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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Training Iraqi Logisticians

Want to ease the exit from Iraq? Then help train the logisticians, as reported here:
It doesn't matter how many troops you have or how well trained they are if you can't sustain them.
Coalition logisticians are working with the nascent Iraqi army to build a logistics capability for the force.

Army Lt. Col. Steven Shapiro, chief of operations for 3rd Corps Support Command and selected for promotion to colonel, said the command's soldiers are training Iraqis through schools and, mostly, through on-the-job experience. "We're training the Iraqis to follow up and provide support to their forces as they engage the enemy," Shapiro said during an interview in Balad.

On paper, and increasingly in reality, Iraqi logistical units are embedded in Iraqi maneuver units. The 3rd Corps Support Command is partnered with Iraqi motorized transportation regiments. "When you see an Iraqi army unit engaged, ... their physical resupply is through their motorized transportation regiments," he said.

Plans call for one motorized regiment per division, and the Iraqis plan for nine divisions. The regiments will handle all their own maintenance and their own security. "When we operate on the roads, we protect the convoys," Shapiro said. "The motorized transportation regiments will have their own mobile force protection assets embedded with them."

Three regiments are operating now. Coalition logistics personnel handle supplying the rest of the Iraqi force, Shapiro said.
As the old axiom goes, "Amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics."- see here. An army that can sustain itself in the field is not limited in the areas it can patrol and in which it can operate.

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