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State Rep. Jason Brown on the ground with company in Iraq

His reelection campaign must go on without him

Almost two months into his deployment, State Representative Jason Brown of Platte County is working with the soldiers that the company he is assigned to will replace in the Baghdad area.

Brown, a Republican facing re-election this year while he'll be away in Iraq, was able to update his staff in Jefferson City about his activities in Iraq this week.

During this transition period with soldiers that are being replaced--which the Army calls the “left seat/right seat ride time"--outgoing soldiers will train the incoming soldiers. The old way of replacing soldiers was either one at a time or all at once without a true transition time to exchange information. For the last two decades, the Army now mobilizes and deploys soldiers to transition into authority and responsibility, so that lessons learned can be lessons that are retained.

During this shared time on the ground, the outgoing soldiers can pass on and teach the incoming soldiers vital information dealing with the current situation and other operational knowledge. This is done so hard learned lessons don’t have to be repeated. Since Civil Affairs soldiers spend a lot of time outside the “wire” performing missions almost daily in their area of operations (AOR), the left seat/right seat ride time is especially important. This time is also used to give updates on current and ongoing projects from the last rotation and also to give the most current and up-to-date intelligence on insurgents and the terrorist activities in the AOR.

“It is important that the new guys get a good transition and have the opportunity to learn from our experiences,” Sgt. Yocum continued. “Our AOR is a difficult and challenging one. It has some very unique circumstances that our replacements need to be aware of.”

Civil Affairs has the responsibility of working with the international community and local nationals to help set up and stabilize the new government. One way this can be done is through the administration from beginning to the end of infrastructure projects. These projects help the new government deliver the services that citizens need and expect from government agencies. A lot of travel time on the roads, organizing and hosting meetings, and understanding the customs and political implications of the different groups within the country, combined with the threat of violence from those insurgents who want the new government to fail, makes the process difficult at best. Force protection and anti-terrorism tactics are always a priority.

“I agree it’s important that us new guys learn all that we can. Their experiences and operational knowledge is an asset. The company we are replacing had some real casualties over here during their tour. It’s going to be a challenge to continue the good work they did, but our company is up to the task. I am especially honored and proud to be replacing a fellow Missourian so that he can return to our state and be with his family and friends. All of Missouri should be proud of his work and service to our country,” said Staff Sgt. Brown.

Brown will be opposed in the November election by Democrat Jared Welch. Both are Platte City residents.



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