The ivy leaf volume 1, issue 45


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The ivy leaf volume 1, issue 45

  1. 1. Volume 1, Issue 45 September 9, 2011Black Jack Steadfast and LoyalHighlander IronhorseDevilFit for Any Test Fit for Any TestIronhorse Devil U.S. Army photo by Spc. Brandon A. Bednarek, 4th AAB PAO Colonel Scott McKean, (left), and Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Eppler, command team, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Armored Division, uncase the brigade colors during a Transfer of Authority Ceremony September 4, 2011, at Contingency Operating Site Marez, Iraq. “Highland- ers” assumed responsibility of the Operation New Dawn mission in Ninewa province from 4th AAB, 1st Cavalry Division. Highlanders embark on New Dawn mission HighlanderSteadfast and Loyal Spc. Brandon A. Bednarek In eight years, American forces have Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry 4th AAB Public Affairs gone from full-fledged combat opera- Division, worked to accomplish their 1st Armored Div., USD - N tions, to advising, training and assisting mission in support of Operation New BLack JAck Iraqi forces, to officially handing over Dawn. The “Long Knife” Soldiers as- CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE bases, in accordance with the security sumed the mission of advising, training MAREZ, Iraq – As the U.S. remains agreement. and assisting Iraqi Security Forces in committed to reposturing forces in Iraq, A similar transition is also occurred and around Ninewa province October a significant transition is redefining the between two U.S. Army brigades in Iraq. 18, 2010. relationship between the U.S. and Iraq. For the past year, Soldiers with 4th See TOA pg. 3
  2. 2. The Ivy Leaf September 9, 2011 Staff Sergeant Mentee gaye Selfless service is an Army Value Many high level Army Military Oc- that Staff Sgt. Mentee Gaye lives by cupational Specialties require a GT every day. The platoon sergeant’s lead- score of 110 or above to qualify. Sol- ership ability has greatly contributed diers looking to transfer into MOSs to the success of Soldiers in Company such as legal specialist, radiology spe- B, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd cialist, journalist, COMSEC repair, and Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry many intelligence specialties some- Division. times need to improve upon their origi- Gaye explores ways to better him- nal GT score. self and his Soldiers in everything he A native of Darby, Pa., Gaye teaches does, including training on improving in spite of having many responsibilities Armed Services Vocational Aptitude as a platoon sergeant and his unit’s haz- Battery general technical scores. ardous materials representative. The first iteration of the GT im- “He goes above and beyond, and provement course was a collective ef- sets the example for his Soldiers,” said fort, but Gaye took the initiative to run Strait. “There is always a willingness to the second course by himself. help.” “He took it upon himself to continue In addition to teaching, Gaye en- the GT improvement course,” said Sgt. courages his Soldiers to improve their 1st Class Clem Strait, first sergeant of physical fitness test scores and do what- Company B. “He is a good guy, he al- ever it takes to make themselves better. ways puts his Soldiers first.” Gaye’s efforts are unmatched among U.S. Army photo Gaye voluntarily trains Soldiers for the ‘Gambler’ family, and his actions Staff Sergeant Mentee Gaye, platoon sergeant from the Armed Forces Classification Test. bring great credit upon himself and Company B, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Ad- He is continuing the course, which is Company B, said Strait. vise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, tudors Spc. Rene Ocasio, a nuclear, biological and chemi- taken to possibly improve GT scores, in For his dedication to the mission and cal specialist with Company B, in preparation for the an effort to open up more options for his Soldiers, Gaye is this week’s “Iron- Armed Forces Classification Test, Sept. 6, 2011. his Soldiers. horse Strong” Soldier of the Week. Red Dragon Maintenance Faces of Freedom: Soldiers honor lost US, ISF deliver goodwill, Platoon trains Iraqi Army USD-N reflects on 9/11 heroes gifts Page 4 Page 6 Page 8 Page 10 THE Ivy Leaf Task Force Ironhorse Commanding General – Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins The Ivy Leaf is an authorized publication for members of the Command Sergeant Major – Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey U.S. 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. Everything advertised 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. Craig Zentkovich marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other The Ivy Leaf Editor and Layout & Design – non-merit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. All editorial Sgt. 1st Class Rob Barker 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 1st Cavalry 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 Armored Division 2
  3. 3. The Ivy Leaf September 9, 2011 TOA Contd from pg. 1 The purpose of the ATA mis- sion was to improve Iraqi Securi- ty Forces’ capabilities and enable them to defend Iraq and its people from both internal and external threats. Training such as Tadreeb al Shamil, Arabic for all-inclusive training, focused on teaching the Iraqi Army the individual tasks critical to their respective jobs. Once the individual tasks were mastered, ISF learned a number of unit-level collective tasks. As 2011 began, Long Knife Soldiers led ISF training. A ma- jority of this training was con- ducted within COS Marez at the Ghuzlani Warrior Training Cen- ter. Over the course of the next seven months, Iraqis assumed the lead in the conduct of all training, enabling Long Knife Soldiers the opportunity to take on an adviso- ry role, assisting if necessary. In July, GWTC hosted the cul- minating event of Operation Iron Lion: a capstone exercise which demonstrated cooperation be- tween all ISF agencies. With the Long Knife mission now complete, a new brigade has stepped in, ready to conduct their mission with “Strength and Honor.” The “Strength and Honor” U.S. Army photo by Spc. Brandon A. Bednarek, 4th AAB PAO motto is a symbolic reference Colonel Scott McKean, commander, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Armored Division, addresses senior to “Highlanders,” 4th AAB, 1st U.S. and Iraqi generals, and guests during a Transfer of Authority Ceremony September 4, 2011, at Con- tingency Operating Site Marez, Iraq. “Highlanders,” from Fort Bliss, Texas, assumed responsibility of the Armored Div., who officially as- Operation New Dawn mission in Ninewa province from 4th AAB, 1st Cavalry Division. sumed responsibility of the OND mission in Ninewa province dur- The ceremony marks the sec- in-place with their cavalry coun- component to successfully main- ing a Transfer of Authority Cer- ond time in their lineage that the terparts. The process, intended to tain the course to success, said emony Sept. 4, at Contingency “Long Knife” Brigade has trans- seamlessly interchange two units, Mckean. Operating Site Marez, Iraq. ferred authority to the “High- occurs when an incoming unit is “We will put forth every effort The histories of both brigades landers” while deployed in Iraq. scheduled to replace another. to create flexibility and opportu- are intimately intertwined. The The first occurred in 2009 while “We’re making sure the sys- nities for our leaders,” he added. 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st deployed in support of Operation tems they had in place remain op- “We will ensure that our mission Cav. Div., which was activated Iraqi Freedom. erational, and making sure all of is done with the highest level of in October 2005 from Fort Bliss, “The Long Knife and High- our staff has the same situational discipline and professionalism.” Texas, was first deployed to Iraq lander brigades have been bond- awareness,” said Command Sgt. With a combined seven Iraq in 2006 and again in 2008. ed since our inception, and many Maj. Thomas Eppler, senior non- tours, and well over 40 years of Upon returning to Fort Bliss of our Soldiers have served with- commissioned officer with 4th military experience, both McK- from their second deployment, in each BCT’s ranks,” said Col. AAB, 1st Armored Div. ean and Eppler are experienced the unit was reflagged as 4th Scott McKean, Highlander com- The mission that lies ahead Soldiers, looking forward to lead- Heavy Brigade Combat Team, mander. for the Highlanders is one of ing their brigade to a successful 1st Armored Div., and 4th BCT, Since arriving in early August, great importance, but also one mission. 1st Cav. Div., was then reassigned Highlander Soldiers have spent of constant change. Flexibility “We will ensure success with to Fort Hood, Texas. the weeks performing a relief- and discipline will be an essential honor,” said McKean. 3
  4. 4. The Ivy Leaf September 9, 2011 ‘Red Dragon’ platoon trains Iraqis 2nd Lt. Amanda R. Fonk Modock added. Modock and 2nd AAB Pfc. Matthew Castillo, also a 1st Cav. Div., USD - N mechanic with Company G, and San Antonio native, spearheaded JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq the classroom instruction and – When preparing for combat, hands-on training. nothing is more important than “You could see it in their eyes training. each morning they arrived that Forward Support Company they were excited about learn- G, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field ing something more about their Artillery Regiment, 2nd Advise equipment,” said Sgt. Miguel and Assist Brigade, 1st Calvary Colon, from Brooklyn, N.Y., Division, U.S. Division – North, who escorted the IA personnel U.S. Army photo hosted a training course on the around for the training. Sergeant John Modock, a mechanic with Forward Support Company maintenance of High Mobility Class participants consisted G, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles of mechanics from the 17th IA Brigade, U.S. Division – North, describes how to use a technical man- ual