Author Topic: No Danger Pay for Special Forces Headed To Iraq  (Read 337 times)

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Online rangerrebew

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No Danger Pay for Special Forces Headed To Iraq
« on: June 21, 2014, 09:27:19 AM »
No Danger Pay for Special Forces Headed To Iraq


Spec Ops Troops in Afghanistan

Military.com Jun 20, 2014 | by Richard Sisk


Special Forces troops heading to Iraq to advise the Iraqi security forces will not receive combat pay but will have immunity from local law, Pentagon officials said Friday.

"This is not a combat mission, they are not being sent to participate in combat," said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, of the 300 Special Forces troops ordered to Iraq by President Obama on Thursday.

Consequently, the troops would not be eligible for "imminent danger pay" of $7.50 daily up to $225 per month for service members in areas where they could be at grave risk, Kirby said.

Kirby said danger pay ended for U.S. troops with the withdrawal of forces at the end of 2011, and Iraq currently was no longer considered a combat zone in terms of pay and benefits for U.S. troops.

Last month, the Defense Deparment eliminated "imminent danger pay" for troops serving in neighboring Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and also in the Gulf state of Qatar.

Kirby added that the troops going to Iraq to assess the state of Iraqi forces and advise them on combating the extremists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will not be subject to Iraqi law in case of an incident, Kirby said.


    
 U.S. forces returning to Iraq will be subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Kirby said.

"I can assure you they will have all legal protections," Kirby said.

U.S. military personnel currently in Iraq at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad are covered by the diplomatic immunity of the State Department. The refusal of Iraq to give immunity from local law to U.S. troops was a major factor in the failure to reach a Status of Forces agreement that led to the 2011 withdrawal.

Critics of the Obama administration have argued that the White House failed to put enough effort into the negotiations for a new Status of Forces Agreement that would have allowed a training and advisory force to remain in Iraq.

In announcing the decision to send the 300 Special Forces troops, President Obama said Thursday that the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was to blame for the impasse over immunity for U.S. troops that led to the withdrawal.

In Iraq Friday, government forces reportedly were regrouping north of Baghdad in preparation for a push against ISIS fighters who have taken over large swaths of territory north and west of the capital including the Mosul, the second largest city, Reuters reported.

"The strategy has been for the last few days to have a new defense line to stop the advance" of ISIS fighters attacking in pickup trucks, a Maliki ally told Reuters. "We succeeded in blunting the advance and now are trying to get back areas unnecessarily lost."

Pentagon officials gave a similar assessment. "We're starting to see some cohesiveness and some fight" from the Iraqi forces, Kirby said.

Iraqi troops were also attempting to push ISIS fighters out of the northern town of Baiji, site of Iraq's largest oil refinery, Kirby said.

"It's still unclear in whose hands it sits," Kirby said of Baiji.

The Special Forces troops going to Iraq will be drawn from the U.S. Central Command and were expected to begin arriving in about a week, Kirby said.

In the meantime, small teams drawn from U.S. military personnel at the Embassy from the Office of Security Cooperation, which oversees military sales to Iraq, will take up assignments advising the Iraqi forces.

Their missions will be to determine the morale and status of the Iraqi forces, develop a clearer picture of the situation on the ground and set out an agenda for the arriving Special Forces troops, Kirby said.

When asked if the Special Forces would coordinate targeting for possible airstrikes, Kirby said "The President hasn't made that decision." Last week, the U.S. moved the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush into the Persian Gulf to be closer to Iraq should airstrikes be ordered.

The U.S. also has attack aircraft in Turkey, Kuwait, and Qatar, but it was unclear if those states would give the U.S. permission to conduct bombing raids from their territory.

Kirby declined to put a timeline on how long the Special Forces troops might stay in Iraq but "we're not introducing American troops into Iraq for a lengthy stay."

"It's not an occupation. It's not an invasion. It's a temporary arrangement," he said.

Kirby acknowledged reports that ISIS fighters had overrun overrun a facility north of Baghdad that was used decades ago to produce chemical weapons, but he said it was an old facility that was "not likely to be able to be accessed or used."

If ISIS fighters were to attempt to use it to produce chemical weapons, "it's likely to be more of a threat to them than to anyone else," Kirby said.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed that ISIS "has occupied the Al Muthanna complex," a former chemical weapons facility about 36 miles northwest of Baghdad that was heavily bombed by the U.S. in the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

"We remain concerned about the seizure of any military site" by the group, Psaki said in a statement. "We do not believe that the complex contains CW (chemical weapons) materials of military value, and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to safely move the materials."

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/06/20/no-danger-pay-for-special-forces-headed-to-iraq.html
« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 09:28:03 AM by rangerrebew »
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Offline EC

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Re: No Danger Pay for Special Forces Headed To Iraq
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2014, 11:53:15 AM »
Quote
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed that ISIS "has occupied the Al Muthanna complex," a former chemical weapons facility about 36 miles northwest of Baghdad that was heavily bombed by the U.S. in the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

"We remain concerned about the seizure of any military site" by the group, Psaki said in a statement. "We do not believe that the complex contains CW (chemical weapons) materials of military value, and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to safely move the materials."

Wheee! So the chemical weapons, which don't exist in the first place, are too dangerous to be moved by people who consider blowing themselves and anyone they dislike up in public to be a valid form of protest.

These folk are not all that hip on health and safety and OSHA compliance. Is it too much to ask for one single adult in the State department? Just one?  :shrug:

The BS they send us is immense, we get more paperwork than we do ammo. Not saying much, since we rarely get ammo or anything anyone would consider useful. Useful though in it's own way, we use it for fire lighters.  It gets chilly here of an evening and we got jack shit for power, barely enough to run the essentials, so fires for cooking it is. Hell - half the time there isn't enough juice to run the landing lights and you are coming in based on a flare or a laser designator or some stupidly brave LO waving a pair of glow sticks at you. It takes nearly 6 hours to charge my damned tablet. We've got solar, but it is shit. Not bad for heating water, the shower (yes, singular, for about 150 of us - we're forced to get friendly rather fast and dropping the soap is considered a capital offence) is usually way too hot, but it's crap on a stick for electrical. Too much dust here, you'd need someone sweeping the panels 24/7.

Lost two so far. One Jordanian - just bad luck. He'd passed his jacket on to a totally retarded civ and got hit in random cross fire. Don't even think it were aimed, just some buck showing his balls. He bled out before we could get to nearest safe, but we tried hard. Good guy, wicked sense of humor, only been married a year and a bit. Was not a pleasant call to make.

One Kiwi. Ate his gun, a little bit unexpected. Nothing much you can do about that except burn the mattress and send his gear home with his ashes. Trying not to think about that one. It were a shock to us all. Nice guy, bit quiet, knows his way around the block. Nearer my age than most of the ones we have. Then suddenly, he's gone. Usual explanation for both given - heart attack. It's technically true, their hearts did stop.

Yeah - feeling bitter right now. Had about 2 hours sleep in the last 2 days.
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