Last night, the FRG (Family Readiness Group) had a meeting where the Colonel and the Captain and several other important types gave us more “official” information on what’s going on with deployment.
It actually wasn’t much “new” information. While Afghanistan is most likely where the guys are headed, there is still a possiblility it could change back to Iraq. (Which is just what they always say when things are unofficially official so they can recind it later if necessary.) The best guess the Colonel had of when the guys would be leaving is sometime between June 1 and July 30. That actually sounds about right just with all the other things on their schedule.
Leave dates for the guys are March 28-April 28(ish), but we aren’t sure if that applies to Jeremy because of the class he is in. I did get to specifically speak with the CO (Captain) and ask him how this change affects the L.E.S. students (Language Enabled Soldiers). He was so nice. He said that the people way up in 5th are scrambling to decide what their next steps will be with this change in plans. They really don’t want to chuck the program because they feel it is so important. He said that they are considering the fact that it isn’t just language the students have been learning, it’s a lot of important cultural stuff too-which does translate to Afghanistan. He said one possible option is that the class will stop speaking Arabic and do a hard-core crash course in Pashto (which is the language they speak there). It’s also a possibility that they’ll disband the class and send the guys back to their line units. I asked if he thought it was likely that the students would be moved to another unit, etc. and he said he doubts it but obviously can’t say with absolute certainty that it won’t happen. He said 5th really doesn’t want to do that at all.
So in the mean time, we are still hanging. The CO told me they are having meetings/briefings about this constantly and trying to make the best decision as to what to do with the students. He also said that information is slow to disseminate with NTC approaching and a lack in a good venue for that communication. In the mean time, I hope all those students can hang on and not get too discouraged! They won’t know anything till March at least is my guess.
The meeting also covered a lot of other deployment issues, which was nice and sad all at the same time. They talked a LOT about their upcoming trip to California for NTC. Let me just say that they showed us a video of what they’ll be doing and where and that is the most sophisticated, well-thought out training I have seen. If there is any doubt in anybody’s mind that the soldiers don’t get good training, they are crazy! It is intense. Jeremy is so jealous because the guys are going to have so much fun with this stuff. But we are so blessed to have him here for little Chaz!
That’s what I know thus far! If you have any questions, just leave ’em in the comments. Otherwise, more info probably won’t come in ’till the Battalion gets back from California in March.