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TA role in Iraq

#1
From the Times 26 Feb:

*About 12,000 British reservists have served in Iraq since Operation
Telic began two years ago
*The Territorial Army has not made up fighting units


Anyone care to comment?
 
#3
Only available to subscribers to Timesonline so I'll try and paste it in. Wait out.
 
#4
Here's the full article. It's mostly about the National Guard.

AN OVERWEIGHT smoker from Boise, Idaho, Calvin Haines, 48, former
dairyman and defence worker, did not enjoy his preparations for war
in Iraq.
A longtime member of the Idaho National Guard, he was familiar with
the three week summer camp and one weekend a month commitment that
the service involved, but was taken aback to find himself called up
and embroiled in combat training at Fort Bliss, Texas, last summer.
"It smoked me," he recalled at Firebase Crazyhorse in Kirkuk,
northern Iraq. "All the body armour, helmets, ammo and stuff. I lost
20lb. Those first weeks were really tough. I really didn't want to
go. And my wife didn't like it at all. She was in denial saying 'It's
not gonna happen'. Well -it happened."
Part of the 42nd Infantry Division, Haines is a member of the first
National Guard division to be deployed on active service overseas
since the Korean War. The Guardsmen, civilians with military training
similar to the British Territorial Army (though one cynical British
observer recently remarked that they make the TA look like the SAS)
started to arrive in Iraq at the end of last year, taking over from
the US 1st Infantry Division.
The handover and transfer of command was completed last Monday, and
the firemen, doctors, lawyers, students and farmers of the 42nd now
patrol a slice of territory the size of West Virginia in the centre
and north of the country, where 135 of their predecessors were killed
and more than 1,000 wounded.
Deployed to alleviate the pattern of tour extensions for
overstretched regular units in Iraq, the guardsmen's average age of
33 is one of the most noticeable features distinguishing them from
professional troops.
At Firebase Crazyhorse, a cramped, rundown former Baathist villa in
Kirkuk, the oldest soldier in Haines's company-sized unit, "Echo
Troop", is 56.
About 30 per cent have previous regular military service and have
served overseas but for many Iraq is their first experience of a
foreign land.
The conditions have been an unappealing surprise. Firebase
Crazyhorse was experiencing its sixth day without showers, though a
fountain in the tawdry garden functioned as a tantalising reminder of
what the men were missing, and the dirt and cramped conditions were
not popular.
"It's my first time overseas," said Staff Sergeant Patterson, 36,
from Montana.
"In fact, it's almost my first time out of the state. I'd never even
seen the Atlantic before. Iraq is a lot more dirty than I expected.
The trash in the streets, the garbage, the plumbing -it's a bit of a
shock."
The age factor and civilian mindset of some contribute to the
occasional faux pas: one middle-aged warrior remembered halfway
through his patrol of Kirkuk that he had left his rifle on his bunk.
Many of Echo Troop had seen action in Baqubah, an insurgent
stronghold, and likened their performance there to that of a
semi-retired football professional playing with a college team:
"Everyone thinks he's an old guy but then they realise he can still
pack some weight," one sergeant remarked.
Some, including Haines, were happy to be serving in Iraq, but for
other, older soldiers the trade-off for leaving their families, home
and civilian life for war in Iraq was a straight reflection of the
financial need of the American poor.
"I joined up because I just looked at my life and the jobs I'd
done," said Specialist Vernon Reynolds, a 42-year-old timber worker.
"I had no retirement benefits. Now I'm eligible for a veteran's
pension. I got seven years left in the Guard. Who knows -maybe I'll
see Iran, or Iraq again.
Whatever. In a firefight, age don't matter so much as long as you
can duck and cover. We're a little slower but we get the job done."
* PART OF THE JOB
*About 12,000 British reservists have served in Iraq since Operation
Telic began two years ago
*The Territorial Army has not made up fighting units
*900 part-time soldiers, most from the TA, will start a six-month
tour of duty in April
*By then, 40 per cent of the reservists will have been to Iraq or
served in an Operation Telic post
*Service reserve units are more than 10,000 short of required
manpower
*About 25 TA soldiers have returned from Iraq to find they have lost
their civilian jobs
 
#5
The Territorial Army has not made up fighting units
Most the TA lads who went at the actual war fighting phase were attached to the regs as opposed to going out in a TA only unit after the fighting phase has finished (ie Force protection as a whole TA Platoon).
This statment is misleading in the sense that it makes your average civi who isnt "in the know" believe that no one from the TA served in a "fighting unit" which isnt true
 
#7
Even as an ex reg I find the insinuation that no one from the STABS served in a fighting unit offensive.

Isn't it great how the press can denigrate the efforts and sacrifices made by the TA with one simple headline?

Of course the TA are all gay walts, but my point stands :wink:
 
#13
But you have to be in it to win it!

Anyway it is all the fashion now in this new army.
 
#14
Theres nothing wrong with dressing up on tuesday nights and every other weekend, sometimes we even get to wear make-up... :oops:
 
#15
Sorry to be dull but 131 (Cdo) Sqn RE (V) had a war role.

They where told that they where going to clear the beaches on an opposed beach landing, instantly nicknamed OP. CERTAIN DEATH until the headshed found out.

Sounds nails to me.
 
#16
brewmeister said:
The Guardsmen, civilians with military training
similar to the British Territorial Army (though one cynical British
observer recently remarked that they make the TA look like the SAS)
started to arrive in Iraq at the end of last year, taking over from
the US 1st Infantry Division.
So in comparison we look far more professional but only trusted in formations as large as a field hospital?

If I had a choice of joining either organisation (TA or ANG). I'd pick ANG nearly everytime: better equipment, better role, better employer/employee support?, mobilised with ur mates, better family support?

Recruit training lasts a lot longer but I'm not sure if it makes the basic ANG soldier better then the TA equivalent.
 
#17
"If I had a choice of joining either organisation (TA or ANG). I'd pick ANG nearly everytime: better equipment, better role, better employer/employee support?, mobilised with ur mates, better family support? "

Hey, Polar, you missed out better REGULAR support too.
 
#18
stabtastic said:
Hey, Polar, you missed out better REGULAR support too.
That was in post number 1 :!:

Seriously, I wouldn't be happy to goto Iraq as the TA role stands, maybe when I was younger with no family, less experienced and with less rank but now my priorities are now so different.
Going to Iraq doing a job that someone from lower ranks could do, probably something menial/dull and worrying about family back home, it just doesn't add up.
I'm fine with my units main role (CCRF support), it gets the old grey matter going, regs leave us alone, makes me feel confident that TA can do the job, enjoy seeing everyone again, etc etc
Pity the Bde ex's are so few...
 
#19
I should have added, when I was in the Inf I was doing something very different to my normal job - after SDR I wasn't. Now I'm probably more experienced in my area than a lot of my regular counterparts.
 
#20
CCRF is bone. Complete waste of time. Just a sop to appease the press. If you relish this role become a retained firefighter or hobby-bobby instead.

TA Infantry in Iraq did have a combat role. Ask the lads in the defence of Cimic House in Al-Amarah in May 2004. Without showing out my unit also had a "challenging time" last year and I look forward to going again. Either back to the GIFA or anywhere else my country chooses to send me. I joined to soldier. I realise there are more than teeth arms in the army, but I'm just not interested....sorry!

Also Aunty Stella I've always maintained givers are not gay, just short on opportunity. Anything Ex is just that, yesterday's man, sad chuntering and stinking of p*ss.

Fuse set retire to a safe distance. Fi Mani Allah.
 

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