1st Engineer Battalion November Newsletter


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1st Engineer Battalion November Newsletter

  1. 1. A LW A Y S F I R S T, D I E H A R D ! November 01, 2012 Issue 1 The Engineer! Inside this issue: The BattalionBN Commander 1 Commander’sBN Sergeant Major 2 CornerHHC-HAMMER 3FSC—WORKHORSE 4111TH– ASSASINS 541ST—BULLDOGS 6 LTC THOMAS B. HAIRGROVE, JR. of these units and their Soldiers. Each has dem- Since our depar- onstrated an unrivaled degree of professional-72ND—COLD STEEL 7 ture from Fort Riley ism and dedication that has set the standard for in early Septem- deploying units. I know that their performanceAWARD & RE-UPS 8 ber, the Soldiers of would not have been possible without the su- the 1st Engineer perb support of our Diehard Families andDIEHARD PHOTOS 9 Battalion have friends. been incredibly Over the next several months we will face busy and have al- numerous challenges such as poor weather, ready proved evolving missions and a determined enemy, but themselves as combat ready. Soon after de- I have complete confidence that our Soldiers are ploying, the battalion moved to its final desti- up to the task. nations and began a rigorous process of in- As a final note, I would like to take the oppor- theater training and transition tasks in prepa- tunity to thank each and every one of you, Sol- ration of assuming our diverse missions. diers and Family members, for your sacrifices On 14 October 2012, the 1st Engineer Bat- and commitment. Your support is our strength. talion, now Task Force Diehard, conducted Always First! the transfer of authority (TOA) with the 7th LTC Tom Hairgrove Engineer Battalion, Task Force Red Devils. In the days prior, each company likewise as- sumed their missions across eastern Afghani- stan. The 72d Engineer Company and the 111th Engineer Company are each assigned to the 178th Engineer Battalion, Task Force Prowler while Task Force Diehard has grown to include HHC, FSC, the 41st Engineer Com- pany, the 102d Engineer Company, the 264th Engineer Company, the 289th Engineer Company, and the 857th Engineer Company. The 1st Engineer Battalion Color Guard after I cannot express how proud I am of each the TOA Ceremony on FOB Shank.
  2. 2. November 01, 2012 A LW A Y S F I R S T, D I E H A R D ! Issue 1 The Engineer! The Battalion Command Sergeant Major’s Corner CSM KEITH L. EVANS The Diehard Battalion hit the ground in Late September and your Soldiers have done a phenomenal job quickly learning their mission from our Engineer brethren from Task Force I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Red Devils (7th Engineer Battalion) from of the TF Diehard families for their support to our Sol- Fort Drum, New York. We conducted our diers here. With the holiday season upon us you will betransfer of authority on October 14th and officially assumed our in our thoughts and in our hearts as we continue ourmission. Along with your Diehards I would like to welcome the mission. I would like to personally wish all a safe and102nd Engineer Company (Sapper) and 264th Engineer Com- happy holiday season.pany (Clearance Company) from Fort Bragg, NC and the 289th DIEHARD!Engineer Company (Vertical) and 857th Engineer Company(Horizontal) from the Mississippi National Guard to the Task CSM Keith L. EvansForce Diehard family. We look forward to serving alongsidethem during our time here in Afghanistan. Since assuming mission I have been on battlefield cir-culation with the 41st Engineer Company where I conducted anight clearance mission and observed them training with miniunmanned aerial vehicles. There is no doubt they are preparedfor the mission ahead of them. I also visited the 111th EngineerCompany for their transfer of authority ceremony and got theopportunity to see how the Assassins were living. Even thoughthey are located on a austere Combat Outpost their morale washigh and the Soldiers were eager to get busy conducting clear-ance operations. I visited with the 264th and 289th EngineerCompany’s and was impressed with how they were makingtheir missions happen. I will continue to go out and visit our TF CSM Evans with newly promoted SFC James Eddings on FOBDiehard Soldiers on a monthly basis and give updates in future Shank.newsletters.
