I'm getting pretty sick of explaining to people who aren't even in the military that the real military doesn't need your assistance, or praise, or fawning, bootlicking adulation. They don't need you to "honor" them by dressing up like them. They aren't pin up girls, they don't appreciate your gear *****s. Just stop. Please.
Yup, gotta love the poo stories, Most our PRT drive around in unarmoured hiluxs load to the hilt with kit, almost gingle truck style, so there would be maybe 1 roll in the cabs and a box stored somewhere safe for their 3-4 week ptl, I was QRF in Hummvees, all my wagons had TP within an arms reach no matter where you were in the truck and tubes of disinfectant. When ever we'd conduct halts when on patrol with our K patrol guys in hiluxs, one of tem would always push back down the convoy trying to score some TP rather than dig into there own stash.
We always kept an MRE box with a heavy plastic bag for a liner in the stryker, just in case. Sadly the day came when I had need of it, and we were dismounted far from the vehicles, so my poor battle buddy pulled security one way, i leaned against a wall pulling security the other way with my pants down and did my magic. Lesson: use those little side pouches on the 1qt canteen pouch (which I use to carry NVGs/batteries) for that most essential of paper-based items.
To echo was SMGlee said about an E&E rig: my rule of thumb was that everyone had something in the vehicle that was easy to grab, accessible, and could support 24 hours on your own, to include a fair bit of fighting. This way the "fastball" as we called them was good for E&E, or simply to grab/throw out of the vehicle in a firefight. Mine included: 9 5.56 mags (3 loaded with mostly tracers), 2x grenades each of frag, flash, and smoke, water purifying stuff, signal mirror, strobe (VS-17 was already in my kit) about 3,000 calories of food like what SMGLee mentioned, compass, map, my basic arabic book, 2 sets of extra batteries for everything I carried, beefed up first aid kit including the usual pills, and some other small sundries. Sounds like a lot, but the idea was to make a catch-all grab bag for any "oh sh*t" situation. Every setup was pretty much the same, so if it came down to it, any bag in a vehicle had what you'd need. I'd also like to echo the sentiment that there is a line between prepared and overboard. Even as a MiTT, at a very high risk of capture on some missions well out of any city I never put more than 36-48 hours of stuff in my fastball bag. More important than any of this is the ability to figure out where the heck you are, and know the area well enough to know where to go, and where not to go. Mark fun places like police/army stations, mayors' house, etc on your map so you can get to them fast and make contact from there. I know this is mostly Iraq-centric, but thats all I know for now, my apologies
SOP states that per 1 M1151, 1 Incendiary grenade must be present in case of needing to destroy equipment on spot. Rule of thumb. It takes 5 apparently, the Army didn't remember the fact when an EFP hits the rear blast doors jam shut and the trunk stops working.
We had an ammo can on the floor (where no one sat, in the back) with several flares, smoke and incendiary grenades, for that very reason. I figured 1 ea for the radios, FBCB2, and CREW. They were on the floor just in case a hit triggered them, they'd just burn through floorboard instead of anything even vaguely vital.
I'm a big fan of lists for important trips. When I joined the Army 3 years ago, I had to go through BCT twice due to a fracture suffered halfway through the first time. Since I had to stay at BCT the entire cycle the first go 'round even though I wasn't graduating, I had a lot of time to be able to make a list of everything I'd need to bring back for the second time. There are sooo many little things one would forget!
So, I just wanted to say...
This thread was great for when I had a brief deployment because it gave me a lot more piece of mind to compare my packing list with the ones here and feel more comfortable that I was prepared. It gave me some new ideas, as well, but being able to compare was immeasurably useful.
Hey, I'm deploying to iraq realy soon. I wanted to gather information on the current situation from sources that realy know whats going on. The news tends to shift focus in and out of Iraq, so it is hard to get a good idea.
Any new ROE?
Pros and Cons to an Iraq deployment?
Asking "what the situation on the ground in Iraq is", is really a wide open question; the answer depends entirely on where you're going and what your mission will be. It can really only be answered by the people you'll be replacing once you get to where you're going.
Aside from that, there's lots of good generic deployment advice that can be had here.
My 2 cents: Pack a lot of AA lithium batteries for your digital camera. They sell out very quickly.