Tuesday, February 27, 2007

2 Army units will forgo desert training in rush to Iraq

A Soldier from the 25th Infantry Division takes aim at an “insurgent” during the battle for Gahr Albai and Millawa Valley, a war game scenario at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin

WASHINGTON- Rushed by President Bush's decision to reinforce Baghdad with thousands more U.S. troops, two Army combat brigades are skipping their usual session at the Army's premier training range in California and instead are making final preparations at their home bases.

Some in Congress and others outside the Army are beginning to question the switch, which is not widely known. They wonder whether it means the Army is cutting corners in preparing soldiers for combat, since they are forgoing training in a desert setting that was designed specially to prepare them for the challenges of Iraq.

Army officials say the two brigades will be as ready as any others that deploy to Iraq, even though they will not have the benefit of training in counterinsurgency tactics at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., which has been outfitted to simulate conditions in Iraq for units that are heading there on yearlong tours.

Read the rest at the Denver Post

Related Link:
Report: Pace warns Congress of signifcant decline in military readiness, 'may take several years' to reverse

Related Link:
Perspective: In rush to surge, soldiers sent in with little training