  3. 3. FOB SHANK, AFGHANISTAN HHC Bring The Hammer Down! TF Diehard’s 1st Reenlistment SGT Curtis D. Rose, a native of Mobile, Alabama, and a signal support Non-Commissioned Officer, pledged his third oath at FOB Shank, Afghanistan, October 8, 2012. SGT Rose be- came the first DieHard to raise his hand and take the oath of enlistment during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) 12-13. He reenlisted for a future assignment to Fort Lewis, Washington. When asked why he chose to reenlist he simply said, “I enjoy serving my country and love my MOS.” SGT Rose also chose to have LTC Hairgrove, TF DieHard Commander, swear him in, “It was phenomenal to be able to reenlist SGT Rose. He and I have been together since Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-10. It was an honor to have the opportunity to reenlist him.” On October 8, 2012, TF Diehard retained one of its best and brightest Non- Commissioned Officer to serve within the ranks for years to come. - SFC David Barrera III (S-2) 1SG’s Column Commander’s Column HAMMER 7 HAMMER 6First, I want to say thanks to the Hammer Soldiers completedfamily, friends, and Soldiers of a successful Relief In PlaceHHC. The unwavering support (RIP) with their counterpartsthat you are providing and the from HHC, 7th EN BN (TF Redcontinued sacrifices that you Devils). Now, with our Redmake daily has not gone unno- Devil brothers-in-arms rede-ticed. Words will never express ployed to their home stationthe appreciation that the com- (Fort Drum, NY), and Hammermander and I have for you. I Soldiers settled into their roleswould like to also say thanks to on FOBs Shank, Fenty and BAF,the command team of HHC, 7th we continue our mission to sup-EN BN. The professionalism port the other companies in TFyou displayed made our transi- Diehard, and enable them totion into FOB Shank a smooth accomplish their missions. Aone. The Soldiers have settled special thank you goes to our A Hammer Soldier’s training is never done. The new fleetinto their roles and responsi- Red Devil brothers, who of vehicles means drivers’ training for all Soldiers. SSG Mo-bilities here and their efforts worked diligently to ensure our hammed, the Battalion Master Driver, trained Hammer Sol-have gone a long way to make success, and to our Families, diers on Mine-Resistant, Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles.this a very productive deploy- who constantly support us in all Hammer Soldiers also conducted Combat Life Saver (CLS),ment. our endeavors. Cold Weather and Winter Driving training. FSC’s Mainte-1SG Charles A. Chappelle CPT Oscar Schneegans nance Platoon instructed Hammer Soldiers in the fine art of snow chain installation on an MRAP (thank you, FSC!).
  4. 4. WORKHORSE family and friends, we have finally made it over the Page 4half way mark. It is nice to know we are on the downward slope of FOB SHANK, AFGHANISTAN FSC, Workhorse Newly promoted 1LT Habermaas and Soldiers from WORKHORSE family and friends, we are The new NCO leadership in the Main- her Platoon about to officially complete our first month tenance Platoon, SFC Curry here in Afghanistan, and it has definitely been (Maintenance Platoon Sergeant & Main- a busy one. After finally making it to Bagram tenance Control Supervisor), SSG Ellis Airfield Afghanistan, the company immedi- (Motor Sergeant), and SGT Moore (Shop ately began mandatory training. There was a Foreman) have been hard at work reor- three day blur of all day classes and trips to ganizing the motorpool and implement- the range to verify all of our sharpshooting ing systems to make operations more skills. Many Soldiers were immediately sent efficient such as: improving service to classes to learn how to operate vehicles, packets and effectively tracking non- weapons systems and various types of war mission capable equipment to increase fighting equipment. It took almost an entire unit readiness. The newly appointed month to get the whole company back to- Squad Leaders; SPC Rosario, SPC Robin- work and training, Distro found time to take a gether at FOB Shank. son, and SPC Broom are working hard to break for the re-enlistment of SGT Stephens A few long days and late night flights later, learn the ins and outs of their positions as and the promotions of SSG Cass and SPC the Company was at FOB Shank and ready to first line supervisors. The platoon started Leitchman. In this first month alone, Distro has work. Every leader was tasked with shadow- off by preparing all FSC and HHC vehicles already covered over 1250 kilometers, and that ing their counter part in the 7th Engineer for winter, and SGT Eales taught a class on number is sure to increase steadily until it is Battalion. There was a lot to learn in a short snow chains for all operators. Next, they time for all of us to go home. period of time, but focused on conducting - CPT Derek Benz, Commander, FSC every Workhorse Sol- technical inspections dier jumped right in to to catch faults before learn their role in our any vehicles went out mission. on mission. SGT The HQ Platoon had Daley and her team of an abundance of new clerks have been vehicles, communica- working long hours tions systems and re- ensuring all three Greetings to All, ports to learn about. SAMS-1E systems are I would like to take this opportunity to thank SSG Eddings and his to standard. The pla- all the Family members for supporting their Soldiers spent many toon has also been Soldier before we deployed to Afghanistan. days in