Sunday, April 15, 2007

Perspective: Stretched thin, Army turns to the Air Force to fill in

Airmen at Camp Bullis, Texas hone the combat skills they will need for duties in Iraq.

CAMP BULLIS – A row of rumbling flatbed trucks and Humvees outfitted with gun turrets lurches toward a mock village of cinderblock buildings where instructors posing as insurgents wait to test the trainees' convoy protection skills.

The training range is Army, as is the duty itself – one of the most dangerous in Iraq these days. But the young men and women clad in camouflage and helmets training to run and protect convoys are not Army; they're Air Force.

They are part of a small but steady stream of airmen being trained to do Army duty under the Army chain of command, a tangible sign the Pentagon was scouring the military to aid an Iraq force that was stretched long before President Bush ordered 21,500 additional U.S. troops there.

Read the rest at the Killeen Daily Herald