UH60FtRucker
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UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 5:52 am

For the past month and a half, I've been away from Anet, because I was TDY in Iraq for a unique mission to work with Iraqi forces. The opportunity to partake in this mission came down quickly, and I accepted it immediately. Weeks prior to leaving, I learned that I was not going to be able to deploy to Iraq with my sister unit, this fall, as I had intended. Instead I will be going to the new UH-60M model transition course, in a few months. While I have a good chance of going to Afghanistan with the 101st Air Assault Division, I don't know when I will get another chance to fight in Iraq... so I jumped at the chance for this special mission.

It was only a few months since I was last in Iraq... but I have to be honest... some of the progress I witnessed was incredible.

For some time, a lot of people in the military - including myself - have repeatedly said that we've always needed MORE troops in Iraq. The summer surge has the current level at ~160,000 troops, most of them focused in and around Baghdad... where I spent the last 45 days. When General Patreaus was the commander of the 101st, he oversaw combat operations in the city of Mosul. He was able to dramatically reduce violence by mixing troops amongst the local population, utilizing local troop stations and small unit tactics. Now that he's the commander of the overall theater of operations, he's applying a very similar technique to the country, as a whole.

When I left Iraq back in April, I was ready to throw in the towel. Progress was nonexistent. The insurgency was maximizing their efforts in zones where our troop levels were weakest, and what opinions did we have? We could either move troops away from other areas (thus creating a void of strength where they left and open the door to new attacks in the void) or simply ignore the violence. Either option was unacceptable, and hindering any advancement we made. When I left, it felt like every step we were making towards success, would be followed by 5 step backward!

But when I returned most recently, I flew over one particular neighborhood that was a hotbed for violence and danger, only months earlier. But I was amazed that this same neighborhood had done a 180degree about face -- it was relatively quite and safe enough for locals to move about without fear of getting caught in the violence. And each day, I saw a new example of the progress we are making. I also saw that our response to instances of violence and terrorism were a lot quicker and harder. What I saw, was that we're making harder and harder for the bad guys to operate. In many respects, it was a different ballgame than it was back in April.

I'll be honest... I didn't think it possible. I was pretty disheartened when I came home a few months ago. But I am still worried. We have ~160,000 troops in Iraq, but to sustain that number, is going to be VERY difficult. Of the 38 Army brigades, all of them are either deployed, returning from a deployment, or preparing to deploy. It's a strain on us, to say the least. But if we're proving one thing right now - the more troops we have in Iraq, the easier it becomes to maintain security and stability.

If we're able to do that, then we can focus on stabilizing the government. The biggest problem has always been security. Without it, it was impossible for the government to govern effectively. It seems like everyone wants significant progress on every front. Politically, socially, militarily, etc... But I've always considered security to be the chief concern, without it, progress in other areas would be retarded. And we're making progress on that front. If we can maintain the pressure, and make it more and more safe, then we can focus on politics and social issues.

Anyway, just a couple pictures to share

Lovely Iraq:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq%201/151.jpg!

Progress on the streets:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g52/UH60PilotIraq/Iraq%201/152.jpg

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
PAHS200
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:06 am

great report as always

be safe

michael
 
davestanKSAN
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:07 am

Welcome back UH, we all missed your posts around here!!!! Glad you had a safe trip, and got to see some progress being made in Iraq.

While you were gone, the debate raged on (well talking about here on A.net) about should we stay or leave Iraq. Well I was one who said we should leave, but after hearing your report I'm not so sure any longer. I wish we could leave Iraq, but the point about security you brought up is very pertinent because the Iraqi government cannot secure their own country. However, like you said, can we maintain the 160,000 troop level?

How about outside the neighborhood you saw? Is there any level of diminishing violence from insurgents?

What I hope that this post does not turn into is a political showdown. I can just see those on the right snickering as they read the title of your post. I hope they won't come in here and boast about how well the Republicans have lead the war. Conversely, I can see those on the left trying to bring down the good news you bring.