drivers training and radio classes to busy with combat life saver’s class and The Soldiers spent long days at work prepar- ensure the entire company operations section driver’s training on the different Mine Re- ing for this deployment and family time was not is always ready to support maintenance and sistant Ambush Protect (MRAP) vehicles. as long as we hoped. The commander and I distro. SPC Lathan, the Company postal clerk, Everyone is learning a lot and growing believe in taking care of families and encour- picks up and distributes mail to the Soldiers even closer as a platoon. age you to participate in the Family Readiness daily, which is one of the biggest boosts to As soon as Distro Platoon arrived at Group. I would like to thank Mrs. Russell for morale. FOB Shank, they began learning about volunteering to be the Family Readiness their Area of Operations (AO) and how Leader. Over this last month, the Soldiers con- crucial their job is to Task Force DIEHARD. tinue to perform maintenance on vehicles and The Platoon is tasked with delivering mis- conduct convoys transporting supplies to other sion essential equipment and supplies to all units across Afghanistan in support of Task- units within the Task Force. Simply stated, force Diehard. We had two NCOs reenlist, SGT they drive all over RC-East. The Diablo Daley and SGT Stephens. We also had SGT (Distro PLT’s nickname) Soldiers attended Cass promoted to Staff Sergeant and 2LT driver’s training for five types of vehicles, Habermaas promoted to First Lieutenant. May winterization classes, cargo securing class God Bless you and continue to pray for our and various ranges to ensure they were safety. FSC Soldiers conducting Driver’s Training in the TF Diehard Motorpool ready for their first mission. Somehow, -1SG Vaughters
  5. 5. Page 5COP ZORMAT, Afghanistan 6 111th EN Co (REBEL), ASSASSINS A word from the Company 1SG Overby celebrates his 8th “29th” The Assassins have come to Af- birthday! ghanistan and have already made history with the 111th Engineer Com- pany now having been deployed to its tenth theater of conflict. Upon arrival in Afghanistan at Combat Outpost (COP) Zormat the Company’s call sign of Assassin was replaced by Rebel due to the RC East naming convention guidelines. We will be called the RE- The 111th Sapper Crest placed on the COP BEL until we return to Fort Riley Zormat water station The Sappers of 111th have been busy with their relief in place (RIP) with the 642nd Engineer Equip- ment Company from Fort Drum, New York. These tasks include learning the routes and tactics used to clear the 1st Platoon (RCP 2) roads of the Zormat area that the Com- filling sand bags and pany will be required to clear in sup- HESCOs increasing port of 1-187 Infantry Battalion (Air the Force protection Assault) the Rakkasans and of the COP of the barracks Zormat life support task such as guard duty, local national escort, and force protection improvements. An unforeseen task that the Company has come across is the re- built and force protection improve- ments of COP Zormat after a VBIED attack on the Afghan National Army (ANA) side of COP Zormat. This at- tack caused significant structural damage to many buildings on the COP but resulted in no significant injuries to US personnel. The rebuild has been going very smooth with the arrival of Construction Engineers to SPC Kiss and Ybarra of RCP 48 prepping which we are now augmenting to their MRV for mission speed up the repair time. REBEL 6 1LT Spinelli on route with a local national tractor surfing on the back ground
  6. 6. Page 6 FOB AIRBORNE, AFGHANISTAN41st Engineer CompanyFamily and friends of the Bull- ducting internal training withdogs, we have finally made it their new equipment to ensureto our home away from home, they can handle any situationFOB Airborne . that may arise while on patrol.After long training events, We are extremely proud of ourseveral days of inventories, Soldiers and the dedicationand a “right and left seat they display on a daily basis.ride” the 41st Engineer Com- We all miss our familiespany has now officially taken and appreciate your continuedover the Route Clearance support to make it through the SPC Downey repairing air-lines undermission here in Afghanistan. an MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Pro- remainder of our deployment We have gotten here tected Vehicle with you all standing behindjust in time for the changing us. Maintenance hasof the seasons and a notice- CPT Matthew J. Keesling jumped in with both feet byable drop in the temperature, -Bulldog 6- working long hours to en-and you can even see snow sure our equipment is op-forming on the peaks of the erational. There has been asurrounding mountains. non stop stream of vehicles(2nd Platoon prepares for the pending snow- rolling in and out of thefall by training on how to properly install maintenance bay on a dailysnow chains) basis. Our Maintenance sec- tion continually receives praise and commendation for the significant impact of (1st Platoon preparing to conduct mainte- their efforts in keeping the nance on their equipment) fleet operational. Bulldog Promotions: The Route Clearance PFC Arroyo to Specialist Platoons did great job PFC Bazinette to Specialist adapting to their environ- PFC Moore, C to Specialist ment and current mission. New Additions to the Bulldog Family: They have been very busy Kairo James Corgile 8lbs 7oz, 19 in. executing patrols and con- Maddie Danielle Reed 7lbs 3oz, 19.5 in.
