Friday, June 22, 2007

Navy to ease augmentees into assignments

Above and Left: Navy Individual Augmentees go through combat training. Sometimes known as 'sand sailors', Individual Augmentees (IAs) are basically Navy personnel who either volunteer or are involuntarily transferred to work with the Army in combat duty. There are approximately 13,000 sailors serving in IA billets, split between active duty and reserve components. The majority of IAs serve in Iraq or Afghanistan. In order to accomplish the transition from sailor to soldier, they go through a shortened version of combat basic training and learn Army tactics and doctrines, and train on the various weapons they will use in theater as well as patrol techniques, land navigation, and urban assault.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy plans to ease sailors into future individual augmentee assignments instead of plucking them from their regular assignments before their tour is complete...

Until now, sailors could be assigned IA duty at any point in their career, meaning they could be pulled out of their assignment midtour to fill billets in support of ground troops, said Cmdr. Jim Simpson, of Task Force Individual Augmentee...

Now the Navy wants to select sailors to fill such billets when they are at the end of their tours and talking to their detailers about their next permanent-change-of-station move, he said...

This is the first phase of the Navy’s plan to make IA duty part of sailors’ career plans, he said.

Read the rest at Stars and Stripes

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