April 2014 Dragoon newsletter


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April 2014 Dragoon newsletter

  1. 1. Volume 4, Issue 5 Regimental Command Sgt. Maj. Wilbert E. Engram Jr. Historical Events 2 V.H.S athlete gets scholarship 3 1st Squadron 4 2nd Squadron 5 3rd Squadron 6 4th Squadron 7 Fires 8 RSS 9 Highlights in 2d Cavalry History APRIL 2014 www.2cr.army.mil www.flickr.com/photos/dragoons/2scr April 5, 1862: Outside of Washington D.C. in March, 1862 and part of Gen. McClellan’s Army, the Dragoons were all set to begin the invasion of the South. At the time consisting of seven companies, the Regiment and other Union forces set their sights upon the Confederate stronghold of Yorktown, VA. Choosing to cross onto the peninsula by ship, the harbor near Fort Monroe was crowded with over 250 ships. Upon laying siege to Yorktown, the 2d Cavalry was picked as the personal escort for the general’s headquarters. After beginning to push the Confederates up towards the northern part of the peninsula, the Regiment was chosen to perform in more traditional cavalry roles which included picket and reconnaissance duties and as part of the cavalry reserve for the Army. The Regiment would have almost daily skirmishes on its way up towards Chikahominy. Expeditionary tactics in the homeland would be the hallmark of the Regiment’s service during the Civil War. Col D.A. Sims, 77th Colonel of the Regiment Newsletter 2d Cavalry Regiment The Dragoon Troops assigned to Dragoon Ready Reserve, 2d Cavalry Regiment, reunite with their families and fellow soldiers after returning home from their most recent deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on April 3, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. William A. Tanner Sr.)
  2. 2. PAGE 2Dragoon NewsletterVOLUME 4, ISSUE 5 Become a member of the 2d Cavalry Association - For more information, visit our website at: http://www.dragoons.org/ History Highlights cont...History Highlights cont... 19 Apr 1842 – Big Hammock of Pilaklikaha, Fla., Company K, 2d Dragoons: Using riverine tactics developed by Lt. Col. William S. Harney and the 2d Dragoons. An expedition consisting of companies from the Second, Fourth, and Eight Infantry Regiments and Company K of the 2d Dragoons engaged Seminoles Indians after tracking them around the vicinity of Wahoo Swamp in southern Florida. As the infantry companies assaulted the Indian positions from the front Cpt. Ker and his Company K assailed them from the rear. Being encircled the Indians broke into small bands and retreated leaving large amounts of supplies. Because of the success of the tactics developed by the 2d Dragoons the Seminole Indians no longer were able to maintain their insurgency and agreed to migration to Arkansas. 17, 18 Apr 1847- Battle of Cerro Gordo: Co’s A, B, C, F, I, K, 2d Dragoons – United States forces captured the port of Veracruz on March 27, 1847. Following this, Gen. Winfield Scott advanced towards Mexico City. Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, commanding Mexican forces in the area, blocked Scott's march at Cerro Gordo, near Xalapa, with more than 12,000 soldiers in a fortified defile. Army Corps of Engineers Capt. Robert E. Lee discovered a mountain trail around Santa Anna's position. Gen. Scott quickly moved the main body of his command along the trail, out-flanking the Mexicans. A sharp action ensued on April 18, 1847, routing Santa Anna's force.