  7. 7. Page 7FOB SHARONA, AFGHANISTAN72ND MAC, Coldsteel Coldsteel Family and Friends, greet- across the area of operations. 1st Pla- perfectly. As I go out on missions with ings from Afghanistan! As you proba- toon (Mad Dogs) is continually relied the platoons and visit the motorpool to bly know, we took the reigns from our upon by 1-4CAV out of Fort Riley to see the mechanics, I am in awe of all predecessors during our transfer of clear the way for them during opera- our accomplishments and am truly authority (TOA) ceremony on 6 OCT tions. They continually receive praise proud of all of our Coldsteel Soldiers. 2012. We are all settled in and accom- from 1-4CAV and TF Prowler for their plishing the mission. professionalism and for keeping the Soldiers across the area of operations safe. 2nd Platoon (Outlawz) is supporting 1- 28IN, also out of Fort Riley, at FOB Orgun-E keeping the From left to right, Soldiers of 2nd Platoon: Soldiers in that AO safe by (back row) SGT Vargas, CPL Luna, SPC clearing endless miles of Erdeski, SPC Solis, PFC House, SPC routes. We can’t wait to Esquivel, SSG Leon (front row) PFC Johnson, have them back with us but J., PV2 Catalan, PV2 Gonzalez, SPC Walker they are in good hands and are being well taken care of. Life on FOB Sharana and Orgun-E is I continue to receive great good. Although it could never replace1SG Strassels passes the guidon to CPT Shoults duringthe TOA Ceremony reports of how both platoons are being home, we are able to stay con- vital to operations and are doing nected with family and friends at home. The Soldiers are doing great! an awesome job. Our mechanics in FMT We are also able to enjoy three hot Currently the Company is located at are doing a superb job in keeping us meals and a shower a day. Mail also FOB Sharana along with 1st Platoon and rolling. There’s not a moment to spare flows regularly to both FOB Sharana the Field Maintenance Team (FMT). when it comes to ensuring our equip- and FOB Orgun-E. We thank you for all 2nd Platoon is temporarily located at ment is in tip-top condition and the me- the care packages. We get them every- FOB Orgun-E in support of operations chanics are completing that mission day and they are a great morale there. We are task organized under booster. Task Force Prowler (178th Engineer I want to take moment to thank Battalion out of South Carolina.) our most critical component of the com- Though we don’t fall under the 1st Engi- pany, our Family and Friends. I thank neer Battalion for the deployment, we you for all of your support. It fuels our continue to maintain regular contact drive to get the mission done. We are with them and still receive great sup- truly blessed. port and guidance from the command team and staff. COLDSTEEL! The Soldiers in Headquarters serve as the central nervous system of the company. I am continually amazed CPT Ashton Shoults on their ability to track so much infor- -Coldsteel 6- mation without dropping the ball and From left to right, Soldiers of 1st Pla- toon: SPC Henderson, SPC Reyes, S., provide stellar support to our platoons. SFC White, SPC Jackson Since taking over, our platoons have made quite a name for themselves
  8. 8. Page 8 DIEHARDS RE-ENLISTMENTCongratulations to the following soldiers for you continuing your service in the United StatesArmy.SGT Rose, Curtis D. II, HHCSGT Stephens, William D., FSCSSG Thomas, Anthony E., 72MACSGT Daley, Kadiann M., FSCSPC Waters, David C., 72MACSPC Kirby, John J. 41RCCSFC Bobbitt, Karen D., HHCSSG Reeves, Robert L. Jr., 41RCC SPC Kirby (pictured left) is reenlisted by the 41st EN Co Cdr, CPT Matthew Keesling at FOB Airborne, Afghanistan. SFC Bobbit, HHC, pictured receiv- ing the oath from 2LT Puccio at FOB Shank, Afghanistan
  9. 9. Page 9 DIEHARDS AT PLAY 2LT Puccio waits for equipment to be slung to its next SPC Kirby’s reenlistment, with the oath offered by Co CDR location CPT Mattew Keesling Soldiers from the 1st Engineer Battalion working with their interpreter SFC James Jones, HHC, oversees CLS training on FOB Shank.Newly promoted 1LT Habermaas with SGT Daley, FSC, shaking hands PFC Rogers receives a coin for excellence as a Husky Operatorafter her reenlistment on FOB Shank for 1st PLT, 111th Sapper Co, pictured here with his PL, 1LT Chew.