Friday, February 29, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
A visit from the General
When we first arrived at Phoenix Academy [the location where Military Transition Teams receive their final training] we had a couple of distinguished visitors drop by. First, LTG Austin, the commander of Multinational Corps Iraq, came by and gave us his take on the fight, as well as his priorities for the year. Then we had GEN Petraeus stop in and go straight to Q&A.
I was the first person he pointed to and solicited a question from…
I didn’t hold back either. I point blank asked him if the Iraqi logistics system was broken. He said it wasn’t, but that it did need help to keep improving. He pointed out that you can turn out a rifleman or even a rifle company in a reasonable amount of time, but logisticians and leaders that understand and appreciate logistics take much longer
Fair enough, otherwise we wouldn’t be here.
GEN Petraeus also gave an amazing summary of where we had been and where we were. I like to think I was reasonably kept informed, and I was a bit startled. But he said he wasn’t doing any victory dances in the endzone right now. We face an increasingly desperate enemy who has shown they can adapt at the tactical level, and will resort to anything in order to intimidate, kill or destroy. But our progress was undeniable – and he mentioned that he wasn’t selling sunshine, he was selling reality.
He also made a couple of humorous cracks on himself about testifying in front of Congress – good to see in a 4 star officer.
One of his final points was on dealing with the press. He told us we just had to do two things; tell the truth – good or bad, and get the story out there, soonest. He showed a close grasp of how the news cycle works, for TV especially so.
All in all, a very thought provoking event.
Monday, February 25, 2008
The Man with the Hardest Job in the World
SGMA Adel is probably the best of the old Iraqi Army's NCOs, and he joined the new Iraqi security forces as soon as possible in 2003. It is clear that he wants to serve his country and her army.
In answering questions, he made it clear that our Transition Teams assistance would be invaluable to him. OK, SGMA Adel, I'm in.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Army Strong Music
Monday, February 18, 2008
Baghdad Word for the Day
Update: "All Clear"
Update 2: also, Rockets. Early this morning.
UPDATE 3: Damn. 2 WIA, 5 Iraqis killed and 14 civilians wounded. Some got close enough to give us a good loud sample, but nothing worse.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Kuwaiti Range Hazards
Friday, February 15, 2008
Update from Kuwait
I have to give the Camp I am at an "A" for just about everything. We had some good follow-up training, the food is terrific and the tents have AC/Heat. The showers only conked out once so far too. I guess the fact that I am posting on this site tells you that there is internet to be had as well.
Hopefully I will be able to update from Iraq. Soon.