Bottom line is that we need to maintain or implement a strategy that works, not so that Democrats or Republicans can feel good about themselves, but for you and your fellow Servicemen and Women UH.

And as always, thank you for your service. I salute you Sir!!!!

Dave
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FlyDeltaJets87
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:13 am

Thanks for the inside-view UH60. And welcome home.   

As always, your first hand updates are appreciated. I wonder if in three years when I commission, I'll get the opportunity to deploy to the Sandbox myself. On one hand, I hope I don't for the sake that it means we've made tremendous progress from where we stand now, and the situation is for the most part, all cleaned up. On the other hand, if we're still there in 3 years (well, I presume we'll have a presence there for many years to come) I hope to go and do my share and contribute to the war effort over there.   (As I'm sure the country will have many Air Force built golf courses by then.  biggrin   wink 

[Edited 2007-08-29 23:14:07]
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N231YE
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:15 am

Nice to see you back, UH60. I appreciate your efforts and your sacrifices.

A salute to you,
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fxramper
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:17 am

Good to have you back buddy. Great report. . . broadcast worthy.  yes 
 
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:22 am

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6968720.stm

With this news today also, might there be some hope for Iraq?
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PPVRA
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:31 am

Any words on the insurgents who were turning agaisnt Al-Qaeda, and at least some of them getting help from the US military? There was a video about it on CNN a while ago, I'm wondering how they are doing.
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:40 am

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Reply 3):
I wonder if in three years when I commission, I'll get the opportunity to deploy to the Sandbox myself.

They have golf courses in Iraq?  confused 

 duck 

 Silly
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:42 am

Quoting PAHS200 (Reply 1):
great report as always

 checkmark  Indeed.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
But I've always considered security to be the chief concern, without it, progress in other areas would be retarded.

In your eyes, what's the attitude of the civilian populace currently towards the Iraqi government? And what's your take on Nouri al-Maliki and his effectiveness? The President defends him (to the chagrin of some), and Allawi wants back in the mix. We're interested to see what Petraeus says, because I'm sure it will reflect also on how Iraq's government will be able to use any advantage(s) the surge brings (in reference to what you said, in that bringing greater security will allow us to focus on the government), and that will have a big impact on our role there, IMO (in addition to all the grandstanding the politicians and candidates will make).
Living the American Dream
 
FlyDeltaJets87
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:42 am

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 8):
They have golf courses in Iraq?

You read the rest of my post?  wink 

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Reply 3):
hope to go and do my share and contribute to the war effort over there. (As I'm sure the country will have many Air Force built golf courses by then.

 biggrin 
"Let's Roll"- Todd Beamer, United Airlines Flight 93, Sept. 11, 2001
 
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:43 am

Quoting DavestanKSAN (Reply 2):
Bottom line is that we need to maintain or implement a strategy that works, not so that Democrats or Republicans can feel good about themselves, but for you and your fellow Servicemen and Women UH.

 checkmark   checkmark 

Glad your well UH ... Thanks for the report ,, we know you earned it.

To all , lets keep in mind .... We love to argue ! I would be bored if everyone on here agreed with me. ! Thanks to the one of you who does.
 Big grin
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dl021
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:46 am

Great report....

if you're still there keep your radar on and stay alert.
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Confuscius
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:59 am

Great news. When is the Baghdad a.net meeting?
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:12 am

Glad to hear you're doing well and things seem to be looking better for Iraq. Stay Safe out there!  wave 
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:22 am

Quoting Confuscius (Reply 13):
When is the Baghdad a.net meeting?

Dude, you beat me to it! CRAP!  Silly

Good report, UH! Thank you for the pics. Hey, you got any more pics to share? I'd like to see them!

*SALUTES PROUDLY* Sir, yes, SIR!
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:25 am

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 8):
They have golf courses in Iraq?

Only club you need is a sand wedge.....


UH60, glad to hear you're safe. Stay that way.

For the first time over the past few months, I have a friend who is now deployed to Iraq. He's in the army  duck , commanding a bunch of tanks.

