Attrition: Staffing a 24/7 War

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November28, 2006: Without any fanfare at all, the U.S. Army is hiring more civilians to perform non-combat support jobs in Iraq. Vehicle and equipment maintenance jobs are the most numerous, but civilians are also being brought in to operate some of the UAVs, and even work on some intelligence projects. This enables the army to send fewer soldiers to Iraq, or send many of them there less frequently. There's also the problem of the higher tempo of operations during wartime demanding more of maintenance personnel that they are capable of. American units are not designed for the kind of constant operations that are typical of Iraq. Fighting a conventional enemy, combat comes in spurts, allowing time in between for the maintenance people to catch up. So civilians are brought in to provide the kind of 24/7 service the troops require in Iraq.

 


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