The Legacy Media has gone back to the well a few too many times for Congressman Murtha to be taken very seriously anymore.
CBS cited Murtha’s remarks about unit readiness.
There is one problem with Murtha’s comments–other than that the readiness report is mostly a classified document–the report does not reflect reality.
The Quarterly Readiness Report to Congress breaks individual units down into five groups. So-called C-1 units “can understake the full wartime mission for which it is organized and designed.” A C-4 units “requires additional resources or training.” C-5 units are units that whose mission is shifting.
The platoon I was with last Summer in Iraq was designed to drive across an open battle-field and engage tanks and other armored vehicles.
Because there aren’t any Republican Guard tank divisions left in Iraq, they had been converted–rather handily–to a distributed operations infantry unit.
In its normal configuration, the unit would roll in 30-35 Humvees.
But, to adapt to the mission in Iraq, they only had and needed 18-20.
But, under readiness measures, that would make them a C-2 or C-3 unit. Never mind that the configuration in Iraq was better suited for the mission of working the villages on the Euphrates than the by-the-book design.
Units are also measured by how many people are trained in the designed specialty.
But, a unit like I was with could easily mix straight flat foots with, TOW Missile Gunners, Heavey Machine Gunners and motor transport drivers and not miss a beat, but still only score a C-2 or C-3.
Readiness measures also include a lot of boxes to check off, they may not get checked off because unit is too busy fighting a war to get through a bunch of one-hour classes.
One of the key components that the Quarterly Readiness Reports do not measure, but which the military has now in spades is real life combat experience.
I would rather go with a C-2 or C-3 unit with a bunch of experienced NCOs, than a green C-1 unit.
Congressman Murtha being a Marine and combat veteran knows this, but he just can’t resist making it a political issue.
And CBS is happy to repeat his talking points.
General McClellan was famous for his well trained, well equipped Army of the Potomac. But his Army was consistently whipped by lesser forces. By demanding an obsolete notion of by-the-book readiness, Murtha is echoing McClellan.