The Ivy Leaf, Volume 1, Issue 26


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The U.S. Division-North Public Affairs team is proud to present to you the latest edition of The Ivy Leaf: Volume 1, Issue 26. In this issue, take a look inside Operation Lion’s Leap, a joint exercise between the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Air Force in Kirkuk province. Read about a group of wounded veterans making a return to Iraq as part of Operation Proper Exit; Iraqi field artillery crews training on the M198 howitzer at Kirkush Military Training Base; and see how one Soldier’s experiences in Iraq have changed over three deployments. Take a look at some great images of USD-N service members celebrating Easter as well as enjoying country music superstar Toby Keith’s “Locked and Loaded” concert tour at COB Speicher. All that and more in this week’s edition of The Ivy Leaf. Please pick up a copy or download your own from one of the social media sites listed below and share it with your Soldiers, Family, and friends.

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The Ivy Leaf, Volume 1, Issue 26

  1. 1. Volume 1, Issue 26 April 30, 2011 ISF showcases capabilities during Operation Steadfast and LoyalWarrior A mortar crew assigned Lion’s to 47th Brigade, 12th Iraqi Army Division prepare to fire 120mm mortar smoke rounds at a simulated enemy position during Operation Li-LongKnife Leap on’s Leap at Mahgoor Train- ing Site in Kirkuk province, Iraq, April 24, 2011. During Operation Lion’s Leap, more than 500 soldiers from 12th IA Div. and Iraqi Special Op- Ironhorse erations Forces showcased their technical expertise andDevil tactical prowess.Fit for Any Test Fit for Any TestIronhorse Devil U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew Ingram, USD-N PAO Spc. Andrew Ingram During the exercise, 12th cers to work in many different a hill overlooking the train- USD-N Public Affairs Iraqi Army Division and Iraqi situations to protect the best ing area, fired 120mm smoke Special Operation Forces sol- interests of our nation.” rounds onto the battlefield to LongKnife CONTINGENCY OPERAT- diers showcased their technical Before the demonstration confuse the simulated “en-Steadfast and Loyal ING SITE WARRIOR, Iraq expertise and tactical prowess. began, officers of the 12th IA emy” and conceal the arrival – Top Iraqi military leaders, “Today’s exercise is a part Division used a sand table, a of members from Commando officials and press gathered at of a chain of exercises that is scale model of the battle space, Battalion, 12th IA Div. the Mahgoor Training Site in raising the ability and readi- to explain the mission’s objec- Commando soldiers as- Kirkuk province to bear wit- ness of the Iraqi Army,” said tives to the gathered VIPs. saulted two enemy positions Warrior ness as Iraqi Security Forces Lt. Gen. Hussein al Douhi, “This exercise will demon- using rocket propelled gre- conducted Operation Lion’s deputy chief of staff for train- strate we are ready to carry out nades, machine guns and as- Leap, a large-scale joint train- ing, Iraqi Ground Forces Com- anti-terror operations until we sault rifles to isolate a third lo- ing exercise with the Iraqi mand. “The training operation achieve victory,” Douhi said. cation nearby where hostages Army and Iraqi Air Force, integrated the training of all To kick off the exercise, April 24. our soldiers, NCOs and offi- mortar teams, positioned on See OLL, Pg. 3
  2. 2. The Ivy Leaf April 30, 2011 What qualities make up a Soldier who outshines the rest? How does a Soldier grow from “one of the pack” into a leader among his peers? Spc. John Courson, an infantryman from Jamestown, N.Y., first deployed in 2008 with the 101st Airborne Division. Since then, he joined the ranks of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division for his second deployment to Iraq. His actions during his time with HHC answer the aforemen- tioned questions, and earned him a position in the Tactical Com- mand Post as part of a personal security detachment. “He’s a good kid; one of the higher producers and that’s why U.S. Army photo he was selected for the TAC – to work at that level,” said 1st Sgt. Spc. John Courson, an infantryman from Jamestown, N.Y. assigned to Jamie Wells, senior enlisted leader of HHC. Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Courson’s dedication to the TAC’s mission ensured his battal- Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, pro- ion leaders’ ability to provide strategic reports to senior U.S. forces vides security for the Tactical Command Post during a mission earlier this year. Courson’s dedication and support to his unit earned him the leadership during critical missions earlier this month, unit leaders title of “Ironhorse Strong Soldier of the Week.” said. Courson does not just work for his superiors, but for his peers Courson’s personality, Kiren explained. as well, teaching them skill-sets to advance their careers. “He’s a character,” Kiren said, noting Courson’s outgoing de- “He helps the other Soldiers cross train,” said Wells. meanor. “We’re all a little goofy.” Wells said Courson consistently works long hours without com- Through his outstanding work ethic and exemplary track record plaint and can be depended to finish every mission he is assigned. Courson stands out from among his peers, said Kiren. He also said Courson is a dependable self-starter and a person When Courson’s superiors and peers explain his selection as who can work off minimal guidance and produce maximum re- Ironhorse Strong: Soldier of the Week, they paint a picture of the sults. attitude, work ethic and character that produces a leader. Courson actions and demeanor demonstrate a maturity beyond Courson’s quick thinking, his attitude, ability to think under his 22 years, said Staff Sgt. Anton Kiren, platoon sergeant, HHC. pressure, and being a problem solver, are among the qualities that A hardworking and dedicated attitude does not detract from earned him recognition, said Kiren. Wounded veterans return ‘On-Time’ Battalion supplies Experience leads to ‘Warrior’ Brigade Soldier to Iraq to witness progress, Iraqi Army with advanced expertise witnesses progress over gain closure field artillery capability three deployments Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 9 THE Ivy Leaf Task Force Ironhorse Commanding General – Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins The Ivy Leaf is an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Command Sergeant Major – Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey Army. Contents of The Ivy Leaf are not necessarily official views of, or endorsed by the U.S. Government, Department of the Army or the 4th Infantry Division. The appearance of advertising in this Task Force Ironhorse Public Affairs publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage TF Ironhorse PAO – Lt. Col. Steve Wollman without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, TF Ironhorse PA NCOIC – Master Sgt. Carmen Daugherty-Glaze marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other The Ivy Leaf Layout & Design – Spc. Thomas Bixler non-merit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. All editorial content of The Ivy Leaf is prepared, edited, provided and approved by the United States Division-North Public Affairs Office. 1st Advise and 2nd Advise and Do you have a story to share? The Ivy Leaf welcomes submissions Assist Task Force Assist Brigade from readers. Send to the USD-N PAO at 1st Infantry Division 25th Infantry Division mil. The Ivy Leaf reserves the right to edit submissions selected for the paper. For further information on deadlines, questions or 4th Advise and comments, email USD-N PAO or call DSN 318-849-0089. Assist Brigade 1st Cavalry Division 2
  3. 3. The Ivy Leaf April 30, 2011 Cont’d from OLL, Pg. 1 “We trained well—we are prepared to take the fight to any were being held. terrorists on our own,” said Sa- After assessing the situation, meer, underscoring the impor- the Commandos called in ISOF tance of the exercise to the Iraqi assets to take the lead in the people. hostage rescue scenario. While U.S. military leaders ISOF soldiers air assaulted observed the exercise and Sol- into the training area on Iraqi diers from 1st Advise and As- Air Force Mi-17 helicopters sist Task Force assisted in the and quickly took the final ob- preparation for the event, Iraqi jective, freeing the hostages. soldiers conducted the entire Throughout the operation, operation on their own, said an Iraqi Air Force unmanned Maj. David Ward executive of- aerial vehicle relayed a live- ficer, Stability Transition Team, U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux, 1st AATF PAO, 1st Inf. Div., USD-N video feed of the operation 1st AATF, 1st Infantry Divi- Iraqi Army public affairs soldiers from 12th IA Division bring Iraqi civil- from a position high above the sion. ian media forward for a press conference following the completion of battlefield to a screen in front of “Gen. Sameer, the 12th IA Operation Lion’s Leap at the Mahgoor Training Site in Kirkuk province, the observation stand. Div. Commander, wanted an Iraq, April 24, 2011. More than a dozen Iraqi local and national satellite television stations covered the exercise, providing footage for their The UAV was not the only Iraqi-pure operation, so we are audiences and asking questions of several soldiers and leaders fol- one capturing video of the ac- here in just an advise, train and lowing the exercise. tion—Iraqi reporters invited assist role,” said Ward, who to the exercise used video and hails from West Plains, Mo. Company, 1st Battalion, 14th to get the Iraqi’s ready for this still cameras to document the “This is the capstone event Infantry Regiment, attached to exercise. I think this proves that exercise as the 12th IA Div. where a lot of our efforts we’ve 1st AATF, 1st