  3. 3. Dragoon Newsletter V.H.S. athlete receivesV.H.S. athlete receives softball scholarshipsoftball scholarship VOLUME 4, ISSUE 5 PAGE 3 Story and photos by Sgt William Tanner 2d Cavalry Regiment Hard work and dedication throughout the high school years may be one of the best ways to get into college. Stu- dents pursue many different avenues while applying to the colleges they are most interested in attending, but for one Vilseck High School athlete, that pursuit seems to have been put to rest. During team practice on April 16, 2014, at Rose Barracks, V.H.S. Softball Player Brittany C. Watkins, accepted a scholarship offer and signed a formal letter of intent to play for the University of Charleston based in Charleston, W. Va. "It's amazing," said Watkins. "I've worked a long time and it has always been my dream. So it's finally here and it's absolutely exciting!" Watkins is the daughter of Sgt. 1st Class Augustine L. Watkins, a military police officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2d Cavalry Regiment. She has been with the soft- ball team since her family moved here her junior year. "She's been an excellent surprise," said Jim Hall, head coach of the team. "She came here as a junior last year and did a fantastic job for us." Throughout the day's practice, Wat- kins' work ethic and tenacity on the field showed with her ability to cover down on second and third bases from her position at short stop whenever the ball was hit into the outfield. It was her athleticism that allowed her to get a runner out at second base on a throw that looked to be too high for her to catch during the practice. "She usually plays centerfield," said Sgt. 1st Class Watkins. "She is known on the team as the 'Captain of the Out- field' because of the leadership she displays on the field." It was plain to see she felt comfortable playing anywhere on the field, whether it was outfield, infield or even batting. "She is an All-Europe player and one of the best players right now," said Hall. "When she really starts connect- ing with the ball, she will be amazing because she really pounds the ball when she hits." Watkins agreed but went more in depth when describing her time with the team. "The Vilseck softball system is amaz- ing," said Watkins. "There's a family focus here. It is really a close knit com- munity and you can feel that on the softball field." As much as she loves the game of softball, Watkins is smart enough to have more than one plan for her future. "I want to major in biology when I get to college," said Watkins. "I want to be a veterinarian but I am going to be in R.O.T.C. (Reserve Officers Training Corps) and enter the Army when I am done with school." Sergeant First Class Watkins is proud of his daughter's achievements as a softball player but especially of those off the field. "She is a heck of a player, but she is also getting scholarships for academ- ics and through R.O.T.C.," said Sgt. 1st Class Watkins. "She was also the first and only volunteer at the Vilseck Veterinarian Clinic in the last six or seven years." Before all of this happens, Watkins still has one more season left to play with her team. "Right now, we are two and four, re- cord wise," said Hall. "We haven't played enough games yet to be con- sistent. We have a European tourna- ment coming up and we will have six to eight games. The more we swing a bat at the ball, whether on the ground or in the air, the better we become." As focused as she is on helping to get this team to a better record, Watkins still realizes her dreams are starting to become a reality. "To play college ball and succeed in that, I would really like some recogni- tion there because it has always been my dream," said Watkins. Brittany Watkins (front left), a senior at Vilseck High School, signed a letter of intent for a softball scholar- ship while her father, Sgt 1st Class. Augustine L. Watkins (left), assigned to 2d Cavalry Regiment, Rose Bar- racks, Germany and wife Claire (right) along with V.H.S. Softball Coach Jim Hall (center) watch on April 16, 2014. Watkins will play softball for the University of Chareston in W. Va.
  4. 4. Dragoon Newsletter 2d CR Soldiers, Families2d CR Soldiers, Families “Take back the night”“Take back the night” VOLUME 4, ISSUE 5 PAGE 4 Story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Mark Albright 2d Cavalry Regiment T he 2d Cavalry Regiment Sex- ual Harassment/ Assault Re- sponse & Prevention team held a "Take back the night" walk, April 30, 2014, on Rose Bar- racks, Germany to combat sexual as- sault and support the U.S. Army's sex- ual assault prevention month and the 2 CR SHARP program. "The reason we are doing this is so we can reassure Soldiers and families that just because you are walking at night you should not be afraid," said Sgt. 1st Class Tyler John Armstrong, the 2 CR Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. "We wanted to bring everyone together as a group to show our support for the SHARP program." The Army's goal is to eliminate sexual assaults and sexual harassment by creating a climate of respect and dig- nity of every member of the Army fam- ily. It exists so that the Army can pre- vent incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault before they occur. The SHARP program's mission is to promote a culture and command cli- mate that ensure adherence to the Army Values and that every Army team member is treated with dignity and respect at all times and in all cir- cumstances. "We are trying to bring awareness to the community about SHARP and how we can combat it, said Sgt. Theron Marshall, from Signal Troop, Regimen- tal Support Squadron. The walk also allowed 2 CR Soldiers to meet and identify their SHARP victims advocate for their respective units. "It's really important that the Soldiers know, throughout the Regiment, who their squadrons' victim advocates are and that they don't have to go to a spe- cific one because they have so many to choose from, we are always here; the door is always open," said Arm- strong. The walk underlines the unit's dedica- tion to preventing sexual within its ranks and each Soldier's commitment to the program. "This is a commitment to the Soldiers and the SHARP program. This symbol- izes 2 CR's commitment to stop sexual assault," said Armstrong. Sexual Assault Awareness Month is an opportunity to highlight the corrosive effect sexual assault has on Soldiers, unit readiness, team cohesion, com- mand climate and trust. Observation of SAAM events spread the message of SHARP and how to fight it. To find out more about the SHARP program and how to combat sexual assault and harassment go to: www.army.mil/sharp/ The 2d Cavalry Regiment Sexual Harassment/ Assault Response & Prevention team held a "Take back the night" walk, April 30, 2014, on Rose Bar- racks, Germany to combat sexual assault and support the U.S. Army's sexual assault prevention month and the 2 d CR SHARP program.
