Almost two months into his deployment, State
Representative Jason Brown of Platte County is
working with the soldiers that the company he
is assigned to will replace in the Baghdad area.
Brown, a Republican facing re-election this year
while he'll be away in Iraq, was able to update
his staff in Jefferson City about his activities
in Iraq this week.
During this transition period with soldiers that
are being replaced--which the Army calls the left
seat/right seat ride time"--outgoing soldiers
will train the incoming soldiers. The old way
of replacing soldiers was either one at a time
or all at once without a true transition time
to exchange information. For the last two decades,
the Army now mobilizes and deploys soldiers to
transition into authority and responsibility,
so that lessons learned can be lessons that are
During this shared time on the ground, the outgoing
soldiers can pass on and teach the incoming soldiers
vital information dealing with the current situation
and other operational knowledge. This is done
so hard learned lessons dont have to be
repeated. Since Civil Affairs soldiers spend a
lot of time outside the wire performing
missions almost daily in their area of operations
(AOR), the left seat/right seat ride time is especially
important. This time is also used to give updates
on current and ongoing projects from the last
rotation and also to give the most current and
up-to-date intelligence on insurgents and the
terrorist activities in the AOR.
It is important that the new guys get a
good transition and have the opportunity to learn
from our experiences, Sgt. Yocum continued.
Our AOR is a difficult and challenging one.
It has some very unique circumstances that our
replacements need to be aware of.
Civil Affairs has the responsibility of working
with the international community and local nationals
to help set up and stabilize the new government.
One way this can be done is through the administration
from beginning to the end of infrastructure projects.
These projects help the new government deliver
the services that citizens need and expect from
government agencies. A lot of travel time on the
roads, organizing and hosting meetings, and understanding
the customs and political implications of the
different groups within the country, combined
with the threat of violence from those insurgents
who want the new government to fail, makes the
process difficult at best. Force protection and
anti-terrorism tactics are always a priority.
I agree its important that us new
guys learn all that we can. Their experiences
and operational knowledge is an asset. The company
we are replacing had some real casualties over
here during their tour. Its going to be
a challenge to continue the good work they did,
but our company is up to the task. I am especially
honored and proud to be replacing a fellow Missourian
so that he can return to our state and be with
his family and friends. All of Missouri should
be proud of his work and service to our country,
said Staff Sgt. Brown.
Brown will be opposed in the November election
by Democrat Jared Welch. Both are Platte City