Inf. Div. Iraq is on the right track.” moved across the battlefield. put in over the past seven Arroyo, who made the ini- Maj. Viet Le, STT, 1st AATF, Several reporters stood in front months are coming to fruition. tial push into Iraq with the 1st Inf. Div. said he looks for- of their camera crews, provid- This is a good demonstration of 101st Airborne Division during ward to continuing his work ing a taped newscast with the what this division can do.” Operation Iraqi Freedom, said with the 12th IA Div. through- operation taking place in the The professionalism and Lion’s Leap demonstrated the out Operation New Dawn. background. competency displayed by the progress made by IA soldiers. “I am hopeful that the Iraqi Following the exercise, 12th Iraqi soldiers involved in the “I’ve seen a vast improve- Army will someday soon in- IA Div. commander staff Brig. exercise gave many Ameri- ment in their professionalism dependently support a fully Gen. Sameer, held a press con- can Soldiers a sense of pride since my first deployment and democratic nation,” Le said. ference where he explained the in what Iraq has accomplished their leadership is really step- “The most important thing we success of the operation and since 2003, said Sgt. Jose Ar- ping up,” said Arroyo, a native can pass on to them now isn’t fielded questions from report- royo, a mortarman with Head- of Mt. Clair, Calif. “We really weapons or equipment, but how ers about the exercise. quarters and Headquarters haven’t had to do a whole lot we think and how we train.” U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux, 1st AATF PAO, 1st Inf. Div., USD-N Iraqi Army soldiers assigned to Commando Battalion, 12th IA Division, move toward an objective during Operation Lion’s Leap, at the Mahgoor Training Site in Kirkuk province, Iraq, April 24, 2011. During Operation Lion’s Leap, commandos worked alongside mortar crews from the divi- sion’s 47th Brigade as well as Iraqi Special Operations Forces to assault three enemy positions and rescue simulated hostages. 3
  4. 4. The Ivy Leaf April 30, 2011 Wounded veterans return to Iraq to witness progress, gain closure Sgt. Shawn Miller of a different Iraq than the country he left Speicher, April 27, to gain closure and wit- 109th MPAD years before. ness the progress paid for by their blood U.S. Division-North Public Affairs A self-described personal journey more and service, as part of Operation Proper than six years in the making brought the Exit, a program run by the Troops First CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE former Marine corporal back to Iraq for the Foundation. SPEICHER, Iraq – The wind whipping first time since being shot in the face during “I left six years ago, semi-conscious, into the open door of the Black Hawk heli- a vehicle search in 2004. strapped to a bed,” said Daughenbaugh. copter couldn’t erase the smile from Donny Daughenbaugh and seven other veterans “This time I’m walking out on my own.” Daughenbaugh’s face as he took in views travelled to Contingency Operating Base A roaring standing ovation greeted the wounded warriors as they walked into U.S. Division-North headquarters. As the returning veterans took in the applause and greeted the current service members and contractors gathered to meet them, feelings of admiration and respect were mutual. The eight injured troops thanked their brothers-in-arms for the positive develop- ment across the country as U.S. forces pre- pare to leave after more than eight years of conflict. “This is where I bled, this is where I lost my leg, and I want to be clapping for the other Soldiers in the room,” said former Army 1st Lt. Edwin Salau. “They are the ones who are standing on the ground today; they rallied and kept it.” Salau said he was glad to see Iraqis tak- ing over security of their own streets and building the national government during Operation New Dawn. “I’ve been talking to the Families of Soldiers who lost their lives, and I owe them this story,” Salau said of his visit. Despite paying a great price himself, Salau remained positive and said the visit was a priceless opportunity to see how things turned out after he left. “Some said (the war) would cost an arm and a leg, and I got it at half price,” he said lightheartedly. See VETERANS, Pg. 7 Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Dailey, senior en- listed leader of U.S. Division-North and 4th Infantry Division, guides former Marine Cpl. Matt Bradford down a C-130 ramp at Contin- gency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, April 27, 2011. Bradford and seven other wounded veterans returned to Iraq as part of Operation Proper Exit, a program for injured service members to return to Iraq and leave on their own terms. U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Carmen Daugherty, USD-N PAO 4
