Interview With Cpt Aaron Baugher by John H. McCoolInterview With Cpt Aaron Baugher by John H. McCool

Interview With Cpt Aaron Baugher

byJohn H. McCool

Paperback | January 4, 2013

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An Iowa National Guardsman, Captain Aaron Baugher commanded the 58-man 194th Long Range Surveillance (LRS) Detachment, part of the 34th Infantry Division, in Iraq from February 2004 through February 2005. Beginning with discussing the "of little value and poorly instructed" predeployment training his detachment received at Fort Hood, Texas, and the fallout that resulted once his frank after-action review was released to the media, Baugher then moves on to the wide range of missions his unit performed while under Task Force Olympia (I Corps). The 194th was ordered for human intelligence collection activities in northern Iraq, including the entire international border with Turkey, portions of the Iranian border and a small portion of the Syrian border. In addition to intel collection, the detachment coached, taught and mentored an Iraqi border patrol battalion, using the battalion's company outposts as staging areas for both missions. Divided into two elements to facilitate the success of each mission, the first operated in the northeast region of Iraq and established a detachment outpost in Irbil. The second operated in the north-central and northwest with its outpost located in Dahuk. Baugher talks in detail about his relationship with the Kurds and how he went about building and maintaining rapport with soldiers from the Iraqi border police battalion. "Those Kurds loved us and we loved working with them" Baugher said. "Those guys would take a bullet for us any day. They didn't like to let us get out of their sights because they were so concerned we might get hurt, so they were always around us." Regarding the border security mission, Baugher says he and his guys were mainly looking to interdict smugglers. "There was a lot of stuff coming in and out of those very porous borders: ammo, weapons, people, electronics, digital software and hardware, and drugs.... We [also] had Iranian intelligence guys coming across the border. A lot of activity. Wherever the Iranians feel the border is that day, that's pretty much where it is." Baugher describes a mission where his unit had to transport $1.6 billion in cash and also discusses problems caused by a reconstituted Ansar al-Islam terrorist organization. Midway through their tour, the 194th was moved to the Syrian border around Rabia and began working closely with 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division - the Stryker BCT - doing counter improvised explosive device and route security missions, as well as ambushes of IED emplacers and other insurgent types using their sniper assets. In closing Baugher relates the many advantages to his being a Guard unit and lists "saving American lives" as the most rewarding aspect of his deployment.
Title:Interview With Cpt Aaron BaugherFormat:PaperbackDimensions:22 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.05 inPublished:January 4, 2013Publisher:BiblioGovLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1288535287

ISBN - 13:9781288535286

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