November 25, 2003


The Army's new armored vehicle, the Stryker has been very controversial. Critics, including Donald Rumsfeld, say it's overpriced, overweight, and I don't know what all. It's hard to know what credence to give the criticisms, especially since I remember similar things being said about Bradlys and M1 Tanks, both of which turned out to be superb.

So I'm very interested in how the Stryker Brigade does in Iraq. They have an embedded journalist too. He's said nothing interesting yet about the vehicles, but this, about the training our guys are getting when they deploy, is fascinating.

....Troops from the brigade's 296th Brigade Support Battalion have spent the last several days in classroom and field training on Camp Udairi's barren ranges just south of the Iraqi border.

Instructors from a private military contractor, Military Professional Resources Inc., talk to soldiers about the most recent tactics employed by insurgents in Iraq. They suggest ways to respond. And the soldiers get live-fire training, in which they shoot on the move at targets that come at them from nearly all directions.

"It was an eye-opener," Love said. "I expected to see IEDs (improvised explosive devices) in piles of rocks, but I didn't expect MRE boxes, or soda cans, or some of the other things they were telling us."....

....Pugh said he's been working with the Army at Udairi for a few months. All units on their way to Iraq get the convoy training, and many units that have been in Iraq for months are being sent down for the sessions, too, he said.

"We've had a couple of Guard and Reserve units come through here who've lost a couple soldiers to IEDs. They say, 'Why didn't we get this training before we deployed?' and that's a good question," Pugh said.....

When you read in the NYT that the Embed Program is over, you are reading lies.

Posted by John Weidner at November 25, 2003 8:14 AM
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