Friday, December 29, 2006

Maybe after the fact

Looks like Saddam Hussein is about to hang.

And not a bit too soon. Lots of folks are trumpeting the fact, MSNBC, Jules Crittenden, Michelle Malkin He's about to swing, and this report may even now be after the fact.

History will say a lot about Saddam Hussein, one of the truly evil men of this era. The simple fact that he existed colored the entire second half of my military career and provided me one of the truly adventurous deployments of my twenty-plus years of service.

There is a truism in the Army that we always train for the last war we fought. That's true in that a good portion of my career was spent training for a Vietnam style jungle environment, or an East Germany, watch-the-Red-Horde-pour-through-Fulda Gap scenario. That isn't always the case, however. In the '70s some far-sighted Army officers saw the need to train heavy brigade sized forces and looked about to find an area that would support large formations locked in manuever. They picked Fort Irwin California, and in 1979 the National Training Center was launched.

The fact that it is a desert environment was truly prophetic. From NTC, we taught brigades to fight as brigades and taught heavy (tank, infantry, artillery) forces to exist, maintain, and succeed in a desert.

There were some truly forward-thinking officers that chose a piece of California desert to build a state of the art training center. Those guys, whoever they are, saved countless thousands of lives.

And sometime soon, if not after the fact, Saddam Hussein will swing into eternity. When the news is made fact, a lot of us who sweated, worked, and bled to make it happen will pause, have a drink, and toast the guys at NTC who made it all possible.

No comments: