Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sun papers notice our troops at Fort Bliss

Good for them; it was getting frustrating reading about the training only in the El Paso Times. But no other major media have--and I would think there'd be some good TV video in particular. Too expensive I guess and no "death watch".

1) New Mexico doubles for Afghan desert
Camp Dona Ana, Ft. Bliss, New Mexico

Far from the Canadian ice, snow and political debate, in conditions just like the dry, dusty desert of the Afghanistan war zone, more than 3,000 troops have converged on this massive U.S. military base.

As politicians in Ottawa debate the fate of the military mission, thousands of troops are busy training on U.S. turf for what could be one of the last Canadian combat deployments to Kandahar [note the spin in that sentence, right at the start of the story]...
2) Granny get you gun: Legal beagle among Canadians training for Afghan mission
She is a mother of six, a top military lawyer and a grandmother who packs a gun.

Cmdr. Bonita Thornton, an assistant judge advocate based in Toronto, dispenses legal advice to senior commanders on everything from disciplinary charges, military contracts, Crown claims and internal grievances.

On her first deployment to Afghanistan in a few months, she will also advise the Canadian commander on international laws of armed conflict, operations and mentoring.

Thornton expects the mission will be the professional highlight of her life, but admits to a few personal butterflies...
Update: Thrust into action: Canadian soldiers fine-tune tactics critical in fight against Taliban insurgents
The moonlight cuts silhouettes of soldiers and army tanks as the Canadian battle group prepares for a surprise assault.

Hours after the day dawns, the convoy makes its sluggish launch, picking up speed as the rolling sandy dunes flatten to tougher desert terrain. In single file, the army of LAVs, tanks and roughly 150 combat troops, including an Afghan contingent, make a 12-km trek to the "objective" of the attack.

This massive mock exercise, staged to train Canadian soldiers bound for Kandahar, uses a recreated "typical" Afghan village and live fire, jets, tanks and vehicles transported from Canada. The location, a sprawling U.S. army base that straddles Texas and New Mexico, closely resembles the mountains and desert terrain of Afghanistan.

After the main platoons arrive at the operational battle line, reinforcements move in from the west. Rocket-propelled grenades are hurled from the village and improvised explosive devices are detected -- both confirming intelligence reports that the area is held by enemy Taliban insurgents.

Then comes the thunder of fire from the Canadians; a combination of artillery fire air power from CF-18s to "soften" the target before the assault force moves in. By foot, the soldiers who are supported by Afghan allies eventually move in to clear: Room by room, building by building, from mosque to school to barracks...
Don't tell the Liberals, but is looks to me like they're training for, gasp, combat.


Post a Comment

<< Home