to Iraqi Security Forces at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, Aug. 17, 2011. with the 17th Iraqi Army Brigade Brigade, which sent two me- at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. chanics from each of its battal- the process of visually locating questions related to their own ve- The course, which began ions to the training course. certain wires of the vehicles. hicles. Aug. 17, lasted three days. The classroom instruction Iraqi Captain Saddiq, head of Using vehicle parts as visual The humvees are fairly new included training on humvee the 17th IA Brigade Maintenance aids, the mechanics were able to to the Iraqi Security Forces, and transmissions, engines, and fuel Section, had many questions on break through the language bar- some have become inoperable systems. the U.S. Army’s maintenance rier and realize the similarities due to problems beyond their “These systems are quite structure, such as how they man- between the mechanics, even if mechanics’ scope of expertise, complex and difficult to provide aged to maintain their vehicles so they were from different armies explained Sgt. John Modock, a instruction on within a three-day thoroughly. and parts of the world. mechanic with Company G. span, so we focused on trouble- The instructors explained that “I’m grateful to have had a In order to strengthen the shooting procedures and the use the vehicle operators help the part in teaching them the right 17th IA Brigade’s vehicle fleet of training manuals to resolve is- mechanics by conducting pre- thing to do and set them up for and allow them to continue with sues,” explained Modock. ventive maintenance checks and future success,” said Castillo. As their force protection mission, Instruction also consisted of services daily to help mitigate a mechanic, Castillo was able the unit’s maintenance section lessons on the wiring schematic vehicle faults. to use his technical expertise to required some additional train- of humvees. IA personnel walked Saddiq said it made sense to provide solutions to common ing on specific components and through the electrical system on use these personnel to do routine issues and problems within the systems within the vehicles, paper. Then instructors showed fixes, as they were the ones using humvees. the vehicles most often, and that “Despite the language barrier, doing this would help take some it is really interesting to work of the work off of his mechanics. with the IA personnel and it is re- During the course, the IA warding knowing that at the end mechanics were given technical of the day we learned from one manuals to keep and use at their another and built a lasting part- battalions. Despite the language nership,” said Colon. barrier, they were instructed on As the training came to a how to maneuver through the close, the IA mechanics left with manual, which will greatly as- more expertise to deal with the sist them in dissecting any issues various problems and issues they or problems with their humvees, face with their humvees, which said Castillo. will increase the 17th IA’s com- U.S. Army photo The hands-on portion of the bat readiness and lead to a higher Modock and fellow mechanic Pfc. Matthew Castillo, a San Antonio na- tive, teach Iraqi Army mechanics about humvee fuel systems during course allowed the trainees to see number of ISF patrols and mis- recent vehicle maintenance training at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. the actual problems and ask any sions. 4
  5. 5. The Ivy Leaf September 9, 2011 U.S. Army photo by Spc. Brandon A. Bednarek, 4th AAB PAO A gunner with 2nd Platoon, Company C, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Armored Division, makes last minute checks on a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle Sept. 1, 2011, before conducting a route clearance patrol outside of Con- tingency Operating Site Marez, Iraq. Engineers locate and clear explosive threats on routes to counteract potential attacks. Engineers clear way for mission success Spc. Brandon A. Bednarek ance is a staple of their mission outside the Soldier on the road has a responsibility and 4th AAB Public Affairs gates of COS Marez. expectation to halt the patrol if witnessing 1st Armored Div., USD - N “We make sure that everyone else can something out of the ordinary. move freely without the threat of an explo- “No one job or person is any more im- CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE sive,” he said. portant than another,” Floyd said. “It doesn’t MAREZ, Iraq – Although violence and at- On mission nights, up-armored vehicles matter if it’s a (private first class) on his third tacks against U.S. forces in Iraq have dra- illuminate the motor pool with their light- patrol or if it’s me – everyone has the control matically decreased over the last few years, ing systems. Soldiers in the platoon load to make that decision." threats from improvised explosive devices mission-essential equipment, including ice- still exist. filled coolers with drinks, and conduct pre- The Army depends on its engineers to lo- ventative