  5. 5. The Ivy Leaf April 30, 2011 ‘On-Time’ Battalion supplies Iraqi Army with advanced field artillery capability U.S. Army photo Iraqi Army soldiers prepare to emplace an M198 howitzer during familiarization training at Kirkush Military Training Base, Iraq, April 25, 2011. U.S. and Iraqi leaders began dedicated field artillery training at KMTB to supplement the IA’s Tadreeb al Shamil initiative to train infantry units. Sgt. David Strayer Combining that standoff ability with a pared to take on the conventional mission 109th MPAD training course taught by combat-experi- set of a modern army; protecting its coun- U.S. Division-North Public Affairs enced U.S. instructors provides Iraqi sol- try’s borders and its people.” diers with an excellent foundation, Kaina U.S. instructors filed their students into KIRKUSH MILITARY TRAINING BASE said. separate gun teams and assigned each stu- – ‘On Time’ Battalion Soldiers with 2nd Bat- Instructors broke down the new M198 dent a position in the crew, including section talion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment began training course down into sections; the first chief, gunner, assistant gunner and ammu- training Iraqi Army field artillery soldiers of of which involved classroom instruction fo- nition team chief. The students then began Light Battery, 20th Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army cused on theory, and then a hands-on por- practicing pre-operations systems checks Division on the M198 howitzer at Kirkush tion which gave IA soldiers a chance to gain and dry runs on weapon exercises. Military Training Base, Iraq, April 27. practical experience while familiarizing “Currently we are training the IA troops Prior to receiving the 155mm weapons themselves with the weapon. to fill the roles in the gun crews that our non- systems, U.S. and Iraqi forces primarily “They are three weeks into the training commissioned officers currently fill,” said focused on infantry and mortar support tac- cycle and everything they have done up to Magill. tics during Tadreeb al Shamil in an effort to this point has been computations, theory, Bolstering and empowering the Iraqi modernize Iraq’s military forces. and classroom work,” said 1st Lt. Adam NCO Corps has been a major goal of U.S. The howitzers provide a long range in- Thompson, a senior M198 weapon system forces during Tadreeb al Shamil, Kaina said. direct fire capability that the IA previously instructor, Battery A, 2nd Bn., 11th FA Regt. Building that initiative around a practical lacked, which vastly changes the face of “We got the guns in on Sunday. After two concept such as artillery training and em- current training, said Capt. Lance Magill, straight weeks of theory and class work, powering the soldiers to become experts on field artillery training team chief for 2nd they were chomping at the bit to actually how to manage the weapon, fire it, and train Bn., 11th FA Regt. work with these weapons systems.” others really helps build that confidence “The addition of a weapons system and During the current eight-week course, within those NCOs, he said. the needed training is huge for these guys,” the first training cycle dedicated to field ar- “By making them the experts on some- he said. “It will give them the capability to tillery, U.S. and Iraqi leaders hand selected a thing like a weapon system, you give them fire indirect fire with a large caliber weapon small group of Iraqi soldiers who will be the ownership of that knowledge,” said Kaina. out to about 18 kilometers.” mainstay of 5th IA Div.’s field artillery corps “They can say ‘I am responsible for the Having that extra reach on the battlefield and act as future instructors. knowledge of this system that was passed gives artillery units more flexibility and “Basically it makes them a more com- down to me from the Soldiers of the U.S. standoff, said Maj. Jackie Kaina, operations plete army,” said Magill. “It gives them Army.’” officer for 2nd Bn., 11th FA Regt. more flexibility with indirect fire assets than “You are giving them something tan- Similar to a boxer’s jab punch, standoff the 120mm mortars they have, should they gible; something to be proud of,” he added. is the ability to engage an enemy at a safe encounter an external threat. That is the pri- distance while still inflicting damage. mary focus here—getting these guys pre- See ARTILLERY, Pg. 6 5
