15 months is too long

Col. Lee Henry, commander 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and Command Sgt. Maj. John Morgan III, brigade senior enlisted leader, uncase their brigade’s colors Dec. 1, signifying the completion of relief in place operations conducted with the 39th IBCT, Arkansas National Guard. The Arrowhead Brigade is assuming the Victory Base Defense Mission under Multi-National Division – Baghdad. This marks the second deployment to Iraq for the 56th IBCT in support of the Global War on Terror. December 1st, 2008 Location: BAGHDAD, IQ Photographer: Staff Sgt. Jason KendrickView Portfolio, Multi-National Division Baghdad

56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team relieves 39th IBCT in Baghdad. December 1st, 2008

Official: Long deployments less effective

Stars and Stripes:

The Army has concluded it is very difficult to sustain effective unit deployments longer than 12 months, a top Army official said.

There has been a lot of discussion about the Army’s standard 12 month deployment vs. the Marine Corps’ standard 6 month deployment.

In 2006, the Army was actually looking at decreasing deployments from 12 months to 9 or 6 months, but one thing being looked at was the fact that the first couple months of a unit’s deployments were often the most dangerous as the troops settled in. Shorter tours would expose more soldiers to the first couple of months more often.

Obviously, as violence spiraled nearly out of control in later 2006, the discussion of shorter deployments ended.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, Webb wants to put dwell-time rule into law

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., is not giving up on his so-far unsuccessful bid to guarantee in law that troops will get as much time at home as they spend deployed.

I don’t think that a law guaranteeing this is a good thing.