The US Army is investigating up to 19 members of a supply platoon in Iraq who refused to go on a convoy mission, the military said Friday. Relatives of the soldiers said the troops considered the mission too dangerous, in part because their vehicles were in such poor shape. \nSome of the troops' concerns were being addressed, military officials said. But a coalition spokesman in Baghdad noted that "a small number of the soldiers involved chose to express their concerns in an inappropriate manner causing a temporary breakdown in discipline." \nThe reservists are from a fuel platoon that is part of the 343rd Quartermaster Company, based in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The unit delivers food, water and fuel on trucks in combat zones. \nTeresa Hill of Dothan, Alabama, who said her daughter, Amber McClenny, was among in the platoon, received a phone message from her early Thursday morning saying they had been detained by US military authorities. \n"This is a real, real, big emergency," McClenny said in her message. "I need you to contact someone. I mean, raise pure hell." \nMcClenny said in her message that her platoon had refused to go on a convoy to Taji, located north of Baghdad. "We had broken down trucks, non-armored vehicles and, um, we were carrying contaminated fuel. They are holding us against our will. We are now prisoners," she said. \nHill said she was later contacted by Specialist Tammy Reese in Iraq, who was calling families of the detainees. \n"She told me [Amber] was being held in a tent with armed guards," said Hill, who spoke with her daughter Friday afternoon after her release. Her daughter said they are facing punishment ranging from a reprimand to a charge of mutiny. \nThe incident was first reported Friday by The Clarion-Ledger newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi. \nFamily members told the newspaper that several platoon members had been confined, but the military did not confirm that. \nA commanding general has ordered the unit to undergo a "safety-maintenance stand down," during which it will conduct no further missions as the unit's vehicles undergo safety inspections, the military said. \nOn Wednesday, 19 members of the platoon did not show up for a scheduled 7am meeting in Tallil, in southeastern Iraq, to prepare for the fuel convoy's departure a few hours later, the military statement said. \n"An initial report indicated that some of the 19 soldiers [not all] refused to participate in the convoy as directed," the military statement says. \nThe mission was ultimately carried out by other soldiers from the 343rd, which has at least 120 soldiers, the military said. \nConvoys in Iraq are frequently subject to ambushes and roadside bombings.
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