  6. 6. The Ivy Leaf April 30, 2011 Experience leads to expertise Cont’d from ARTILLERY, Pg. 5 “They will know that M198 sys- Spc. Andrew Ingram In addition to his assigned tasks, Peabody de- tem better than anyone else, and U.S. Division-North Public Affairs scribed the Quanah, Texas native as a “fireman,” that is how our NCOs operate— capable of reacting quickly to any of the emer- they know their systems and CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE WAR- gencies or “fires” the medical shop run into. their people better than anyone RIOR, Iraq – From handing out pills for head- “He is truly an asset to this shop,” said Pea- else.” aches at sick call, to stitching up wounds on the body. “I don’t think we would be nearly as suc- While the immediate goal of battlefield or rehabilitating an injured limb at cessful without him.” the training is to field the Howit- home, the U.S. Army medical corps saves lives Now in his 19th year in the Army, Moore zers and train the IA soldiers on and insures the health and welfare of Soldiers originally enlisted into the Army Reserve as a how to use them, Kaina said the every day. combat medic. Within one year he switched to ultimate purpose of the course is As the brigade medical noncommissioned active duty, and by 1994 deployed to Haiti for to build leaders who can take the officer, Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Moore, a combat three months. training back to their own units medic and physical therapy technician, 1st Ad- “That deployment was a great experience for for future success. vise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, me,” said Moore. “I saw the difference in the way “We want this training to go continues that tradition as he oversees the train- people lived there and I was able to utilize my a long way in helping to estab- ing and certification of Task Force Devil medics training in a visible way.” lish an Iraqi Army NCO Corps and advises the brigade surgeon. Moore said he reclassified as a physical that can take this knowledge and “I have been in the Army 22 years both as an therapy technician after returning from his first be the keepers of it for what will enlisted Soldier and as an officer, and Sgt. 1st deployment because he wanted to help Soldiers hopefully be many future field Class Moore is probably the most professional recuperate after injuries. artillery regiments,” said Kaina. NCO I have ever worked with,” said Capt. Joe After years of working in military hospitals Instructors plan to continue Peabody, task force medical operations officer at multiple duty stations throughout the U.S. and the field artillery training on the and Moore’s supervisor. “I come from the school three deployments to Iraq in support of Operation M198 for the next month, cul- that leaders are only as good as their subordinates Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn, Moore minating the class with a pro- and I lean on him for his knowledge and experi- said he is eager to continue serving in the Army vincial capstone exercise that ence every day.” as long as he is able. will include live fire drills using “I have learned so much in the Army,” he the new howitzers. said. “My advice to anyone is stay in the Army as “The training is good, the long as they keep sending you to schools—stick U.S. training team is profession- around and get an education.” al and they know their job well,” Moore enforces this belief by ensuring that said Lt. Faisal, a field artillery all medics attached to the 1st AATF remain cur- platoon leader going through the rent on training and civilian emergency medical training at KMTB. “The more technician certification and organizing training we work with the U.S. forces, exercises. the more proficient and profes- “We organize some sort of emergency train- sional we become, we are look- ing at least once every three months,” he said. ing forward to the live fire exer- “On the 16th we had a bus crash scenario here on cise and we will be ready.” the COS which tested our emergency responders including the medics response time and skills.” In addition to testing the medics’ skills, Moore said he used the exercise to gauge any deficien- cies in his Soldiers’ response plans. Moore said he looks forward to returning to Fort Riley upon completion of his tour, to recon- nect with his family. Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Moore, brigade medical non- commissioned officer, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, places a brace on Chief U.S. Army photo by Sgt. David Strayer Warrant Officer 2 Rico Bussey, brigade targeting of- ficer, 1st AATF, 1st Inf. Div., at Contingency Operat- A field artillery student from 20th ing Site Warrior Iraq, April 19, 2011. As the brigade Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, medical NCO, Moore usually focuses on adminis- works on gunnery computations trative work but after 18 years in the medical field during the classroom theory por- the Quanah, Texas native said his passion is still tion of artillery training at Kirkush working with patients. Military Training Base, Iraq, April 27, 2011. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew Ingram, USD-N PAO 6
