Posted on Apr 3, 2015
MAJ Ronnie Reams
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I often read on here about troops going outside the wire, as if were a big deal. I guess they are talking about their base camps. I was gone long before the GWOT. But if that is what it means, why is it a big deal to go to the local village, town, etc?
The only thing that I can guess is to force compliance with GO 1 and perhaps some with long memories think they might go to the equivalent of the RVN car washes. What is the real deal on this?
Posted in these groups: 7709e927 GWOT
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LTC Jason Mackay
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Ronnie no one goes outside the wire unless it is a combat operation. There is no "ville" to go to. You go out on your own and you will end up on a milk carton or worse. Many of our smaller outposts were game on with in steps of the gate. Totally different dynamic
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MAJ Ronnie Reams
MAJ Ronnie Reams
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Thanks, I was thinking like a base camp not a FOB, but found that a FOB now is not what it used to be.
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LTC Jason Mackay
LTC Jason Mackay
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Minimum vehicular movements varied between Iraq and Afghanistan, but no less than three with 2 crew served weapons was the barest of minimum in Iraq post Sep2003. Then there was having multiple enablers like CCA, Route Clearance etc. all movements were a combat patrol, even for us Loggies. We had more IED finds/strikes than some of our rifle battalions.
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Capt Richard I P.
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MAJ Ronnie Reams Sir, its often used to distinguish those who go into the area an enemy can affect with direct fire and IEDs versus only IDF aboard Forward Operating Bases (FOBs). They are basically saying (more politely) "I am not solely a fobbit."
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Capt Richard I P.
Capt Richard I P.
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MAJ Ronnie Reams, Sir from what little I know of the Vietnam war, back then the Forward Operating Bases were really pretty FORWARD. These days the term "FOB" is generally understood to apply to everything from a platoon to a MEF Headquarters sized base. Patrol Bases (PB), Combat OutPosts (COPs) and CheckPoints (CPs) generally mean smaller positions but still tend to be relatively fortified with HESCO, sandbagging, towers, often generators powerful radios and cameras on sticks. Going "outside the wire" means you have departed these (relatively) more safe positions and ventured into (possibly) contested areas. People who have flown from one FOB to another are generally not considered to have "left the wire" and there is some debate as to whether convoying in vehicles from one FOB to another qualifies.

There have been some instances of enemy attacks on established positions, many of the Korengal PBs COPs and FOBs were attacked and men in them saw genuine, sometimes desperate and heroic defensive fighting. Even FOB Leatherneck/Bastion had a penetration attack that was significant. But over time most support personnel aboard large FOBs were subject only to intermittent IDF.

I think its a bit like the "I'm less POG than you" idea discussed in other topics such as:
https://www.rallypoint.com/answers/quit-calling-us-pogs
https://www.rallypoint.com/answers/no-car-no-respect-the-push-to-end-the-ribbon-rack-divide-your-thoughts
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MAJ Ronnie Reams
MAJ Ronnie Reams
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Yep, we had the BMB (Brigade Main Base), BDE Forward, and lastly FOBs. When we were in the bush, the company at the FOB rotated. Evey 4-6 weeks we went BMB for a few days,no longer than a week. Left the BMB on a regular basis. In the 199th case, when I was there, that generally meant going to Bien Hoa or Cholon/Saigon. Also, we had a nice French Restaurant that was only about 5 clicks away towards Bien Hoa.
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MAJ Ronnie Reams
MAJ Ronnie Reams
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Units like the Red One, Not the black one, lol, that had their BMBs at little places like Di An, Lie Khe and Phouc Vinh did not have many places to go when back at their BMB. MG DuPuy, who had told Westy there was no such thing as Bloody Black One and kept the Red One when other units changed to subdued, opened a whore house at Di An and made sure all the girls had their shots and inspected by Medics at least once a week. This helped the Army by keeping the VD rate down and kept the soldiers from having to use the car washes.
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LTC Jason Mackay
LTC Jason Mackay
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Ronnie, no area was considered "secure". Perhaps in a relative sense, inside the Hescos and wire. Kuwait was secure. Manas in Kyrgizstan was kinda secure. That was it
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COL Charles Williams
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It is all about your perspective.

It seems like, at least in my Army Career, your service in combat/combat zone is/was judged by whether you worked on a secure base, camp, FOB and COB, etc... or went outside... (In Somalia we called it into Indian Country; Not PC I know, but that was what we called it). Since 911, outside the wire has become the demarcation between the discussions actual combat service vs. service in a combat zone or theater.

In Iraq and Afghanistan (and other places I have been) there was always a threat of indirect fire attacks etc., but the threat was generally low. But, nevertheless, in a combat zone, you number can be up anywhere. The real threat generally came, in most places when you went outside to operate, or even just to travel from place to place. Hence the discourse and disagreement.

To me, it is not a big deal. Service is service. You do the best wherever you are planted.
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SPC Jan Allbright, M.Sc., R.S.
SPC Jan Allbright, M.Sc., R.S.
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We called it Indian Country as well in Vietnam .. And I don't think that is derogatory towards American Indians .. It got that name because in the American west if you went outside the wire (eg the fort) you stood a pretty good chance of getting killed!
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COL Charles Williams
COL Charles Williams
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Same - same in Mogadishu... or On Route Irish or Tampa...
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