Hope you both are able to do your job, stay safe, and return triumphantly.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
NoUFO
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:34 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
some of the progress I witnessed was incredible.

I came across a number of reports saying the same. Hopefully there's really some light at the end of the tunnel.

Stay safe.
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BN747
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:35 am

Quoting DavestanKSAN (Reply 2):
Well I was one who said we should leave, but after hearing your report I'm not so sure any longer. I wish we could leave Iraq, but the point about security you brought up is very pertinent because the Iraqi government cannot secure their own country. However, like you said, can we maintain the 160,000 troop level?

Of course we can't.. as Michael Ware reported on CNN last night, 'It looks like the surge is working because we (the US) are making deals with the various militias (and sects) who in turn are targeting the very Gov't we are holding up. Just how long do thing that's gonna last. The whole "it's working" is a farce.

As pointed out in the film Zeitgeist, (and i said this before the Zeitgeist was ever made) that we (the US) are not leaving..no matter what happens! ...the film points out, the goal is hav ethe various militias and waring factions to take on each other ultimately causing the demand to split the country into pieces...and that's exactly what this 'the surge is working' facade is all about. It's the quiet before the storm..and if you notice Democrats are jumping on board too saying 'maybe we should give it more time..' -- why because they too know (and I suspect, have always known)..deals are being made 'to buy' the calm the same EXACT type of shady deals we made to put Saddam Hussien in power -- 'we aren't going anywhere--


BN747
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:36 am

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Reply 10):

You read the rest of my post?

Must have missed it  Silly
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ShyFlyer
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:41 am

Welcome home, again!

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
If we can maintain the pressure, and make it more and more safe, then we can focus on politics and social issues.

Reminds me of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
I lift things up and put them down.
 
Queso
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:51 am

Thanks a lot for the insight, and for sharing your observations and outlook with us. It brings things into the proper perspective.

Keep your head low and stay safe!
 
Klaus
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:16 am

It's to hope you're right...

All the best to you.
 
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CALTECH
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:22 am

Quoting BN747 (Reply 18):
Of course we can't.. as Michael Ware reported on CNN last night, 'It looks like the surge is working because we (the US) are making deals with the various militias (and sects) who in turn are targeting the very Gov't we are holding up. Just how long do thing that's gonna last. The whole "it's working" is a farce.

The whole "it is a disaster" is the farce, more people are dying in American inner cities than in this so called civil war, and resistance in Iraq.

Glad your are back and safe UH60. Hope you were sucessful in your job over there.
UNITED Would Be Nice
 
BN747
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:00 am

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 23):
The whole "it is a disaster" is the farce, more people are dying in American inner cities than in this so called civil war, and resistance in Iraq.

CALTECH. I'm in 100% agreement, but America demonstrates the most remarkable an uncanny ability to over look it's own problems versus issues abroad, ex. Katrina/New Orleans, USA vs Banda Aceh, Indonesia to Falujah, Iraq vs Any Inner City, USA. That's why I say we're staying in Iraq.. Iraq freedom and tranquility is the selling point TODAY..but trust me behind that label is some pretty serious shit. All the guns in Iraq were laid down right now...the US would not...I repeat NOT pull up stakes and leave. Not with a $600 million dollar Embassy in place.

"the surge is working..."

"No it isn't.."

"Yes it is..!"

That's all a (human lives costly) elaborate 'smoke and mirrors' side show...

We ain't goin' nowhere-


BN747
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itsnotfinals
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:29 am

Thanks for that excellent report, I for one truly appreciate your service as well as your excellent posts that raise the bar around here on anet.
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RJdxer
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:34 am

Ok, good report. Another fine mission accomplished. I love those pics but is the vis as bad as it seems?