  7. 7. The Ivy Leaf April 30, 2011 U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Carmen Daugherty First Sgt. Cornell Herrington, Division Spe- cial Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, thanks former Marine Cpl. Donny Daughen- baugh for his service during a ceremony at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, April 27, 2011. for a final time—this time on their own terms. “It’s been an up and down and emo- U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Carmen Daugherty, USD-N PAO tional journey, but I wouldn’t take any of Wounded Soldiers and Marines return to Iraq for the first time as part of Operation Proper Exit it back,” said Mancini. “”I am a better man at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, April 27, 2011. The Troops First Foundation today than I was before the incident.” brought back the injured service members for a chance to see progress made in the country in recent years and leave on their own terms. Daughenbaugh, who now provides fi- nancial aid information and family support Cont’d from VETERANS, Pg. 5 have in the military is something we all to fellow wounded service members in the have commented on that it’s good to be U.S., said that Operation Proper Exit gave U.S. Division-North and 4th Infantry back with our brothers,” he continued. “I him a chance to continue his mission and Division commanding general, Maj. Gen. want to thank everyone who had a part in service. David Perkins, and Command Sgt. Maj. this recovery journey.” “Some people wonder why the heck you Daniel Dailey hosted a lunch and presented For better or worse, the experience of would come back to a place which almost each of the five Soldiers and three Marines war forever changes all those who lace up a took your life,” said Daughenbaugh. “My with “Ivy” Division coins and certificates pair of combat boots and shoulder a rifle in answer is, ‘Why wouldn’t I come back?’” of appreciation before the veterans contin- service to their country. “It is something I wanted to do because ued their journey across Iraq. In spite of their traumatic memories of I felt like I didn’t finish what I came here to The Soldiers and Marines then boarded war, the eight returning veterans made the do,” he said. “I’m walking out of here on a pair of helicopters to take a guided tour best of Operation Proper Exit and left Iraq my own and that is what matters.” over northern Iraq to witness first-hand the progress made in recent years. After an improvised explosive device forced an end to his deployment and Army career in 2006, Sgt. 1st Class Brian Man- cini said returning for the tour not only helped him gain closure, but led him back to his roots as a noncommissioned officer. “The time in the military and relation- ships are unique and it provides a comfort level,” Mancini said. “I’m home. I’m an NCO, I take care of Soldiers and that will never leave me, it is who I am.” “The brotherhood and camaraderie we Two Soldiers return to Iraq for the first time since being wounded in earlier deployments as part of Operation Proper Exit at Contin- gency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, April 27, 2011. The operation, run by the Troops First Foundation, provides veterans a chance to return to Iraq to see the progress paid for by their service and to leave the country on their own terms. U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Carmen Daugherty, USD-N PAO 7
  8. 8. EasterThe Ivy Leaf April 30, 2011 Sunday 8
  9. 9. The Ivy Leaf April 30, 2011 ‘Warrior’ Brigade Soldier witnesses progress over three deployments Sgt. David Strayer leader currently deployed to in 2004, right at the beginning in its leaders at all levels,” he 109th MPAD Joint Base Balad, Iraq, has seen when everything was just start- said. “Each time they see our U.S. Division-North PAO the war in Iraq in its three most ing. It was a lot different then.” battalion commander with the significant stages: the invasion, After the successful invasion battalion command sergeant JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq – the surge, and now, Operation and dismantling of Saddam Hus- major, essentially making de- The war in Iraq—starting with New Dawn. sein’s regime in 2003, coalition cisions and acting together, as Operation Iraqi Freedom, and “This is my third deploy- forces began the task of estab- one voice from two people, it now concluding with Operation ment to Iraq,” said Pelon, who lishing security to protect Iraq’s sets the example.” New Dawn—has crossed over serves with Headquarters and citizens and national borders. The efforts of past years by several calendars, requiring Headquarters Battery, 2nd Bat- U.S. forces began a men- Iraqi and U.S. forces culmi- many Soldiers to be mobilized talion, 11th Field Artillery Reg- torship role which transitioned nated in the conclusion of Op- and deployed numerous times. iment, 2nd Advise and Assist into the present advise, train eration Iraqi Freedom and the Staff Sgt. Ray Pelon, a per- Brigade, 25th Infantry Divi- and assist task of OND. onset of Operation New Dawn. sonal security detachment team sion. “My first deployment was “In 2004, the operations U.S. Forces now operate in tempo was very high, and we strictly support-oriented roles; were always busy,” said Pelon. advising and continuing to train “I didn’t have a wife and child and assist ISF. like