Eating the Reserves

As the US combat deployments to Iraq continue, the mismatch between needs and rest plans will continue to grow and we will see more stories like the following of an Alabama Army Reserve support company:

WSFA 12 News has confirmed the 282nd Quartermaster Company is being deployed to Iraq, for a second time.

The unit which is based in Montgomery has 119 members. Their farewell ceremony is January 10th at 4050 Atlanta Highway in Montgomery. The Army reserve unit was first sent to Iraq in February 2003 and came home in May of 2004.

Among their duties are pumping fuel and water purification. They could be gone for as long as 18 months.

So this Army reserve unit was deployed for fifteen months, had 19 nineteen months off, and now is facing another eighteen months deployed. And you may wonder why the head of the Reservists called his force broken and facing catastrophic mission failure at around this point last year. The Reserves and National Guard were not designed for a deployment cycle that is higher than the deployment cycle of mainline active duty formations. They were designed for surge capacity and 1/3rd active duty deployment cycles. The Iraq deployment is eating up the Reserves.

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