More about Beth’s unit, the 203rd MI BN

Last time I mentioned that I had recently found an article about the Weapons Intelligence unit that Beth had been in during the Iraq War. In her letters to me she lamented several times, that the unit had arrived by plane, but the equipment would be arriving by boat:

The main security unit left [Tallil, Iraq] yesterday. They moved up north. Now there are only seven or eight of us left here. The rest of our unit is still in Doha [Kuwait]. They’re on their way up but it’s taking them a long time to get here. All of our equipment is still in the States. And even more crazy is, not only is everything that we need still in the States, but the gear and life support needs are all coming by boat. Meaning that it will be another month or so before any of that stuff gets here. Meanwhile, we’ll have about 150 people or so here without vehicles, gear, tents, or computers and equipment. I can’t understand why we’d have everyone move to Iraq and not be able to do any work.

In my previous blog post, I had noted that the article even commented, ”B Company [Beth’s company] arrived in Kuwait without their organic equipment, which was coming by sea. C Company flew with their equipment.” The article quotes the commanding officer, documenting that this had happened, and how they dealt with it, but not why it had happened:

“I gave the group about four days to get used to the heat and the time change before moving into Iraq. Since we did not have most of our equipment, we are significantly handicapped, but one of my fellow battalion commanders is a friend from Georgia. His unit has spent the entire war at Udairi [Kuwait] and is anxious to help in any way. He agreed to loan us about 15 vehicles and trailers and a mobile kitchen until our equipment arrives. I also got the [513th MI] Brigade to agree to provide me 54 of their long-range surveillance (LRS) platoon soldiers–all excellent infantrymen–to serve as security elements during movement and missions. This is the first of many handshake deals with friends that will prove to make up the backbone of our logistical support going forward.”

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