Strickland: Concerned that Ohio Nat'l Guard being asked to do more than should be reasonably expected of them

Listen to Governor Strickland as he was broadcast during an interview with NPR this morning about the deployment of the Ohio National Guard to Iraq.

Can’t say I disagree with the content of anything he said.

Ironically, just as I was opening my Blogger Create Post page, I saw this in my inbox from Ohio News Now: Ohio navyman from the Cincinnati area, husband and father of a three-year old, was killed in his humvee, by a roadside bomb last Friday.

His job? Explosives disposal technician.

He was 36, on his third tour of duty in Iraq.

I don’t know a lot about the military, but the news says he joined the Navy in 1992 and they call him sailor. Why was he on the ground and assigned to detonate bombs?

6 thoughts on “Strickland: Concerned that Ohio Nat'l Guard being asked to do more than should be reasonably expected of them

  1. Jeff and Anon – thank you both. Really, I know I don’t know a lot of things, but even I get amazed at just how many things I don’t know anything about. Thanks for the Seapower link too.

  2. PAUL: Thanks for both of your comments. I apologize for not responding sooner. The information you provided is invaluable, because my knowledge of this is so limited. Thanks. Very, very interesting. And it makes me wonder how many other Americans know as little as I do about this kind of thing – what do you think?

  3. There is even a Navy unit in the mountains of West Virginia. Sugar Grove is home to a unit of the Naval Security Group that operates what has been long rumored to be one of the NSA Echelon stations. It’s kind of an Area 51 for the electronic intelligence community. And now that I’ve mentioned it on your blog, You Will Be Watched!;-)PL

  4. The US Navy has electronic warfare capabilities that the US Army does not. 290 naval personnel are currently serving in Iraq as the Joint CREW Composite Squadron-One (JCCS-1), where CREW = Counter Radio-controlled IED Electronic Warfare. JCCS-1 is “responsible for installing and maintaining CREW systems on U.S. ground conveys throughout Iraq.” Quote and information from the March 2007 issue of Seapower, with cover story “Navy’s New CREW: A Special Unit of Sailors Hits the Ground to Take on One of the Toughest Tasks in Iraq.”

  5. Shalom Jill,Not all sailors serve at sea.There are plenty who work on shore stations, along side Marine units and, as is increasingly true in Iraq, along side Army units.One of the ways the Bush administration is covering the growing personnel shortage is by transferring members to non-traditional jobs. That’s why you’ll find Air Force personnel driving Army trucks and sailors diffusing bombs.B’shalom,Jeff

  6. Jill:The Navy has two combat organizations that perform their role ashore. One is the SEALS, the Navy special ops guys (some of whom are fighting in the mountains in Afghanistan), and the other is the Seabees. The Seabees get their name from the acronym “CB” which stands for “Construction Battalion.” They perform a variety of tasks, including the construction of forward bases for the Navy and Marines, as was the case in World War II as the island hopping campaign was being carried out in the Pacific. To carry out their role, the Seabees need to be able to clear mines and booby traps left behind by enemy forces. I suspect this sailor was a Seabee.There is another group of sailors who perform their role ashore – the Navy Corpsmen who accompany US Marine units. The Marines don’t have their own medical branch like the Army – there is no such thing as a “Marine Doctor” for example. While corpsmen go through Navy boot camp and get their medical training at Navy facilities, once assigned to the Marine Corps (a volunteer role), they go through all the rest of their training with the Marines and are assigned fulltime to a Marine unit. These corpsmen are very special people, called ‘Doc’ by the Marines they serve with. A good Doc rarely buys his own beer in the presence of a Marine.War is an interesting thing for a military professional. They spend their lives training for war, but only rarely, perhaps once in a career, have to experience it. It is said that serving in the military is 99% tedium interrupted by 1% sheer terror. I can’t say that I ever met anyone in the military who actually wants to go to war, but when one breaks out, two kinds of military people emerge. One type is those who want to stay in the rear away from the action. The others are the ones who want to be in the thick of it. We don’t know which of those Chief Billiter was. But someone decided that if the Navy had people with skills to deal with all the roadside bombs, their help was needed. My guess is that he and perhaps a few other Seabees were attached to a Marine unit in this role.All the branches want to play with their toys when fighting breaks out. I remember a time during the first Gulf War when they showed pictures of American nuclear submarines firing cruise missiles into Iraq. There was absolutely no tactical reason in this setting to use submarines for that purpose; we had surface ships in the area that are far better suited for that mission. The missile launch gives away their position (submarines do everything they can to stay hidden), and carries some fair degree of danger for the ship and crew. The only reasons they fired from the submarines were see if the system worked, and, more importantly, for the submarine branch of the Navy to get some of the action. The captain of that sub has a rare bullet on his resume: fired a missile in a combat setting. It is extremely rare for a submarine to fire on an enemy. For example, only one nuclear submarine has ever sunk an enemy ship. It was a British sub, and it occurred during the Falklands War when it sunk an Argentine warship. No American nuclear sub has ever fired on an enemy ship (at least, that we know of).PL

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