Peacekeeping: Sailors Serving Far From the Sea


May 29, 2006: The U.S. Army is stretched pretty thin with its commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the war on terror in general. The air force and navy have been helping out as much as they can, including providing officers and troops for peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan. There, some 500 sailors serve in reconstruction teams, and in other support jobs. Six PRTs (Provincial Reconstruction Teams) in Afghanistan are headed by navy officers, and staffed largely by sailors with skills applicable to the work. The navy has plenty of people adept at building and repairing things, and is currently downsizing. So it was not difficult getting volunteers for the Afghanistan assignment. Many sailors are eager to get involved, because the current fighting has largely been an army show. Air force officers head up another six PRTs, with a combination of soldiers and airmen doing the work. Without the help of the navy and air force, the army would have to supply all the troops for these PRTs, and other jobs being handled by the other services.




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