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Chattanooga incident involving National Guard

Discussion in 'Legal' started by marshall3, Oct 18, 2005.

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  1. marshall3

    marshall3 Member

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    This was in the Chattanooga Times/Free Press on Tuesday morning, October 18, 2005...

    COMPLAINTS END MILITARY MARCH
    Riverwalk training with rubber guns scares civilians
    BY MIKE O'NEAL
    STAFF WRITER

    Some of the Tennessee Army National Guard's freshest recruits had their first road march cut short Saturday when a park ranger ordered them to halt.
    The ranger was responding to concerns and questions about the presence of 50 recruits conducting tactical training during a scheduled four-hour march along the Tennessee Riverwalk from Chickamauga Dam to Ross's Landing.
    "Of course it took us by surprise that the civilians were upset," said Sgt. lst Class William Ziegler of the Chattanooga-based 196th Field Artillery Brigade. "It may have seemed intimidating, but that was certainly not our intention:"

    Some recruits had joined the Guard just days earlier and had not been issued uniforms or boots, but all wore helmets and camouflage face paint and carried replica M-16 rifles made of rubber. It was the realistic-looking guns that caused the greatest concern, said Jim Wigley, facilities superintendent at the Tennessee Riverpark.

    "It was just a breakdown in communications," Mr. Wigley said. "We had reports that military personnel were on the trail carrying weapons. No one knew what was going on."

    Since the exercise was creating concern for some park users, Mr. Wigley said Park Ranger Don Chandler advised the military unit to stop what it was doing.
    Sgt. 1st Class Ziegler said the field exercise was intended to get recruits out of the classroom to learn basic small-unit movement and tactics. He said that when the company reached what would be combat danger areas--such as a creek crossing--the troops practiced proper techniques to secure and cross Riverwalk bridges.

    "A few people stopped to watch a bit," Sgt. 1st Class Ziegler said. "Nobody said anything to us directly, though I would have taken the time to explain what we were doing."

    Hamilton County spokeswoman Gina Hatler said civilians started asking, 'What's going on?" and were afraid because they saw troops with guns.
    "Since the park rangers had no answers, they asked that the exercise be suspended," she said.

    Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Hudgins said the rangers never were rude, and he understood they were looking out for others who were using the park.
    "It is sad that there is nowhere convenient to train our troops," he said. "This seemed like a natural site with woodlands, a modern environment, civilian areas and mixed terrain."

    He said that aside from weapons that from a distance could be mistaken as real, the troops had not disturbed anyone. No pyrotechnics were used, and troops never prevented others from using park facilities. "There was no war gaming. We were teaching tactical maneuvering," he said.

    Sgt. 1st Class Hudgins said that the Guard wants "to work out some sort of arrangement with the park, rangers or whomever we need to talk to in order to do it again."

    Mr. Wigley said the nearby Chattanooga Navy and Marine Reserve notifies rangers whenever they intend to use the Riverwalk for training.

    "With the heightened sense of security concerning terrorism, people worry about anything out of the ordinary" he said. "Our rangers keep the park secure. They were doing their job."

    I hope the Guard has more than just RUBBER guns!
    Marshall at www.mouseguns.com
     
  2. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Oh dear .... This was a very bad thing ... They went and upset the sheeple. :eek: :rolleyes:

    If a situation ever happens where law inforcement breaks down and looting is going on they will be very glad to see the National Guard - with real rifles. :banghead:
     
  3. TarpleyG

    TarpleyG Member

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    Holy cow, the military carries weapons?!?!?! OMG!!!

    Back in my reserve days, we used to fly our unit to some of our training bases/locations. We used commercial carriers for this but we loaded up on the tarmac. You shoulda seen the faces of some of the sheeple through the windows in the terminals when they saw 100 or so Marines loading up a passenger jet with all sorts of gear and walking up the steps with slung rifles. The flight attendants didn't seem to appreciate it much either.

    Greg
     
  4. larry starling

    larry starling Member

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    Yea, Guess it was to much for the tree hugger's to take. Some rare weed or there private stash might have gotten disturbed or discovered.......:D
     
  5. Biker

    Biker Member

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    It would be a horrible thing to be beat to death with 'assault rubbers' wielded by 50 crazed NG FNGs wearing face camo, sweats and tennys. The danger is always there...:uhoh:
    Biker
     
  6. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    This is a key factor in the situation that many here seem to be ignoring.

    Imagine you are out in the woods and you see what appears to be a bunch of camouflaged guys not in military uniform out in the woods with what at a glance appears to be M-16 rifles.

    What would you think? Huh?

    I'd think it was a bunch of right wing militia crazies out training. Not being a sheeple I wouldn't give a hoot one way or the other but put your self into the shoes of Joe and Suzy Sixpack who lean a bit to the left and are out for a stroll with their two kids. Yeah... Get it now? They're gonna be in wonderment mode and it would be all together correct for them to be concerned and ask the local rangers what the hell was going on.

    On the other hand it could all just be a vast left wing conspiracy designed to test the reaction of the sheep to the appearance of either the military or militia crazies.... Muhahahaha ;)
     
  7. LAR-15

    LAR-15 Member

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    Stupid sheeple
     
  8. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    Old Fuff,
    Every time that I was mobilized after a natural disaster, I was assigned to protect business districts from looting. There we stood with our M16's. Magazines inserted. Empty.




    Only the new recruits were in civilian clothes. The NCO's were in uniform. Me, I'd look at such a group and say to myself,"Self, National Guard unit out training with recent recruits." I'd be more apt to ask a park ranger what was going on if I saw a group that was all in uniform. They might be chasing Osama bin Laden into the park and maybe I could find him before they did.