But now on to the more important stuff....hows the nursery room coming along? You better start slappin some paint on the walls and reading the crib assembly instructions cause there is one deployment in your near future that you will not be able to delay no matter what!  duck   mischievous  Here's hoping the Missus is doing well or even better now that you are back home safe and sound.
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NoUFO
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:35 am

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 23):
The whole "it is a disaster" is the farce, more people are dying in American inner cities than in this so called civil war,

Maybe there are more Americans dying in all American cities together.
Not sure if you grasp how cynic (on more than one level) this "more Americans drown in swimming pools" argument is.
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CALTECH
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:41 am

Quoting BN747 (Reply 24):

CALTECH. I'm in 100% agreement, but America demonstrates the most remarkable an uncanny ability to over look it's own problems versus issues abroad, ex. Katrina/New Orleans, USA vs Banda Aceh, Indonesia to Falujah, Iraq vs Any Inner City, USA. That's why I say we're staying in Iraq.. Iraq freedom and tranquility is the selling point TODAY..but trust me behind that label is some pretty serious shit. All the guns in Iraq were laid down right now...the US would not...I repeat NOT pull up stakes and leave. Not with a $600 million dollar Embassy in place.

"the surge is working..."

"No it isn't.."

"Yes it is..!"

That's all a (human lives costly) elaborate 'smoke and mirrors' side show...

We ain't goin' nowhere-

I agree with you, we seem to be grinding to a halt in America.
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FlyDeltaJets87
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:46 am

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 26):
You better start slappin some paint on the walls and reading the crib assembly instructions cause there is one deployment in your near future that you will not be able to delay no matter what!

 scratchchin 
Hmmm....I think Air Force Blue would be a great color for the walls in the nursery.  biggrin   duck 
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CALTECH
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:53 am

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 27):
Maybe there are more Americans dying in all American cities together.
Not sure if you grasp how cynic (on more than one level) this "more Americans drown in swimming pools" argument is.

I think I do. The absolute horror of human deaths around the whole world is apalling, even in a "advanced" country like the U.S. from different and some bizarre ways. It is very sad to see human lives so wasted.
UNITED Would Be Nice
 
AGM100
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:57 am

Quoting CALTECH (Reply 28):
agree with you, we seem to be grinding to a halt in America.

Speak for yourself , I am busier than ever ! I guess its just us right wingers . And we do not overlook our problems , we have political fights about everything . The US is the most self analyzing country ever ! We second guess ourselves , fight about it and move on. Some problems just cant be fixed , poverty , disease , complete harmony .. but we at least debate and fight about it.

Sorry you thread go hijacked UH , just couldn't let that one go by.
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CALTECH
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:02 am

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 31):
Speak for yourself , I am busier than ever ! I guess its just us right wingers . And we do not overlook our problems , we have political fights about everything . The US is the most self analyzing country ever ! We second guess ourselves , fight about it and move on. Some problems just cant be fixed , poverty , disease , complete harmony .. but we at least debate and fight about it.

Sorry you thread go hijacked UH , just couldn't let that one go by.

Politically speaking, nothing seems to get done anymore, which I think is great because the U.S. Government is way too big as it is. Oh, and by the way, I am told I am very conservative, so there.
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UH60FtRucker
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 2:33 pm

Quoting DavestanKSAN (Reply 2):
However, like you said, can we maintain the 160,000 troop level?

It's going to be very tough. And unfortunately, there is no easy answer.

- We could extend the tours beyond 15months. (The Army is currently saying "no" but they certainly reserve the right to change their minds.)

- We could call up Army Guard units sooner than planned. However, this would mean scrapping the new plans to give Guard units 5 years at home, 1 year deployed.

- We could shorten the period between deployment cycles down from an average of 12 months.

- We could look for support from other nations. Unlikely given how unpopular the war is abroad, not to mention how unpopular the people who would be requesting the help!


What really needs to happen is a long term strategy to grow the Army, as a whole. We started the war with roughly 460,000 total, we're coming up on 500,000 and we'll have 520,000 in a few years. We need MORE! In 1991 we had 16 active divisions... ~700,000 soldiers. We're down to 10 active divisions. But of course, we'd need the $$$.

Quoting DavestanKSAN (Reply 2):
How about outside the neighborhood you saw? Is there any level of diminishing violence from insurgents?

