published Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Chattanooga soldiers leaving for deployment

More than 300 soldiers of a Chattanooga-based Guard unit will leave Saturday for a deployment to Iraq.

The soldiers are with the 230th Sustainment Brigade of the Tennessee Army National Guard, according to a Guard release. They will travel from Chattanooga to Fort Bliss, Texas for final training before their deployment.

The unit¹s mission is to close or transfer bases to Iraqi Army personnel in the southern half of Iraq as part of the wider drawdown and troop withdrawal that began in August 2010.

Farewell ceremonies for the soldiers will be held at the Chattanooga National Guard Armory on Saturday at 9 a.m.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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jpo3136 said...

I continue to believe that it is a mistake to send our troops back to that particular base for pre-deployment training. I can see that almost no one agrees with me, but I have written to the Governor and Senator Corker to express my dissatisfaction with this news.

I really believe that this is a large error, and should be corrected by executive action, immediately.

I understand that the state wants to deploy Soldiers for every single day of this war; but, that base and our people do not need to mix again.

The fraud, waste and abuse that they had to tolerate there some years ago was so bad that we should not continue to provide the operators of those institutions with the reward of training our people.

I really believe that this is a detriment, and I would encourage journalists to research training injuries, inspector general complaints (there were hundreds) and direct administrative actions related to our last time there.

Perhaps the reports of hundreds of dissatisfied Soldiers who were there before will begin to convince local leaders about the magnitude and intensity of the problems which were encountered the last time we sent our people there.

There are at least five other large bases across the US which could be used, in addition to almost any Fort, to mobilize and train these Guardsmen, if Executives so desired.

Those orders won't be given if people don't speak up. It's really almost too late; but, if you inquire, maybe we will at least come to an understanding of the magnitude of the problem at hand over there.

The entire facility at Camp MacGregor is one large financial mechanism for fraud, waste and abuse. The training programs we saw on that facility were below standard, by far.

We deserve a good point-by-point explanation as to why our people are being sent in that direction again.

We may have to accept this, but we deserve an explanation.

The best explanation might be a point by point redress of our previous grievances outlined in our complaints to the Inspector General's office at Fort Bliss about Camp MacGregor.

Has anything changed? If it has, maybe it deserves praise. Yet, skeptically, I expect that we are sending our guys back into the same old problems, uncorrected, because we did not bother to even say anything.

The farewell's not the right time or place, but we deserve an answer as to why our guys are getting sent back to this place so that someone can profit off of their deployment.

January 4, 2011 at 7:15 p.m.
northchatt73 said...

I went through MacGregor in 2007 and found it to be a complete cluster. However, I found the poor leadership of 181 to be a far worse issue. MacGregor was a couple of months but the deployment that followed was much longer. The problems at MacGregor were created by idiots outside of the unit. There is no excuse for the harassment that soldiers in the unit faced while deployed.

January 4, 2011 at 8:37 p.m.
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