    I hope the people yapping at the park rangers were liberals from some other part of the country. I'd expect more sense from the people of Tennessee.
     
  9. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Just what I needed to know. :what: I feel much more secure ... :scrutiny:
     
  10. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    That was my initial thought as well.
     
  11. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    It was probably the face paint that scared the, uh... individuals.
     
  12. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    Old Fuff, the magazines were empty as far as the chain of command knew. Being as the privates standing in the dark in front of electronic stores and jewelry stores were experienced in the vagaries of our chain of command and knew they didn't care if we were faced with armed looters while unarmed-well, we had each brought a couple of hundred rounds with us.

    If the Army really wants to post soldiers on dangerous posts with no ammunition for their weapons, they need to get a weapon chambered for ammunition that can't be procured on the civilian market.

    I had a choice: Either be unarmed with the possibility of facing armed opponents or run the risk of court martial if found with unauthorized ammunition. I figured that I could weather the results of a court martial much better than I could weather being dead. Simple decision, really.

    Fifteen years ago, I had hopes that the military had recovered from the Mickey Mouse crap that was rampant when I was in the Army Reserves in the late seventies. Events of the past few years have dashed my hopes.
     
  13. solareclipse

    solareclipse Member

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    a whose fault was it that they were out of uniform? the citizens'? :rolleyes:
     
  14. Langenator

    Langenator Member

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    The unit should have notified the park rangers and the local law enforcement, even if just as a courtesy. True, they don't have to, but it allows the localo LEO to tell the townsfolk what's going on.
     
  15. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    1) It's not a matter of blame.
    2) Only the new recruits, who have not been issued uniforms yet, were out of uniform. The majority of the unit, who were not new recruits, were wearing uniforms.
    3) The only blame accruing to the citizens is not using using their head for something besides a hat rack. Personally, I can differentiate between military personnel wearing our nation's various uniforms and people wearing BDU's. Perhaps your average person cannot. If so, I find that fairly amazing for I am by no means an expert on things military and what knowlege I do have is 25 years out of date.

    The only things I find to be unusual in the entire situations is:
    1) When I was in the Army Reserve, we didn't have recruits drill with us until they returned from Basic and AIT.
    2) It was SOP for us to inform the appropriate civilian authorities whenever we were using non-military areas such as state or national parks for any time of drill or exercise.

    But, in my opinion, any citizen who cannot tell that a uniformed NCO is military and NOT some militia type-needs to be told when to come in out of the rain. They also need to be closely watched when in the rain to make sure they don't look up and drown.
     
  16. bg

    bg Member

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    When you find out, let me know..
    Mentioning this area of the U.S, brings to mind what civilians must of
    thought when they saw the Armies of the South and later the North
    around those parts during the War between the States.

    Good luck getting these Armies to stop by a park ranger..:rolleyes:

    Sorry, off topic/brain fart again.
     
  17. 44Special

    44Special Member

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    They don't have to?

    They don't have to? Everybody else has to. You can't run a Jeep tour of as few as a dozen Jeeps on public land without a permit. You can't run a trail ride with as few as 20 horses without one; I tried not long ago. It seems to me that you can't hold any kind of organized event in a public park without either some kind of permit or at least notifying the people running the park that such an event is planned. You can argue with whether that ought to be the case or not, but most adults in this country know that's expected of you, and it's poor leadership that this kind of result was not anticipated by the NG leaders.
    Good idea for an exercise, though.
     
  18. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    While I agree with the idea of notification, my attitude is not, "May we use...?" but "We will be using..."

    And Byron is being unduly generous to the civilians...

    Art
     
  19. solareclipse

    solareclipse Member

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    maybe it's not an issue of can tell, but a matter of should the army be oblivious when conducting exercises on public grounds...
     
  20. KriegHund

    KriegHund Member

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    Heck, i prolly woulda watched them outta interest for their manuevers, not concern.
     
  21. KriegHund

    KriegHund Member

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    Have to agree here, i didnt consider that they werent in uniform.
     
  22. Devonai

    Devonai Member

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    Whenever the Massachusetts State Guard trains on public land the proper permit is obtained first. When I was in we would occasionally run into other citizens and I never heard of anyone calling to complain. They may have done so, but the complaint never made it to us.

    Many states are activating recruit training schools to put pre-basic soldiers through training. New Hampshire is one of them and I attended it for one weekend before shipping out. There are rubber ducks galore and it simply makes more sense from a training and logistical perspective. Nothing beats hosing off your "weapon" for five seconds before turning it in.
     
  23. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    "can tell"...what are you talking about? You quoted my post. I never said that the park rangers shouldn't have been notified. Please note the sentence marked with a 2 in my post that you quoted.


    Only the recruits did not have uniforms. The recruits were not the majority.

    The remainder were wearing Army uniforms which, duh, are camouflage.
     
  24. solareclipse

    solareclipse Member

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    refer to your 3rd "point"




    did they have authorization? them being military does not exempt them from following proper code, regardless of if they can be readily identified.

    bottom line is when you bypass procedure, do not complain if you catch smack about it. the laws are there for everyone and nobody is exempt unless such provisions are attached to the law itself.
     
  25. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    As I posted earlier, I found it strange that civilian authorities had not been notified of the exercise. My unit in the Army Reserve notified the town if we were going to set foot out of our post and march around the block.

    I didn't realize that laws were broken by the National Guardsmen? Which laws? Why aren't they being charged?
     
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