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September 10, 2010 - 3:51pmPermalink
two of my former LPO's were on the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) in 2003 and had told us several times of their experience with the opening months of the Iraq invasion. the Lincoln, on its way home after already being deployed on a regular 6 month cruise, was 'in sight of hawaii' and preparing to offload all ordnance. the battle group admiral recieved a message concerning preparations to invade Iraq and volunteered the Lincoln battle group. perfectly understandable b/c war is war, and all the lincoln had to do was flip a bitch and full steam ahead. Initially everyone was upset of course, but they pulled together and got their heads right and did the job. 4-5 months after arriving in-theatre, the airspace over Iraq was declared 'full' b/c with over 500 aircraft over head at any given time, adding any more would present unsafe flying coditions. despite this, that same admiral tried again to volunteer the lincoln battle group to stay out there in the gulf. this time he got his ass chewed.
September 10, 2010 - 3:49pmPermalink
the point is that for the best interests of military members and their families, and their mental health, and their morale and well-being, i believe that all branches should agree on a standard deployment schedule. there may always be someone who gets screwed had has to 'suck it up', but if we have a set standard to shoot for i think it will make a huge difference. ive also read about long deployments in the army, 9 months or more being the norm. while the Lincoln's 11 month deployment is considered rather outrageous in the navy, especially since that deployment broke a record that had previously stood since WW2 (unfortunately i dont remember the ship now). the other problem is the way we've had to fight. the military as a whole was more than prepared to run over Iraq in a couple of weeks. that was rather amazing. but it takes many many more people to tiptoe on eggshells for 10 years, and that was something the military wasnt ready for. its not just about fighting 2 fronts anymore.
September 10, 2010 - 3:56pmPermalink
by the way, i also have a lot of respect for everyone aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), and her air wing last year. while awaiting word that they would be underway to be home for Christmas, they too, got a 4 month extension instead.
September 10, 2010 - 6:51pmPermalink
What did the original/first Marine ever in history say to the second Marine ever in history? "This is nothin', you should have seen the old Corps!"