Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Stephen Clay, Iroquois in Iraq 98th DIV MiTT good pdf file has APR 4th Described from MiTT Cadre view


I am trying to get the exact MiTT team Cadres designations that the 278th RCT worked with at FOB Caldwell/KMTB side. This is a lenghty PDF written by the guy listed in the title block of this blog post. Link included. They were ASTs at BN level at KMTB, page 118 on pdf link. I have yet to figure out where the Iraqi and MiTT/BN ASTs unit designations split, for example 6th BN for the BN or 2BN AST at KMTB/FOB Caldwell, the sign in our group photo said 2BN? The Iraqi Army was the 1BDE of 5th DIV, I thought our IA company was designated, 4Co/2BN/1BDE/5th DIV but really do not know to this day other than the Company and Battalion of course, 2th BN for the AST does not tell BDE/DIV designation so is confusing. They also renamed Iraqi Army units while we were there.

Page 127 in the document describes the organization of the Iraqi 5th Division KMTB/FOB Caldwell AO. Major Curwen had the AST at KMTB when we, 1/278th RCT, began MiTTs. Page 149 in the actual document lists the name of a Navy Corpsman, which may have been the guy who was with the MiTT/BN ASTs at KMTB, standing out as the only Navy guy around on FOB Caldwell/KMTB. They describe fighting around a water treatment plant, the ASTs/MiTTs worked with the USMC in other AOs so I sure there was more than one corpsman, but not at KMTB, there was just one. This is probably a different water treatment plant than the one in Balad ruz where we had a gunfight of some sort. Reading on you can see that the 278th RCT and the MiTT cadre did not see eye to eye on 278th security measures. Major Curwen is quoted on page 151, he changed his attitude some once he got a dose of us, 1/278th Troopers page 153. I remember Major Curwen also left early due to an injury or something, SFC Porier made the best impression on me personally but I had little to do with the MiTT cadre other than SFC Leach, who was pissed after APR 4th when SSG Dill was killed (the firefight is decribed in this pdf and I inserted the link on the APR 4th account below, LT Hancock's). Getting my ass chewed by their TOP for shooting M203 rounds at one of the big ranges was about the only other interaction I had other than with SFC Leach, who also chewed our asses regularly. I usually signed the range out but did not one time and it was on a normal day, we always went on Fridays at 2PM when it was 120 degrees out and prayer day for the Iraqi army, but this day did not, I had gotten to cocky and forgot I was a SPC, TOP made it clear what my exact rank was and standing in relation to my duties, a least he did not bitch slap me like Major Ali (ING) would have one of his men. The 7.62mm machinegun range was in operation and Teed into the RPG range so we hugged the big berm behind an M1114 and shot the M203 rounds. Safe in reality but not real smart when everyone was out and about and shooting, protocol/proceedures not cowboy Bob at the ok corral was the method when people were watching.

Anyone that has read anything in military history knows when you put a bunch of locals into the mix there are "spys", it happened in Korea/Vietnam extensively, and also is well documented. So of course we did not trust anyone if our asses were on the line in any way. The security was crazy as any Iraqi that wanted to walk over to our side could easily do so, but all of them knew not to and had more sense than to. The intent was exactly as Major Curwen perceived, stay the hell out of our AO without permission or invitation. That message was received and had nothing to do with our future relations with the Iraqi Army once on MiTTs. Then we could build trust and actually knew who we were dealing with. Did SF let anyone in their compound during Vietnam at Fort Campbell? It was their turf and everyone knew it. Our AO was our turf and within the overall AO you had your own Company/Platoon/Sections turf. They had guys (Iraqis) living in the buildings that were not used when we went through them with the 101st ABN to inspect them and nobody knew it. It was smart to let the IA know that it was off limits to come mingle. The same applied to us we did not mingle with them, heck you cannot even put the 101st and 82nd together in our own army if in garrison. MiTTs were the exceptions.

The 98th DIV (institutional) were great at training basic trainees, laying out an overall plan, and at institutional approaches but as far as the operational Infantry companies went were not doing what was needed, lack of resources, the Iraqis themselves, and time constraints played into this problem. They had no battle handover where they passed them on to operational American units to combine patrols with and associate with. Conversely a small number of Americans stuck into their units would be seen as "tattle tales" to our superiors by some. So in the end the Iraqis will be declared ready and let go in charge of themselves more or less. They did not get the point, it is about kicking ass in the Infantry during training, hard training, I personally thought we needed to be looking foward in time when the IA would have to take down a militia element in a real fight that would be rifle on rifle, man on man, not just the AIF/insurgents scattered about, that fight has not occurred yet either in their defense so I may be wrong, but not on the issue of tough training, it is always good. They sure did nothing in Fallujah, we did and got killed for them doing it. Look at Fallujah satellite photo below and tell me how many Iraqi Army boundries you see in the graphic, none, now there were Iraqis around but they did not do the actual beat down.

definition of CMATT/article


MNSTC-I defined/official website

www.lulu.com/content/1728037 is my ebook and has my opinon on the matters of training an operational Iraqi Company/Platoon.