  5. 5. PAGE 5Dragoon NewsletterVOLUME 4, ISSUE 5 War Eagles UpdateWar Eagles Update I n April, The War Eagles focused on individual skills training. 1st Squadron conducted partnership events with Slovakian and German units. First Squadron also saw the re- turn of Bull Troop’s 2d and 3rd Pla- toons from Operation Enduring Free- dom and a change of command cere- mony transferring command of Head- quarters and Headquarters Troop from Maj. Geoffrey B. Lynch to Cpt. Joseph P. Lewandowski. With emphasis this month on Sexual Harassment/ Assault Response & Prevention training and awareness, and commander led en- gagements with the Troops, April ended up being a very productive time for the whole Squadron. Apache Troop spent the first week of April conducting joint training with 60 soldiers visiting from Slovakia. All visit- ing soldiers trained on heavy weapon marksmanship at the Engagement Skills Trainer, and fired the M249 SAW, M240B, and M2 machine guns at the ranges. Apache Troop had Sol- diers that were fluent in Slovakian, so Apache was able to provide prelimi- nary marksman instruction training and firing commands from the tower in both English and Slovakian, increasing effi- ciency and safety during all training. Every visiting shooter was provided their own lane safety and coach, which allowed the Soldiers to interact on an individual level. Apache Troop also provided Mine Resistant /Ambush Pro- tected Egress Training for all Slovakian soldiers, using many different emer- gency scenarios. The training was, by all accounts, enjoyable and informa- tive. First Squadron sent leadership to represent our unit to the 112th Panzer Grenadier Battalion, our partner unit in the German Bundeswehr, on 10 April. The 112th PGB conducted a change of command ceremony at their base in Regen. 1st Squadron’s representatives participated in the ceremony bearing the squadron colors, along with repre- sentatives from the 112th PGB’s Aus- trian partnership unit. Lt. Col. Philip Gage and Com- mand Sgt. Maj. Martin Celestine also flew to Turkey to observe and encour- age our Soldiers providing security for Operation Active Fence. A platoon made up Soldiers in the former War Eagle Dragoon Ready Reserve has been deployed to Turkey since No- vember 2013. The visit by the squad- ron commander and command ser- geant major showed the platoon that 1st Squadron is dedicated to their mis- sion. All Troops in 1st Squadron spent time at the ranges, conducting weap- ons familiarization, zeroing, and quali- fying on assigned weapon systems. Apache, Bull, Comanche, and Mustang Troops trained their Soldiers on the M249 SAW, M240B, and M4. Despite reassigned weapons and un-zeroed optics after all weapons were reset, all Troops zeroed and qualified more quickly and efficiently than anticipated. Soldiers also participated in Combat Life Saver training, led by the squad- ron medic platoon, culminating on April 25 with a MYSTIC site training sce- nario based out of Rendezvous Area I. Combat Life Saver training was organ- ized and supervised by medic platoon leadership to ensure that all Soldiers involved understood and retained the skills taught. The final week in April will see the beginning of Stryker Remote Weapon Systems Training at Ranges 132, 204, and 213, firing both M2 .50 cal and MK-19s. Stryker Gunnery Skills Training certification and the ac- tual range firing have been scheduled and de-conflicted to ensure swift and efficient training among all Troops. The Army’s focus in April has been the SHARP program, which was enthusiastically supported by 1st Squadron. On April 17, all Troops took time from their rigorous training tempo and spent the day discussing the Army’s sexual harassment and assault problems and how to combat this trend. Each commander spent the day speaking with his Soldiers and ex- plained his support for the program and emphasized his dedication to pro- viding a safe work environment and approachable command climate. A M240B Machine Gun assistant gunner helps spot tar- gets for a qualification table II (day qualification).