maintenance checks, and services. “We make sure that everyone cate and clear explosive threats on important Prior to movement, Floyd and the pla- else can move freely without mission and supply routes In order to coun- toon sergeant conduct mission briefs so Sol- teract potential attacks. diers are aware of recent enemy activity and the threat of an explosive.” Route clearance is one of several tasks are focused on the upcoming objective. Be- -2nd Lt. Matthew Floyd engineers with 2nd platoon, Company C, fore the Soldiers venture on their mission, a 2nd platoon, Company C, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th nightly prayer is said in unison as Soldiers 4th BSTB Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Armored Di- bow their heads. vision, are expected to perform while operat- The engineers spend hours traveling up ing at Contingency Operating Site Marez. and down routes with careful attention, cau- Frequent radio chatter keeps patrol vehi- “The objective is to maintain freedom of tiously monitoring suspicious vehicles and cles focused and in constant contact with one movement on routes, by searching for … activity. External cameras mounted on vehi- another. Occasionally, a joke can be heard on possible IEDs,” said 2nd Lt. Matthew Floyd, cles assist in determining whether an object the headsets, revealing the level of unity that platoon leader with 2nd Platoon. lying on the roadside is a potential threat. flows within the platoon. For Floyd and his Soldiers, route clear- Regardless of rank or experience, each See ROUTES pg. 9 5
  6. 6. The Ivy Leaf September 9, 2011 Faces of Freedom: “Prevention of complacency is very impor- “To me, the remembrance of 9/11 is a time tant and part of every deploying Soldier. You when Americans should reflect on the need can use the aftermath of 9/11 as an example. to protect the United States and the citizens This event brought the harsh reality that our within, from foreign and internal threats. Just proud nation does have an enemy. Freedom like Pearl Harbor, this event symbolizes the is something that has to be fought for in or- ability for others to gravely impact American der to maintain.” lives and the need to protect (our citizens).” -Specialist Kevin Cofield, motor transport -Major Julian Avent, civil military operations operator, Forward Support Company D, 4th officer with 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise 1st Cavalry Division, and a native of Talbott, and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and Tenn. an Aulander, N.C., native. “The remembrance of 9/11, to me, is in honor of the men and women who lost their lives on this very tragic day in 2001. It is a celebration of the bravery shown that day. September the eleventh signifies the strength of the United States and its people. This day shows that even through the worst tragedy, the people of the U.S. will overcome any situation as long as we stand together.” -Private First Class Keith Ephraim, quarter- master chemical equipment repairman with Forward Support Company D, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, from Biloxi, Miss. “It was a day that has changed my thinking “I’m proud to be an American Soldier post forever. You have to be aware that anything 9/11, because it gives me the opportunity to can happen; it completely changed my per- do something for the country that has given spective. We always have to be vigilant and me a lot.” aware now.” -Specialist James Clardy, military policeman -Air Force Maj. Kathryn Payne, staff weather from Reno, Nev., assigned to “Punishers” officer with 355th Fighter Wing, from Tucson, 2nd platoon, 272nd Military Police Company, Ariz. 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infan- try Division, serving in Kirkuk, Iraq. 6
  7. 7. The Ivy Leaf September 9, 2011 USD-N Reflects on 9/11 “I was in the 7th grade when it happened. I “To me, 9/11 is remembering and honoring was definitely influenced by what happened the spirits of the innocent individuals who during 9/11 to join the Army to help fight for died due to an act of terrorism, as well as re- my country.” membering the freedoms we tend to take for -Sergeant Trevor Tong, fire direction patrol granted every day, and supporting those who noncommissioned officer, from Milton, Fl., survived but lost loved ones in the process.” assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters -Sergeant Sean Barnett, imagery and intelli- Battery, 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery, 1st gence analyst, from Penn Run, Pa., assigned Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry to “Regulators,” HHC, 1st Advise and Assist Division, serving in Kirkuk, Iraq. Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, serving in Kirkuk, Iraq. “Their plan was to instill fear, but instead they brought us closer together. (We) rallied in unison, we wiped the tears from our eyes and stood tall. Taking up arms, to protect the ones we love (and) we moved forward. The world shook not from the fall of the towers, but from the roar of a nation.” -Specialist David Fortin, a computer detec- tion system repairman with Forward Support Company D, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regi- ment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, from Gorham, N.H. “(9/11) made me want to stay in (the Army) “When 9/11 happened, it was a devastating longer to fight for my country. We have so blow to the people of the U.S. I was in a state many young Soldiers that need someone to of shock. It caused us to re-evaluate how we lead them the right way.” train and protect (ourselves).” -Master Sergeant Don Costa, liaison officer -Sergeant First Class Jamie Walls, liaison of- for 840th Transportation Battalion, Surface ficer for 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Deployment and Distribution Command, Calvary Division, from New Orleans. from Charleston, S.C. 7
  8. 8. The Ivy Leaf September 9, 2011 Soldiers honor lost heroes ‘Workout to remember’ pays tribute to 31 fallen warriors U.S. Army photo by Spc. Crystal Hudson, 29th MPAD Major Matt Clark, operations battle major with 4th Infantry Division, and Tucson, Ariz. native, begins his part of the 31-minute workout to honor the 31 fallen service members, Sept. 2, 2011. The event was designed to memorialize service members who lost their lives in Afghanistan, Aug. 6, 2011. “Physical fitness is an important part of being in the military. It was an important part to the SEALs, and special operations (service members) who were lost,” said Davis, after completing his exercises. “We thought it was a good way to honor their sacrifice.” Spc. Crystal Hudson ups and box jumps. The number of repeti- 29th MPAD tions completed in each round was chosen USD - N Public Affairs based on the date the service members were lost, said Maj. Matt Clark, operations battle CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE major with 4th Infantry Division and Tuc- SPEICHER, Iraq – Members of 4th Infantry son, Ariz. Native. Division, United States Division – North, “I like the camaraderie. It shows that we participated in a “workout to remember” at are one team,” said Staff Sgt. Manuel Mon- Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, tanez, night joint operations center fires non- Sept. 2, 2011, to remember the 31 service commissioned officer from Houston. members who lost their lives in Afghanistan Davis said the participants wanted to on Aug. 6. show some solidarity and support for the “Physical fitness is an important part of families of the service members who were being in the military. It was an important lost. part to the SEALs, and special operations “(The goal is) to get out and sweat and (service members) who were lost,” said Maj. work hard as a team. It was one team go- Josh Davis, night chief of operations for 4th ing to rescue another team (in Afghanistan), Inf. Div. and event organizer. “We thought so that’s what it’s all about, hard work and it was a good way to honor their sacrifice.” teamwork,” said Davis, a native of Fayette- The team-based workout challenged ville, N.C. participants to complete as many rounds as The fallen service members included 17 possible in 31 minutes. Each round included U.S. Navy SEALs, two U.S. Navy explo- one teammate running 400 meters with a sives ordinance disposal technicians, three U.S. Army photo by Spc. Crystal Hudson, 29th MPAD 45 or 25lb weight while the other teammate Naval Special Warfare Combat Support Staff Sergeant Manuel Montanez, night joint completed as many repetitions of selected Sailors, two U.S. Army Aviators, three U.S. operations center fires noncommissioned officer with 4th Infantry Division, and Hous- exercises during the lap. Army air crewmen, three U.S. Air Force ton native, completes a round of towel pull- The exercises included thrusters (full special tactics operators, and one military ups during the workout to honor the 31 fallen front squat into a shoulder press), towel pull- working dog. service members who lost their lives. 8
  9. 9. The Ivy Leaf September 9, 2011 ‘Black Jack’ engineers secure canal, enhance international relationships Sgt. Quentin Johnson for Kareem and the Iraqi na- 2nd AAB Public Affairs tionals working on the canal. 1st Cav. Div., USD - N Workers cleared the canals of debris, weeds and concer- CONTINGENCY OPERAT- tina wire, said 2nd Lt. John ING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq Gilmore, platoon leader with – For more than three years, Company C. no water has flowed through A working canal provides the Septia Canal, which once water to the farms, which in provided Iraqi citizens with turn, provides food and work irrigation for the farms sur- for families in the local vil- rounding Contingency Oper- lages, explained Kareem. ating Base Warhorse, Iraq. “The canal will help im- By the end of September, prove the standard of living U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Quentin Johnson, 2nd AAB PAO water will once again pour around (Septia),” he added, Captain Louis-Philippe Hammond, (left), commander of Company through miles of the canal, in “and will raise the income and C, 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st and around the cities of Sep- economy.” Cavalry Division, U.S. Division – North, speaks to Shawkat Kareem, tia and Al Raga, said Lt. Col. Davey agreed with Ka- Sheikh of Septia, Iraq, about the canal project outside of Contingency Mark Davey, commander, 2nd reem’s expectations of the Operating Base Warhorse, Iraq, Aug. 29, 2011. Soldiers from Compa- ny C, 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd AAB, provided security dur- Special Troops Battalion, 2nd economy. ing the month-long project to restore the flow of water to the canal. Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st “This project will impact Cavalry Division, U.S. Divi- the economy of Diyala prov- the work that’s been accom- American forces for their ef- sion – North. ince in a very positive way,” plished,” explained Ham- fort to open the canal, their The project took one month Davey said. “The project en- mond, a native of Anchorage, friendship and partnership.” to complete, and will provide sured good will between the Alaska. “It is all because of more than 1,200 farms in the USF, local governance and all the Sheikh. His efforts have area with water, said Shawkat people in Diyala.” helped enhance the project.” “This project will Kareem, the Septia Sheikh. Captain Louis-Philippe Kareem was equally grate- impact the economy Working with the Diyala Cen- Hammond, commander of ful for the efforts of the U.S. tral Services and the U.S. Company C, said he was and the protection they pro- of Diyala province in Army, Kareem supervised the grateful for the opportunity vided his workers. a very positive way.” project from the beginning. to help Kareem, and was im- “(The Soldiers) have Engineers from Company pressed with the progress be- helped us and we are working –Lt. Col. Mark Davey C, 2nd STB, 2nd AAB, 1st ing made. in a safe environment,” added 2nd STB, 2nd AAB Cav. Div., provided security “I am very proud to see Kareem. “I want to thank the ROUTES Contd from pg. 5 “Everyone gets the job done, espe- The adaptability of the Army and “We are actually a really tight-knit cially our leadership,” said Spc. Chad advancements in military technol- platoon,” explained Floyd, adding Daniel, an engineer with 2nd platoon on ogy have greatly improved since the that the Soldiers are motivated, fo- his first deployment. “They make sure first units arrived in Iraq almost eight cused, respectful and work very well the lower enlisted is trained well.” years ago, including the methods and with each other. Daniel, who mans a Common Re- equipment used for route clearance, In order to keep Soldiers safe on motely Operated Weapon while riding which have significantly decreased missions, preparation and training are in a Buffalo Mine-Resistant Vehicle, the amount of time that Soldiers need essential cornerstones for leadership, found that the training he received has to be on the roads, said Floyd. said Floyd. Repeating rehearsals and suited him for a life of uncertainty out- After a long night work, the pla- scenarios are a common practice that side the wire. toon returns to COS Marez with their keeps the platoon knowledgeable and “Everything I was expected to do, mission accomplished. Soldiers park calculated. It’s also crucial to teach everything that I was trained to do, is and refuel vehicles, take time to re- Soldiers not to react to IEDs the same exactly what I expected it to be,” he cover, and perform maintenance and way twice, he said. said. rehearsals until their next mission. 9
  10. 10. The Ivy Leaf September 9, 2011 US, ISF deliver goodwill, gifts Units team up to bring joy during Eid-al Fitr holiday Sgt. Justin Naylor 2nd AAB Public Affairs 1st Cav. Div., USD - N CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq – Dozens of brightly clad girls and boys dressed in their holi- day best stood in line, whispering and giggling back in forth as they waited their turn. One after another they were called forward into a schoolhouse, each walking out the other side with an arm- ful of new toys, school supplies and gifts. As part of the celebration of Eid al- Fitr, Soldiers with 2nd Advise and As- sist Brigade, “Black Jack,” 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division – North, and U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin Naylor, 2nd AAB PAO their Iraqi Security Force counterparts, Iraqi Col. Mahmoud, an Iraqi Police officer, shares a smile with a young Iraqi girl after giving shared goodwill and gifts with children her a toy during an event celebrating Eid al-Fitr in the village of Yethrib, Iraq, Aug. 31, 2011. from the village of Yethrib in Salah ad- Din province, Iraq, Aug. 31. visits and gift-giving. “These gifts are just a small token of our Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the Is- “We are celebrating Eid al-Fitr with appreciation to the people of the Yethrib lamic holy month of Ramadan. Muslims some gift-giving to the local children,” area.” generally celebrate the holiday with a said Lt. Col. Nathan Cook, command- This is our chance to