I do now; it was a differ- “We are not kicking in doors ent mindset, it was all about the or taking prisoners anymore; mission.” those days are over,” said Capt. “On my second deployment Paul Flemming, assistant op- to Iraq, which took place dur- erations officers with the 2nd ing the troop surge in 2007, the Bn., 11th FA Regt., now on main push was to really start his second tour to Iraq. “Our training the Iraqi Army and whole goal now is to empower Police,” Pelon added. “Since the Iraqi Army through training we were starting from scratch, and guidance, setting them up we had to get Iraqi citizens to for success when we leave.” volunteer, which was an act of “Things are a lot slower bravery in itself.” and deliberate now; we take The “Warrior” Brigade Sol- things step by step, and all of dier noted that among the great- the groundwork for our current est challenges from his experi- advise, train, and assist mis- ences was getting ISF leaders sion has been laid by the Sol- to understand and embrace the diers who have been here in the value of the noncommissioned past,” said Pelon, who happens officer corps and leaders at ju- to be one of those Soldiers who nior levels. contributed to the foundations “For the Iraqi Army, histori- of New Dawn. cally, the higher pay grade offi- At this point, U.S. Soldiers cers have always been the only help make small adjustments or ones with all of the authority refine skills when asked by Iraqi and responsibility,” he said. leaders, but the Iraqi troops are When U.S. forces displayed largely self-sufficient, he said. the amount of responsibility and Continuing to draw from U.S. Army photo authority entrusted to American his first-hand accounts of prog- Staff Sgt. Ray Pelon, a personal security detachment team leader as- NCOs and even junior enlisted ress made in Iraq, Pelon said signed to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 11th team leaders, Iraqi officers were throughout the process of form- Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, works with one of his Soldiers on the range during marks- surprised, said Pelon. ing and training the ISF, the manship training with the M249 squad automatic weapon at Joint “It demonstrates to them Iraqis who volunteered their Base Balad, Iraq. Pelon is currently serving on his third deployment how professional an army can to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn, after previously deploying be when it empowers and trusts See WARRIOR, Pg. 12 during the initial invasion and the troop surge. 9
  10. 10. The Ivy Leaf April 30, 2011 Toby Keith April 27, 20 1 1 at COB Speicher Live U.S. Army photos by Sgt. Shawn Miller 10
  11. 11. The Ivy Leaf April 30, 2011 Chaplain’s Corner: it was painful for parents and teenager alike, with no decisive winner. Help! I have a teenager! I suggested that Johnny’s parents em- ploy an approach used by King Solomon, a very wise man, in the Old Testament book of Proverbs. Solomon appealed to his son Chaplain (Maj.) Kenneth Hurst in their lives. Some writers and counselors to make wise choices. Deputy USD-N Chaplain advise us on handling adolescence as if it is Many times Solomon appealed, “if you a new child to the family. accept my words and turn your ear to wis- If you are a parent, you may already The fourteen-year-old is the same child dom … discretion will protect you” (Prov- have some of these unique creatures at you cared for at age eight, except they have erbs 2). home. They didn’t mysteriously emerge more responsibilities and choices. When When we appeal to someone we are out of some pre-biotic soup, or suddenly both my children were younger, I started asking them to consider something. We are land from another planet. They have been taking them on one-on-one dates with dad. reaching across the cognitive line and peti- there the whole time and you have prob- My daughter had a favorite ice cream shop tioning the emotional part of their nature. ably been to at least a few of their previous she wanted dad to take her to, and my son As parents we are frequently quick to birthday parties. had his own favorite thing to do. argue from our position of strength and Parenting teenagers is hard, and success- This one-on-one time was so important we may be rationally right, but we lose the fully parenting teenagers is even harder. As that we continued it through high school, battle. In a battle of the wills, you are not a counselor in civilian ministry before en- and it was here that dad tried to listen to going to win many times. Instead, appeal tering the Army, I always enjoyed talking their ideas and concerns. It is very difficult to the conscience and wisdom of your teen with teens. It helped that my own children to just listen and not inject or demand your to “do the wise thing.” Appealing will keep were also teens at the time, and I think they own agenda. Teenagers usually like to talk the relationship intact and the door open for benefited from