  6. 6. PAGE 6Dragoon NewsletterVOLUME 4, ISSUE 5 Cougar UpdateCougar Update C ougar Families and Friends, Following completion of a successful deployment in support of Operation Enduring Free- dom, the Cougars are all together in Germany for the first time since July 2013. As the Cougars take time to catch-up with their loved ones, 2nd Squadron is preparing for the next phase in its long and storied history. Cougar families and friends should be proud of the Cougars’ achieve- ments during their mission in support of OEF. The Cougars conducted them- selves in an exemplary manner, leav- ing our NATO allies and the Afghan National Security Forces with an ex- tremely positive impression of the U.S. Army and the United States. The Cougars’ success in Afghani- stan was apparent on April 5, 2014, when record numbers of Afghan citi- zens in the Task Force Cougar area of operations went to the polls and casted ballots in the Afghan Presidential Elec- tion. For the first time in the history of Arghandab, all fifteen of the district’s polling sites opened for an election. In Shah Wali Kot, eight of the district’s ten polling sites opened, the most in its history. In contrast to the 2009 presi- dential election, reports of fraudulent activities at polling sites were dramati- cally reduced. In a demonstration of the high re- gard Afghans hold for the U.S. and its efforts in Afghanistan, the two candi- dates competing in next month’s run- off vote have been solid supports of U.S. policy and are committed to work- ing with the US government to con- tinue improving the Afghan govern- ment and the Afghan people’s welfare. Not only did the Cougars leave North- ern Kandahar Province better than they found it, they helped to ensure that the sacrifices made there by US and Canadian forces over the last twelve years were not in vain. These sacrifices were critical in putting the region on the path it is now on to a more democratic, just and prosperous future. With the Afghanistan mission at its end, the Cougars are giving their full attention to training Troopers and strengthening their partnerships in Europe. On April 30, 2014, Cougars from Eagle and Headhunter Troops joined with the civilian leadership of Hostoun and Bela-nad-Radbuzou in the Czech Republic to commemorate the sacrifice of two Troopers who died during the liberation of those towns from Nazi occupation at the end of World War II. The April 5th Afghan election and the commemoration in the Czech Republic bring the Cougars full circle. Whether the year is 2014, 1945, or 1845, the Cougars stand ready to deploy anywhere in the world to de- fend the United States, its allies and partners, its values of freedom, democ- racy, and human rights. Command Sergeant Major Spivey and I cannot express enough apprecia- tion for the support families and friends have given the Cougars over the past ten months. We are extremely proud of the Cougars’ achievements in both Afghanistan and Germany, and we know that it was only possible with the generous encouragement, understand- ing and effort of all the Cougar families and friends. Thank you, again. Second to None. Always Ready. Strength and Respect. Lt. Col. Charles Svelan and CSM Christopher Spivey. Lt. Col. Charles Svelan advises Arghandab senior leaders on March 28, 2014 at the Arghandab police center on making final preparations for polling site security during the 2014 Afghanistan Presidential Elec-
  7. 7. PAGE 7Dragoon NewsletterVOLUME 4, ISSUE 5 Saber UpdateSaber Update T his past month saw the Troop- ers of the Saber Squadron redeploy from Afghanistan after nine successful months of combat in Kandahar Province. The Sabers ultimately accomplished their mission while deployed by successfully partnering with Afghan Security Forces to defeat enemy insurgent networks in both Dand and Daman Districts. The deployment was busy for all, as the squadron accomplished 3,812 combat patrols and over 32 multi-day named operations. The Sabers were proud to represent their country, however, the Soldiers are happy to be home in Ger- many, enjoy the Bavarian “Fest Sea- son” and reunite with their Families & friends. The Soldiers and their Fami- lies went through various reintegration services, which were vital to helping them make a smooth transition from deployment. The next month will see the Saber Squadron transition from post- deployment schedules and events to normal duties. Block leave is during this period and will allow Soldiers, Families, and friends an extended op- portunity to come together. However, the squadron is eager and will quickly resume training once everyone returns from leave as they look to maintain their high-level of technical and tactical proficiencies they have developed down range and live up to the motto “Toujours Pret” (Always Ready). Several key leaders, including Com- mand Sgt. Maj. Ochsner departing for Fort Hood, are getting ready to transi- tion out of the squadron. Although it is unfortunate they will be leaving us, it is a necessary part of the Army and we look forward to welcoming new faces and Families to the Squadron. Leaders in 4th Squadron gather in the Honor Room for the first time since being back from Afghanistan gather to celebrate the promotion of five Officers to Captain. Soldiers from 4th Squadron in formation one last time in Af- ghanistan during an awards ceremony at Kandahar Airfield before going home to Germany.
