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April 21, 2005

News you can use.

Continuing my self-designated role of DoD/Army News shill:

The Army re-invents Combat Lifesaving. Taking into account changes in technology, both medical and in personal protection, and applying the experience gained in the "COE" (mil-speak for Current Operating Environment) the basic First Aid training given to soldiers is being revamped. This is not your average Red Cross course - the RC course doesn't start out with (I know, I took it many years ago getting a Paramedic cert):

Pinned down under enemy fire with an injured buddy -- his leg blown off, his face a mass of blood -- a soldier should first squeeze in behind the wounded man, allowing his body to absorb the incoming bullets, then yank a tourniquet onto the bleeding stump. When there is a lull in the firing, he should drag his buddy to cover, jam a rubber tube down his nose and turn him on his side so he won't choke.

Read the whole thing by clicking here.

This looks a lot like the stuff Castle War Correspondent MSG Keith gets involved in!

It's a fact of life that long deployments - especially combat ones - can negatively affect your fitness, and not just (d-uh) due to hostile acts. Maintaining fitness can be a challenge. And the Army can sometimes be, well, dense about things, demanding PT tests right after returning from a longish sojourn somewhere awful. Kinda a "Welcome Home! You didn't think the BS was *over* did you?" kinda thing. So, there is a group of fitness nerds who sit around thinking things up like this. (For the record, I snark, but I don't think it's really all that bad an idea!)

Exploiting an improving relationship with the average Iraqi - troops make a bust. Still, it's bemusing to read this:

The Soldiers searched the west Baghdad house the local Iraqi tipster reported and found two sets of U.S. Desert Camouflage Uniforms, one rocket propelled grenade sight and terrorist propaganda.

This describes the Castle Library, being in a former bedroom with closet, old uniforms hang there in case military personnel system suffers a seizure and takes the Armorer up on his recall voluntarism. There is an RPG sight on the shelves (RPG is in the basement). And, because to know the enemy is to better understand and anticipate, bad guy propaganda resides on the computer, as well as in hard copy. Context is everything.

Not paid to do this kind of analysis - but agree with the contention that if they *truly* had one - they'd have used it by now. Doesn't mean they don't have the parts and are trying to get them into the same place to put it all together, however.

Hi tech, low tech, dog tech. All tools in the fight against mines.

To our friends Down Under: Thanks, mates!

And thanks to you guys, too:

BANGOR, Maine — Tired and bleary-eyed, Marines of the 1st Battalion, 7th Regiment, based at Twentynine Palms, Calif., were finally back on U.S. soil after seven months on the front lines in Iraq.

But they were still many miles and hours from their families and the homecoming they longed for. Their officers told them they would be on the ground for 60 to 90 minutes while their chartered plane was refueled.

So they disembarked and began walking through the airport terminal corridor to a small waiting room.

That's when they heard the applause.

Lining the hall and clapping were dozens of Bangor residents who have set a daunting task for themselves: They want every Marine, soldier, sailor and airman returning through the tiny international airport here to get a hero's welcome.

Even if the planes arrive in the middle of the night or a blizzard, they are there.

Read the rest by clicking here.

Some media mavens swim against the tide. Good on ya, Mrs. Pope!

Related to the above effort, the services have been slow to respond to the fact that it's been a long time since we've had to deal with a significant (16,000!) number of wounded, many requiring long-term assistance. While individual soldiers have stepped up in scattered locations to not just be noisy, but actively organize that support - DoD is finally coming on board. I work inside the Belly of the Beast, and having been here through the long period of relative peace and the now in the current period of heavy live OPTEMPO, I gotta admit I agree with many of the presenters at the "Future of the Army" conference - parts of DoD and the Services *don't* act as if we are at war. And I lay that blame squarely at the feet of the Generals and the Secretaries. It's their job, and however hard that aspect of it may be, I think they've *not* gotten their point across - they just assume it's understood. We're 4 years into this - two years since the invasion of Iraq - and this is just getting stood up. Heh. It's easy to sit here in my kitchen sipping coffee and kvetch - but, heh.

I really detested (and still do) these guys:

The Pentagon introduced proposed regulations yesterday aimed at preventing marketing practices that have exposed military personnel, especially recruits and junior officers, to high-pressure or deceptive sales pitches for insurance and other financial products.

No, not all of them - but enough of them, using (improperly, to my mind, if legal) their ranks (usually LTC/MSG/SGM) as a subtle hammer to influence troops to buy crap. Then get in my face as a commander when buyers remorse or other problems set in. First they call thinking I'm their friend - then they tried to pull (in the LTC's cases) their non-existant-rank-for-that-purpose on me. Fie on the weasels who prey on the inexperienced. Double-fie on those who wore the uniform and do so. This has been a long time coming as the lawyers for both sides wrangled.

John | Permalink | Comments (7) | Global War on Terror (GWOT) | Observations on things Military
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