PSYOPS battalion
heading to Iraq?

By Jon Dougherty

In another sign that the United States could be gearing up for war against Iraq, the U.S. Army’s 10th Psychological Operations Battalion is gearing up to deploy overseas, probably in support of anticipated military action against Iraq, WorldNetDaily has learned.

“They will finish getting their overseas shots, get all their paperwork such as wills and insurance papers squared away, and in about two weeks leave for combat,” said a source familiar with the deployment schedule who asked not to be identified.

While a deployment is nearly certain, the source said, the unit may be sent to Indonesia or “an unnamed African nation,” though Iraq is most likely.

Moreover, the source said, the unit may be up to 20 percent under-strength by the time of deployment because “some of the females are bailing out.”

And, the source said, “most” of the men “and virtually none of the women can pass” the Army’s “reduced standard” physical fitness test. Finally, said the source, the unit itself has had “virtually zero field training exercises” this year.

According to the Army Reserve’s most recent unit deployment list, two personnel from the PSYOPS unit were called up in support of ongoing operations March 2.

Ben Abel, a spokesman for the Army’s Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations units, told WorldNetDaily the Department of Defense “had not yet published an order calling the unit up for active duty.”

PSYOPS units are responsible for demoralizing an enemy’s will to fight by, among other things, encouraging an enemy population to withdraw support for enemy forces. The Bush administration and the Pentagon have said an important part of any Iraq war strategy would be an attempt to demoralize regular Iraqi troops as well as better-trained and equipped Republican Guard forces.

The 10th PSYOPS Battalion is a unit of the Army Reserve. It is made up of the 307th and 318th PSYOPS companies based in St. Louis, as well as the 308th PSYOPS Company based in nearby Belton, Mo. It is part of the 7th PSYOPS Group, based at Moffett Field in Calif.

The unit was constituted in the regular Army Nov. 7, 1967, and formally activated a few weeks later, on Dec. 1, operating in the Mekong Delta.

It was deactivated at Fort Lewis, Wash., April 17, 1971, but was reactivated in the Army Reserve Oct. 30, 1975.

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