show the peo- special prayer service. The day is also er of 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artil- ple of this village and the surround- often commemorated with feasts, social lery Regiment, 2nd AAB, 1st Cav. Div. ing area that we are here to help them and their children, said Iraqi Lt. Col. Radam Hassan Jawad, executive of- ficer for the 4-17th Iraqi Army Battal- ion, which works closely with 3rd Bn., 82nd FA., in the area. “This shows them that we are here to serve them and help them.” These types of events give villagers something truly positive to remember U.S. forces by, and help the ISF build stronger relationships with the popula- tion of Yethrib, said Radam. The event also shows the villagers that Americans have a deep respect for days that are especially important to them, like Eid al-Fitr. U.S. Air Force and Army units from Joint Base Balad, Iraq, provided a ma- jority of the gifts for the event. Driving through the village on the way to the event, children stood on the side of the road waving, happy to U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin Naylor, 2nd AAB PAO see U.S. forces and the ISF, said Cook. Lieutenant Colonel Nathan Cook, commander, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division – North, gives a toy to a “Seeing their smiles makes it all worth young girl in the village of Yethrib, Iraq, Aug. 31, 2011, in celebration of Eid al-Fitr. it.” 10
  11. 11. The Ivy Leaf September 9, 2011 Always mission ready NCO aids Soldiers readiness, efficiency in accomplishing tasks Sgt. Kandi Huggins “He works hard,” said Harleston. “He enemy action while he has been doing his 1st AATF Public Affairs is sometimes hard on his Soldiers, but he job. 1st Inf. Div., USD - N always leads by example. He said he is grateful his experiences “He is never the type of leader to just and prior deployments allow him to pro- CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE dictate and tell his Soldiers to do this or do vide leadership and expertise to his fellow WARRIOR, Iraq – After 14 years of ser- that. He goes out there with his Soldiers Soldiers and he looks forward to taking vice and three deployments serving as an and helps them, or learns what their job is that experience with him as he progresses infantryman and cavalry scout, Sgt. Regi- to understand how it better helps him be his career in the Army. nald Alexander is in Iraq for a second time. more of an asset to their growth and de- This time he’s keeping troops informed in velopment.” support of Operation New Dawn. While Alexander spends most of his During his first deployment to Iraq from time at COS Warrior, Harleston said he 2004-2005, Alexander’s unit was tasked to goes out on missions from time to time, conduct combat patrols in Baghdad, he which aids his understanding of what his said. Now, Alexander has a different mis- briefings can do for the unit before they go sion: Company Intelligence Support Team on missions. noncommissioned officer in charge, Com- “It’s a good thing for him to go out be- pany G, 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery. cause he is better able to visualize the ter- “Before it was more hands-on, and I rain and area,” said Harleston. “An area was more exposed to the Iraqi population,” may look one way on a map, but when said the Magnolia, Ark., native. “We were you see it firsthand it’s different. With responsible for keeping the district free of him going out on missions, he is able to… violent extremist groups… and provided determine different things that will allow security for the first democratic elections our operations to run effectively and effi- in Iraq.” ciently.” Alexander said he spent 11 years in the Alexander said, even though it is a U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 1st AATF national guard as a scout and infantryman, new experience and challenge, his time Alexander conducts a mission brief to his but decided to go active duty for stability, as COIST NCOIC has been rewarding be- Soldiers prior to the Company G Soldiers and to encounter new challenges. cause no personnel have been casualties of leaving COS Warrior, Aug. 24, 2011. Now, with little contact with Iraqis, Al- exander works with Soldiers and interpret- ers to provide intelligence reports before they leave Contingency Operating Site Warrior for missions and engagements. “As the COIST NCOIC, I follow attack trends, map the safest routes and plan al- ternate routes based on the current threat levels our (intelligence) has noted,” said Alexander. “My job is pertinent because it gives the Soldiers situational awareness of threat levels, enemy tactics, techniques and procedures, and an idea of what they need to look for when they are out in sec- tor.” “He is definitely an asset,” said Staff Sgt. Eric Harleston, operations NCOIC, Company G. “Operations would be hurt without him. He sets up everything before the guys roll out. All they have to do is get in their vehicles and accomplish their mis- sion.” U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux, 1st AATF Harleston, a Charleston, S.C., native, Sergeant Reginald Alexander, Company Intelligence Support Team noncommissioned officer, said since knowing and working with Al- Company G, 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st exander the past two years, his profession- Infantry Division, looks up information regarding recent activities in the Kirkuk province prior al respect for him continues to increase. to Company G Soldiers leaving Contingency Operating Site Warrior, Sept. 2, 2011. 11
