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Old 01-04-2022, 09:22 AM
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chico20854 chico20854 is offline
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Originally Posted by cawest View Post
is there a reason that 1st Brigade, 49th Armored Division did poorly at NTC and then was updated from M60A4s to M1s. i would think that the newer tanks would be used on a unit going to Germany or other combat zones.
I was trying to lay the groundwork for why a relatively high-readiness armored division would be spending the year sitting in Chicago waiting for transportation while the 50th AD (which historically had chronic issues maintaining troop strength and was considered a low priority unit) was sent to Europe in May. Certainly using Chicago as a port of embarcation causes problems with shipping, since only smaller ships fit through the St Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes, but in that case why not send the division to one of a dozen plus ports on the Gulf or East Coasts? Heck, 40th ID deploys through California ports and transits the Panama Canal.

As to the poor performance, you can look at the ample evidence from Desert Storm re: the readiness of National Guard heavy brigades. I'm positing that many of those issues were worked on in the 1991-96 period, since 1st Cav and 5th ID are sent into action in December with their roundout brigades, but my experience in a National Guard heavy division in the mid-90s showed that there were serious readiness issues. Soldiers were overweight, out of shape, too old and likely medically unable to deploy, basic soldier skills were not practiced, discipline was lax (I recall one occaision when our female company commander stood outsides the barracks, which was rocking and rolling, and said "I want this party to end since we have a convoy at 0500, but I don't dare go in there"), officers marginally qualified (at the time only 15% of captains in the state had a bachelor's degree), and so on - you could have described my unit as a drinking club that wore camouflage. I'm not saying my experience was universal - my next guard unit was equal in professionalism and discipline to an active-duty one - but I'm (for purposes of the timeline) going to lean to the 49th being more of the former than the latter.

Why would such a train wreck of a unit be slotted for an equipment upgrade? Maybe early results from combat in Europe showed the inferiority of the M60A4, and the Army figured that if 49 AD was going to require months of retraining (as National Guard roundout brigades needed in 1990-1) that some of that time could be used to field eqipment that 1) was less likely to get soldiers killed and 2) was familiar to active-duty troops and recent trainess which were coming in to the division to replace those that had been shown by NTC to be unable to perform their jobs.

As the war continues around the world, the new M1s and Bradleys that are supposed to go to 49 AD end up getting sent overseas as loss replacements, leaving the division sitting waiting for equipment, and when it does arrive, that's when the shipping delays come into play. It isn't pretty but it does provide some rationale for why the division never deploys overseas!
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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