Big Red One, Second Brigade to Africa

| December 25, 2012

the Army is sending small teams culled from 1st Infantry Division’s Second Brigade to Africa ostensibly to train troops in up to 35 nations how to fight the spread of al Qaeda on that continent, according to the Associated Press;

The teams will be limited to training and equipping efforts, and will not be permitted to conduct military operations without specific, additional approvals from the secretary of defense.

The sharper focus on Africa by the U.S. comes against a backdrop of widespread insurgent violence across North Africa, and as the African Union and other nations discuss military intervention in northern Mali.

I hope that Big Army remembers how “small teams” are not very well equipped to protect themselves – you know, that 80s thing in Central America when the troops weren’t allowed to arm themselves with weapons bigger than handguns. A couple of Americans paid with their lives for that stupid shit.

Operations in Africa tend to get sidetracked with that mission creep thing, too.

Gen. Carter Ham, the top U.S. commander in Africa, noted that the brigade has a small drone capability that could be useful in Africa. But he also acknowledged that he would need special permission to tap it for that kind of mission.

“If they want them for (military) operations, the brigade is our first sourcing solution because they’re prepared,” said Gen. David Rodriguez, the head of U.S. Army Forces Command. “But that has to go back to the secretary of defense to get an execute order.”

Not a confidence builder in the wake of the Benghazi consulate thing.

Category: Big Army, Terror War

Comments (15)

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  1. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Hey, here’s an idea. Why do we have to train them on their turf, hostile or not? Why not meet somewhere elswhere and train them? The weather in the US might not replicate conditions in Africa but there must be a nice island or other isolated place where this training can be conducted. No, the plan is never to put our people in the mess. It just seems always to turn out that way.

  2. jonp says:

    I was in central america in the 80’s and Big Army wanted us to, among other things, stand guard duty without firearms just radios. Not too bright imho.

  3. NHSparky says:

    Ah, yes–another “advisory” role on another continent, in another decade.

    This ain’t ending well.

  4. UpNorth says:

    AirCav, the USMC has this thing called the Jungle Warfare Training Center, on Okinawa. I only know this, because my oldest son was an instructor there for 3 years.
    I think sending the “indigenous personnel” there for training is a great idea.
    Unless Representative Hank Johnson is worried that Okinawa will also tip over.

  5. UnicornDick says:

    This has been going on for years… except now instead of sending a hodgepodge of Guard and Reservists they are getting them from a single source. One example…

  6. Jorge says:

    Yeah. Feels like they are trying to play whack a mole by covering all the holes at the same time.

    I think Jonn is correct. Is there going to be a battalion of Rangers on constant standby waiting to fly in in case of trouble? Are these guys going to have the culture and French (or Afrikaans/Portuguese) training necessary to play the game?

    I’m sure the countries involved will listen for the sake of face, but they have their own agendas….


  7. DetCord says:

    Yep, I volunteered for this!

  8. B Woodman says:

    #3 NHS,
    I concur.
    VietNam 1960’s all over again. Except in Africa.
    ChiCom being replaced by Muzzies.
    Look for the mission creep, from training to full combat, with silly ROEs to hamstring and handcuff our troops.

    What could POSSIBLY go wrong??

  9. O-4E says:

    The Chinese are heavily invloved in Africa and expanding. So we either set back and let Africa fall into that sphere of influence…or we engage with the continent.

  10. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    O-4E: That “sphere of influence” doesn’t seem to be so influential beyond some yen and small arms. If we want to worry about China’s influence, we would be well advised to start here, in the USA, where China holds more than a trillion dollars in US Treasury notes, bills, and bonds.

  11. CBSenior says:

    So General, your men get into a fire fight and are dying and you would look for special permission to use a weapon that might save lives. Boy were do I sign up to follow a POS like you into Battle. Worried that you might not retire with as many stars as you have now. Then you do not deserve any of them.

  12. TrapperFrank says:

    Isn’t this something that a 12 Special Forces A-Team is trained to do? Couldn’t they do it a whole lot better and a whole lot cheaper? Just my $.02…

  13. Bandido says:

    What friggin’ genius General looking for another star or political appointment thought this hair-brained scheme up?