Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Recruiting crisis, again

I guess the Army National Guard's generous offer of 3 mp3s wasn't enough to convince the yellow elephants to come out of their spider holes. Due to the shortage of grunts, the Pentagon is plugging the holes with airmen and sailors:

Airmen Fill the Gaps in Wartime
Thousands of Air Force personnel are being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan to perform low-tech roles and help the Army keep up force levels.

By Mark Mazzetti and Greg Miller, Times Staff Writers

WASHINGTON — Straining to find ground troops to maintain its force levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has begun deploying thousands of Air Force personnel to combat zones in new jobs as interrogators, prison sentries and gunners on supply trucks.

The Air Force years ago banked its future on state-of-the-art fighter jets and billion-dollar satellites. Yet the service that has long avoided being pulled into ground operations is now finding that its people — rather than its weapons — are what the Pentagon needs most as it wages a prolonged war against a low-tech, insurgent enemy.

Well, good luck with all that. Maybe one day Ralph Peters will be forced to wake up and smell the latte.

(cross-posted to my blog)


At 13 October, 2005 19:41, Blogger phinky said...

Oh please, Ralph Peters is a partisan hack who sold his soul to Ruppert Murdoch. It's too bad, he writes really good stuff for the Army War College.

At 14 October, 2005 09:15, Blogger Charles2 said...

While this is an interesting stop-gap measure, I can tell you (as an ex-Army officer) that this will not be easy on either the airmen or the soldiers they try to work with. The Airforce and Army speak what amounts to different languages. In a "situation" there's no time to translate; and no matter how much they train prior to going out on real missions, there will be misunderstandings and delays in reactions.

More insidous will be the effect this will have on Air Force retention. Do you really think that young airmen who were turning wrenches on F-16s or operating computerized equipment in the rear are going to re-enlist after being shot at in the streets of Baghdad?

This just ensures that the problems plaguing the Army metastacize to the other branches.


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