Well I didn't do nearly as much traveling, as I did when I was deployed. But my mission was far different. I was working closely with Iraqi nationals, in the area of Baghdad... which is the center of much of the violence. The north was in decent shape when I left in April, and remains so. The south is shaky, but ok. It's the center we worry about, and where we are focusing our efforts.

But the central area is doing better, a lot better.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Reply 3):
I wonder if in three years when I commission, I'll get the opportunity to deploy to the Sandbox myself.

It all depends on the political climate, really.

But if it's not Iraq, there are plenty of hot spots to visit!

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 7):
Any words on the insurgents who were turning agaisnt Al-Qaeda, and at least some of them getting help from the US military? There was a video about it on CNN a while ago, I'm wondering how they are doing.

I worked closely with Iraqis for the 45 days, so I was able to have some interesting conversations with them. It seems like they're simply exhausted. They're tired of the constant, and mindless, violence. They seems to be acutely aware that outside forces (Iran, Syria, Al-Qaeda) are actively disrupting the progress being made, and they are resentful of it.

In regards to the insurgency, I think the recent pressure brought on them by the Summer Surge is wearing on them. What we're doing is not just PATROLING in the sectors... but essentially living in them. We're like neighborhood cops, we can launch quickly and be at your door in minutes. And thanks to the increase in manpower, we have the ability to pursuit them. As we drove them out of local villages, the survivors sought refuge in surrounding towns and villages... only to have us nipping at their heals. Constantly running gets very tiring, especially considering many of these guys are only in this when it's easy. When it gets hard, many seem to be saying "f*ck this, this isn't worth the hassle."

Quoting Allstarflyer (Reply 9):
In your eyes, what's the attitude of the civilian populace currently towards the Iraqi government? And what's your take on Nouri al-Maliki and his effectiveness?

Honestly, I think they're more concerned with security. "Will my children get blown up if I send them down to the market?"

How can we expect these people to effectively govern a nation, when there are bombs going off, and gun battles on the streets? We have limited forces, and we were killing ourselves trying to do EVERYTHING, all at once. Don't forget though, these people elected these officials, and they had high hopes for them. But we owe it to them to secure the place, and allow them to safely govern.

I think if we keep this pressure up, and we continue to land hard punches, then we'll be able to see the caliber of these leaders.

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 26):
You better start slappin some paint on the walls and reading the crib assembly instructions cause there is one deployment in your near future that you will not be able to delay no matter what!

Tell me about it! But these kinds of special missions means $$ in the bank. 45 days of tax free income, and special hazard pay. It makes for a good amount of money that can be invested for a future college fund.

--------------------------------

Look I honestly think we're at a crossroads... and I am talking about America, as a whole. What we do here, and how receptive we are to this news on the surge is vital. We need to stop and think about what it takes to win.

When you're on the battlefield, you get into fights, either deliberately or in surprise meeting engagements with the enemy. What you need to do is get all of the advantages on your side, and to win the tactical engagement as rapidly as possible and the lowest cost to your soldiers. That means a lot of firepower. It also means bringing a brutal amount of fire power to bear on the enemy, until they call it quits and run away, or you destroyed them.

Over in Iraq we're hitting them hard. When one insurgent fires his AK at a US soldier, we go after him hard. We're hit them so hard, and with such a disproportional level of firepower, we make them wish they never started the scuffle, in the first place.

We're getting a grip on the tactical situation. All we need is for people to start falling in behind us.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
fridgmus
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:15 pm

Glad you're back safe and sound Rotorhead!  highfive  You've been sorely missed! I'm up north in Kirkuk and things are well, warm! The farther north you go, the better things are. If you ever get around to these parts, stop in and say hi.

Can I ask what the UH-60M model is? My apologies if not. The Blackhawk is my favorite helicopter. Absolutely gorgeous!  bigthumbsup 

Anyway, welcome home and Thank You for your service to our Great Nation!

Marc
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:34 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 33):
All we need is for people to start falling in behind us.