what I learned from other … sorry, I guess the current equivalent is future problem solving. young people. texting. If we do not shut them down when These are just a couple of thoughts to get The weight of military life in today’s they are younger, they are more willing to us going on this topic. There will be more expeditionary Army makes parenting teen- talk to us when they are older. to follow in the weeks ahead. In the mean- agers incredibly hard. That is really an un- Appeal rather than argue. It was com- time, when you see me around DMAIN, derstatement! It makes it extremely taxing mon for a parent to come to my office with please tell me how your teens are doing. to be required to give so much of yourself a teenager who was locked in a battle of the in the service of our great country and still wills. Sixteen year old “Johnny” had not If you would like to speak with have something left for your young people been doing well at school and was ground- when you get home, or get them online at ed from his friends, lost television and Chaplain (Maj.) Hurst, the other end of Skype. Let me offer some computer privileges, lost driving privileges please call: suggestions. … and the list goes on. The more Johnny Parenting teens is an extension of the failed, the more restrictions he earned. (SVOIP) 676-0011 relationship you began with them earlier There was a battle of wills in progress and U.S. Division-North Social Media Sites www.twitter/4thInfDiv On the U.S. Division-North social media sites, you can find stories, photos and videos of U.S. Soldiers deployed in support of Operation New Dawn. 11
  12. 12. The Ivy Leaf April 30, 2011 Hey Doc: Orange Sky: To Run or Not to Run? Maj. David Schnabel USD-N Preventive Medicine Officer USD-N Division Surgeon “Hey Doc: With all these sandstorms and dust I’m breathing in Iraq, should I be concerned for my health?” – Signed “Sgt. Dusty” Dear “Sgt. Dusty,” You’ve noticed it too. There’s a lot more dust in the air here than back at home. In fact, U.S. Army officials have been think- ing about the health risks of all of this dust for many years. The really small dust particles called particulate matter (PM2.5) may have the most health risks and cannot be seen with the naked eye. Not surprisingly, the stud- ies have found that there is a lot more par- ticulate matter in the air here in Iraq, but so far, they have shown that there has been continue. If indoors, minimize dust by the use of burn pits for facilities with more no increase in serious lung diseases such as shutting windows, doors, and closing tent than 100 personnel greatly reduced our ex- asthma or bronchitis among service mem- flaps. The use of scarves or handkerchiefs posure to chemical pollutants in this par- bers, though mild short-term symptoms may help reduce irritation from some of the ticulate matter. Ultimately, if you do have like cough are not uncommon. large dust particles (not PM2.5). If you are any concerns, you will be able to address There is not anything we can do to com- concerned about specific symptoms, you them with a health care provider during the pletely protect ourselves from the dust in should always see a health care provider Post Deployment Health Assessment. the air, but there are a few guidelines which at your nearest Medical Treatment Facility. Breathe easy, Taskforce Ironhorse! And, may help. If possible, limit your outdoor The military continues to study this is- keep those questions coming. activity like PT during high dust events, sue and has made some positive changes to though mission critical activities should protect our health. For instance, a ban on Cont’d from than myself, and was able to WARRIOR, Pg. 9 see it at all of its most crucial moments. It is gratifying to see service to their country have the progress Iraq has made and always been eager to learn and know that we are about to com- receive training, always grow- plete our mission here.” ing more confident in their abil- ities and their leadership. Staff Sgt. Ray Pelon, Headquar- Relatively few Americans ters and Headquarters Battery, enter the military in service 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist of their country, and of those, Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Soldiers with multiple deploy- provides security for a patrol in ments are fewer. Pelon said he Samarra, Iraq. Pelon, who de- feels fortunate to be among that ployed in 2004 and 2007, current- ly serves in U.S. Division-North in group. support of Operation New Dawn. “I really think that I am “I played a part in something a lucky—the biggest thing I take lot bigger than myself, and was away from my experience of able to see it at all of its most crucial moments,” said Pelon. “It my three deployments is grati- is gratifying to see the progress fication,” said Pelon. “I played Iraq has made and know that we a part in something a lot bigger are about to complete our mis- sion here.” U.S. Army photo 12