Red Devils: Tactical Perspectives from Iraq
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS COMBAT STUDIES INST
Pagination or Media Count:
This essay describes the operations of a U.S. Army infantry battalion as it prepared for combat at its home base in Europe and fought in northern Iraq during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. The actions described were carried out by the 1st Battalion Airborne, 508th Infantry, a subordinate unit of the 173d Airborne Brigade stationed in Vicenza, Italy. Both organizations were part of the U.S. Army Southern European Task Force Airborne, known as SETAF, and also headquartered in Vicenza, Italy. These units were normally responsible to the Commander U.S. Army Europe for training and tasking, and they provided the Commander U.S. European Command USEUCOM with a rapid reaction capability throughout Europe, most of Africa, and parts of the Middle East. The 1st Battalion Airborne, 508th Infantry is more often than not referred to by its World War II regimental nickname -- the Red Devils. In the fall of 2002, the Red Devil mission was to alert, marshal, and deploy within 24 hours of notification by air, ground, rail, or sea transportation to conduct forcible entry, ground combat, or stability and support operations to demonstrate U.S. resolve, or respond within 24 hours to crisis as directed by USEUCOM. The battalion would eventually have the opportunity to carry out nearly every task in its mission statement although it would perform them far outside of its traditional area of employment. LTC Harry Tunnells Red Devils is the history of one Soldiers and one units experience in Operation Iraqi Freedom. War must be studied from a variety of perspectives if one hopes to understand it and profit from that understanding. Like studies of grand strategy and operational histories, personal accounts of war are a critical aspect of understanding that immensely complex phenomenon.
- Humanities and History
- Unconventional Warfare