  12. 12. The Ivy Leaf September 9, 2011 Chaplain’s Corner: Who is your battle buddy? Chaplain (Capt.) Scott Ingram to be within our arm’s reach. The trag- tion back to the young man by asking, 4th DSTB Chaplain edies of Haiti’s earthquake and Japan’s “Which of these three do you think was U.S. Division - North tsunami are two such examples on a na- a neighbor to the man who fell into the tional scale. America, as well as other hands of robbers?" The answer is obvi- CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE countries, and a host of organizations ous. SPEICHER, Iraq – Who is your battle poured generous aid into Haiti and Ja- I ask you, “So, who is your neighbor?” buddy? Why do we have them in the pan. On an international level, Haiti and Look around you. Take notice of those military? Japan are our neighbors. whom you pass and interact with each Battle buddies are partners assigned to Jesus then asked the young man a day: sweating at the gym, standing in line Soldiers to assist one another both in and follow-up question, “Who is your neigh- at the dining facility, gathering Sundays out of combat. Battle buddies look out bor?” In our Army culture, we might ask, in chapel, looking for whatever the post for, protect, and help one another. The “Who is your battle buddy?” What if an- exchange is out of, walking around divi- battle buddy system has also been highly other person is not your assigned battle sion main, waiting at the barber shop, or successful in preventing suicide among buddy… are you responsible for him or at Green Beans. The list could go on and our ranks. Battle buddies help protect our her? Unlike previous generations, our on. If we look with our eyes and listen most prized commodity – America’s sons pace of life today doesn’t seem to sup- with our ears, we will see and hear peo- and daughters. port taking time to get to know people. ple who have been “robbed, beaten and Jesus was approached one day by an Instead, we value efficiency, proficiency, left half-dead” during this deployment. expert in the Jewish religious laws of his and living the life of more. If we get to Some fear what is waiting on them when day and was asked what a person must know folks in the process, then good. If they return back home after this deploy- do to inherit eternal life. Jesus responded not, oh well, it’s all we can do to keep our ment. It’s all they can do to function and by asking the young man what the Jewish own heads above water and take care of peddle through their days without having law said. The man answered by quoting matters in our own lives. a total emotional, mental, and spiritual from two books in the Hebrew Scriptures In response to the lawyer, Jesus told collapse. These are your neighbors… (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18). him a story about neighborliness in or- these are your battle buddies! The two passages called for a whole- der to help him answer the obvious ques- Battle buddies - good neighbors - are hearted love for God and for one’s neigh- tion for himself. The story was about a incredibly important in the Army and bor. Afterward, Jesus replied, “You have traveler who fell victim to thievery and could literally save someone’s life. answered correctly…Do this and you physical battery, and left for dead on the September is designated as Suicide will live.” side of the road. The traveler was ignored Awareness and Prevention month. There Jesus put his finger on an area of our by two supposed religious leaders who, are several meaningful activities planned lives that strikes at the heart of where by all accounts, should have helped but to remind our Soldiers of the immeasur- many of us live. How are we to help oth- didn’t. There was a third person who able value of every life. Ultimately, be- ers and to what extent? With the advent stopped, dressed the wounds of the half- ing a battle buddy is about the value of of the internet, global travel, and digital dead man, took him to a local inn, and life and the investment we make in each communication, we can see and hear the paid for his care. The third person was other. Please take time this month to con- stories of the less fortunate, and their also considered a social outcast in first- sider and remind one another of the value pain, with so much clarity that they seem century Judaism. Jesus turned the ques- of our Soldiers and their Families. USD-N Social Media To read more stories and see the photos that go with them, as well as some videos, check out the links below. Read and share what you see and pass along the Soldiers stories. 12