Skip to comments.Troops Tours In Iraq Will Be 15 Months
Posted on 04/11/2007 12:15:00 PM PDT by Froufrou
The Pentagon will lengthen tours of duty for all active-duty Army units in Iraq to 15 months from the current 12 months as the military struggles to supply enough troops for the conflict, two defense officials said Wednesday.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates planned to announce the decision Wednesday afternoon, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.
It is the latest move by the Pentagon to cope with the strains of fighting two wars simultaneously and maintaining a higher troop level in Iraq as part of President Bush's revised strategy for stabilizing Baghdad.
Officials on Monday said some 13,000 National Guard troops were receiving orders alerting them to prepare for possible deployment to Iraqmeaning a second tour for several thousand of them. Officials said a final decision to deploy the four infantry combat brigades later this year will be based on conditions on the ground and named specific Guard units based in Arkansas, Indiana, Oklahoma and Ohio.
The Pentagon said the Guard units would serve as replacement forces in the regular troop rotation for the war, and would not be connected to the controversial military buildup that was ordered by President Bush and which officials say is starting to show some success in curbing violence in Baghdad.
Word has also emerged that Defense Department officials were considering a plan to extend by up to four months the tours of duty for as many as 15,000 U.S. troops already in Iraq as a way to maintain the buildup past the summer.
There are currently 145,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, and when the buildup is completed by June, there would be more than 160,000, officials are calculating.
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...
God Bless you both and thanks to your family members who serve. My precious daughter is on the USS Boxer in the Persian Gulf.
This is a bad new policy.
They could get more voluntary months if the Troops got more breaks from serving over in that sheitehole.
Who the heck is designing this strategy?
You’re talking in macro terms. I’m talking about the individual soldier or marine walking down the street not knowing whether the next car or bump in the road is an IED or not.
To these guys patrolling, this is no small deal.
What worries me the most is not mentioned yet:
We won't forget.
It sucks for some of the small reasons.....but in the bigger picture 90% of the guys know their presence there for additional 3 months is necessary and worth it.
They're embracing the suck.....while changing the world.
How many times does it have to be said, the peace dividend cuts started under GHWB and would have continued under who ever was elected in 92. It’s irrelevant anyway. Clinton has not been the Commander (in chief) for over six years.
Is President Bush not responsible for the last six years?
This will be hard on active duty families back here waiting for their loved ones safe return.
We sure need to expand the active duty Army ASAP.
That’s what I said, post #46.
Prayers for all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and hopefully the three months will give the ending a chance to be successful so their sacrifice is not in vein.
Maybe the draft should come back. I was actually part of Desert Storm [civilian] but I don’t remember any early outs being discussed.
Boy, I have to say that after reading some of the cavalier statements about having troops’ tours extended by 3 months being “no big deal”, I’m a little taken aback.
We want to win this war and support the President’s iniatives. We want our troops to get the support and funding that they need, despite the anti American leftists in Congress as well. But I don’t think our troops would appreciate the cavalier attitudes. They are sacrificing their lives and limbs, sometimes their ability to think. They are sacrificing their time with their children and families. Perhaps strategy wise it is the precisely correct thing to do. However, remember that these volunteers are people too...spending 25% more time in a tough counterinsurgency war will see people who were coming back whole and alive - instead comeback maimed and dead. No small deal in my opinion.
Their sacrifices will not be forgotten unless our leaders don’t do something they think might work and if they think 3 months is that chance then I expect it will be embraced. Right now there are units being deployed early or extending with no continuity and maybe this will give it some.
I don’t think you have any idea how big of a deal this is. It chips away at morale. Sure, most will suck it up, but this has devastating effects on families who miss two Christmases or two birthdays or two of anything in a row. More and more in the military it is being heard, “why are just a few of us bearing the increased load.”
“Maybe the draft should come back. “
I lived for awhile in a country that had compulsory military service. one good thing about it, you never heard of people picketing soldiers or spitting on them. it’s a little hard to be rude to soldiers, when you’ve been in their boots.
It’s keyboard warrior Wednesday.
Your advice is absurd. Building relationships, understanding your AO and systematically implementing your greater operations orders takes time. It takes time on the ground. Plain and simple.
People need to understand we are in a war. A real war.
Well, I guess that wasn’t Switzerland! Or France!
I thanked a young friend’s husband recently for his service. He looked me right in the eye and nodded. But then he said, ‘not every soldier is deserving of your gratitude.’
That’s hard for me to accept even though I know why he said it. That ‘code of honor’ wasn’t intended for Marines only.
And families back home need to stand firm and support their warriors why they are away. Not whine and cry and help to erode their chances for victory! (which we are achieving!). Our warriors are not victims. They should not be looked at as such....and damn well not turned into them....by others in the name of supporting them.
Yep, one of my best friends, a formerly promotable Major, was with a USAF ICBM Wing at Minot AFB. In 1992, when his silo was closed down and sealed, he was given a choice, USAF Human Resources (a dead end job) or voluntary separation after twelve years of service. He took the voluntary separation and became a school teacher. He is still ticked off that USAF killed his career because of the so-called “Peace Dividend.”