What are the prospects for that? It's great that we're running after insurgents, but if it's all left to us, it's futile since there will always be more to take their place. We have to leave at some point--I'd like to read one day that the progress being made is that the Iraqis are capable of providing their own security. That I'd really celebrate.
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CALTECH
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:52 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 33):
Look I honestly think we're at a crossroads... and I am talking about America, as a whole. What we do here, and how receptive we are to this news on the surge is vital. We need to stop and think about what it takes to win.

Good to see that you can see progress over there. America does not need another Vietnam, the job should be finished. May you be safe in your deployments, Go ARMY !!!
UNITED Would Be Nice
 
RJdxer
Posts: 3523
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 1:14 am

RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:06 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 33):
What really needs to happen is a long term strategy to grow the Army, as a whole.

No matter what happens in Iraq and Afghanistan, that is a good idea. As a matter of fact we need to extend that beyond the Army to all the services.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 33):
We're getting a grip on the tactical situation. All we need is for people to start falling in behind us.

But as you can read in the papers, the political situation in Iraq is a different story and the leaders there need to get their act together for the good of the people. I am becoming less hopeful that the current bunch will be able to do that.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever. I'm going to Texas!
 
ME AVN FAN
Posts: 12970
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:18 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
We have ~160,000 troops in Iraq, but to sustain that number, is going to be VERY difficult.

-
If the situation is improving in the way you state, then the USA can withdraw most of its troops without problems rather soon.
--

Quoting BN747 (Reply 18):
(the US) are making deals with the various militias (and sects) who in turn are targeting the very Gov't we are holding up.

-
that the various groups are in oppostion to the government is : politics ! you advocate a pluralist and democratic society, ok, so that you have to realize that this means that there are many groups who would like to govern
-

-
 
connies4ever
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:54 am

UH60 ---

Wondered where you were the past several weeks.

Thanks very much for the report. I know you are sincere in your views, and, since you have had boots on the ground in Baghdad much more recently than I (I was there in 1975 !!) I have to grant them some weight.

However, your own GAO, a quasi-independent arm of Congress, begs to differ: http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2159474,00.html

I also note a few comments in this thread alluding to making deals with the various local bad guys to either buy them off or get them to acquiesce. As well, one can also put forward the argument that at least some of the militant groups are lying low for the mo' and are merely awaiting the departure of US forces, perhaps at the behest of, for some at least, their masters in Teheran.

But a couple of important things:

 Smile Welcome back !

 Big grin Glad you're not going back on a major deployment -- you've done 'your bit', and last but not least:

 eyepopping  You get to see little UH60 enter the world. I guarantee it will change your life completely.

Take care in everything,
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
UH60FtRucker
Topic Author
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:45 pm

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 39):
However, your own GAO, a quasi-independent arm of Congress, begs to differ:

The Pentagon is dismissing this report as setting goals which are far too unrealistic. And I agree.

As I pointed out earlier... it is absurd of us to demand that Iraq makes significant progress on both the social and political fronts, when the security issue is not sufficiently being dealt with.

Every time there was a major step forward politically - whether it was historical elections, landmark deals... or hell, even the fact that we were able to get these people to sit and talk with one another!... that progress was quickly negated by violence and chaos.

So how is it fair of us to judge their progress, when they are under such unstable conditions? That is why it's crucial we keep up the pressure, and continue to support this surge. Like I said: we're at a cross-roads. We're finally making some progress, and we're starting to get a good grip on the security issue. So is the public still going to demand we pull out of Iraq? Or are they going to be encouraged by this news, and support our efforts to bring the fight to the insurgents?

If the public... and Washington... supports our efforts, and gives us the ability to continue this surge/operations, then we can continue to bring order to the streets of Iraq. THEN we can focus on the politics. Then we can start putting reasonable expectation on Iraqi leaders. Then we can start demanding political and social progress.

The GAO fails to realize that. They seem to want what a lot of Americans want: everything to happen right now, and for it to all go perfectly. That level of expectation is madness, and will never happen.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
baroque
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:32 pm

Welcome back. Interesting view. As Connies indicates, the GAO has a different view. Time will tell if the dismissal of the GAO view is correct.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 35):
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 33):
All we need is for people to start falling in behind us.

