TA role in Iraq

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by brewmeister, Apr 16, 2005.

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  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?
  2. Any link to the full article?
  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
    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."
    *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
    *About 25 TA soldiers have returned from Iraq to find they have lost
    their civilian jobs
  5. 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
  6. Hardly TA.....the article is American.
  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:
  8. And I've just seen LWM's post which casts a different light on it, but I stand by my comments.

    The TA are all gay walts :D
  9. You must have some photos somewhere Aunty......your collection is fabled! :D
  10. Does this mean we are all straight men pretending to be gay?
  11. Quite a good conundrum, I may have been outfoxed there. Allow me to drink more and then formulate my response, which I daresay, will be b0llocks.
  12. Or part time homosexuals, 2 hours a week on a tuesday night mincing about, then prancing around one weekend a month! Superrrr! :lol:
  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.