impression I'm getting off other web boards is that even the most die-hard Republican in the Army has figured out by now that the people in charge have screwed up. Not so much because of the original concept of the jaunt, but because this operation has been made a hell of a lot more difficult than it should have been. Worse, this whole Democrat/Republican thing isn't helping: The troop consensus seems to be that we could still avoid a humiliating, tail-between-our-legs departure from the area, but that the people at home aren't going to give us the time needed to sort things out.

    On a personal level, of course the troops aren't incredibly keen on leaving house and home for a year at a time. The practical difference of these 15-month rotations, though, is difficult to determine: 15-month tours are not new, many units have done them so far. Indeed, back in our 04-05 tour, the standing joke was "Only another four months left... unless extended." The difference was that prior to now, they were always advertised as 12-month-tours, with all sorts of angst caused when people are told "Yeah, you were going to be back in March, but now it's June." This does have the benefit of just being upfront and honest. At least, as long as the 15-month tours don't get extended!

    On the unit level, i.e. once people are over there, morale is as good as you could reasonably expect. Once you get beyond the expected "I miss my wife, kid, pet iguana" problem, ignore the political infighting at home, and focus on the job, I'd go as far as to say it's very good. We just wish it had been done right the first time, so we wouldn't be going back yet again.

  10. I still keep in touch with my old mates in my final unit. They're deploying again in the next few weeks. They received the same brief we always used to get. Going for 12 months, but expect 15. Drawing from my own experiences, twelve month rotations are obviously draining. We did 12, had 16 off and then did another 12. I remember coming back thoroughly exhausted from the whole experience. I took 6 months off before even bothering to find a job in civvie street. I know of many who rotated back into Iraq after only being Stateside for 3 months.

    On the political front. I WAS of the opinion that to draw troops out before the job was done would cheapen the ultimate sacrifice that many have made already. But with my 20/20 hindsight I see that I was in error. They made the sacrifice doing their duty, and fulfilling their obligations to the oath they took. To bring the troops home now, IMHO, would not cheapen that in any way. Bring em home, if Iraq wants a chance at democracy, or God forbid peace, then it's something THEY should be willing to do. Well done to all who were involved!

    Apologies for getting off thread a bit. Had a sudden urge to say my piece and then grab my coat.

  11. I watched this with a growing air of incredulity - how can America show so little support for its Army ? Why has no US politician got the stones to stand up and say:

    It's a war;
    It needs money so we need tax rises;
    It needs soldiers so we're doubling/tripling (or more) the Army;
    If we don't get the volunteers hello Mr Draft.

    Seriously, why ? Does America think domestic tax rates are more important than soldiers lives and winning in Iraq ? Why does no-one apply some intellectual rigour into the real implications of "supporting the troops" ?

    I know it's the same here in the UK, but that's because the Labour Party is a bunch of lefty cnuts who hate the military.
  12. One American troop in Iraq was quoted as saying "We are at war, but America is at the mall"

  13. How the hell are you lads supposed to keep a relationship or marriage going, 15 months away is a disgrace especially if you have kids. POOR SODS. Do you get any flights back to US in that time.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. There's a 15-day R&R in the middle. The clock starts when you get off the military airplane in Dallas, Baltimore or Frankfurt, and the 15 days are up when you report back to that same airport.

    When we got to Doha in Kuwait, we filled out a form basically saying "OK. Where do you want to get off, and where is your final destination", and they got tickets for us the next day. (next-day tickets aren't cheap, by the way).

    There appears to be no limit to your choice. Although Home Station for me is San Francisco, I wrote down "Drop me off at Frankfurt, fly me to Vienna." Met my now-wife in Austria, and spent a two-week vacation in Europe. Spoke with two other people who got off the airplane in Frankfurt with me, one was of Lithuanian descent, so he was hopping on a flight to Vilnius to see his old family there, and the other guy didn't have any family at all, but fancied a vacation in Ibiza, so he asked for a ticket there. (It was June). Quite a few people I know did what I did, and had family meet them in Germany, then vacation around Europe.

    Next time I go back, I'm going to ask for Melbourne, Australia for my R&R. I mean, hell, if the Army's paying...

  15. Will that be extended(R&R) any more days now the tours extended do you think - hope the wife has coped ok.