Soldiers Resist "Suicide Mission"

US Soldiers Mutiny Rather Than Go on Unsafe Fuel Delivery Mission

October 18th, 2004: A group of reservist soldiers from the fuel platoon of the 343rd Quartermaster Company refused to go on a delivery mission last Wednesday. The soldiers, from a unit north of Baghdad, told family members that they considered the convoy destined for Taji to be a "suicide mission", citing the poor condition of their vehicles and the absence of ground and air support to protect the convoy. The equipment concerns had to do with the fact that their tanker trucks had been filled with diesel fuel without being purged of jet fuel. Soldiers worried that the fuel was thus contaminated, and could endanger helicopter crews. Soldiers were also worried about equipment problems such as inadequate armor.

br />According to reports from last week, 17 of the 19 soliders are being "investigated" for resisting orders. Apparently the soldiers were worried about the safety of their equipment, and they mutineed rather than risk their lives. Refusal to obey orders in a combat zone is a serious military offense. However, the occupation has become a dangerous undertaking, with more than 1,000 US troops killed since the invasion. The members of the 343rd were read their rights and moved from military barracks into tents, the wife of one of the soldiers told the Clarion Ledger newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi. Several members of the group have since been reassigned into other units that have better equipment, while the other soldiers had heard rumors that the transferred soldiers would receive general discharges.

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