BRACs 88 and 91 started the process.
Excellant post! I’m sure my nephew’s a little disappointed that he will not be coming home in Sept., but he’ll do what he has to do!
No one was calling early deployments a big deal nor the units that have already extended a big deal but now that there is policy that makes extensions by 3 months throughout all active deployments it’s a big deal. I’m sure all the professionals will drive on despite this extension but I think to make 3 extra months the subject over mission has the potential to cause problems with morale. The 3 months extensions is designed to give continuity to all actively deployed troops and prevent the Army from breaking.
The guard should only have been being used while they raised new divisions to replace them. If they had wanted to offer them bonuses to go active duty, that would have been ok to. I just sometimes get the feeling that the Army get’s too focused on new and better ways to kill the enemy and not enough on finding and training enough trigger fingers for those wonder weapons.
Yeah man, as you say, “no big deal”.
Perhaps it is. I only know for sure that the long deployments were quite trying on this particular family. Extending them further is not at all comforting.
"Building relationships, understanding your AO and systematically implementing your greater operations orders takes time. It takes time on the ground. Plain and simple."
There is another side to that coin though. Spreading the deployment times around might be better for morale all around. Especially in the light of our seriously undermanned military. (I think that it is understaffed.) I think that is worth consideration.
As for the war situation...sometimes I wonder if you and I are the only ones who actually realize that.
Nice to see you around again.
Sure, what's another 3 months in a war zone between friends? /sarcasm
I'd say it IS a big deal, but they still have to suck it up and deal with it. I would just like it better if I saw the government taking the necessary actions to correct the gap between available troops and deployment days.
Base closings, right? I think 88 was the year they closed Bergstrom in Austin.
It is a big deal if one wants to make it a big deal.
Just a general comment but I have seen many families ripped apart by the strains of deployment. From a family point of view we should be concerned about the sheer number of broken homes being created.
I would push for more overlap and shortened deployments because husbands, wives and kids are every bit a part of the military just like the deployed soldier, sailor, or marine.
If they break under the strain so does the deployed soldier.
I wish the government could get back on rotational track but because the Army has rotated some units 3 times in 4 years it’s going to take at least 4 rotations of an additional 3 months to get back on track. Hopefully by then there will be the additional forces also available.
As for the war situation...sometimes I wonder if you and I are the only ones who actually realize that.
Sometimes I wonder right along with you here. But I believe if we could get a relentless effort put out by the WH/RNC (and more importantly Civ 527s) which focused 100% on this WOT/Iraq....focused on our successes....On why we are in this fight....On why we must stay in this fight.....We would see the publics mood turn around 180 in a very short time frame.
There may be some discontent for the WOT/Iraq out there....but it is one of those "mile wide but an inch deep" type situations.....Peoples attitudes could be changed in a short time frame if the efforts were put forth. Why this isn't happening is beyond me.
Best regards to you.......I will say first and foremost soldiers concerns are that they want to be victorious before that of they want to come home....simply for the sake of coming home.
Just like hangnails when they pinch my pinkies. I think this is somewhat of a bigger deal than that. If you were getting ready to come home for Memorial Day and just found out today that it's like the end of the (incredibly crappy Iraqi) summer, I think it would be a little bit of a bigger deal to you as well. Especially if you were getting shot at during that incredibly crappy Iraqi summer.
“The 3 months extensions is designed to give continuity to all actively deployed troops and prevent the Army from breaking.”
That much is clear.
What is NOT clear is how you are ‘measuring the increased risk,’ rb. Being a soldier is risky business whether we’re talking a minute or a day or a year. Morale is likewise fragile.
Anyone who believes the extra 3 months will mean s/he’s doomed does not have the mindset to serve to begin with.
Please convey to your son my highest praise and thanks for his service. It is a great thing he is doing.
If they miss Memorial Day I’ll buy them a beer on Labor Day but either way it will be the best and coldest I can get.
Not a big deal? How many tours in Iraq have you done? I've done 2, but since I'm a Marine mine were only 7 months. I can't imagine 15 months in a row. Not to mention, many of these guys will be on their 2nd, 3rd, 4th tour.
“Anyone who believes the extra 3 months will mean s/hes doomed does not have the mindset to serve to begin with.”
Anybody who thinks “it’s no big deal” to be in an active warzone and be extended from a 12 month to a 15 month tour, a quarter of your regularly scheduled tour, isn’t getting shot at.
My nephew does not feel he’s “doomed”, unless HillDog wins!
Did you hear about this?
Of course the families support their soldiers, and whether they “whine and cry” or not is their business. I’m talking about what it is doing to troops who are already finding themselves on repeated lengthening tours with shorter dwell times and no end in sight. It’s a recipe for collapse by any measurement, and it’s not a matter of ‘if,’ but a matter of ‘when.’
Agreed. It's obviously the dumbest move the voters have made in over half a century.
You say that as if you know what you're talking about. How do you know that?
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