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Old 05-09-2009, 01:49 PM
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chico20854 chico20854 is offline
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Originally Posted by Abbott Shaull
Is the airborne battalion of the 172nd a new battalion? Just asking since the 6th ID, much like the 7th ID, and 10th Mountain had never reach their authorized strengths. All of them would have to round out brigade. So you moving a Division with 2 Brigades and sending it Norway. With the position that the Division was in, I have always found it hard to send thing unit half-way across the world, to only bring in another unit who has to learn everything fresh, of course they are from Minnesota and like so they will be ahead of the learning curve. Especially when you consider the 10th Mountain Division is in the same shape, and seem more of a logical choice to move to Norway, it is closer, and not in area that is easily access by Soviet forces.
It's a new airborne battalion.

In our writeup for the buildup of the US Army before the war, we brought the 6th & 10th Divisions up to 3 brigades each. This was a result of the perception after Desert Storm that the Guard round-out brigade concept didn't work - that the Round Out units were unable to be maintained at the proper readiness to be able to deploy at essentially a moment's notice. Therefore, 6th, 10th & 24th ID's stood up new active-duty brigades, while the former round out brigades were used in some of the polygot divisions formed in 1996 and 1997, or, in the case of the 48th IB, deployed as an independent brigade. 5th ID & 1st Cav retained their roundout brigades because there was not enough equipment to stand up new brigades, and the war came before the new active-duty brigades could be formed (their cadres eventually formed the new 4th AD, which was at NTC and similar facilities during the TDM and never deployed outside CONUS).

We have 10th Mountain deploying to Norway in the fall of 1996 and 6th coming the next Spring. IMHO it makes sense to move a National Guard unit, with its (at least perceived, if not real) lower level of readiness & standard of equipment, to a defensive mission in the US than to send it overseas for an offensive mission. In fact, we might write it up as the 47th was sent to Alaska after the outbreak of war and spent the winter doing Arctic training, acting as OPFOR for the 172nd's now-frantic doctrinal development exercises, and reinforcing 6th ID. When the situation in Norway got to the point that another division was needed, the commanders in Alaska agreed that 6th ID was the more ready and sent it. The decision to pull troops out of Alaska was taken in a global context - the need for more troops in Norway for the Murmansk offensive, the mistaken belief that the global nature of the war at that point (Norway, Poland, Balkans, Iran, China, Korea) made it unlikely that the Soviets would open a new front in Alaska, the growing strength & competence of the 172nd, all pointed to the conclusion that maintaining what was effectively a full strength corps in Alaska was not the effective use of the available troops. Mitigating that risk too was the growing strength of the 11th and 17th Airborne Divisions, which could (and the 11th was) flown in at short notice to reinforce US Army Alaska in an emergency.
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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