What are the prospects for that? It's great that we're running after insurgents, but if it's all left to us, it's futile since there will always be more to take their place. We have to leave at some point--I'd like to read one day that the progress being made is that the Iraqis are capable of providing their own security. That I'd really celebrate.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi side needs both some effective action by the Iraqi army and their police but also some effective political action. As best we can tell, the pollies have more or less quit for a while, one way or another.

In part this might be because there is a fundamental difference between what they want to do and what the US wants them to do. See The Oil Law That Iraq Is Not Passing (by Baroque Aug 29 2007 in Non Aviation)
The Oil Law That Iraq Is Not Passing
This topic (at one reply so far) does not seem to be of interest to a.net, but I am sure that the fate of their oil is a matter of intense interest to Iraqis. How else can they hope for longer term economic recovery. And without that, they are going to be a failed state for a long long time.

Even with oil, there will have to be dramatic developments to overcome the 4 million refugees, 2 million internal and 2 million external.

I was sorry to learn from CALTECH that the US apparently has a refugee problem on a similar scale.
 
oli80
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:19 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):

Great post as usual.

Keep up the good work and lets hope these positive reports continue to come our way!!

Stay safe!
 
RJdxer
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:47 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 40):
That level of expectation is madness, and will never happen.

We can't make it happen in the political arena in this country. Why do we expect the Iraqis, who are under far more pressure than our politicians are, to do better? The GAO report used an all or nothing scale which does not really represent where things stand.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever. I'm going to Texas!
 
dl021
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:38 pm

The GAO is using a measuring stick line for a pass/fail grade as opposed to showing progress made.

Look at the reports and determine if forward progress is being made in the areas showing as fail. I think it will give a more honest and accurate look at the situation. If they've moved backwards then that's a real problem, if they've failed to move forward fast enough then that's less of a problem, even in the areas where the benchmarks are being met the situation is not perfect....it all needs improvement, but to say publicly they're failing when they're not is counterproductive and seemingly purposefully demoralizing. I wonder who was in charge of setting those standards and what their purpose was.

If a student in school goes from a 30% correct to a 60% correct on the same set of skills then he's showing progress even though he is still failing. It's an arbitrary measurement that is perhaps not appropriate if one is looking for real progress. No one can seriously expect the situation over there to be right yet.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:11 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 44):
Look at the reports and determine if forward progress is being made in the areas showing as fail. I think it will give a more honest and accurate look at the situation. If they've moved backwards then that's a real problem, if they've failed to move forward fast enough then that's less of a problem, even in the areas where the benchmarks are being met the situation is not perfect....it all needs improvement, but to say publicly they're failing when they're not is counterproductive and seemingly purposefully demoralizing. I wonder who was in charge of setting those standards and what their purpose was.

That is a fair point, but where are we going to find current rates of unemployment, levels of poverty, amount and distribution of electricity and water supplies, sewage system availability, let alone time series comparisons.

There is precious little information, and one has to suspect that is because all of these measures or yardsticks are getting nowhere. I would like to be proved wrong, but ...
 
UH60FtRucker
Topic Author
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:46 am

Quoting Baroque (Reply 45):
That is a fair point, but where are we going to find current rates of unemployment, levels of poverty, amount and distribution of electricity and water supplies, sewage system availability, let alone time series comparisons.

It's funny you brought that up, because all of these issues are showing progress in both the Baghdad and the Al Anbar Province.

Hell... if you look at AO Raleigh, 5 months ago it was one of the most dangerous areas in Iraq. Look at it now. Drop in IED attacks, drop in VBIED attacks, drop in fire fights, drop in numbers of bullets fired, and so on. But we are so making progress at the [i]local[i] government level. Fallujah - at one point the deadliest city - is now standing up a working city government that is cooperating with US Marine Forces.

