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4th Brigade marching closer to war

Deployment starts in October

POSTED: October 13, 2007 5:05 a.m.
Since their deployment from Fort Stewart is set for late October, 3,500 fresh troops from the Fourth Brigade now march closer to a war on the distant horizon.
Col. Tom James, who was this week’s Rotary Club keynote speaker, views his brigade’s deployment with optimism, and he believes the Army is the strongest it has ever been.
During his address, James analyzed the unique fighting style of the Iraqi insurgents, and discussed how the war will be won with strategies consisting of measures and counter measures.
“The enemy we face has morphed into an adaptive and asymmetric threat,” James said. “This is a protracted, full-spectrum conflict, which causes our troops to react with lethal and non-lethal force potentially simultaneously.”
To expound on the statement, James explained the dissimilarities between the army and the insurgents.
Since the insurgents cannot directly face-off against the mechanized U.S. Army, they have resorted to improvised explosive devices (IED’s), and explosively formed penetraters (EFP’s), which upon detonation, can pierce heavily armored U.S. vehicles with spiraling rods of copper, James said.
Thus, as a counter measure, the army has introduced MRAP (mine resistant ambush protected) vehicles to thwart the effects of roadside bombs, and the army also relies on state of the art, unmanned drone planes to do enemy reconnaissance and to conduct air strikes with the use of satellite thermal imaging, he said.
“The planes can collect thermal imaging to trace the movements of the enemy, and if the order is given, precision air strikes can be conducted by using Excalibur shells and hellfire missiles to eliminate targets,” James said.
In regard to the complexity of using lethal and non-lethal force, James’ brigade is currently focusing on language training and his soldiers been exposed to scenario training, which can allow them to more easily diagnose when and when not use lethal force, he said.
“We have to use cultural awareness, and ask how are actions impact the locals,” James said. “We want to respect locals to not turn them into insurgents.”
The soldiers from the Fourth Brigade (otherwise known as the Vanguard Brigade) begin deploying in late October and early November for their tour in Iraq, and further delays on their deployment is unexpected, Maj. Jesse Goldman said.
 

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