507Th Maintenance Unit Research Paper

Pages: 8 (2595 words)  |  Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] The navigational error is evident in the first two movements that were off-road on the first day of the operation. During the progression of the convoy to Attack Position Lizard off-road, most of the heavy vehicles experienced mechanical issues that subsequently contributed to the vehicles being immobilized. Similar to other units, the 507th Maintenance Company became detached from its designated march columns. This was the onset of the navigational error that resulted in the fragmentation of the unit into two different groups. This was followed by delays and confusion in navigating between intersections given that there was no formal tactical control point left at the intersections.

An example of the error was when the leader of the element presumed he was to proceed on Route Blue and ordered by the remaining personnel on scene. The progression made the element to miss a crucial turn and veered off onto Highway 7/8 from Route Blue. In this process, the element reached the intersections with Highway 7 and Highway 16 before ultimately realizing they had diverged from the designated route. This deviation proved fatal since the element received hostile fire and attacks as they attempted to return to the intersection with Highway 16 ("507th Maintenance Company," 2013). The navigational error was accompanied with combined impacts of the speed of operations, segregation, heightened fatigue, and cruel environmental conditions (Starr, 2003). This made the element of the 507th Maintenance Company to find itself in a terrible situation and fierce fire from an enemy who was utilizing asymmetrical measures. According to Luo and Roberts (2003), the ambush started when the maintenance unit took a wrong turn into the city of An Nasiriyah.

Segregation

During the rapid progression of ground campaign towards Baghdad, the maintenance unit became increasingly segregated since it was in the last group of 600 vehicles. The segregation mainly occurred because communications had been stretched beyond limit and could not be expanded to accommodate them. The Company faced communication difficulties during recovery of heavy wheeled vehicles from several mechanical issues and breakdowns through the cross-country route via the Iraqi desert ("U.S. Army Official Report," 2013). The segregation was accompanied with human error, which was brought by little rest in a journey of approximately 70 hours and minimal communications. The segregation and human error in turn placed the element of the 507th Maintenance Company in the midst of an adaptive adversary who utilized asymmetric techniques that exploited the unit's weaknesses. Moreover, the unit's leadership did not employ the various available measures to lessen the risk of such an event such as Brief-back rehearsal. Some of the initiatives employed by the element to lessen these risks such as Traffic Control Point were largely ineffective.

Unpreparedness of the Military

One of the Army officials stated that the ambush of the 507th Maintenance Company was seemingly brought by the unpreparedness of the U.S. military and the coalition forces in this conflict. This unpreparedness of the military is a major factor since it contributed to the other incidents that led to the ambush. The first evident aspect of the unpreparedness is the isolation of the unit from communications that could have incorporated them in the process. While the unit was among the last group, there were no adequate preparations to ensure proper communications and prevent isolation. The military should have ensured proper communication channels regardless of the harsh environmental conditions.

The second evident aspect of unpreparedness of the military in Operation Iraqi Freedom is the lack of time to cover their ranks. The Soldiers and Marine Corps did not have time to cover for their ranks, especially the 507th Maintenance Company, during the race to Baghdad. Furthermore, they did not slow down for unprecedented complications and situations such as mechanical issues of heavily wheeled vehicles or the challenges in navigating through the sands of the desert (Starr, 2003). Actually, as some of these vehicles were experiencing mechanical issues and getting stuck in the sand, the distances between them increased. The failure to afford time to cover their ranks exposed some of the elements and units to dangerous situations that enhance the likelihood of attacks from adversaries and more challenges in the process.

The third aspect of unpreparedness was the seeming lack of adequate resources to supplement the already depleting ones. For instance, the element of the 507th Maintenance Company had difficulties in supplementing gas as they were plagued by trucks that were running out of gas. During the firefight with the Iraqi forces and irregulars, some of the soldiers attempted to fight back, but were hindered by broken weapons. The lack of enough resources in turn affected the effectiveness of the element to fight back any attack or ambush. It is quite clear that the maintenance unit was lightly armed with light weapons and sidearms. As they came across Iraqi forces with heavy automatic weapons, they were relatively unable to fight back effectively. The supply lines were more than 200 miles apart and could not be accessed when needed urgently or easily.The army seemed to have forgotten some important details that could have ensured all its units including supportive groups were protected throughout the operation.

Conclusion

The 507th Maintenance Company was one of the supportive groups to the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and coalition forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom. While the group had prepared to provide its maintenance support to these forces, it was ambushed in An Nasiriyah in the early stages of this operation. In the end, 11 soldiers were murdered, 7 captured, and 9 wounded while 16 survived the attack. This unit of the United States Army was placed in a dreadful predicament by the unjustifiable desire of its command structure to advance to Baghdad. The navigation error, segregation, and unpreparedness of the U.S. military that resulted in the ambush are factors that could have been prevented. However, the obsession with the race to Baghdad by the command structure played a crucial role in generating these factors and ultimately the ambush.

References

"507th Maintenance Company." (2013, November 1). Global Security -- Military. Retrieved October 21, 2014, from http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/507maint-co.htm

Luo, M., & Roberts, C. (2003, July 26). Soldiers of Ambushed 507th Maintenance Company

Finally Tell Their Story. USA Today. Retrieved October 21, 2014, from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-07-26-lynch-convoy_x.htm

Starr, B. (2003, July 11). Father: 507th Ambush a "Preposterous" Tragedy. CNN. Retrieved

October 21, 2014, from http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/07/10/sprj.irq.convoy.attack/

"U.S. Army Official Report on 507th… [END OF PREVIEW]

Aircraft Maintenance Management Term Paper


Plan for the Care and Maintenance of the Facilities Research Proposal


Self-Concept Maintenance: Analysis of Self-Regulation, Social Comparison Research Paper


Multimodal Unit Multimodal Curricular Term Paper


Maintenance of Relationships Term Paper


View 1,000+ other related papers  >>

Cite This Research Paper:

APA Format

507Th Maintenance Unit.  (2014, October 21).  Retrieved November 19, 2018, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/507th-maintenance-unit/9662175

MLA Format

"507Th Maintenance Unit."  21 October 2014.  Web.  19 November 2018. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/507th-maintenance-unit/9662175>.

Chicago Format

"507Th Maintenance Unit."  Essaytown.com.  October 21, 2014.  Accessed November 19, 2018.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/507th-maintenance-unit/9662175.