We're making significant progress at securing peace and stability... and we're also making significant progress at the local government level. If we are able to keep this going, then I believe we can start turning our attention to fixing the government at the high echelons.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 41):
In part this might be because there is a fundamental difference between what they want to do and what the US wants them to do. See
The Oil Law That Iraq Is Not Passing (by Baroque Aug 29 2007 in Non Aviation)

I think it goes without saying that the national government is having major issues. But can we honestly expect huge gains, when the country is not secure?

Also, I believe that the oil sharing plan has continued to go forward, even though the government failed to pass the law.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
co777er
Posts: 391
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:52 am

UH60: Thanks for your sacrafice and service to my country! Stay safe and have fun!
 
Falcon84
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RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:20 am

Glad to hear from you UH60. And congrats on the "double the fun" news. I'm really excited for you. You'll get a kick out of your double trouble. :}

As always, you give a great report on what is going on. You know my stance on the war, and where I've been on it. Hopefully, the brass, both military and civilian, listen to guys like you instead of someone like me. I've never been for the war, but I hope to God, for the sake of our people, and for the sake of the Iraqi people, that this thing works. If it doesn't, then it's a tragic chapter in our history. We owe it to our young men and women who have perished in this conflict; we owe it to those Iraqi's who have died and suffered through this; we owe it people like you, who serve this country selflessly and proudly.

I hope it works, but I worry about burnout of our young men and women serving, as they carry a great burden.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 33):
It's going to be very tough. And unfortunately, there is no easy answer.

The toughest answer would be a draft, and I still think we need to seriously consider it. And I say that with trepidation, because I have a daughter who is 17, and a 14 year old son. But we have an obligation not to wear out those who have had their tours extended. We are in a different conflict than we've ever been in, and if this is a different type of world war, then we need the numbers, and the flexibility to fight it where it is needed.

I think we almost have to have a draft, just to get the numbers needed. You may differ, but I'd like to hear your views on this.

Glad this nation has such an outstanding, honorable person serving us. I salute you, friend.
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

RE: UH60 Sees Progress In Iraq

Sat Sep 01, 2007 6:08 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 46):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 45):
That is a fair point, but where are we going to find current rates of unemployment, levels of poverty, amount and distribution of electricity and water supplies, sewage system availability, let alone time series comparisons.

It's funny you brought that up, because all of these issues are showing progress in both the Baghdad and the Al Anbar Province.

Hell... if you look at AO Raleigh, 5 months ago it was one of the most dangerous areas in Iraq. Look at it now. Drop in IED attacks, drop in VBIED attacks, drop in fire fights, drop in numbers of bullets fired, and so on. But we are so making progress at the [i]local[i] government level. Fallujah - at one point the deadliest city - is now standing up a working city government that is cooperating with US Marine Forces.

Happy to read that. Those poor bloody Iraqis who are the vast majority do need some sort of progress.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 46):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 41):
In part this might be because there is a fundamental difference between what they want to do and what the US wants them to do. See
The Oil Law That Iraq Is Not Passing (by Baroque Aug 29 2007 in Non Aviation)

I think it goes without saying that the national government is having major issues. But can we honestly expect huge gains, when the country is not secure?

Also, I believe that the oil sharing plan has continued to go forward, even though the government failed to pass the law.

Ah well, therein seems to be the trap. From the Guardian article, the oil sharing law also has tacked on to it the US obsession with privatising Iraqi oil. That seems to be at least one reason why the government has failed to pass the law.

It appears that most Iraqis do not want to give away "their" oil on terms much more generous than most countries that have major oil reserves. Mind you, with the present mess, how you would get a view on that is difficult to conceive. It seems true that those elected to the parliament almost all have narrow interests they are pushing.

However, it would be surprising if there was major support for the larger oil companies within Iraq. They kicked BP out a long time ago, and did pretty well after doing that. It is not hard to buy in foreign oil exploration expertise, always assuming that there is some sort of law and order within which it could operate.

I get the impression that some of the basic proposals of the US associated with their invasion have not been altered and are still causing problems. Of course the US government is not going to mention them, but that does not mean they may not be important.

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