On Point: the United States Army in Operation Iraqi ... - Boekje Pienter

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On Point: the United States Army in Operation Iraqi ... - Boekje Pienter

ForewordDuring a 38-year career as a soldier that included duty as an artillery forwardobserver in Vietnam and ended as commander of US Central Command duringOperation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF), I came to appreciate the value of the lessonslearned concept to both commissioned officers and NCOs. Studying the successes andfailures of recent campaigns is essential to leaders’ professional development as theystrive toward greater technical and tactical proficiency.The obvious hard work and dedication that went into On Point reinforce thatconviction. But this book is far more than a standard campaign history; like theoperation it analyzes in admirable detail, the study is unique.Although Army Chief of Staff General Eric K. Shinseki commissioned the work,the book transcends the Army perspective. OIF was America’s first truly joint combatoperation, with the services successfully integrated in the battlespace to a degree ofmutual support and cooperation that would have been impossible five years ago. Thebook details the major elements in that evolution in joint warfare as they played out inthe deserts, mountains, cities, and skies of Iraq.The human dimension of war, especially the quality of the men and women inuniform who fought the campaign and won the historic victory, is a major element ofthe book.Using hundreds of interviews of the troops and scores of detailed maps andillustrations, On Point provides a “user-friendly” guide to shape future force structureand training and help refine America’s warfighting doctrine.The authors worked rapidly and diligently to capture the essential lessons of thecampaign; as a result, the study is available today to help leaders at every level.As I read On Point, I was reminded once again of the great honor it was to servewith America’s courageous soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen.General Tommy R. FranksUS Army, Retiredi

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