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Facts About Rotation of U.S. Troops

February 22, 2004

_ By the time the rotation finishes in May, the Pentagon will have shipped nearly 450,000 tons of equipment to the Iraqi theater and shipped home even more _ 700,000 tons.

_Commanders in Kuwait have anointed several ``czars″ to oversee thorny details. One commands a fleet of 400 private buses that can be seen on the highways ferrying U.S. troops from airports and seaports to local bases. The ``wash rack czar″ oversees the 250 car wash stations that scrub and disinfect each military vehicle before it gets shipped back to the United States or Germany. The ``bed down czar″ makes sure there are cots available for each soldier passing through Kuwait.

_In Iraq, the Army completed the rotation of its two largest logistical units in 10 days, even as those units operated convoys across the region. The Army’s 13th Corps Support Command, with about 15,000 members now based north of Baghdad, just replaced the Germany-based 3rd Corps Support Command.

_The military moves its hardware using tracking systems perfected in the corporate world _ satellite tracking beacons and radio frequency identification tags that transmit short-range signals to scanners.

_Rotation sideshows are playing out at Iraq’s Persian Gulf port of Umm Qasr, where each of the four outgoing Army divisions will ship about 800 shipping containers; and at the U.S. air base in Incirlik, Turkey, to where thousands of U.S. troops are being flown on their way out. The flights to Incirlik are Turkey’s first visible cooperation in the war in Iraq since refusing in March to allow U.S. troops to stage an invasion from Turkish territory.

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