  8. 8. PAGE 8Dragoon NewsletterVOLUME 4, ISSUE 5 Artillery Hell UpdateArtillery Hell Update W ith the deployment in the rearview mirror, Field Ar- tillery Squadron has shifted its focus to reinte- gration and resetting the formations. In the coming months, the squad- ron is expected to conduct some major changes in its task organization that will see the departure of the Military Intelligence Troop and the addition of the Field Support Troop (FST) and a Fire Support Platoon. Subsequent to these moves and reset requirements, the squadron is expected to spend a majority of the upcoming weeks con- ducting inventories, property transfers, personnel reassignment and continued individual training. Headquarters and Headquarters Battery (HHB) and Archer Battery are currently focusing on spending time with family and conducting reintegra- tion activities such as Dragoon Total Fitness classes, Military Family Life Consultant and medical appointments. However, in conjunction with reintegra- tion, the batteries are also in the proc- ess of receiving deployed containers and conducting sensitive items inven- tories to account for property. In the upcoming weeks. HHB will transfer the personnel currently in the Combat Re- pair Team (CRT) to the FST. In addi- tion, HHB will absorb the forward ob- servers who will move to the Battery at the end of this month. These moves represent a significant challenge and re-structuring of the Battery. Currently HHB is also preparing for the upcom- ing change of command between the incoming commander Capt. George Cass and Capt. Brett Maginness. Archer is focused on a property book merger and additional personnel moves in order to reset the battery for the training set for the future. Bulldog and Cobra Batteries have completed their reintegration and are now focusing on individual tasks and competencies such as basic cannon crew level tasks, Combat Life Saver (CLS) and basic rifle marksmanship in preparation for a Slovenian Army visit in May. Bulldog Battery has taken the lead and has conducted the first sev- eral dress rehearsals. The squadron in its entirety par- ticipated in the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention stand-down day which included group instructions and discussions at the bat- tery-level culminating with a round ta- ble discussion between the squadron commander and battery commanders stressing the concept of respect and trust in the organization and ways to sustain and reinforce these concepts. On April 30, 2014, the squadron will be promoting three first lieutenants to captains followed by a squadron organizational day / volunteer recogni- tion ceremony on May 1, 2014, to cele- brate the dedicated service of its Troops, volunteers and Family Mem- bers. Moving forward, the squadron will continue to focus on the reintegration of HHB and Archer Battery while man- aging the facilitation of the reset proc- ess and task organization changes. Artillery Hell! Toujours Prêt! Bulldog Battery soldier performs naso- pharyngeal airway treatment during Combat Life Saver (CLS) training
  9. 9. PAGE 9Dragoon NewsletterVOLUME 4, ISSUE 5 Muleskinner UpdateMuleskinner Update I t has been a very exciting time for Regimental Support Squadron. We redeployed to Rose Barracks and have been busy integrating with not only our Families, but with the more than 700 Soldiers who re- mained with the Ready Reserve supporting the Regiment. The welcome home ceremonies were very emotional as Soldiers embraced loved ones and friends alike at Memorial Gym throughout the month. We would like to formally thank the Family Readiness Groups for all their hard work in putting together welcome home care packages and signs for all redeploying Soldiers. The squadron also participated in a SHARP stand down day. This helped raise awareness for sexual harass- ment and sexual assault through small group discussions and fo- cus groups effectively brining further awareness and knowl- edge of the Army’s top priority. A highlight from this month’s training schedule in- cluded taking advantage of one of our local partnerships. On 23 April, 65 German Red Cross (BRK) members joined Charlie Med in partnership training where Charlie medics and pro- viders demonstrated not only the Troop’s capability to work as a whole, but the technical skills of each individual medic. The NCOs provided oversight and instruction, while the younger Soldiers honed their medical skills and conducted Table VIII and MOS specific care. The Sol- diers trained on casualty care from the point of injury (POI) through evacuation to a Role II Medical Facility. The German Red Cross and search and res- cue teams demonstrated their skill sets highlighting care in the civilian sector. Their demonstra- tion also included a portion on how they train and incorporate canine teams into search and rescue operations over various types of terrain. Soldiers were then able to shadow the teams when searching for people in urban settings, rural farmland, and heavily wooded forest. Regimental Support Squadron would like to thank the German Red Cross for the invaluable training event and look forward to a continued partnership. Charlie Medics perform triage of casualties to the German Red Cross at the Point of Injury (POI) on the battle field.
  10. 10. PAGE 10Dragoon NewsletterVOLUME 4, ISSUE 5 Downrange PhotosDownrange Photos Families of Troops assigned to 2d Cavalry Regiment, reunite with their soldiers whom are returning home from their most recent deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on April 2, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by SGT. William A. Tanner Sr.) Troops assigned to Dragoon Ready Reserve, 2d Cavalry Regiment, bow their heads in prayer before they reunite with their families and fellow soldiers after returning home from their most recent deployment to Afghanistan in sup- port of Operation Enduring Freedom on April 3, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by SGT. William A. Tanner Sr.) Troops assigned to Dragoon Ready Reserve, 2d Cavalry Regi- ment, reunite with their families and fellow Soldiers after return- ing home from their most recent deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on April 11, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by SGT. William A. Tanner Sr.)